Petrella European Tour

Sailing adventure

17 June 2012 | West Coast of France
15 June 2012 | West Coast of France
15 June 2012 | France
01 June 2012 | Benodet
01 June 2012
01 June 2012
21 May 2012 | Falmouth
16 May 2012 | Dandy Hole St Germans River
15 May 2012 | Salcombe
29 April 2012 | River Dart, Devon

New Job and New House!

09 October 2013 | Bristol and Illogan
Michael Wilson
I have started my new position as Account Executive at Hayes Parsons Marine (Insurance Brokers) - very much impressed with the professionalism and how the organisation of the company is managed - the link to the company website is as follows:-

A great big thank you to the team who have been fantastic at making me feel welcome and help me get going!

We have settled into our new house here in Illogan in Cornwall which is great - so much more space and the dogs are on Cloud 9 with the garden - plus there are lots of great walks for them around here - it really is a great area to live! Nearest beach only just down the road, plenty of business parks with large shops conveniently placed, and such a beautiful area of the country!

Kim is cracking on with the new course she is doing in 'game design' and enjoying driving her Mini Cooper S around the lanes of Cornwall.

Really happy at the moment - new challenges and a fantastic family! :-)

Whistle in her NEW Xmas Jumper!

28 November 2012 | Illogan
Michael Wilson
By popular demand pic of Whistle in her new Xmas jumper - see Gallery Folder for more Seadogs pics.....There was a Christmas Fayre in the local town hall here in Illogan in aid of a pet charity and Kim couldn't resist obtaining the jumper for little Whistle who gets cold

New Seadogs Compilation Album

13 November 2012 | Gallery
Michael Wilson
I've put together a 'Seadogs Compilation' from our travels this summer (see gallery link on the right)

Roscoff to Plymouth

28 September 2012
Michael Wilson
So Kim's brother Mike came into the port on the Brittany ferry in the morning and was able to spend all of an hour in France before he handed over his nice new Peugeot estate to Kim and the dogs and we departed the marina! Kim was a little nervous about driving her brother's brand new car in a foreign country but as it was literally exit the car park and turn right for about 200m she was fine. Dogs all ready with their papers and the smallest muzzle in the world for Whistle!

We waved farewell and headed out of the marina.....straight into fog! Damn it but not a lot you can do about it and common at this time of year. Mike was very glad to be aboard and thankfully after a couple of hours and we got further away from France, the fog lifted. It is pretty much bang on 100 miles from Bloscon (Roscoff) Marina to our destination of Mayflower Marina (Plymouth) and pretty much due North. We turned off the engine and sailed for a while but then our speed dropped to under 5 knots - to cover the distance without spending the whole night out there as well we needed to keep our speed up. The wind sadly was not as helpful as we had hoped by the forecast with it being NE rather than SE but the sea state was good. Nothing really of note - Mike and I chatted about the usual: football, beer, and girls, and put some tunes on - there's not really much to look at in the middle of the channel with the main source of entertainment the shipping. The AIS tells you all about the great big ship you can see including it's name, size, type, destination etc and the main thing is it tells you whether you are going to collide with it or not. We saw a few 'big ones' and we also demonstrated how useful the AIS equipment linked to the chart plotter is reassuring you that the big ship is going to pass half a mile astern of you. The closest thing we got to was a fishing boat from Plymouth which decided having gone all over the place and well clear, was now going to do 10 knots as an 'overtaking vessel see Rule 13' and make us change course by heading on a collision course.

Night descended and it seemed to take forever for us to get past the Eddystone Lighthouse, and we carefully entered Plymouth by the Western entrance. There are many lights when entering Plymouth at night which can make it a little confusing, but we successfully navigated through ‘The Bridge’ shortcut up to Mayflower and found the berth we were allocated. We quickly moored Petrella up (she had done brilliantly yet again – a fantastic cruising boat!) and we popped up the bar for a celebratary pint at the bar. We were both pretty tired but we had made it back to ENGLAND! It did feel a little strange to be honest not saying ‘bonjour’ at the bar and paying with the £10 note I had kept for the last 6 months. Kim made it to the boat with the dogs early in the morning and had managed fine. Great challenges ahead and we will certainly look back at our 6 months of sailing experience fondly – we had covered 1500 miles and been to many places we had never been before.

Great challenges ahead: we are now excited and very much looking forward to moving into our new home in Cornwall, Kim her new course, and me with a new job to start!

L'aberwrac'h to Roscoff

26 September 2012 | Roscoff
Michael Wilson
It was a short trip to get from L'aberwrac'h to Roscoff and the last for Kim, Bells, and (little) Whistle who would be returning to England on a Brittany ferry to Plymouth in order to comply with Defra regulations. We also needed to get the dogs to the vets at Roscoff to get their papers stamped up with their worming treatment (needed no earlier than 5 days and no later than 24 hours before the ferry sails) administered by the vet. We kept a close eye on the forecast and decided to depart with a few days grace - definately didn't want to miss the ferry scheduled. We checked the tides and we left after filling the diesel tank as we had found out that the new marina at Roscoff which is not yet finished had not any diesel available yet. The understood pontoons had water but no electricity we also found out and this was reflected in the fact we would only be charged half the usual tariff.

We left L'aberwrach (where we had enjoyed some fine food again) at about Low water having gone up to the top of the harbour to peer out to see - visibility was pretty bad with fog coming and going. We decided to go and once we were out and went through a fog bank the vis did improve a little thankfully. Not much wind but what there was pushed us on down the coast, and the tidal flow meant we were doing about 7.5 knots over the ground. I decided to give us a bit of a safety margin with the rocks and navigational points of interest in view of the strong tides and not great vis. We saw a few other yachts going our way, and a fishing boat as we neared Ile de Batz. I had read up on the short cut inside Ile de Batz but as we were making such good speed over the ground and were probably a bit early in that it was about mid tide and big springs so decided best to go round the outside (north) of the island and save the Batz channel for another day - plus the fog was still lingering so no point in going in there and losing vis! A couple of yachts went through the channel which I calculated saves about 3nm and we gave the off lying rocks on the north of the island a wide berth and met the yachts that did the channel as we came in towards the ferry terminal. Down with the sails and we had checked the Brittany ferry timetable so no big ferries due to be entering or departing thankfully. All very new and no point in looking at the chartplotters as we searched for the new marina - plus Reeds Almanac is wrong on the entrance for the new marina - it is entered by the north entrance within the fishing port and just south of where the large ferries dock - oh and although it is referred to as 'Roscoff Marina' it is actually at port Bloscon more precisely. The entrance was easy keeping a sharp lookout for fishing boats movements, and there are traffic signals which should be obeyed when departing etc We were met by a nice chap in a RIB and shown to a space - there were plenty to choose from with the marina less than half full. We berthed next to a friendly French couple on our port side with an Ovni, and an English couple with an immaculate Halberg Rassey 42 on our starboard side. We were able to have a look around the Halberg which was very kind of them - maybe one day?

We found the cafe at the ferry terminal very friendly and did a mean deal on chicken wings and chips - so we went over there a few times in the following few days. There is not a supermarket nearby and with no electric (and our gas run out) our cooking options were rather limted. We also found a very friendly lady taxi locally who took us with the dogs to the vets in the next town - she had dogs too so was more than happy to transport Bells and Whistle! The vet was very friendly and we were a little surprised that even fussy eater Bells scoffed the tablets down like they were treats – Whistle wanted more! Kim was very relieved as had been a little worried about getting the dogs ready for the trip on the ferry. We went for a pleasant walk passed the gardens nearby and up the river a little to a small beach – it is really a very nice place to visit and we said ‘we must come back here and visit properly exploring further up river) Keeping an eye on the weather for the final trip back across the English channel to ‘Blighty’ and Kim’s brother Mike expected on Friday by ferry to join me for the sail back to England whilst Kim would be getting onboard the ferry with Bells and Whistle to meet us in Plymouth – bit of a Top Gear challenge with ferry vs Petrella!.....

1st Sept 2012 - St Evette to L'aberwrac'h

02 September 2012 | L'aberwrac'h
Michael Wilson
After a much needed snooze, we awoke to a beautiful morning at St Evette. Got the boat ready and picked up the hook at 10 am to give us time to arrive at the Raz de Seine at slack water. There were about 3 or 4 yachts doing the same thing and we lead the procession around the corner to the impressive Point du Raz - we are on large sping tides at the moment (hence the amazing full moon last night) so important to get the tidal timings right for this, plus we were hoping if conditions were right to be able to get to the Chenal Du Four at the right time so we can go straight up to L'aberwrac'h rather than stop off at Camaret - the Chenal Du Four is not an area to messed with though and by the time we get to the bottom Le Conquet the north going stream would be shifting (it can run at 6 knots down there) and even though winds were light at the moment, would be a bit nasty if the northerly got up and wind against tide I thought. Kim stated 'is that it?' once we got through the Raz - it's satisfying when you get these things right with tide times / planning the right conditions as it can be a pleasant stretch of water with the ability to enjoy the impressive surroundings! On we went and as we were doing 7 to 7.5knots with the wind NW filling the sails and the tide pushing us north, I calculated we would get to the bottom of the Chenal Du Four about 45 mins earlier than the book suggested which was a good thing as we would have a good tide up to L'aberwrach and closer to best timing for doing the Chenal Du Four - ideally you would do it at slack water and the beginning of the Northerly flow but we were doing the Raz at slack and it's about 2 and half hours from Raz to the bottom of the Chenal Du Four. The usual number of sails started appearing from Camaret which is always reassuring that you're getting there at the right time. The sea state had been excellent all the way so into the Chenal we went. We were doing well over 10 knots over the ground and I monitored our Rumb Line closely - best to give the marks a bit of room as the tide pushes you down onto them quickly otherwise. Had to drop the Genoa about half way through as the wind shifted probably beinf funnelled a bit down the Chenal. Managed to take some pics and the water was certainly much more agitated than when we went down through on neaps and closer to slack going the other way. As we came out the top, we were able to unfurl the Genoa again and had a good heading around Le Four towards L'aberwrach - the dogs were happier once the turbulant water calmed down a bit. The water was still fair puping us along between Le Four and L'aberwrach and I thought to myself, you don't want to be around here getting it wrong in the wrong conditions with these big spring tides! Tides are great though - we had covered some serious distance today quite comfortably - the log book showed that we had done 57 miles in 7 hours by the time we moored up - that's averaging 8.1 knots! It's nice coming into L'aberwrach with the rocks and beaches - quite impressive and I always feel the place gets not as good a write up in pilot books as it should do - well worth a visit for a few days really rather than just a stop of point. We got allocated a finger berth by the marina chap in his rib - the visitors pontoon was already full. Then off to our favourite place for a much deserved meal out - not far to go now!....
Vessel Name: Petrella
Vessel Make/Model: Moody 36
Hailing Port: Mylor (Falmouth)
Crew: Michael Wilson, Kimberley Cook, Bells, and Whistle
About: Petrella is a Moody 36 owned by Kim and Michael, with Kim's dogs Bells and Whistle providing assistance as they sail around Europe on a sailing adventure!

Petrella European Tour

Who: Michael Wilson, Kimberley Cook, Bells, and Whistle
Port: Mylor (Falmouth)