Portland to The Sun

Sailing to the Med from UK in our junk-rig 39ft boat, Paradox of Plym

Vessel Name: Paradox of Plym
Vessel Make/Model: Freedom 39 Pilothouse Schooner converted to junk
Hailing Port: Brighton
Crew: Brian and Maddy Kerslake
About: We are ex teachers and semi-retired owners of an educational software company, Topologika Software Ltd. We have been sailing for over 35 years, starting with a Mirror Dinghy in 1972 and progressing to our current yacht, a Freedom 39ft which we have converted to a junk rig.
Extra: Members of the Junk Rig Association
09 May 2019 | Yacht Puerto
16 August 2015 | Pornichet/La Baule marina
29 September 2011 | East Cowes, Isle of Wight
29 September 2011 | Isle of Wight
29 September 2011 | Weymouth
16 August 2011 | Portland Marina
13 August 2011 | Portland Marina
13 July 2011 | Portland Marina
Recent Blog Posts
09 May 2019 | Yacht Puerto

Return to Blog - in Cartagena, Spain

A couple of weeks ago, our daughter suggested I get back to sailblogging. She told me to put our names into Google and lo and behold there we were. I cannot understand why I hadn't thought to look at our blog for four years and why there is just the one entry, the last one, in 2015. Complete amnesia! Since [...]

16 August 2015 | Pornichet/La Baule marina

Pornichet

Been in Pornichet for about two weeks now. We originally intended to stay a night or two but weather meant it became 5 days and then with weather not favourable again we decided to ask my sister to send on our post which had not been seen for over two months. She paid thirty pounds to send it which we didn't mind as it contained a power pack for my laptop amongst other quite important stuff. However after four days only one of the two parcels had arrived! Not good but patience is a virtue.

29 September 2011 | East Cowes, Isle of Wight

East Cowes Marina

We would have stayed for another night so that we could enter the Medina river on Monday when there would be less traffic, but the forecast wasn't good for anchoring, so we left around 0900, motoring on a favourable tide until we reached a point just west of Cowes where three large tankers were laid [...]

29 September 2011 | Isle of Wight

Needles Channel

Next day we set off from Studland Bay for the Fairway Buoy at the entrance to the Needles Channel, homing in on it as a GPS waypoint, but regularly monitoring progress the old fashioned way, by compass. It was a lovely sail, and a treat to tackle this famous passage into the Western Solent, with the [...]

29 September 2011 | Weymouth

In retreat!

After a lot of setbacks - mainly to do with the new rig, poor weather and my back - we gave up the idea of crossing the Channel to France, Spain or Portugal this year, and decided to retreat to the Isle of Wight, East Cowes seeming to be a good place for a 6 month winter berth. Several sailors we met [...]

Ile d'Oleron 2nd Aug 2015

14 May 2019
Madeleine Kerslake

Return to Blog - in Cartagena, Spain

09 May 2019 | Yacht Puerto
Maddy Kerslake | Sunny, Force 5 from the west
A couple of weeks ago, our daughter suggested I get back to sailblogging. She told me to put our names into Google and lo and behold there we were. I cannot understand why I hadn't thought to look at our blog for four years and why there is just the one entry, the last one, in 2015. Complete amnesia!
Since then we have spent a winter in La Rochelle in the town harbour. We then sailed to Gijon in North-west Spain and spent the winter there. After much discussion, we had to opt for putting Paradox on a lorry to Almerimar in southern Spain, mainly for health reasons. We spent the summer there and then sailed to Cartagena, where we have been for about eighteen months.
We are presently trying to get through the ever-increasing jobs-list preparing to sail east, preferably to France.

Pornichet

16 August 2015 | Pornichet/La Baule marina
Maddy Kerslake
Been in Pornichet for about two weeks now. We originally intended to stay a night or two but weather meant it became 5 days and then with weather not favourable again we decided to ask my sister to send on our post which had not been seen for over two months. She paid thirty pounds to send it which we didn't mind as it contained a power pack for my laptop amongst other quite important stuff. However after four days only one of the two parcels had arrived! Not good but patience is a virtue.

East Cowes Marina

29 September 2011 | East Cowes, Isle of Wight
Maddy and Brian
We would have stayed for another night so that we could enter the Medina river on Monday when there would be less traffic, but the forecast wasn't good for anchoring, so we left around 0900, motoring on a favourable tide until we reached a point just west of Cowes where three large tankers were laid up at anchor. Paradox's speed went down and down, and we had to use more of the engine's power than Brian really wanted to. She's a heavy boat - 16.3 tonnes - so it takes a lot to shift her.

When we looked at the tide map more carefully later, we saw that we had chosen the wrong side of the West Solent to approach Cowes - the
favourable tide had been in mid-Channel! (We had wondered why a lovely gaff-rigged boat went off towards Southampton at that point!) As
soon as we turned south into the Medina, the tide became slack and all was well, except that being Sunday morning we were arrving just as everyone else left. The Medina isn't very wide and it took a lot of manouvering by Maddy to get us to the vicinity of East Cowes Marina.

Brian had to turn the boat through 360 degrees twice to get her into position to enter her designated berth and, just as he approached it, so did a fast powerboat which, we learned later, had been allocated the same berth. Luckily her skipper was alert, stopped his boat and reversed out of our way - well he did have twin engines and a bow thruster! We were helped into a hammerhead berth by the skipper of a boat from Langstone Harbour, moored on the other side of the pontoon.

So here we are now in an excellent berth in the Visitors part of this Dean and Reddyhoff marina, who also built Portland's new marina where we stayed last winter. East Cowes is busy as lots of people are taking advantage of the Indian Summer. It's very interesting watching all the different yachts and power boats, while sailing schools practise berthing near us and Ellen Macarthur's Cancer Trust yachts slip in and out (the Trust is based here). Brian's enjoyed watching Girls for Sail boats and meeting a couple of liveboards, and is looking forward to seeing who owns the three-masted junk behind us. Maddy is happy there's a Waitrose just ten minutes walk away, and a free chain ferry to West Cowes.

Needles Channel

29 September 2011 | Isle of Wight
Maddy and Brian
Next day we set off from Studland Bay for the Fairway Buoy at the entrance to the Needles Channel, homing in on it as a GPS waypoint, but regularly monitoring progress the old fashioned way, by compass. It was a lovely sail, and a treat to tackle this famous passage into the Western Solent, with the tide and in company with hundreds of other boats.

The Channel narrows at Hurst Point, after which we figured out that we probably wouldn't get into Cowes at high tide, the preferred time as the water level stays put for an hour or so, making mooring easier. The anchorage off Newtown Creek looked good, so we once again dropped the hook for the night. This anchorage was perfect, totally peaceful, just a few other boats, and no swell at all. The only problem with it was that the spot Brian chose to anchor was right in line with the Creek's leading lights - he decided to ignore this.

In retreat!

29 September 2011 | Weymouth
Maddy and Brian
After a lot of setbacks - mainly to do with the new rig, poor weather and my back - we gave up the idea of crossing the Channel to France, Spain or Portugal this year, and decided to retreat to the Isle of Wight, East Cowes seeming to be a good place for a 6 month winter berth. Several sailors we met had given favourable reports, and research showed that it was a lot cheaper than the West Country. We would be sheltered from the wind and waves (ideal for Brian's endless boat DIY), and close enough to Brighton for when he needed a good cappuccino.

Almost immediately after we had made that a plan, the weather changed and a beautiful Indian Summer arrived. Quite a few sailors in Weymouth where we were tied up on the Town Quay for a week, told us in conversation that they were off to Portugal. We were pretty disappointed not to be doing this also, but we weren't totally confident about starting off on a long voyage with a still-unproved rig and loads of DIY-clutter on board, so we did the next best thing and left Weymouth on Friday 23rd for East Cowes via the Needles Channel.

We had only ever sailed around the south of the Isle of Wight before, so this was all new to us, and a real challnge to be heading for strong tidal waters again after the tiddler tides of Weymouth and Portland. There was very little wind, so we had a nice sail across Weymouth Bay and anchored for the night in Studland Bay north of Old Harry Rocks. It proved to be a good anchorage, with little swell.
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Paradox of Plym's Photos -

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