Atlantic Circuit

EINSTEINS THEORY OF BOAT PREPARATION

Posted on Jul 13th, 2009 - By admin - 0 Comments

Have you ever struggled to read, or more importantly comprehend , Einstein’s theory of relativity? If you are anything like me it starts well but…

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Pontius Pilot, Britney (Steers), the Milk Monitor….?

Posted on Jul 27th, 2009 - By admin - 0 Comments

After much scratching of heads and a lot of drilling of stainless (cue 6 broken drill bits and a teeny weeny loss of sense of humour!) the Monitor…

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On computers

Posted on Jul 31st, 2009 - By admin - 0 Comments

Let me start by saying that computers have revolutionised sailing. With their help we can access levels of accurate weather forecasting undreamt of…

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We are off!

Posted on Aug 3rd, 2009 - By admin - 2 Comments

Saturday dawned like any other . You perhaps dont know the drill - but for the last few weeks it has been  glance at the weather , look at…

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Email update: Chenal du Four

Posted on Aug 5th, 2009 - By admin - 2 Comments

5/8/09 0900 - We are  passing through the Chenal  du Four in no wind . Yesterday was spent anchored off Carentec (of Oppie course fame) in the Bay…

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Email Update: Greetings from Biscay!

Posted on Aug 6th, 2009 - By admin - 0 Comments

1200  BST 6/8/09 Lat 46 22.0N  Long 5 51.5 W Greetings from the Bay of Biscay ! The wind is Northerly and has been gradually building from 8…

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La Corunna – the trip is on!

Posted on Aug 8th, 2009 - By admin - 6 Comments

Unlike the song there was no gale and our stormy timbers are not rent - yet! In fact we had a delightful crossing  of the Bay and scarcely touched a…

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Rounded Cape Finisterre

Posted on Aug 11th, 2009 - By admin - 0 Comments

Update from Festina by text - "Rounded Cape Finisterre, anchored in one of the southern Rias - Muros. Fantastic passage, all very well…

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The rain in Spain falls mainly somewhere else!

Posted on Aug 14th, 2009 - By admin - 0 Comments

After two days tucked up at anchor  in the Ria Muros with 25 knots of Northerly  whistling over our heads , the Azores high has sent a cousin to…

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Posted on Aug 17th, 2009 - By admin - 2 Comments

Festina is undergoing a metamorphosis from racer to cruiser - albeit with a few hiccoughs of the one step forward, two steps back kind . We have…

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On Fish and Fishing

Posted on Aug 17th, 2009 - By admin - 3 Comments

We have now spent a week pottering in the Rias Baixas - delightful sheltered waters and scenery reminiscant of  a  Scottish Loch, or perhaps Firth…

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Rolling down the Portuguese trades – or doing a rainy Wednesday night race at Hamble?

Posted on Aug 26th, 2009 - By admin - 0 Comments

  Well , both actually!  Last weekend was spent sailing from Bayonna to Lisbon . We set off in 20 knots and as evening fell it gradually…

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What works – and what doesnt!

Posted on Aug 27th, 2009 - By admin - 2 Comments

Our 3 week shakedown has allowed us to find out which of our ideas and purchases work - and which dont. Top of the tree is undoubtedly "Cruising…

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Where to now?

Posted on Sep 8th, 2009 - By admin - 0 Comments

From La Corunna We're off again - heading south later this…

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Lisbon – The Good , the Bad and the Ugly

Posted on Sep 11th, 2009 - By admin - 0 Comments

The Good Its a bit dodgy having obsessions at my age . If I said that Lisbon appears to cater for my every need you would have every reason to be…

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Algarve – sublime or ridiculous.

Posted on Sep 17th, 2009 - By admin - 0 Comments

Our first real stop was the lagoon just South of Faro/Olhao. Its a strange place, rather like a very large Newtown Creek with a city at the each end.…

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Squeeks and Leaks

Posted on Sep 21st, 2009 - By admin - 0 Comments

Actually the word "squeek"  does not do justice to the sound - it was  more like metal being torn apart by some huge force - magnified 100 fold and…

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Vila Real de Santo Antonio

Posted on Sep 22nd, 2009 - By admin - 2 Comments

Today was just great! We left the Lagoon of Faro/Olhao soon after dawn , after another couple of days anchored there. To begin with there was not…

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The River Guardiana

Posted on Sep 27th, 2009 - By admin - 0 Comments

Festina has turned her back on the sea.  We are in fact some 25 NM inland , anchored in complete solitude . It is  just before dawn and there is…

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More stuff that works , and some that doesnt.

Posted on Sep 27th, 2009 - By admin - 0 Comments

I am now on fairly good terms with my computer!  There was a time when I never thought I would write that , but it would appear that our problem…

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Migration – a birds eye view

Posted on Oct 1st, 2009 - By admin - 0 Comments

Over the last few days I have begun to undestand how it feels to be a swallow! There you are in a warm paradise , loads of juicy insects to feed on (…

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Cadiz

Posted on Oct 2nd, 2009 - By admin - 1 Comment

We are in Spain again. Its obvious BECAUSE EVERYONE SHOUTS AND GESTICULATES LOADS MORE! Its all done very good naturedly , but it seems that…

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Mountains!

Posted on Oct 5th, 2009 - By admin - 0 Comments

Festinas crew have just treated themselves to 2 days in the mountains .  The Sierra de Grazalema  is a place of Eagles , Ibex and sore muscles for…

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Gibraltar

Posted on Oct 7th, 2009 - By admin - 6 Comments

Strictly speaking Gibralter  is out of our way now that we have decided not to go into the Med , but it seemed to be one of those places that you…

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Here be Hobgoblins!

Posted on Oct 11th, 2009 - By admin - 0 Comments

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 -…

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Madeira – and an update on man vs hobgoblin.

Posted on Oct 13th, 2009 - By admin - 1 Comment

Dawn on the 4th day of our passage brought several volcanic islands out of the mist. First came Porto Santo , 25 miles to the NE of Madeira  and…

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The Ups and Downs of Madeira

Posted on Oct 16th, 2009 - By admin - 4 Comments

Its 3 days since we started to explore Madeira - and our first impression is that it is a classy place . For a start it is physically very impressive…

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Time to move on

Posted on Oct 23rd, 2009 - By admin - 1 Comment

From Walking in Madeira We have now spent 11 nights at a charming little place called  Marina Quinto do Lorde. I never thought I would write a…

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Slow boat to Selvagem

Posted on Oct 24th, 2009 - By admin - 1 Comment

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…

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Selvagem Grande

Posted on Oct 27th, 2009 - By admin - 0 Comments

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…

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Graciosa

Posted on Oct 29th, 2009 - By admin - 0 Comments

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…

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The Yanks ride to the rescue!

Posted on Nov 3rd, 2009 - By admin - 0 Comments

From Graciosa (click on the link for more photo albums!) Over the last few months I have lost count of the number of interesting looking…

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Different kinds of Migrants

Posted on Nov 3rd, 2009 - By admin - 0 Comments

We left Graciosa on a blowy  day , thrashing our way to windward through the straits between the island and the cliffs of Lanzarotte , before…

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Arricife

Posted on Nov 3rd, 2009 - By admin - 1 Comment

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…

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An attack of envy on I de Lobos

Posted on Nov 6th, 2009 - By admin - 0 Comments

I de Lobos ( named after the sea wolf - seal - rather than its land version ) sits just North of Fuertaventura and plum in the middle of  the…

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…………..and Guilt on Lanzarotte!

Posted on Nov 6th, 2009 - By admin - 0 Comments

It is 2 weeks since we  last tied up anywhere , so we headed for Marina Rubicon on the South coast of Lanzarotte. Just to the West of the entrance…

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Vela Latina

Posted on Nov 8th, 2009 - By admin - 0 Comments

From Vela Latina Vela Latina means literally,  "latine sail" - but actually it stands for the organisation that runs races for traditional…

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Lanzarotte reconsidered

Posted on Nov 9th, 2009 - By admin - 1 Comment

We think this island is pretty special . Pass swiftly through the holiday developments on the South and East coasts ( and in all honesty they are…

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A Missed Opportunity in Gran Tarajal

Posted on Nov 13th, 2009 - By admin - 0 Comments

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…

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Red Hot Hooters in the Canaries

Posted on Nov 16th, 2009 - By admin - 0 Comments

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…

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Atlantic islands pilotage

Posted on Nov 21st, 2009 - By admin - 0 Comments

Well our forecast was nearly spot on. And it's amazing how "nearly" makes such a difference. The wind came in 2 hours ahead of schedule - which in…

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Birds of Passage in La Gomera

Posted on Nov 21st, 2009 - By admin - 4 Comments

It's difficult to be bored in this harbour. Boats come and go, and there is a general air of preparation and expectation. Folk stagger by with can…

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Progress and parties on La Gomera

Posted on Nov 24th, 2009 - By admin - 0 Comments

From Walking in La Gomera La Gomera is very much like a small Madeira . The mountains are spectacular , the walking is great and best of all you…

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In search of Christmas Dinner

Posted on Dec 1st, 2009 - By admin - 3 Comments

Christmas comes but once a year - but this year might see us mid Atlantic with no freezer and far from the usual source of Christmas goodies. Thus…

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La Palma

Posted on Dec 1st, 2009 - By admin - 0 Comments

Our week on the island of La Palma has flown by. The overall impression I have is of colour . First of all by Canarian standards it is gloriously…

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All Sheeps

Posted on Dec 4th, 2009 - By admin - 1 Comment

It would be foolish to underestimate the sailing conditions in these islands as the massive volcanic mountains funnel the winds in so called…

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Manic Maintenance

Posted on Dec 13th, 2009 - By admin - 0 Comments

It seems impossible but I have now been in Las Palmas for 10 days , and have scarcely been outside the marina. Lynda has flown home ,spent a manic 5…

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Bugger…

Posted on Dec 20th, 2009 - By admin - 6 Comments

Ben and Bryony arrived at Las Palmas and the weather looked grim - SW winds until South and East of the Cap Verdes 800 miles to windward and a huge…

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Gripes in Gomera!

Posted on Dec 22nd, 2009 - By admin - 1 Comment

The good news: We´re allowed to stay in La Gomera, by sweet-talking and doing everything short of outright bribery of the marina officials. We´ve…

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Here today , gone Gomera? …..er …Not yet!

Posted on Dec 30th, 2009 - By admin - 0 Comments

We are still in Gomera , and the harbour is gradually returning to its normal state. The dark chocolate brown water ( due to the run off from the…

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Time to go

Posted on Jan 4th, 2010 - By admin - 6 Comments

So , its time to have another crack at leaving. Bryony got on a plane in Tennerife this evening and all that we need is a text to say she is home…

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Atlantic issues….

Posted on Jan 8th, 2010 - By admin - 3 Comments

The sun is shining , the wind is dead astern and we have been entertained by a posse of spotty dophins ( stenella atenuaris) so life is perfect…

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Day 6

Posted on Jan 10th, 2010 - By admin - 1 Comment

What a dark night. The gibbous moon only appears at about 0400, and as it is cloudy much of the time the rest of the night is pitchy black. As…

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Searching for a Solution in Mindelo

Posted on Jan 14th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

Our arrival in the Cape Verdes was nothing if not dramatic ; racing down the imposing channel between Santo Antao and Sao Vicente in 35 knots under…

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Off again!

Posted on Jan 15th, 2010 - By admin - 2 Comments

We left Mindelo at 1500 yesterday , squirting out between the islands and deliberatly taking the acceleration zone wind SW for some 50 miles before…

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Day 3

Posted on Jan 16th, 2010 - By admin - 2 Comments

As predicted the last 24 hours has been very light , but to our delight we have still managed 120 miles - more if you include the current. I guess…

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Day 5 – 1/4 of the way there

Posted on Jan 18th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

At 1030 this morning ( 0830 UT) we reached the 1500 mile to go mark , which we have designated as 1/4 of the way across. Im not sure how I feel about…

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Day 6

Posted on Jan 19th, 2010 - By admin - 2 Comments

The wind has now veered and is from our Starboard quarter. Not quite far enough aft to go to twin headsails, but plenty far enough to get us rolling.…

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Day 7

Posted on Jan 21st, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

We had another boisterous evening which gradually eased off through the night. There may be a pattern as there is a corresponding diurnal variation…

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Day 8

Posted on Jan 21st, 2010 - By admin - 1 Comment

Another 24 hours under twin headsails . We reduced from the No 1 to the No 3 overnight after much umming and ah-ing , but mainly because Lynda was…

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Day 9 – over halfway!

Posted on Jan 22nd, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

The last 24 hours have been quite fresh, up to 25 knots at times but usually around the 19-20 mark, and we havnt touched a sheet or sail for 36…

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Day 10

Posted on Jan 23rd, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

The forecast was for more wind again last night and so at dusk we snugged down to a trysail and No 3. Even though it never really got more than 25…

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Day 11

Posted on Jan 24th, 2010 - By admin - 2 Comments

Todays report comes a little early as we need an updated grib to help us decide on the days course. Do we trundle on down the great circle route…

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3/4 of the way there!

Posted on Jan 25th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

Im not sure what we have done to deserve this. The seas are (relatively) flat, the wind is sufficient, and we now have a moon at night that gives you…

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Day 13 – rolling like a saturday drunk

Posted on Jan 26th, 2010 - By admin - 1 Comment

Festina clocked 160 miles from 0600 to 0600 courtesy of hanging on to the kite longer than strictly prudent and a nice fresh wind overnight , but we…

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Day 14- hard work at the office!

Posted on Jan 27th, 2010 - By admin - 1 Comment

Blimey - talk about a hard day ( and night ) at the office! Yesterdays wind was all over the shop , 8 to 24 knots and equally variable in direction…

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Day 15 – 30 miles to go…

Posted on Jan 28th, 2010 - By admin - 2 Comments

Same wind , same waves , but a totally different day. We are rested , (relatively ) comfortable and have easily made up our sleep deficit and whats…

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Arrived!

Posted on Jan 29th, 2010 - By admin - 1 Comment

Arrived Bridgetown Barbados at 1700 local time . Cant raise the customs on the radio , but then nor can one of the cruise liners (!) so we anchored…

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Barbados – still arriving!

Posted on Jan 30th, 2010 - By admin - 7 Comments

We still havnt properly arrived at Barbados , even though we have been hereabouts for 24 hours. You are supposed to clear in at the harbour , but…

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When in Barbados…. do as the Bajans do

Posted on Feb 2nd, 2010 - By admin - 2 Comments

The character of Barbados – or at least Bridgetown , was made clear within minutes of landing on the pure white beach in search of a celebratory…

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Getting used to not being on watch!

Posted on Feb 8th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

We arrived in Rodney Bay Marina ,St Lucia after a fast overnight sail from Barbados It was noisy , hot and far from idyllic - but we cleaned and…

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Coral hopping on the East Coast

Posted on Feb 8th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

Martinique has an unbelievable number of yachts in its waters. That said , the anchorages are so roomy that it doesnt seem crowded , but it is a bit…

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Festina photographed off St Lucia

Posted on Feb 10th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

From St Lucia From St Lucia From St Lucia Thanks to Peter Quentrall-Thomas for the…

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Yole Racing

Posted on Feb 14th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

From Yole Racing Our original plan was to spend one night at anchor in Havre Robert on the coral bound East coast of…

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Just Cruising

Posted on Feb 15th, 2010 - By admin - 1 Comment

With 2 days of Peter's stay to go we sailed the 15 miles from Rodney Bay  at the North of St Lucia ,  to the Pitons – those astonishing iconic…

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The Grenadines at Speed

Posted on Feb 18th, 2010 - By admin - 8 Comments

Festina continues her somewhat haphazard course through the Windward islands. Having explored Martinique with Peter, we returned to St Lucia to put…

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On Coral Reefs, Turtles and… Bookshops?!

Posted on Feb 24th, 2010 - By admin - 2 Comments

Prickly Bay at the South end of Grenada to the Grenadines doesn’t look far on the chart – but unusually for the Caribbean  it’s a beat ; a…

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Of whales and other tall stories

Posted on Mar 3rd, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

From Grenadine Medley Of all the Grenadine islands , there is one that stands out as being completely different. Mustique has long been the haunt…

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The Turtle, the Fish, the Pelly and me!

Posted on Mar 7th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

The Grenadines have been a naturalists paradise . Offshore we have seen the elegant Tropic Birds , and as we move closer in it has been fun to watch…

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HMS Diamond Rock

Posted on Mar 16th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

At the South end of Martinique is a piece of Napoleonic history that , depending on your point of view might bring a patriotic tear to your eye or…

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How to keep your shirt dry in the ( not very) Windies.

Posted on Mar 16th, 2010 - By admin - 2 Comments

In Cadiz we met a nice Dutch couple who tried to dissuade us from coming to the Carribean as they had found it to be far too windy , and we would be…

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Misleading Lights

Posted on Mar 16th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

Most of you will know that in their wisdom , the seafarers this side of the pond interpret red and green lights in completely the opposite way that…

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Beware, Paradise has teeth!

Posted on Mar 27th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

We are back in English Harbour once more, having taking Ben and Steph on a nine day whistle stop tour of Barbuda and the wilder anchorages of…

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Spring is sprung, its too dry for the grass to riz, but boats are gathering in Antigua

Posted on Apr 4th, 2010 - By admin - 3 Comments

Judging by the flowers and the nesting birds , Spring is coming to the Caribbean. For those of you that don’t know , the sailing season out here …

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How to sit in a Sarong – and other mysteries

Posted on Apr 6th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

A gap year, whether taken as a youngster or, as in our case, near our dotage, should be an opportunity for learning new skills, broadening horizons,…

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Wi-Fi in paradise

Posted on Apr 12th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

From barbuda again The trades are blowing strongly again , and we are back in Barbuda , anchored once more in the lee of its stunning East…

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A Wild Night in English Harbour

Posted on Apr 15th, 2010 - By admin - 2 Comments

 Life has been very kind to us over the last few months , allowing us to spend our time in a huge variety  of   anchorages  that provide a…

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Preparing for the Spring Migration

Posted on Apr 25th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

Thankfully ,  Bryony’s week with us  did not  quite live up to her billing as “the Droughtbuster”! It was a bit  rainy to begin with –…

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PARFUME FRANCAIS

Posted on Apr 26th, 2010 - By admin - 2 Comments

Festina  is back in passage making mode  for the first time in several months . We spent two completely windless days  anchored out in the bay off…

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The Pirates of Anguila

Posted on May 1st, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

From Anguila How could we fail to fall in love with an island whose national sport is racing wildly overcanvassed wooden sailing sloops, and…

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SCOOP

Posted on May 4th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

FAKE PALM TREES IN VIRGIN BOSS TROPICAL HIDEAWAY From Necker Island Not content with mother nature’s contribution to his…

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Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum

Posted on May 6th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

I recently discovered that my mother , bless her cotton socks , had  saved my  very early school books. When I came upon them  I found that the…

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After 22 hours

Posted on May 10th, 2010 - By admin - 3 Comments

We are reaching in gradually decreasing SE wind, heading E of rhumb line to Bermuda to try to avoid a thundery low to our North and to get some…

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Hard on the wind…

Posted on May 11th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

We are hard on the wind. That probably sounds pretty macho , and perhaps by tomorrow it will be , but for the moment we are dribbling along at 3-4…

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Day 4

Posted on May 12th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

This is turning out to be a fascinating passage. First we had to avoid a thundery trough and then came the trying business of getting through it to…

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Day 5

Posted on May 13th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

Yesterday evening was spent gradually reducing sail in preparation for the blow and we finally selected our "night rig" as a trysail and No 3.…

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Day 6? – you’re kidding – weve stopped counting- its just what we do!

Posted on May 14th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

Well the blow has come and gone and the sun is out - but pleasant now like an English summer rather than the tropical heat further south. It blew and…

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Men o’ War

Posted on May 14th, 2010 - By admin - 1 Comment

The wind went ahead and fell below 5 knots yesterday at 1400, with the possibility of no more til Sunday , so there was much calculating and…

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Brrr-muda and the Portrugese Boys of War

Posted on May 16th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

Last night I had to wear trousers! This may not seem strange to you but its the first time I have been seen without shorts or sarong since August of…

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First impressions of Bermuda

Posted on May 17th, 2010 - By admin - 1 Comment

  From St George Bermuda   We are at anchor off the town of St George , going over the steering system ( essentially good…

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Green with Envy in Hamilton

Posted on May 22nd, 2010 - By admin - 1 Comment

I am ashamed to say that I knew very little about Bermuda  before arriving here , except perhaps  that it was the setting for Shakespeare’s “…

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Blown away on Bermuda day

Posted on May 26th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

From hamilton The wind has gone and we are once more anchored out in Hamilton harbour. The forecasters and computer models talked of sustained…

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Back at anchor

Posted on May 28th, 2010 - By admin - 1 Comment

Well , that was a quick Atlantic voyage!  The short story is that we are now back at anchor in Bermuda. The longer version is that after the blow on…

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Monday at sea again

Posted on Jun 1st, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

St Georges harbour emptied again on Sunday as about 6 boats left for various destinations , but mainly the Azores. One boat turned back almost…

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Tuesday at sea

Posted on Jun 2nd, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

Its June 1st. This side of the pond that means today is the official start of the hurricane season and we are quite pleased to be heading NE. For…

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Wednesday at sea

Posted on Jun 2nd, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

As expected the wind died at 1300 yesterday and we settled down for a 12 hr chug , but it was not to be . A little breath came out of the SE after…

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Thursday at sea

Posted on Jun 4th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

The problem for the next few days is how not to get engulfed in a high in front of us. We trundled along happily through the night dead downwind ,…

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Friday at sea

Posted on Jun 4th, 2010 - By admin - 1 Comment

Our slow and gentle progress continues. We are casting a wary metaphorical glance astern as it looks like we will have some “weather “ in 3 or…

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Saturday – blimey the days are slipping by!‏

Posted on Jun 6th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

Saturday The days roll on with little change , other than we are back in 1.4 knots of Westerly current with its accompanying chop and slowed up…

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Sunday

Posted on Jun 7th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

The last 24 hours have brought 2 major milestones ( can you have milestones on the sea ˆ they sound unlikely to float so maybe they should be…

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Monday, week 2

Posted on Jun 8th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

Yesterday we broke all records with a noon to noon run of 188 miles! This was all the more remarkable as the last 6 hours were very light indeed ,…

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Asleep on watch! Tuesday…

Posted on Jun 8th, 2010 - By admin - 2 Comments

Tuesday sees a shamefaced skipper and a boat without a kettle. This is their sorry tale. The night was VERY slow , and what wind there was came…

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Wind-less Wednesday!

Posted on Jun 10th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

The weather situation continues to be intriguing. It seems we have been travelling East at the same rate as the High pressure . As we slip back , so…

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Thursday’s Child

Posted on Jun 11th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

Thursdays Child has far to go –343 miles anyway, which at our present 3 knots is going to take – well, a long time yet. The wind has been…

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Fridays child is noisy and slow!

Posted on Jun 11th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

A much nicer day today with sun and the kind of cumulus streets that I associate with a nice force 4 on a summers day. Except we don’t have the…

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Saturday’s child works hard for a living.

Posted on Jun 13th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

Well , Neptune has thrown down the gauntlet and directed the wind to blow direct from Horta. Just to prove a point he has thrown in a bit of leeward…

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Wind shifts and salvage on the high seas

Posted on Jun 13th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

We are still engaged in our private battle of wits with Neptune. We decided the wind would veer ,so headed off on a long port tack , went on to…

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Arrived in Horta

Posted on Jun 14th, 2010 - By admin - 2 Comments

Quick update - Festina arrived in Horta early this…

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Land Ho!

Posted on Jun 17th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

From Back across the atlantic Our last day at sea was remarkably pleasant , going to windward in 10 to 12 knots on a lovely sunny day. With 30…

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Angra do Heroisma

Posted on Jun 25th, 2010 - By admin - 1 Comment

From Angra do Heroisma It is now a week since we arrived in this Renaissance city in the middle of the Atlantic. Terceira ( literally…

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Homeward Bound

Posted on Jul 5th, 2010 - By admin - 1 Comment

On our return to Angra do Heroismo after Bryonys graduation we found that the crowds had dispersed and it was back to its slightly sleepy,…

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Greetings from a busy Atlantic

Posted on Jul 6th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

Our delicious breeze ran out at 1500 yesterday , and we have been chugging over glassy seas all night. The indications are that we have crossed the…

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Pottering Home

Posted on Jul 7th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

Yesterdays wind arrived right on time, at noon , and we have been pottering downwind under kite ever since . The wind was initially WNW which gave…

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Pessimism Unfounded

Posted on Jul 8th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

Yesterdays pessimisms has so far proven to be unfounded. We did have the occasional shower but they were so light it was scarcely worth putting…

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To Ushant and Scilly ’tis 250 Leagues

Posted on Jul 9th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

Festina continues to make good progress home with a gradually increasing SW wind ( currently averaging 22 knots) under her belt. There is a fair old…

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In praise of trysails

Posted on Jul 10th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

We had a long debate last night whether we should change down to the trysail. The wind was only 22 knots and we were sailing along in splendid…

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Homeward bound

Posted on Jul 11th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

Close , but no cigar Yesterdays challenge was to cross a ridge of high pressure into the Northerly winds on the other side that would take us…

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Fear not!

Posted on Jul 12th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

Technical difficulties are preventing the regular updates from the good ship Festina. Normal service will (hopefully) be restored tomorrow. All are…

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Neptune rules the waves

Posted on Jul 13th, 2010 - By admin - 4 Comments

Meteorology is an inexact science with an almost infinite number of variables contributing to the final outcome. The classic apocryphal tale to…

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Blob Blog

Posted on Jul 22nd, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

It is now a week since we arrived in France from the Azores. Bryony has gone home and the weather is much nicer down here in South Brittany than it…

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Festina Un-Blobbed

Posted on Jul 30th, 2010 - By admin - 2 Comments

From last morbihan For the last week or more the Azores high has sat serenely over NW France giving rise to the sort of summer weather we can…

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Dipping a Toe into History

Posted on Aug 6th, 2010 - By admin - 1 Comment

Festinas progress home is somewhat erratic . Our sunny idyll in the Morbihan was eventually disturbed by rain ( a completely alien concept!) so we…

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Over and Out

Posted on Aug 10th, 2010 - By admin - 3 Comments

It was the forecast that decided us. If we left L’Aberwrach at tea time , we could take a gradually veering SW until just past Portland bill, drop…

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The Great River Race

Posted on Oct 5th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

The weather "back home" may not be a patch on last years journeying  , but there is plenty here to keep us amused whilst it rains.  One such event…

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Exploring foreign lands

Posted on Oct 14th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

Last year was spent travelling from one island to another around the Atlantic, walking in the hinterlands and getting to grips with strange ( to us…

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Two pensioners in a boat, but definitely no dog.

Posted on Nov 8th, 2010 - By admin - 0 Comments

From Rowing on the Thames The problem with coming home to reality is that there is too much to do. Every room in the house needs to be cleared…

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All furled up with nowhere to go

Posted on May 29th, 2011 - By admin - 0 Comments

(Except to windward!) This summers plan is to see how we like the sea gipsy life in colder climes, and the last few weeks have been spent…

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The Magical Mystery Tour

Posted on May 31st, 2011 - By admin - 0 Comments

Our  magical mystery tour is beginning to take shape. Much gazing at the tea leaves ( of the internet variety ) suggests we might have NE winds from…

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Mr Grib bowls a googly!

Posted on Jun 3rd, 2011 - By admin - 0 Comments

Our idea this summer was to have no fixed idea of where we should go, other than a slight preference for Scotland or the West coast of Ireland. Mr…

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An Old Friend

Posted on Jun 7th, 2011 - By admin - 0 Comments

From Baltimore to Mizzen Head is a little paradise of islands , intricate channels and sheltered anchorages . All of it is within easy sight of the…

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The Wild West

Posted on Jun 10th, 2011 - By admin - 0 Comments

Two days tucked up in Dingle was no hardship at all ( at all!) –it gave us a chance to do all the little jobs that inevitably arise ,restock both…

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Clew Bay – Shhhhhhhhhhhh , its a secret!

Posted on Jun 16th, 2011 - By admin - 1 Comment

Imagine an archipelago with 365 islands to explore – one for each day of the year. To be ideal you would need several sheltered sounds with deep…

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A Hebridean Meeting

Posted on Jun 22nd, 2011 - By admin - 0 Comments

In the 16th century Grace O’Malley may have made regular trips from the West Coast of Ireland to the Hebrides to pick up ( or occaisionally beat…

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Mid-summers day- warm and s-ticky.

Posted on Jun 23rd, 2011 - By admin - 0 Comments

Yesterday will stick in the memory for a long time. The sun shone ,the wild flowers covered the ground in a riot of colour and we climbed hills…

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The Hebrides

Posted on Jun 28th, 2011 - By admin - 0 Comments

The last 7 days pottering along the E coast of the Outer Hebrides have been superb. Inevitably there has been the occasional day of wind and rain ,…

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Envoie

Posted on Jul 6th, 2011 - By admin - 0 Comments

One thing that is has become obvious over the past few days is the continuing cultural links between Ireland and the Hebrides. The landscape (…

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Summertime, and the livin’ is easy

Posted on Jul 6th, 2011 - By admin - 2 Comments

Summer has crept up on us . You don’t notice it at first , but the evidence is in little things like not objecting to a salad at lunchtime.…

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Vikings , Rocks and Hard Places

Posted on Jul 12th, 2011 - By admin - 1 Comment

From Views of the Hebrides Its now over two weeks since we started exploring the inshore waters of NW Scotland and we would need another 6…

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Islay

Posted on Jul 17th, 2011 - By admin - 0 Comments

Our last week in Scotland was blessed with wonderful anticyclonic weather and the lightest of winds. Luckily we were heading down the Sounds of…

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Neptune repays a debt

Posted on Aug 6th, 2011 - By admin - 0 Comments

At the south-east end of the Irish sea is one of our favourite places – the islands of Skomer and Skokum. For the summer season they play host to…

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A Thousand Island Cruise

Posted on Aug 6th, 2011 - By admin - 0 Comments

From Lundy , Scilly and home Our arrival back in the Solent and our last island , the Isle of Wight , was something of a culture shock. The…

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24 hours to go!

Posted on Aug 14th, 2011 - By admin - 0 Comments

Festina has been back from her Hebridean cruise for 9 days now – and the time has been spent flat out changing her from cruising to racing mode.…

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We’re off!

Posted on Aug 14th, 2011 - By admin - 0 Comments

It’s a relief to be on our way , albeit with the wind acting off script ( the mother of all sea breezes giving us 25 knots thro the Needles…

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Dawn

Posted on Aug 15th, 2011 - By admin - 0 Comments

Well , we got our shift! The NW wind came in right on schedule and we scooted down the inside of Portland Bill to run slap bang into the enormous…

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A shift too far?

Posted on Aug 15th, 2011 - By admin - 3 Comments

The whole fleet spent this morning heading SW in anticipation of a backing wind. When it came it wasn’t enough to clear the Lizard so we hung on…

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Lands End

Posted on Aug 15th, 2011 - By admin - 0 Comments

Much excitement as we all converge on the corner, racing along on a tight reach. Rapscallion is inshore of us and despite tacking off earlier, seems…

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80 miles to the Rock

Posted on Aug 16th, 2011 - By admin - 0 Comments

Well , we had our blow. Nothing to boast about in the great scheme of things –but a solid 25 knots for 7 hours and a period of steady 30 will…

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Counting your chickens

Posted on Aug 16th, 2011 - By admin - 0 Comments

Our eagerly anticipated veer came in on the dot at 1300 hrs allowing us to tack through 60 degrees and thrash along at 6.6 knots just 10 degrees…

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Anyone seen the wind?

Posted on Aug 17th, 2011 - By admin - 0 Comments

Its 0200 Wednesday morning and we are parked up off Cape Clear with no wind and the fair tide about to turn. The depth sounder reads 70 metres so…

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Bunfight at the Fastnet Coral

Posted on Aug 17th, 2011 - By admin - 1 Comment

The small piece of water between Cape Clear and the Rock got pretty crowded this morning as more and more boats joined the parking lot. Somehow we…

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Homeward Bound

Posted on Aug 17th, 2011 - By admin - 0 Comments

Usually when I see the Fastnet light, its iconic shape on the horizon like a two fingered red Indian salute -( How!) - brings a lump to the throat.…

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Beating to the Lizard

Posted on Aug 18th, 2011 - By admin - 0 Comments

Our 4th dawn at sea brought the Scillies in to view as we rounded the Bishop light and set off for the Lizard. The wind is NE and due to back N or…

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Don’t mention the K word!

Posted on Aug 18th, 2011 - By admin - 0 Comments

We are no longer beating. Actually we are no longer doing very much apart from being thrown around by the left over waves which are coming direct…

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Seabreeze – what seabreeze?

Posted on Aug 18th, 2011 - By admin - 0 Comments

Anybody looking at the tracker over the last few hours will have seen us make a radical move over to the North of the fleet, our course dictated by…

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Reptilian delights

Posted on Aug 18th, 2011 - By admin - 0 Comments

Did we have fun at the Lizard! We took our NW wind most of the way to Mullion Cove and tacked up the back eddy whilst a line of boats parked up…

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Slow boats to plymouth

Posted on Aug 19th, 2011 - By admin - 2 Comments

Did I say that the finish team would have problems as 50 boats came to the line? Surely that was the understatement of the year. Team WAFL had…

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To all WAFL followers…

Posted on Aug 20th, 2011 - By admin - 2 Comments

To all WAFL followers , Many thanks for your support in securing the blog prize for us - it makes Chris's achievement in coming 4th in the…

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GRR – we wuz robbed

Posted on Sep 25th, 2011 - By admin - 0 Comments

If its mid September , it must be time for the Great River Race , that wonderful , eccentric festival of traditional rowing on the tidal Thames…

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Reflections on Getting Older

Posted on May 23rd, 2012 - By admin - 0 Comments

You would think that regaining control over an addiction should be something to celebrate, or at least give rise to a feeling of pride , but I find …

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Meteorological Vacillations

Posted on May 24th, 2012 - By admin - 0 Comments

Its time to wander the seas again. We have run out of reasons to stay: the new hip is in place , racing obsessions are firmly under control,…

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Playing Chicken in the Thames Estuary

Posted on May 27th, 2012 - By admin - 0 Comments

In the event , the fog at Ramsgate only delayed us by 12 hours. This is now an extremely busy port serving the wind farms which are spreading like a…

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Plan 32 B

Posted on May 31st, 2012 - By admin - 0 Comments

Over the years our sailing trips  have seldom turned out in the way we originally envisaged . Bad weather, changing forecasts  and a multitude of…

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History Repeats Itself

Posted on Jun 4th, 2012 - By admin - 0 Comments

When we first visited Enkhuizen in 1975 , our boat ( Undine , a 32 ft plank on edge racing cutter from 1889) was little changed from vessels which…

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Blow the Wind Southerly

Posted on Jun 7th, 2012 - By admin - 1 Comment

It was the wind that did it. For the first time in a month it turned southerly and instead of the sharp cold bite that we have become used to, it…

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Another Nice City

Posted on Jun 8th, 2012 - By admin - 0 Comments

We were up and off the moment the new calorifier passed its’ installation checks. What bliss! Not only did we have a perfect 12 knots of wind…

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Oh to be old and foolish again!

Posted on Jun 12th, 2012 - By admin - 0 Comments

One of the most important factors about any port of call is where to find the internet. In the case of Harlingen we found a nice old bar where , for…

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Starting to Explore Norway

Posted on Jun 15th, 2012 - By admin - 1 Comment

Neptune toyed with us on our passage to Norway. He boxed our ears in the shallow waters of the Friesian islands , gave us a welcome kick north as we…

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Misty Musings

Posted on Jun 18th, 2012 - By admin - 0 Comments

As we make our way slowly North through the marvellous archipelago that cloaks most of Norway’s coast , it is hard not to dwell on how it was in…

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Sunshine and Umbrellas

Posted on Jun 24th, 2012 - By admin - 1 Comment

We have enjoyed a spell of pleasant sunny weather for the last few days. This is all the more surprising  as we have spent a couple of days in…

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Eagles , a Horse and some Fish at last.

Posted on Jul 4th, 2012 - By admin - 0 Comments

With a fresh SE wind and the threat of rain to come , we fled north through ever grander scenery to the little town of Floro to await our friends…

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A Tourist Excursion and Viking Dreams

Posted on Jul 8th, 2012 - By admin - 2 Comments

North from Stavanger the Norwegian coast consists of off lying islands sheltering inner leads , and from time to time the mainland is penetrated…

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Falling in Love with Shetland

Posted on Jul 21st, 2012 - By admin - 0 Comments

  Our last port of call in Norway was Bulandet , an extraordinary collection of tiny skerries stuck out in the Norwegian sea , mostly…

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Still in Shetland

Posted on Jul 22nd, 2012 - By admin - 1 Comment

We have decided to stop here in Shetland and explore properly rather than rush on to the next place. It is a bit of a gamble in case the weather…

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Fringe Benefits?

Posted on Jul 31st, 2012 - By admin - 0 Comments

It is 3 weeks since we arrived in Shetland intending to do little other than pass through, but we have been entranced by the place and its people. It…

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Edinburgh Rocks!

Posted on Aug 7th, 2012 - By admin - 0 Comments

I am perhaps the only person I know who has never been to Edinburgh and would just like to gently enquire why none of you ever told me what gem…

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Not Waving but …………….

Posted on Aug 9th, 2012 - By admin - 0 Comments

Our trip South from Edinburgh was a real showcase for my belief that a cruising boat must sail well in light airs . Apart from a 6 hour period in…

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Improv Cruising

Posted on Aug 14th, 2012 - By admin - 0 Comments

It has been a satisfyingly unplanned sort of trip this year. We had a vague idea we might try and hook up with our Norwegian friends, but initially …

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The Great River Race

Posted on Oct 7th, 2012 - By admin - 0 Comments

From GRR The second half of August was spent in a blur of activity preparing for Ben and Steph’s wedding , and the possibly more difficult task of…

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2 Pensioners in a Boat ….Again!

Posted on Oct 7th, 2012 - By admin - 0 Comments

After the excitement of Ben and Steph’s wedding on the river bank , followed by the madness that is the Great River race , it was time to finish…

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Rowing the Thames

Posted on Oct 7th, 2012 - By admin - 0 Comments

From rowing henley to richmond Rowing the Thames is the easy bit . Finding a place to leave car and trailor , and travelling back to retrieve…

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Summer is a Comin’ in – but no cuckoo yet !

Posted on May 17th, 2013 - By admin - 0 Comments

It's summer ( or at  its mid May so it ought to be) ; time to go a wandering. We had planned Mon 14th  as our departure date , but  much to our…

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Going Dutch

Posted on May 19th, 2013 - By admin - 0 Comments

In these days of (relatively ) accurate weather forecasting , the art of sailing somewhere is to time the passage to when the winds are in your…

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A Soggy Sojourn

Posted on May 21st, 2013 - By admin - 1 Comment

http:// From Amsterdam in the rain It is somewhat ironic that the finest old merchants houses in the very centre of Amsterdam now…

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Big Brother is watching – (Little Sister too)

Posted on May 31st, 2013 - By admin - 1 Comment

  From holland  The 30 odd mile trip north from Amsterdam to Eknhuizen certainly blew the city dust out of our hair . Beating into 25 knots is…

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In the Skerries

Posted on Jun 7th, 2013 - By admin - 2 Comments

We are anchored in a lovely little pool in the skerries at the bottom of the east Swedish archipelago. It is completely calm , the sky to the east is…

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Hot Rocks and Grey Docs

Posted on Jun 18th, 2013 - By admin - 0 Comments

Either we have been exceptionally lucky , or summer in the Swedish skerries is one of the better kept secrets in the sailing world. For the last week…

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Midsummer Madness

Posted on Jun 26th, 2013 - By admin - 0 Comments

The bad weather we had expected turned out to be little more than a day of rain followed by a couple of windy days . The rainy day was spent in…

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Getting Hot and Steamy in Finland

Posted on Jun 29th, 2013 - By admin - 0 Comments

The Aland and Finnish archipelagos differ from those on the Swedish side in that the rocks are pink instead of grey, and cover a huge area rather…

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Lost in Paradise

Posted on Jul 12th, 2013 - By admin - 1 Comment

Our decision to head for the centre of the Åland archipelago and try to get lost was even more successful than we had hoped. The pilot books talk of…

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The Nicest Island in Finland

Posted on Jul 12th, 2013 - By admin - 0 Comments

One day we shared the quay at Österskår with 4 other boats. It is a picturesque little place, the quay being backed by a sheer rock facing West,…

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A Finnish Summer.

Posted on Aug 3rd, 2013 - By admin - 1 Comment

The Finnish and Aland archipelago’s were just up our street. They are wild , relatively deserted , and give an infinite choice of free anchorages.…

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Tallinn

Posted on Aug 3rd, 2013 - By admin - 0 Comments

From Tallinn One of the reasons for coming to this area of the world was to meet up with Helen Sumro , our young Estonian friend and erstwhile…

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Not Autumn Already?

Posted on Aug 21st, 2013 - By admin - 0 Comments

Jaap ,Fre and their two boys flew out to Tallinn to join us, and a return to the Finnish archipelago seemed the obvious place to introduce them to…

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Visby and Gotland

Posted on Aug 21st, 2013 - By admin - 0 Comments

From Gotland and Visby The 80 mile passage to Visby , the lovely old medieval city that is the capital of Gotland, was satisfyingly brisk. On our…

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Getting high in Kalmar

Posted on Aug 26th, 2013 - By admin - 0 Comments

From Kalmar Kalmar was all we had hoped for , a friendly and knowledgeable chandlery which stocked VHF cable and antennae ,and a charming…

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Keeping ahead of the Swallows

Posted on Aug 26th, 2013 - By admin - 0 Comments

From Christianso Christianso lies some 10 miles to the North of Bornholm , and the 80 mile passage there from Utklippan was the stuff of dreams . …

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Copenhagen

Posted on Sep 2nd, 2013 - By admin - 0 Comments

From copenhagen Our arrival in Copenhagen was preceded by a spectacular dawn as we passed by the equally spectacular Oresund bridge which soars…

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Feast or Famine in Denmark

Posted on Sep 2nd, 2013 - By admin - 0 Comments

From denmark It has been feast or famine this last week as far as the weather goes. Progress from Copenhagen was slow to say the least , drifting…

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Something is Dangerous in the State of Denmark

Posted on Sep 4th, 2013 - By admin - 0 Comments

Over the years I can safely say that our pootling around on Festina is usually pretty much risk free , but lately I there is little doubt we have…

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Donner und Blitzen

Posted on Sep 10th, 2013 - By admin - 1 Comment

Of all the waters we have sailed on this year , the North Friesian coast is the area that I have the greatest respect for . The passage along it has…

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Return of the Gribaholic

Posted on Sep 18th, 2013 - By admin - 0 Comments

From Stad Amsterdam We first crossed the North Sea in September 1974 , in Undine , a 90 year old racing cutter that was a bit hairy in a Solent…

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Already Getting into Hot Water

Posted on May 29th, 2014 - By admin - 0 Comments

This year’s plan is to go West and North and finally on Sunday, 3 weeks behind our original schedule, we were ready to go . The first 100 miles…

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Mr Grumpy goes to Ireland

Posted on Jun 4th, 2014 - By admin - 1 Comment

It is 3 years since we last visited the Scillies and in that time the encroachment of “visitors moorings” into traditional anchorages has…

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The Magnificent West Coast of Ireland

Posted on Jun 10th, 2014 - By admin - 0 Comments

The trip along the SW coast of Ireland passes one of my absolute favourite stretches of water anywhere in the world. Skellig Michael is a craggy…

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Waiting for the Wind

Posted on Jun 23rd, 2014 - By admin - 1 Comment

As you sail North from the Arran islands the scenery just gets grander and grander. In the background the mountains of Connemara gather the clouds…

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Sunny Scotland !

Posted on Jun 27th, 2014 - By admin - 1 Comment

With high pressure sitting just to the W of Ireland , we were faced with the prospect of a week with no wind , perfect weather for pottering, but far…

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First World Problems

Posted on Jun 30th, 2014 - By admin - 1 Comment

A major part of our sailing “style “ is the ability to get the boat to self steer. It enables us to do long passages without getting tired (we…

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On Anchors and Anchoring

Posted on Jul 5th, 2014 - By admin - 2 Comments

The gentle weather of the past few weeks is a distant memory, and has been replaced by the more traditional “muscular” winds associated with…

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A Sad Summer

Posted on Aug 3rd, 2014 - By admin - 0 Comments

It has been a very sad summer! In some ways the constant worry about Lynda’s brother has made it difficult to properly appreciate the fabulous…

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Off Again

Posted on May 23rd, 2015 - By admin - 2 Comments

For the last few years, we know its summer when I spend hours on end studying the weather , searching for that ideal forecast which will take us on…

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Weather

Posted on Jun 2nd, 2015 - By admin - 0 Comments

I have often raved about the accuracy of modern forecasting, and indeed it plays an absolutely essential role in keeping our sea gypsy lifestyle safe…

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More than one kind of Warm

Posted on Jun 7th, 2015 - By admin - 0 Comments

From Back in the North We are sitting moored to a buoy in the picturesque and wonderfully sheltered Tobermory Bay on the island of Mull. Outside…

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Slowing Down

Posted on Jun 15th, 2015 - By admin - 0 Comments

On previous visits to the Scottish west coast we have used the Small Isles as a jumping off point for the Outer Hebrides , or at least stopped there…

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St Kilda

Posted on Jun 26th, 2015 - By admin - 1 Comment

The west coast of Harris and Lewis ( one island really , but geographically divided by deep lochs and high uninhabited hills ) is rather more…

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The Island of Sheep

Posted on Jul 7th, 2015 - By admin - 0 Comments

By the time we got back from St Kilda , we had been out in the wilds for nearly 3 weeks , and even Lynda's amazing catering was struggling , so…

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The Knitting Rock

Posted on Jul 7th, 2015 - By admin - 0 Comments

Our first proper day in the Faeroes was blessed with what a local lady jokingly referred to as “Faeroese sunshine” , ie it was pouring with rain!…

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A Day at the Races

Posted on Jul 7th, 2015 - By admin - 0 Comments

From More Faeroes The “capital “ of the Faeroes is Torshavn on the island of Streymoy, and our passage there from Sandoy was once more…

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A Speed Date with Shetland

Posted on Jul 24th, 2015 - By admin - 0 Comments

From And so to Shetland The weather in these northern latitudes this summer may have been cold and sunless , but we won’t complain about the…

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Norwegian Islands

Posted on Jul 24th, 2015 - By admin - 1 Comment

Up to now all our longer passages have been swift but rough, but the trip to Norway promised at worst moderate seas and a fairly gentle following…

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Summer at Last!

Posted on Aug 10th, 2015 - By admin - 0 Comments

Our plan on returning to the boat in Stavanger was to head round to the South Norwegian coast where , in summer , the temperatures are higher and the…

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Norway turns up the Heat

Posted on Aug 16th, 2015 - By admin - 0 Comments

From Svenner Our progress along the South coast of Norway has been a gentle affair. When the the sea breeze has blown we have usually kept to…

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Lets ROCK!

Posted on Aug 27th, 2015 - By admin - 0 Comments

From Bohuslan Geographically Southern Norway merges imperceptibly with the NW coast of Sweden ( known as Bohuslan), but there are several clues…

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A British fleet in Copenhagen

Posted on Sep 2nd, 2015 - By admin - 0 Comments

From Festina and Vela go to Denmark With Mike and Louise waiting for us in the Sound ( the narrows between Denmark and Sweden) , it was time to…

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The Time Capsule brings us Home

Posted on Sep 14th, 2015 - By admin - 0 Comments

We said goodbye to Mike and Louise in the charming southern Danish town of Svendborg, leaving them with their Danish friends whilst we threaded our…

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A Grand Welcome to Ireland

Posted on May 31st, 2016 - By admin - 1 Comment

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…

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Caribbean Ireland

Posted on Jun 17th, 2016 - By admin - 0 Comments

  France has had almost constant rain and floods , the North sea has shivered under cold damp Northerly gales , but over here in Ireland it…

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Wildlife Galore

Posted on Jun 18th, 2016 - By admin - 0 Comments

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…

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An ambition almost achieved

Posted on Jun 19th, 2016 - By admin - 0 Comments

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…

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Some things change – and some don’t.

Posted on Jun 20th, 2016 - By admin - 1 Comment

  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…

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Windy old weather, stormy old weather……

Posted on Jul 8th, 2016 - By admin - 0 Comments

We have been home for a week , leaving Festina in the capable hands of the Blackwells, tucked up in their gorgeous corner of Clew…

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A history lesson

Posted on Jul 8th, 2016 - By admin - 0 Comments

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…

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Gola

Posted on Jul 8th, 2016 - By admin - 0 Comments

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…

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Yacht Racing on Rathlin Island

Posted on Jul 14th, 2016 - By admin - 0 Comments

Travelling North and east from Gola there are two headlands to round before crossing the border to Northern Ireland . Bloody Foreland was a doddle…

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Derry/Londonderry

Posted on Jul 16th, 2016 - By admin - 0 Comments

For our second “break” of the summer we left Festina at Coleraine , 5 miles or so up the river Bann. This is the heart of the “Ulster…

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Northern Perambulations

Posted on Jul 21st, 2016 - By admin - 0 Comments

We returned to Coleraine after our week back home with no fixed plans , but the winds were from the South so , of course , North we went. Its only a…

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Fringe Benefits

Posted on Aug 5th, 2016 - By admin - 0 Comments

Orkney to Edinburgh may just be 210 miles but it feels like 210 light years from the quiet and beautiful ( but currently stormy) islands to the…

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Circumnavigation by Mistake

Posted on Aug 15th, 2016 - By admin - 1 Comment

Like most of our passage making this year , the trip to Lowestoft was in winds of F 5 to 6, but unlike further North , the seas were a doddle , and…

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