A little boat and a big ocean.

19 July 2020
18 September 2015 | Beaulieu River, UK 50’27.32N 2’32.09W – Hayling Yacht Company, Hayling Island, UK 50 48.27’N 0’58.24W via Wicor Marine, UK
14 September 2015 | St Anne, Alderney 49’43.47N 2’11.35W – Beaulei River, UK 50’27.32N 2’32.09W via Studland Bay, UK
12 September 2015 | Gosselin, Sark 49’25.78N 2’22.70W – St Anne, Alderney 49’43.47N 2’11.35W
07 September 2015 | St Peter Port, Guernsey 49’27.32N 2’32.09W – Harve Gosselin, Sark 49’25.78N 2’22.70W
01 September 2015 | Tregarvan, Aulne River, France 48’15.16N 4’14.00W – St Peter Port, Guernsey 49’27.32N 2’32.09W via Cameret Sur Mer, France & Herm, Guernsey
23 August 2015 | Ile de Penfret, Iles de Glenan, France 47’43.05N 3’57.04W – Tregarvan, Aulne River, France 48’15.16N 4’14.00W via Anse de Kerautret, River Odet, France, Englishmans Cove, River Odet, France & Camerat sur Mer, France
19 August 2015 | Treac’h er Gourhed, Ile Houat, France 47’22.99N 2’56.85W - Ile de Penfret, Iles de Glenan, France 47’43.05N 3’57.04W via Port Kerel, Belle Ile, France & Port Tudy, Groix, France
14 August 2015 | La Rochelle, France 46’08.60N 1’10.09W – Treac’h er Gourhed, Ile Houat, France 47’22.99N 2’56.85W via Anse des Vieilles, Ile d’Yeu, France & Trebezy, St Nazaire, France
08 August 2015 | Anse l’Oubye, Ile de Re, France 46 09.2455 N 1’15.50W – La Rochelle, France 46’08.60N 1’10.09W
04 August 2015 | Ribadesella, Spain 43’27.81N 5’03.71W – Anse l’Oubye, Ile de Re, France 46 09.2455 N 1’15.50W
01 August 2015 | Ribadesella, Spain 43’27.81N 5’03.71W
28 July 2015 | Luarco, Spain 43’32.87N 6’32.08W – Ribadesella, Spain 43’27.81N 5’03.71W via Laurno
24 July 2015 | Ria Vivero, Spain 43’40.55N 7‘36.16W – Luarco, Spain 43’32.87N 6’32.08W via Ribadeo, Spain
21 July 2015 | Ria de Cedeira, Spain 43’39.26N 8’03.74W – Ria Vivero, Spain 43’40.55N 7‘36.16W
16 July 2015 | Vila Franca do Campo, Sao Miguel, Azores 37’43.01N 25’25.75W – Ria de Cedeira, Spain 43’39.26N 8’03.74W, via Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel, Azores
06 July 2015 | Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel, Azores 37’44.29N 25’39.94W – Vila Franca do Campo, Sao Miguel, Azores 37’43.01N 25’25.75W
30 June 2015 | Angra do Heroismo, Terceira, Azores 38’39.15N 27’12.97W – Ponta Delgada, Sao Migual, Azores 37’44.29N 25’39.94W
25 June 2015 | Velas, Sao Jorge, Azores 38’40.82N 28’12.16W – Angra do Heroismo, Terceira, Azores 38’39.15N 27’12.97W
19 June 2015 | Horta, Faial, Azores 38’31.99N 28’37.50W – Velas, Sao Jorge, Azores 38’40.82N 28’12.16W via Cais do Pico, Pico Azores

Its all about the balance sheet.

13 April 2013 | Buck Island, St Croix, USVI, 17’47.17N 64’37.68W – Magens Bay, St Thomas, USVI, 18’21.90N 64’55.41W via Christmas Cove, St Thomas, USVI
The UK used to be obsessed with its trade deficit. This is the difference between its exports and its imports. Every economy needs to monitor this and track what is coming in and going out. In St Croix they seem to have thrived on importing oil and the wealth that it bought and Ruffian loved this as we had deserted anchorages, amazing swimming and found interesting friendly locals. The second biggest island in the USVI’s, St Johns seems to thrive on importing tourists with their pockets filled with US dollars with predictable results.

We left our deserted desert island in St Croix, after giving Teague Bay in St Croix a flyby and deciding that it wasn’t tenable, and headed off to St Thomas to a set of islands that were not described in any of our pilot books. We specifically headed to these islands thinking that if they weren’t described then no one and most importantly no charterers, would be there. How wrong were we?

When we arrived, to our surprise, we spied a couple of local ‘party boats’ tied up to balls in the bay. No problem we thought, they’ll go home soon and leave us to it. Within moments they were joined by many, many more, all disgorging their cargo of pasty white noisy cruise ship tourists into the water. This couldn’t be any more different from our haven of Buck Island on St Croix if it tried and we simply couldn’t deal with sights we were seeing without resorting to either the sick bowl or a shotgun.

Thankfully, that night, we found ourselves, after a short beat, at Christmas Cove and just like Christmas its delights were saved for the morning, but lasted all day. We swum with Barracuda’s, or more accurately they swum with us and Fiona even managed to swin next to some rays as they gracefully powered around Ruffian. This was once again the VI’s that we’d read about and hoped to find.

After flying by the capital of St Thomas to use painfully expensive supermarkets with their bizarre pricing structures, where beer is only $10 a case, fillet steak is only $3, but a carton of UHT milk is $5, we set off in search of places that were only mentioned in passing in our pilot books. We knew we’d be in for a bit of upwind work, the first for a while, what we didn’t bargain for however was the additional challenge that was in store for us.

As we were sailing over big waves and Ruffian was behaving like a bucking bronco, Fiona popped her head into the cockpit and said, ‘It smells of poo and pee down here’. Now, if Iain had been downstairs at this point there would have been no surprise that there was a funny smell, but that was not the case. What Fiona could smell wasn’t like poo and pee, it was poo and pee. We had a choker valve toilet malfunction and now Fiona, with her cast iron stomach, set to sorting it out. She frantically mopped up the stinking water whilst both dealing with a bucking boat and navigating Iain past rocks and reefs and into a massive bay with only 2 other boats in sight and miles of perfect sand. This just goes to show how great girls are at multitasking.

Before we could enjoy the perfect bay we had to get to the bottom (sorry for the pun) of the toilet issue. Just like when Iain had to clean the inside of the holding tank Fiona made herself scarce and left Iain to set about taking the heads to bits. Suffice to say, inside the pumps Iain found a couple of years worth of ‘deposits’ that where making the toilet leak. After much gagging, scraping and chipping away, the heads were back into full working order and ready once again, like the bank of England, to take deposits.

With the imports and exports of St Croix and St Thomas examined we’ll be moving on and getting to the bottom of the economics of St John. This entire island was a gift to the USA by The Rockerfella’s and is now one massive marine park.

After many unsuccessful attempts at getting his bread to rise, Iain uses Fiona’s trick with his yeast. It didn’t work! We think we’ve managed to kill the yeast.


Ampie working his magic with his new regulator. Well done Ampie.


Whoa. The shock of crowds. That’s all a bit different from St Croix. Time to hightail it out of The Capella Isles and find somewhere else.


The joys of keeping everything working. Time to service the winches and the windlass.


And chaos ensues downstairs.


That’s more like it. Azure water and great snorkelling.


Development opportunity on the island off Charlotte Amalie.


Tree tastic. We can now identify many indigenous trees including the Puerto Rico Royal Palm.


The stunning natural Magens bay.


With viewpoint and everything.


Massive anchoring area and a tiny swimming one. That’s the right way round.



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Vessel Name: Ruffian
Vessel Make/Model: Sadler 34
Hailing Port: Newcastle
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Created 29 January 2016

Who we are.

Port: Newcastle