Beginner’s English – Countries: The couple who sailed round the world

Do you know how to say the names of countries from around the world? Here is a story where we can practise saying country names. Listen to the mp3 of the text to hear the correct way to say the words.
A British couple have just finished a long boat journey. It was very long. They sailed around the world together for 36 years!!!

This is a dream for lots of people, but Bill Cooper and his wife really did it. Mr Cooper worked in London in finance and for the government. But in 1974, when he was on his way to work one day he decided to stop doing a job that he didn’t really like. When he was waiting for his train to work, he said to himself, “I’m not going in today. I’m fed up!” So he went back home and asked his wife to ring the office and tell them that he wasn’t coming to work ever again!

The couple started building their own boat. It took 2 years to make. Mr Cooper did the building and Mrs Cooper did the painting. Then they set off on their incredible journey. At first they cruised around the Meditteranean and the Caribbean islands. They also went along canals and rivers, including from New York to Florida. They crossed the seven seas and in total they sailed over 100,000 nautical miles and stopped off at over 45 countries.

Some of the places they visited were:

Gibraltar, Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Crete, Turkey, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, Sicily, Sardinia, Majorca, Menorca, Ibiza, Canary Islands, the Caribbean islands, the USA, Portugal, Morocco, Greece, Monaco, the Azores, Corsica, Holland, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Tunisia.

Now, they have returned to England because of ill health. At 83, Mr Cooper is slowly losing his eyesight. But they won’t live on land in a house. They will still live on their boat on a river in Kent. It will probably be a bit quiet for the Coopers as they have survived 25m waves, 100mph winds and hurricanes. Now, Mr Cooper wants to write a book about their adventures. He said, “We have had an absolutely amazing life. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.”

What great story. I can’t wait to read it.
Here’s a large map of the world with all the country names. You can make the picture big by ‘zooming in’, so that you can read everything.

If you want more beginner’s English blogs, read this about Whitney Houston’s funeral or this about books and technology.

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