Freya & Us

Vessel Name: Freya of Wight
Vessel Make/Model: Westerly Oceanranger
Hailing Port: Portishead
03 December 2019 | Bristol - 8,443 NM
05 November 2019 | Mytilini - 8,443 NM
18 October 2019 | Mytilini, Lesbos - 8,413 NM
11 October 2019 | Molyvos, Lesbos - 8,379 NM
04 October 2019 | Porto Lagos - 8,263 NM
02 October 2019 | Porto Lagos - 8,263 NM
22 September 2019 | Ormos Eleftheriou - 8,210NM
18 September 2019
18 September 2019 | Thassos - 8,190 NM
09 September 2019 | Marini, Lemnos - 8,123 NM
02 September 2019 | Sigri, Lesvos - 8,049 NM
21 May 2019
19 May 2019 | Mytilini, Lesvos - 7,977 NM
12 May 2019 | Skala Polikintiou - 7,936 NM
05 May 2019 | Moudrou, Limnos - 7,847 NM
17 April 2019 | Skala Loutra, Lesbos - 7,722 NM
09 April 2019 | Skala Loutra, Lesbos - 7,722 NM
06 April 2019 | Chios Town, Chios - 7,673 NM
28 March 2019 | Lakki, Leros - 7,573 NM
19 November 2018
Recent Blog Posts
03 December 2019 | Bristol - 8,443 NM

2019 by the numbers

Eighth year of cruising completed. This year’s numbers are:

05 November 2019 | Mytilini - 8,443 NM

I don’t want to alarm you but......

We had 10 days in Mytilini before our visitors arrived. We spent the time being very sociable with our fellow yachties. As well as Gordon and Louise on Camira we were joined by Edward on Windhoos from the Netherlands and Uva from Germany. A few bleary mornings were testament to the good nights had by [...]

18 October 2019 | Mytilini, Lesbos - 8,413 NM

Overnight to Molyvos

Our overnight passage was beautiful. We left Samothraki just before 5.00 pm to do 78 miles ensuring we arrived in daylight. The sea was totally flat and we had a gentle breeze allowing the main to give us a bit of assistance. The moon was almost full and already rising as we left and it lit our way until [...]

11 October 2019 | Molyvos, Lesbos - 8,379 NM

Samothraki

It was time to start heading south and back to Lesvos for the winter. We left Porto Lagos having really enjoyed our few days, there even though it felt as we left as soon as we’d arrived. 37 miles away was our next stop, Samothraki. A small island made of a large chunk of marble a long way from anywhere [...]

04 October 2019 | Porto Lagos - 8,263 NM

Twitchers

Our first night back in Kavala turned out to be very long! One of the big ferries arrived shortly after us which isn't normally a problem but it clearly wasn't going anywhere soon but kept his engine running all night. Added to that the whole fishing fleet must've returned for the weekend passing very [...]

02 October 2019 | Porto Lagos - 8,263 NM

A bus trip to Thessaloniki

A very pleasant 20 NM downwind motorsail past a couple of oil rigs took us to Ormos Eleftheriou. We had to come here as it’s Rita’s (Paul’s sister) family name. It’s a beautiful, big horseshoe shaped bay with small islands dotted about it, a few smaller bays plus a castle and sandy beaches. After [...]

Longest crossing so far

03 September 2012 | Bilbao, Northern Spain – 876 Miles
Grey and Muggy
We left Port Medoc at 5.15 in the morning on Saturday for a 166 nautical mile crossing of the Bay of Biscay to Bilbao where we are meeting friends later this week. We had to leave early to beat the ebb tide and the breakers it causes - as we found on the way in. This meant navigating the narrow channels in the dark ... we soon discovered that some of the buoys weren’t quite where our charts said, but actually it was all fine. The other obstacle that we needed to negotiate was the Landes missile range. Our thanks to Robby - who we met in Port Medoc - who confirmed with Range Control that they weren’t firing at the weekend – That wasn’t a conversation that we wanted to leave to our pidgin French!

Once we cleared the Gironde, the sun came up and we had our first sunrise on the water of our big solo trip. We went to reset the mainsail, only to have the mainsheet fly off. A shackle had worked loose which if it failed at another time could have been more ‘dramatic’. It took a few minutes to rethread the mainsheet and refit the shackle and we were on our way again. Unfortunately the winds died and we had on average only between 5-10 Kts of wind directly behind us. The sea wasn’t flat enough to use the cruising chute and so while we got some assistance from the sails we had to motor all of the way. The trip took 29 hours in total and so we were treated to a beautiful sunset and another sunrise with a big, clear full moon and stars guiding us in between. These were even more spectacular as we were on our own in the middle of the ocean with no land or artificial lights (other than own nav lights) to be seen. We found the passage, especially sailing through the night, really lovely and apart from being tired we both enjoyed it. We ran an informal watch rotation of about 2 hours on and 2 hours off for most the day with slightly longer stints through the night, which seemed to work well for us (and we’re still speaking!).

We arrived in Getxo, just outside Bilbao around 10.00 am and failed to make contact with the marina either by radio or phone, so we just tied up on an empty berth. Paul went in search of the Capitianara (marina office) only to find the pontoon exit locked. A very helpful Spaniard on a neighbouring boat explained that this marina (uniquely in his experience) is unmanned on a Sunday – a fact not mentioned in our pilot books or on their website. He very generously lent us his spare key for a few days so we could get out of the marina and explore until the office opened on Monday.

What we have seen of Getxo so far is really nice (apart from the MacDonalds and Kebab shop at the top of the pontoon!), but more of that later. We will be joined by Martin and Yve and Pauline and Jeremy in few days which we are really looking forward to. The weather is also forecast to improve
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