A MARRIED couple set off for a week's sailing trip from Pembrokeshire and came back more than 16 years later.

Clive and Jane Green wanted to make sure they could live together in their cramped 35ft sailboat before tackling an ocean crossing.

But after a successful voyage to Spain the pair kept going and sailed around the world clocking up more than 51,000 nautical miles.

They set off from Neyland marina in 1998 and returned to the same place last week after the adventure of a lifetime.

And their £16,500 yacht turned out to be the loveboat - they didn't have single row in all that time.

Clive, 62, said: "We really had gone full circle - all the way around the world and we didn't argue once.

"We made a rule that if ever we fell out one of us had to leave the cabin and sit on the deck next to the mast.

"But in 16 years circumnavigating the globe it didn't happen once."

Clive and Jane took early retirement to live their dream - he worked with a major utility company and she was a hospital microbiology technician.

The pair rented their home out in Abergavenny, to fund the early part of their trip before their company pensions kicked in.

The couple visited 51 different countries during their voyage and lived with tribes in the south Pacific and navigated through pirate-infested waters off the east African coast.

They survived up to 23 days at sea by desalinating seawater, wrapping potatoes individually in newspaper, keeping cheese in cooking oil and packing butter in mounds of salt.

The fridge on board was used to store just one commodity - bottles of Clive's favourite beer.

The pair spent almost £20,000 fitting out their Trident Challenger yacht, the Jane G, named after Jane and clocked up an average speed of 4.5mph on their circumnavigation of the globe.

They lived on £130 a week - bartering their few belongings for supplies to keep them going to their next port of call.

Their best swap was one of Jane's Marks and Spencer bras for a whole sack full of fresh fruit and vegetables on a small island off Fiji.

Jane, 60, said: "We have been very lucky so see our planet in such an amazing way - we didn't ever plan to sail around the world it just happened.

"We would sail to a place and then through word-of-mouth from other sailors hear about somewhere else to go on to.

"That has been our life for the last 16 years - it's been an amazing experience."

The pair, who don't have children, arrived back in Neyland Marina, to be greeted by friends Wendy Abbs and Ian Bevan who had cast them off 16 years, one month and two days earlier.

Clive said: "We really had gone full circle - all the way around the world at an average speed of 4.5mph.

"It is good to be home to see all our family and friends and we have promised ourselves to spend a few months getting to know them all again."