Guapa: Beauty and the Sea

One family and their boat. A daydream, a vision and now, slowly, becoming reality.

14 December 2016
25 May 2016 | Sainte Marine
23 May 2016 | L'Aber Wrach
21 May 2016 | Port Pendennis
19 April 2016 | Boxmoor
05 April 2016 | Northwood
28 January 2016 | Hemel Hempstead
17 December 2015 | Boxmoor
01 September 2015 | East Coast
30 July 2015 | Northwood
26 July 2015 | Northwood
01 June 2015 | Ostend/North Sea
27 May 2015
31 March 2015 | Leverstock Green
23 February 2015 | Leverstock Green
13 January 2015 | Leverstock Green
24 November 2014
14 October 2014 | Leverstock Green
19 September 2014 | Leverstock Green
15 September 2014 | Levington, River Orwell

The Plan

02 February 2014 | Plogastel Saint Germain
Well, I’ve not heard I WON’T have the 5 weeks off work I hoped for. So, I’m assuming I WILL have 5 weeks of in May and early June. Here goes...

Some of you may remember a post a couple of months ago regarding the 2015 AZAB. To participate, you need to have completed a qualifying cruise of no less than 500NM. And I’ve been giving this some thought: where and when to go and the composition of the crew in particular.

I was hoping to take either one of the children or the wife along. This now seems highly unlikely and/or impractical. Time off work/exams/... In short: real life interferes with my sailing plans – once again. Outside crew? Not if I can help it. At times, I’m not the easiest of people to get along with and I’m pretty much set in my ways. Even more so when on the boat. We do things my way: like it or lump it. Up to two weeks can be a long time to be stuck on a boat with some-one you don’t get on with.
Singlehanded it is then. Guapa can be sailed singlehanded, it’s only when it comes to ‘parking’ her that an extra pair of hands come in handy.
I’ve only sailed Guapa once singlehandedly before: a cross-Channel trip to Ostend. I still remember to this day the immense feeling of satisfaction and achievement. Wouldn’t mind experiencing that feeling again.

Where: 500NM from the East Coast in any direction.

Heading South and West?
The Channel. Arguably one of the busiest stretches of water anywhere in the world. As I will need to put my head down from time to time, I’m not exactly looking forward to it. And with the prevailing westerlies it would be a long and hard slug to windward. I could motor, but that’s not the point of sailing a yacht. On the plus side: I do know the waters and I would be able to get the boat to Brittany.

Given the fact that the prevailing wind direction in the North Sea is West (SW to NW) this looks more likely. This leaves more options too: wind NW-W -> Norway. Or alternatively: wind SW-W -> Shetland Islands (and beyond - if at all possible the Faroe). I must admit that I’m secretly rooting for the latter option. Should I get to the Faroe, Rockall is within spitting distance. For some reason, Rockall is on my ‘bucket list’ of sailing destinations. But let’s not get overly ambitious. On the other hand, ‘dreaming big’ doesn’t do any harm either.

When to go:
To get there and back, time off for R&R and allowing for time spent waiting for a weather window I think 4 weeks should be sufficient. As it happens, I have five weeks off work in May and early June. That’s going to be my target. All, of course, very much weather dependent. Ideally, I would have preferred a few weeks later in the year but this will have to do for now. If nothing comes of it, I will try to talk Brigitte into going with me later in the year, but I fear my powers of persuasion may not be up to it.

Got most of the hardware for the trip, now it’s all down to preparation: practical and mental. So much still left to sort. I want everything sorted before the boat moves onto her mooring in April. It feels like ‘so much to do and so little time’. Best not waste it then.

The next couple of weeks will mostly be taken up by work and ‘real world’ commitments, so after this flurry of activity it may be quiet on here for a while. Talk to you soon people, most likely by the end of February.

Hang in there.


Vessel Name: Guapa
Vessel Make/Model: Kalik 44
Hailing Port: Ipswich, UK
Crew: Wim, Brigitte, Evita & Yanni
About: The Vandenbossche family
Extra: One family and their boat. It started as daydream, then a vision and now, slowly, becoming reality.
Guapa's Photos - Beauty and the Sea (Main)
1 Photo
Bringing Guapa home - Bruinisse lock
35 Photos
Created 18 July 2014
17 Photos
Created 20 February 2014
12 Photos
Created 22 May 2013
13 Photos
Created 22 May 2013
Ostend, UK East & South Coast and Normandy
30 Photos
Created 10 August 2012
Winter sailing - UK East Coast
18 Photos
Created 9 February 2012
34 Photos
Created 17 April 2011
10 Photos
Created 17 April 2011
It's all been worth it.
4 Photos
Created 26 July 2010
The horror... The saga continues. Hull respray, new engine, and loads more (expensive) fun.
20 Photos
Created 21 June 2010
Replacing a teak deck and other horror stories
25 Photos
Created 31 December 2008
The Solent, Channel Island(s) and Normandy.
21 Photos
Created 8 June 2008
Messing about in the Suffolk/Essex area
17 Photos
Created 21 December 2007
UK South Coast, Normandy, Northern France & Belgium
40 Photos
Created 23 September 2007
A thing of beauty
7 Photos
Created 3 June 2007
Meet the crew
12 Photos
Created 27 March 2007
Messing about in the Suffolk/Essex area
8 Photos
Created 27 March 2007
Running from the storm(s) - North Sea Triangle: Ramsgate - Ostend - Harwich.
6 Photos
Created 17 February 2007
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