Intrepid Travels

Vessel Name: Intrepid Elk
Vessel Make/Model: Outremer catamaran 51
Hailing Port: Fremantle
Crew: Robert and Revle Elks
16 May 2017
06 October 2016
30 September 2016
22 September 2016
18 September 2016
17 September 2016
14 September 2016
13 September 2016
12 September 2016
10 September 2016
04 September 2016
01 September 2016
31 August 2016
30 August 2016
27 August 2016
24 August 2016
23 August 2016
21 August 2016
19 August 2016
Recent Blog Posts
16 May 2017

Cherbourg encore

We are reunited with Intrepid Elk after a winter/summer separation and it is good to be home again. IE has had a facelift and her shiny white hulls are dazzling once more. She has a beautiful new bimini (shade cover) over the helm seat, which Robert designed and which was fabricated in Portsmouth and [...]

06 October 2016

IE preparation for winter

Our sailing days for this year are over and we are once again busy getting IE ready for a winter in the northern hemisphere. This year, she will be in the water for most of the time, with a short interlude on land in a large painting shed, where she will have her hulls painted. In order to get her into [...]

30 September 2016

Cherbourg, France

It was an inky black moonless night as we slipped out of the river and across the sand bar with fishing vessel Emma Louise behind us. Revle was on the bowsprit with a spotlight looking for hazards ahead. I was at the helm, peering at our chartplotter and concentrating on following our inward track. [...]

22 September 2016

Plymouth

We made a motoring passage of 35 miles to Plymouth Sound, then battled against strong currents up the Tamar River to an anchorage at West Mud where we spent a peaceful night. Plymouth has been a major naval base for centuries and we had some close encounters with modern navy ships in the harbour. We [...]

18 September 2016

Falmouth

Our passage to Falmouth took us past The Lizard, a projecting headland with a ferocious tidal race. We passed a little too close and got caught in the race which was too bumpy for comfort. Approaching the Falmouth harbour, we had the excitement of crossing our track from June 2015 when we made landfall [...]

17 September 2016

Newlyn

We left the Isles of Scilly early in the morning to catch a light northerly wind to Land's End and the fishing port of Newlyn, just south of Penzance. We couldn't believe our luck, having another gentle passage through one of the most treacherous and notorious waterways in northern Europe. We galloped [...]

Bonifacio

21 August 2014
Persuaded again by Fabio, we agreed to one last island hop, this time to Isola Caprera, the island where Garibaldi lived and eventually where he died. We got there in time to go ashore and visit his house, a wonderfully peaceful, simple stone dwelling with spectacular views across the Straits of Bonifacio, to Corsica. The heat of the day was just easing and the evening sun cast shadows across the green landscape and blue sea, and it felt like an oasis of calm.
It was a fitting place from which to set off, at last, for Corsica. Despite a forecast of light winds, we had about 22knots the whole way, with some swell from many days of strong westerly winds, so it was an 'enervating' crossing, made more so by the numerous boats of all types criss-crossing the narrow strip of water. Bonifacio suddenly appeared, with the old citadel perched on white stone cliffs, beneath which the land has been severely eroded. cliffs along which the port of Bonifacio has been built. It is so small and yet so many boats just pack themselves in there!
Two gruelling hours of mooring followed, with me in the water tying off the stern lines while Robert tried to keep the boat in position in strong winds, until we had all lines on board. What an exhausting exercise it was, but at last we were secure and could relax and take in the views around us. It certainly is a unique and fascinating place! I went ashore for a quick look around and then it was time for a meal and bed.
Version 2.....
As we passed 3000 miles on our voyage, we sailed the south coast of Corsica, rising to a chalk plateau from the swirling sea of the Straits of Bonifacio, separating Sardinia and Corsica. The harbour of Bonifacio is one of the few all-weather refuges along the coast, being a deep slot (calanque) cut into the chalk cliffs. This spectacular town is steeped in history, occupying a natural defensive position, and was attacked at different times. The citadel was built by the Genoese Count Bonifacio in the fourteenth century. Due to centuries of wave action at the base of the cliffs, the buildings around the citadel edge are now precariously cantilevering out over the water. To my eye they are ready to fall into the sea at any time without notice and I don't know how the residents sleep at night.
July and August are high season holiday months in Europe and we should know by now that places like Bonifacio are loved to death by tourists and should be avoided. We arrived early in the afternoon and found that there were not many places to go stern-to in the tiny calanque. The alternative was the marina which was extremely expensive and full. There was a stiff breeze gusting on the beam and other yachts anxiously circling looking for a safe place. Revle has become an expert stern line swimmer while I stay at the helm. After getting one line out, she found that many of the underwater mooring lines were broken. After a couple of hours of hard work, we were safely berthed. Then it became increasingly chaotic through the afternoon, as more yachts arrived in the calanque looking for shelter. There were scrapes and collisions and lots of shouting. We had to fend off two out of control yachts ourselves - trying to reverse in beside us. We eventually took the dinghy into the town and had a look around, walking up the hill to the citadel and along the southern cliffs to a lighthouse. The town and its surroundings were beautiful and spectacular from any angle. Because of the tourist numbers, most of the shops and restaurants were dedicated to this market. By day 3 we felt we needed to get away from the hordes of tourists and the afternoon chaos in the anchorage.
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