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


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 [...]

Not plain sailing!

13 August 2011 | Portland Marina
Maddy and Brian
Bent boom

By August 13th - today - we should have been sailing down the French or even Spanish coast or at least setting off across the Channel after getting some practice in with our new and very powerful cambered panel junk rig, but things have not been plain sailing.

On our trial sail there was a fresh wind F4-5 and we had full sail set as we went up and down the fairway in the outer harbour. We should haved reefed before trying a gybe, which was bad and good. Bad in that the mainsail yard which carries the weight of the sail, battens and boom bent dramatically, an eye pulled out in the aft end of the batten below it, and the boom also bent (as you can see in one of the photographs), but good in that this happened during trials rather than out on the waves a long way from a harbour.

Anyway, the sail top panel (they slide out one by one) has been repaired and strengthened by it's maker Chris Scanes (www.sailsand canvas.co.uk), and the yard and boom are due to be replaced by next weekend now that the factory is back in action after its summer holidays. So it doesn't look as if we'll be making a passage until the end of August, and that we are now more than ever needing a good spell of weather.

Meanwhile, the marina has been very busy with many Olympic volunteers in brightly coloured 'London Prepares' t-shirts, helping competitive sailors from many countries in pre-Olympic regattas designed to test systems and security. The press have been here in force and are being ferried around in three brand new Jenneau 'Swift 44 Trawlers' which are made in France - a strange choice given that Sunseeker have a factory here. At least the and smart black Ribcrafts are made in Yeovil Somerset.

The delay has meant that we have been able to cross off some of the jobs off the never-ending list, including re-covering the settee seats, designing and having built two stainless steel boom crutches, sorted out the foresail so we can raise it by hand should the electric halyard winch ever fail, done some more teak deck repairs, had sail covers made, half-finished repairing the dinghy, overhauled its Tohatsu 3.5 hp outboard motor, serviced 'Paradox's' 50 hp Perkins diesel engine, got our 24 year old Airogen wind turbine going so we are 'off--grid' most of the time, and installed three new batteries.

So that's how we spend our time - working on the boat, shopping in Weymouth or Portland, waiting for buses and ignoring things that need doing to www.topologika.co.uk. At least we have bus passes.


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