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


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


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


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 [...]


11 April 2015
11 April Barbuda
Another glorious brisk beam reach to Barbuda and we made it in a very short time. This very flat island is the second part of the nation of Antigua and Barbuda. Discovered by Columbus in 1493, it was leased to the Codrington family in 1685 who used it as a "slave park" from which slaves were sold and delivered to other islands. The population is about 2000, and most of them live in the town/village of Codrington.
The approach from the south west was hazardous with coral reefs preventing a direct approach to our Cocoa Point destination on the south coast. The view was of turquoise sea, white sand, and palm trees with the stiff Atlantic trade winds. Once anchored we were welcomed by many giant turtles lazily circling and passing. These shy creatures come up for air every few minutes and sometimes seemed to smile at us. We went for a swim, hoping to get closer but they disappeared.
We spent a night at Cocoa Point and in the morning I tried to sketch the stunning beach but was not happy with the result. After breakfast we motored around to the 11 mile beach of Low Bay. Finding a quiet spot was easy as there were only 3 other yachts. Behind the beach is the Codrington Lagoon. We landed our dinghy with some difficulty on the beach and went for a walk, returning just in time to prevent it being washed out to sea due to waves.
We are trying to do yoga on the trampoline every night to keep our muscles flexible. We get lots of strength exercise on winches and ropes but not enough of the full range of movement that one gets in a land life. Although we often get a lot of stares, we have found that many yachties are doing the same.
Barbuda is a remote island and tourist numbers are small. One of its highlights is a frigate bird colony, second only to Galapagos in importance. We arranged a visit to this site with George Jeffery, an experienced guide and a lovely man. We were picked up on the edge of the lagoon and taken to the colony about 5 miles away. George stopped in a few places and gave us a brief history of Barbuda since the time of Codrington in the 17th century. He told us about the migratory fish using the lagoon for laying eggs, the wild boar and fallow deer. Soon we were near the frigate birds as the sky became filled with these graceful creatures that weigh only 1.5 kg with a wing span of about 1.8 m. The area chosen for nesting was small clumps of mangroves in the lagoon that were heavy with male, female and chicks of varying sizes. There was a lot of squawking, males puffing up their red throats and females coming and going with fish to feed their young. The guano smell was intense. Princess Diana visited this place 3 times and I can see why.
We had a fascinating stroll around the town of Codrington. The Customs office was on the far side of town, near the airport, close to the second church on the right, but behind it in the next street...or so sounded the directions. We eventually found it but it was closed for lunch. So we went into a restaurant across the road so we could see when the man returned from lunch. Stewed deer and local fish were ordered as we watched the locals come and go and tried to understand conversations. They speak English of local variety. Words are sliced and diced and the syllables reassembled in a different order, then pronounced differently and mumbled.
After Customs, it was the Immigration Office. The government had granted a half day public holiday to allow people to go to the first test match between England West Indies in Antigua. The young lady from the Immigration office was located and kindly opened up for us. Finally we were clear to leave, stopping at the small supermarket on the way to the dock. Our guide George was waiting for us and took us across the lagoon at high speed. We dragged our dinghy into the water and returned home to Intrepid Elk.
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