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 [...]

Ballycastle, Northern Ireland

17 August 2016
It was windier than expected when we woke on the 16th, but we decided to head out as planned with our chosen route across the North Channel. We headed initially eastwards, towards the Mull of Kintyre, hoping for flatter water and a better sailing angle to get us across the channel. As we raised the main sail, with three reefs, the winds screamed up to 30 knots plus and the seas were a mass of white caps. Its didn't feel good with a difficult and narrow crossing to make with very strong tidal flows, so 5 minutes later we decided to pull out and retreat to a small bay on the western side of the Mull, and shelter from the gale force south easterly winds. It was a good decision: the winds only increased and we were glad to be safely at anchor in flat water for the night. The break gave us another opportunity to check the times for crossing the North Channel and Rathlin Sound, where the tide rushes through at 6-8 knots.
It was a tense morning as we waited for the departure time to arrive. At last it was 2 pm and we set off, hoping that we had got the planning right. It was an adrenaline filled afternoon, as the winds changed repeatedly in both strength and direction as we cleared the tip of the Mull and headed across the shipping lane. The visibility was poor but eventually we could see Fair Head looming majestically in the distance. The current took us flying forwards but, as we entered the Sound, the tide suddenly turned and we were fighting to maintain 3.5 knots with both engines flat out. We could see the sheer zone marking the edge of the current stream just ahead but for many tense moments it seemed like we might not make it and would be swept backwards, as our pilot book had warned us would happen if we were even a few minute late in arriving. Thankfully, we just made it across the line and were exhausted as we entered the tiny fishing harbour at Ballycastle where we tied up against the harbour wall and had our first Irish fish and chips for dinner.
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