Currently I am in the French half of Simpsons bay lagoon on St Martin. I plan to leave for Anguilla at the end of January, then on to Tortola in the BVI's for the 9th of February when I am meeting old friends and neighbours from home who are on a cruise, and in Tortola for the day!
Rhian Deakin, 30, joined the Little Ship Club last August in a quest to build on her competent crew and dayskipper course experience.
She is now doing the yachtmaster theory class on Monday evenings and hopes to build up her sailing miles to do coastal skipper and YM practical in due course.
The winter has done its worst but our new copper coating is now finished and despite the appalling January weather Storm Petrel is now back in the water waiting for the mast to go up and then we can sail away in to the blue, or more probably the grey yonder.
The work looks excellent and we are optimistic that this expense will stand us in good stead for the next ten years or so. If Malcolm can slip down to the Carribbean with it and Chris can aspire to race results then it has to be good.
The secret is always preparation and whilst rich Malcolm opted for a slurry blast the poor Le Verrier-Bizzeys had to opt for a sand blast. Luckily that did no damage, the danger is always that it will damage the gel coat but we got away with it! Slurry is pretty much guaranteed to be gentle on the hull.
The Met Office predicts a hard winter this year. How often have we heard that before, yet it seems this time they may be right. The perversity of global warming seems to produce climatic conditions which are contrary to the general trend.
Left Falmouth Harbour, Antigua Friday morning 8th, went to Jolly Harbour and anchored , good practise on my own.
All went well, the winch worked fine after not being used for 2 years! My main anchor and chain are massive, it is like nailing Amber Sea to the sea bed! Without the winch I would never raise them.
Sailing for prolonged periods away from shore power is going to challenge the electric power system. The prospect of running the engine for three hours a day just to top up the batteries is an anathema to this boater. What to do?
The up and coming fast cruise to Beaulieu will be a whole new experience for me. I am chartering a yacht for the very first time. I started sailing whilst at school in the early '60s and spent the latter years of the '60s, all of the '70s and early '80s racing Merlin Rocket dinghies and Dart catamarans.
Éowyn is lying in Le Phare Bleu marina Grenada in position 12:00.194N 61:43.441W Mike & I flew out to Grenada on 3rd December to prepare Éowyn for launching. Chris & I had visited for 2 weeks in September, so much of the hard work had been done.
Arrived in Jolly Harbour, Antigua, at 14.30 today; after a long slow and bouncy 3000 mile crossing.
Had electrical problems, traced to a loose battery connection and low electrolyte levels eventually. So could not use the autopilot. Hand steered for about 2,600 miles.
Blew out my cruising chute in a 40 knot squall at 1.00 am.
Engine water pump shaft sheared 4 days ago.
Cheap little petrol generator worked perfectly!
Big swells and a nasty cross sea most of the time, so we rolled and corkscrewed most of the way.
All in all slow and tough.
5,500 miles since leaving Plymouth on 12th August.
Now for white beaches, cold beers, and hot sun!
Just had a long hot shower, now going for a steak, egg, and fries.
Yacht Amber Sea
When Anne and I fell in love – with a boat, our stout Moody S38 Storm Petrel – we realised that at some time soon she would have to have her bottom properly cleaned. Years of caked anti fouling were curling at the edges and ready to peel off at the first hint of another seasons dressing. We decided to have our summer of sailing so launched at the first opportunity and had some wonderful days of local cruising and familiarising ourselves with our new acquisition.
The warm summer days turned to autumn and with the offer of a cheap lift out we resolved to address the problems of our pitted hull.