2017 Cruising Plan
After being laid for the winter in the Partheni Boatyard on the island of Leros, we hope to re-launch around mid-May for the 2017 season. We plan to cruise throughout the Dodecanse island group for the first part of the summer, returning to the Partheni boatyard for July and August. Then in September, we shall return to sail Tobin Bronze west across the Aegean to the Peleponese to lay up for winter back in Kilada.
Cruising Plans for 2016
After the winter in Dimstef yard in Orei, the plan is to cruise the eastern Sporades and the down through the Dodecanese island group to Leros.
2015 is going to be a busy year.
In 2014, we only made it to the Sporades island group but still managed to log 670 nautical miles. In 2015, we should make it up to the northern coast of the Argean but plans may change!
Both Charlotte and Sofie are expecting - Charlotte in Chicago and Sofie in London. Also Ben, Cynthia and Tristan have moved back to Southampton which is much closer than Brest. Poor Jude won't know which way to look.
The summer will be divided into two parts for sailing. Good old Tobin Bronze will celebrate thirty years since launch in Bristol in 1985 and has logged nearly 18,500 miles. The hot summer sun in Greece has also taken it toll on its wooden structure and cosmetic appearance. I'll have to give TB some TLC in April/May - re-caulk the decks and give the hull a good paint job.
Then I hope to get in some sailing before the baby boom starts in June. All being well, we will return to Greece in Sept to see out the summer.
Cruising Ambition for 2014
Tobin Bronze was laid up again in the Basimakopouli Yard in Kilada for the 2013 - 14 winter.
The plan for 2014 is to initially head out to the northern Cyclades in May and then to sail north up the Channel between Evia and mainland Greece to the Sporades isalnd group. In August we will leave TB in the Thessaloniki region before returning in late August for another excursion.
Cruising Ambition for 2013
Tobin Bronze has been laid up in Basimakopouli Shipyard at Koilada in the Eastern Peleponnese for the winter of 2012-13. http://www.basimakopouloi.gr/contact.htm
When Judy and I return to the boat on 25 June, we are planning a two week cruise south to Crete and back to Koilada via the southern Cyclades. After that, our plans are a little uncertain as Judy has to have an operation on her bad back. So when she has that will determine what we can do.
Plan for 2012.
To circumnavigate the Peleoponnese in a leisurely fashion.
Progress report Nov 2011.
Tobin Bronze did make it to Greece even if it was a bit of an endurance slog - nearly 2,000 nautical miles. We ended up leaving TB in the boat yard in Messolonghi in south west Greece. http://www.messolonghimarina.com/
Updated Plans for 2011.
Originally we thought we might sail Tobin Bronze to Croatia this year and lay up for the winter somewhere around Split. However a little research on the matter of mooring fees and boatyard costs clearly illustrated the fact that the greedy Croatians seem determined to price themselves out of the market. Greece is a much cheaper option; so we are heading for the Peloponnes instead. We will sail down from Faro to Gibraltar and then along the Spanish Mediterranean coast to somewhere around Cartagena by the end of July. We will return to Wiltshire during August and go back to the boat by September. Woody is coming over from NZ at the end of August and then we will sail through the Balearic Islands to Sardinia, Sicily and across to Greece by mid October.
Update April 2010.
My retirement from the oil industry was accelerated as I was replaced in Total's North Sea Operations by one of their staff employees. That was in Nov 2009. I went to the Republic of Congo in March 2010 for Total on what turned out to be a very short drilling campaign. The first well was a "duster" and the rest of the project was immediately cancelled.
The upside is that there should not be any interference to our sailing plans for 2010.
The winter 2009-10 was very severe in Northern Europe but Galicia in Spain, as you would expect, was not buried under blankets of snow. While we were in Cangas in October 2009, Judy bumped into a retired Brit, Andrew, who had originally recommended Cangas to me as a suitable place to lay up TB for the winter. He had responded to my appeal for advice on the Practical Boat Owner magazine's Readers Forum. He offered to keep an eye on TB during the winter. This is re-assuring as leaving a boat for 6 months is always a worry.
In March, Judy and I flew to Brisbane to see all the rellies (as they say in Australia) We were away for three weeks. Judy and I then had a very enjoyable on Roger and Jenny's narrow boat on the the Grand Union Canal after we returned from Australia
We paln on returning to Tobin Bronze in early June for six or seven weeks before returning to Gallop End on 19 July in time to see Ben pick up his Doctotate from the National Oceanographic Centre in Southampton.
Update October 2009.
We only cruised south as far as Ria de Vigo this year. We probably missed the best of the European summer while we were in New England. Next year, I will be fully retired; so Judy and I will be able to double back and fully explore the Rias Baixas before heading south into Portugal and meandering around Cape St Vincent and onto the Algarve.
Plan for 2009.
The plan for 2009 is to sail across Biscay from the Villaine River to Ribadeo on the eastern border of Galacia on the Spanish North Coast, a distance of approx 300 miles. From there, we will cruise at our own pace around Cape Finisterre and down to Vigo. Ribadeo to Vigo is around 285 miles.
Then we will continue down the Portuguese coast and around Cape St.Vincent to the Algarve. Vigo to Portimao is approx 395 miles.
That was the plan prior to the economic melt down over the northern winter of 2008-09. Now, thanks to our banker (spelt with a "w") friends, I will have to work another year to build up my pension fund. So for the summer of 2009, we will cruise TB only as far as the Ria de Vigo where we will lay up for the winter. Then maybe in 2010 we can go around into the Medi.
The good news is that sister, Tricia, and brother in law Bob are coming over from Brisbane and plan to spend two weeks with us in July as we cruise south from the La Coruna area.
For the winter of 2008-09, TB is to be laid up in Jean-Francois's yard at Port de Foleux up the Villaine River from La Roche Bernard. This will be the fouth winter TB has been kept in this yard. After the usual lay-up preparations, TB will be lifted out on 02 October and covered up for the winter.
Admiral Judy - coming back from a reconnaissance!
The yard is in a rural location alongside the river with great views. This is the view from over the stern of the boat, of a creek that runs into the Villaine.
The locals are friendly and rarely make any noise!