First Port of Call
08/08/2010, Camarinas, Spain
After a few false starts from Lymington / Portsmouth / Yarmouth / then Falmouth ( 4th time lucky) we decided it was finally time to leave the UK.
After the chartplotter was fixed and reinstalled we left Portsmouth and had a leisurely sail up the Solent and picked up a buoy in readiness for a 4am start. The original plan was to cross to Cameret in France and after passing across the second shipping lane decided to head for Falmouth instead. So back through the shipping traffic. Thank god for AIS which is a fantastic bit of kit and has paid for itself several times over already. Re-routing to Falmouth was a much better idea given the prevailing winds and only added about 30 miles extra. Stopping in Falmouth also allowed us to catch up with the previous owner and ask a couple more questions about how he did things. So after leaving Falmouth early on Thursday morning the 5th August, we arrived into Camarinas in the Spanish Ria's at 6.30am today.
With the boat on a constant heel we were against the wind for the first 2 days, making life aboard a little difficult and things like brushing your teeth became huge tasks in themselves. By the third day we had 25-30knots behind us, so made for some interesting surfing down waves all last night and no-one really slept all that well with the motion of the boat changing every 2 seconds. All in all approx 400 nmiles under our belt in the first hop!
We have spent the day in port just catching up on sleep and Hamish and I have put the dinghy in the water to come ashore for some minor provisions before we leave tomorrow morning for our next destination, Sanxenxo another Ria that is meant to be quite good, approx 60 miles away.
Gone, but not far!
We have finally departed! But only from Lymington to Portsmouth as lady luck would have it, when we started the chart plotter up yesterday morning, we found that the back light had broken in the repeater screen up on deck, so have gone straight to the dealer who can fix it today (apparently a common problem) and we can be on our way again this afternoon, only 24hrs late.
On board we have Alan, a professional delivery skipper who will be giving us his local knowledge all the way down to Faro over the next 3 weeks, also Fern a yachtmaster in her own right that also has a share in a Sunsail boat and sails all over the world, but has done most of her training in and around Lagos with rusailing.com, and then Sarah, who has done numerous
sails in the Solent and is looking to expand her sailing experience.
As I am now considered a passenger and strictly no heavy lifting or winching, I am in charge of the Galley and making teas, while giving orders on who can do what to help me!
So we have a full contingent and good mix of experience, and everyone is very enthusiastic!
8 of our friends decided to charter a yacht to sail for the day and also to see us off from Lymington, so we rafted up early
afternoon just outside Newtown Creek, and they were kind enough to provide us all with lunch before waving us goodbye, and
giving a few obligatory honks on the fog horn. While they headed back towards Lymington, we turned to go downwind and came
across a fleet of Extreme 40's competing in Cowes Week, which was great to see. We were approached several times by the race officials in black RIBs to ask us politely to move away from the race markers, and seeing how fast they came at us I understand why.
Being just after 5pm on a Sunday afternoon it was also peak hour for the Cruise liners to make their way out of Southampton.
So we have spent the night in Haslar Marina, and are about to be on our way across the English Channel and into French waters.
Stepping the Mast
June has been full of all important tasks, the biggest one was replacing all the guard rails and standing rigging, and when you have a performance enhanced size rig at 18m, this is no mean feat.
We also took advantage of this time to replace the radar dome and re-cable all the electrics for the navigational lights and radar.
If that wasn't enough to try and achieve in 2 days, Hamish then decided it would be a good idea to give it a wax and polish, all the while saying, ' we won't ever have to do this again'.... I hope not!
Long time, no posts!
23/07/2010, Lymington, UK
I know it looks like we have dropped of the face of the earth, but packing up our London life and getting the boat ready has taken up every waking moment for the last couple of months.
In the last month we have had the mast out and replaced all the standing rigging, installed a new 4kw digital radar, new E120 and E80 chartplotters, an AIS class B, new VHF c/w second station and a million other jobs all in preparation for our 1st August departure. Yep, that's right, we depart Lymington on 1st August!!!!
We move onto the boat today and hopefully I will have more time to catch up and add some retrospective posts detailing what we have been doing.
July gave us the chance to go out for a few days and have somewhat of a shakedown down sail, testing certain things and measuring the fuel consumption at different revs.
As it turns out we can get the following:
2500rpm average 8.2knots and use 7 litres of diesel
2000rpm average 7 knots and use 3.8 litres of diesel
The extra knots costs too much!
It also confirmed the fact that we needed to replace the house batteries as the current ones were not holding their charge, so we have installed 3 new house batteries and also the starter battery to be sure we won't be caught out.
It was also the month we moved out of our house in London and onto the boat in Lymington. We used Anglo Pacific for this and I found them to be most helpful and courteous. It turns out we sent 90 boxes back to Australia with a total amount of 400 cubic feet, filling the small van they brought to the brim! We also had several trips to the local charity shop and refuse and still ended up bringing two full carloads with us onto the boat, to try and find a new home for.
Spending the week on the boat, gave me a chance to plan some of the provisioning for the first couple of weeks, and as we will have crew with us, I thought it would be a good idea to ( of course) start a spreadsheet with a list of all our stock and then plan out a weeks worth of menus and ingredients and start the shopping list from there. So far it seems
to be working out OK, and we haven't gone hungry yet..
While a little earlier than planned, the stork has paid us a hugely exciting visit, and Hamish and I are expecting our first bundle of joy to enter the world on 26 Dec!!
This will obviously cut my time on the boat substantially, and I plan to fly back to Australia at the end of September to prepare for the impending arrival. A Christmas baby - who would have thought. Also, being the first grandchild on both sides of the family, everyone is very excited, most of all the parents to be!
Although pregnant, I still plan on having 6 weeks on board when we depart in August (at that stage I will be between 5 and 6 months pregnant), travelling from the UK down the coast of France, Spain and Portugal, to enjoy the boat as much as possible, before chasing the endless summer from Northern to Southern hemispheres.