Roger and Margaret Pratt’s Caribbean holiday blog showcases a trip-of-a-lifetime which turned into tragedy

Preparing for the off, Magnetic Attraction at the RNSYC marina in Lowestoft before Mr and Mrs Pratt set off on their voyage last summer. picture: SUPPLIED. Preparing for the off, Magnetic Attraction at the RNSYC marina in Lowestoft before Mr and Mrs Pratt set off on their voyage last summer. picture: SUPPLIED.

Monday, January 20, 2014
5:27 PM

It had started off as a dream trip-of-a-lifetime to the Caribbean paradise.

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CELEBRATIONS: Mr and Mrs Pratt celebrate Margaret's 60 birthday with friends.CELEBRATIONS: Mr and Mrs Pratt celebrate Margaret's 60 birthday with friends.

In the middle of an east coast summer, Roger and Margaret Pratt left Lowestoft’s Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club at 5pm on July 7 last year and headed for Breskens in the Netherlands.

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Posting some “farewell” pictures of the yacht club, which had been the berthing for their yacht Magnetic Attraction for more than a year, Mrs Pratt launched a blog to showcase their dream voyage and keep the local sailing community in touch with their journey.

It began “Magnetic Attraction – ready to go!” And from there, six months later, more than 85 posts had followed – complete with updates, comments and pictures, describing their trip via the English coastline before heading to the Algarve and on to the Caribbean. Through Lanzarote and Morocco, to highlighting wet and windy conditions on their way, the couple, friends and family all described their dream trip.

With the first posting made on Tuesday, July 9 – relating to their departure from Lowestoft – the latiitude reading was given as 52:28N with a longitude reading of 1:45E.

Mrs Pratt’s sister, Jenny Riley, said: “They sailed across the Atlantic in December with two other members of the family. They were in Martinique for Christmas with the family and then just the two of them sailed on to St Lucia for the new year.

“There is a big sailing community locally and around the country who have been following the blog describing their adventures,” Mrs Riley added.

One of the most recent postings, “New Year in St Lucia!” related to Mr and Mrs Pratt celebrating the new year in Rodney Bay, St Lucia. It read: “St Lucia is in sight of Martinique and we arrived at about 2.30pm. Rodney Bay is a great anchorage, breezy and fresh.”

The couple joined sailing friends for a meal at the KokoKabana resort and after some “excellent” entertainment, the couple “saw the new year in with champagne and After Eight mints on the marina pontoon. What a great day!”

After the festive treats, and the new year in St Lucia, Mrs Pratt said that she had “a very special day” for her 60th birthday celebrations.

The final posting related to the yacht “at anchor in Vieux Fort” last Friday, just hours before the attack, with the suggestion that local customs officials had delayed their attempts to leave the island before the weekend.

This posting was made on January 18, just after midnight, with the reading on Magnetic Attraction listed as 13:43N latitude and 60:57.30W longitude.

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