‘Cruising’ Archive


Bad weather has its advantages. If we are forced to hole up we can catch up on our sleep  and try and make inroads into the vast library of books that accompany us. Better still , if we are able to tie up ashore we have the opportunity to explore on land, and even, shock […]

A history lesson

The area round Aranmore looks fun on the chart and in the pilot books. There are lots of choices of anchorages in picturesque settings ;  purple blue mountains ashore contrast with  the pink granite rocks of the coast, and the whole lot is set off by lots of white sandy beaches. All it needs to […]

Windy old weather, stormy old weather……

We have been home for a week , leaving Festina in the capable hands of the Blackwells, tucked up in their gorgeous corner of Clew Bay.     In our absence the weather Gods have decided that we have been having it too easy and have sent a constant  strong Westerly airflow with frequent little […]

Some things change – and some don’t.

  We first came this way in 1994 in Polly. Jamie Wilkinson and I sailed the boat to and from the Hamble, a racing crew came over for a regatta in Baltimore and then each family had a 2 week cruise between Baltimore and Dingle. Its fun to retrace our steps and see if the […]

An ambition almost achieved

The anchorage in the Blaskets between Inishvickilane and Inishabro has to be one of our all time favourites. It is the most Westerly anchorage in Europe , stuck out there in the Atlantic off the SW point of Ireland and in truth it is somewhat marginal, exposed as it is to any East in the […]

Wildlife Galore

Sometimes I cannot  believe our luck . Take this week for instance. The weather has been warm and sunny and the seas have been flat: ideal for looking at sea life. Then the icing on the cake, which is that most of the sea life of the NE Atlantic has converged on the Southern coasts […]

Caribbean Ireland

  France has had almost constant rain and floods , the North sea has shivered under cold damp Northerly gales , but over here in Ireland it has been “shorts and tee shirt” temperatures and gentle winds , and as if that wasn’t enough the wildlife has been spectacular. From Fastnet round to Galway the […]

A Grand Welcome to Ireland

Ireland did I hear you say ? I thought you were going up the North Sea to Shetland? Ah , so did we until the forecast changed . What had looked like a week of westerly winds suddenly metamorphosed into Northerlies in the North seas and Easterlies in the Channel. That sounds like the perfect […]

Red Hot Hooters in the Canaries

One of the few disadvantages of getting off the beaten path in Lanzarotte and Fuertaventurta is that every so often you come face to face with a large scary person staring at you over an enormous pair of pendulous hooters – or worse. What makes it even more scary is that the owners of said […]

A Missed Opportunity in Gran Tarajal

Its the same each time. If we tie up for more than 24 hours we start to put roots down. The boat turns into a caravan that couldnt possibly float and the wind in the rigging of neighbouring boats howls like a banshee even though in reality its quite moderate. So after 3 days of […]


Arricife is I think the spanish word for reef, and we are anchored at the entrance to a complex and shallow passage between several reefs that eventually leads into a lagoon in the middle of the town . There is an old castle , built on the breakwater on one of the reefs, which saw […]


We have now been anchored off Playa Francesca at the SW corner of Graciosa for 3 days. The bay is overshadowed by a volcanic hill ( mountain would be too grand  a term although it is definitely a volcano) of extraordinary colour. The SW face is  orange and deeply honeycombed rather like an enormous  crunchy bar. […]

Selvagem Grande

There is an awful lot of night down in these parts – a little over 12 hours of it – but as long as the sailing isnt too challenging we each get a good 6 hours , which with a snooze in the day leaves us fairly relaxed about passage making. Dribbling along at 2.5 […]

Slow boat to Selvagem

Last nights plan sounded good . The forecast was for light and variable winds, becoming light to moderate NE after about 12 hours. We would poke our nose out of the harbour and if there was no wind, anchor just around the corner for 8 hours or so. If there was wind we would have […]

Here be Hobgoblins!

We left Gibraltar on Thursday morning . I expected to see an Armada of  ARC Migrants coming with us , but apart from a Cat who joined us at Tarifa – we were alone. Perhaps they were put off by the possibility of strong Southerlies on Monday . We talked of “slipping over to Madeira” […]