Tern's Travels

Pacific Seacraft 37

Vessel Name: Tern
Vessel Make/Model: Pacific Seacraft Crealock 37
Hailing Port: Falmouth UK
Crew: Larry & Manice Stabbins
18 April 2018 | Falmouth, Cornwall to Camaret, Brittany
06 September 2017 | Islay, Argyl, Scotland, 54.58N 005.57W
28 August 2017 | Tobermory, Mull, Scotland. 56deg.25.1N, 005deg,30W
28 August 2017 | Caledonian Canal and thereabouts
21 August 2017 | Fair Isle, 59deg N
21 August 2017 | Shetland Isles, 60deg N
19 August 2017 | North Sea
03 August 2017 | Alesund
03 August 2017 | Kristiansund to Alesund
27 July 2017 | Trondheim area
25 July 2017 | Torget, view of hole from 65.22N 12.01E
25 July 2017 | Alsten and the Arctic Circle
25 July 2017 | Svartisen Glacier, Norway
25 July 2017 | Vestoford, Norway
12 July 2017 | Tranoy, Norway
06 July 2017 | Tromso, Northern Norway
06 July 2017 | Bjarkoy, Northern Norway
Recent Blog Posts
18 April 2018 | Falmouth, Cornwall to Camaret, Brittany

Channel Crossing to France

Wednesday 11th April

17 April 2018 | Falmouth UK

Tern Turns South: 1- Winter 2017/18 in Falmouth

We hauled out in the Rustler yard's hard, as usual, for the winter and managed to fill the time with maintenance jobs. There was a niggley leak on the portside of the saloon which we eventually tracked to the caulking under the toe rail. In the course of discovering this Larry recaulked much of the [...]

25 September 2017 | Irish Sea

Homeward Bound: Northern Ireland to Cornwall, late August

After short walk, showers and catching up with washing at the very pleasant small marina in Glenarm, next day we caught the tide for a fast sail down to Bangor and went into the enormous, very expensive car park of a Marina at Bangor at the entrance to Belfast Loch. We left the next day for Ardglass [...]

06 September 2017 | Islay, Argyl, Scotland, 54.58N 005.57W

Islay and Argyl: whisky galore

Pilgrimage to Islay, August 18 - 24th

28 August 2017 | Tobermory, Mull, Scotland. 56deg.25.1N, 005deg,30W

Tobermory, Mull

We hope to visit the west coast of Scotland and the Hebrides and, hopefully, the Orkney islands on a future trip. Meanwhile here is a picture of Tobermory from the harbour, with

28 August 2017 | Caledonian Canal and thereabouts

Caledonian Canal east to west and on to Mull

Caledonian Canal, 10-14 August, Loch Ness defeats us and Mull, 15 - 19, even more rain and wind.

Channel Crossing to France

18 April 2018 | Falmouth, Cornwall to Camaret, Brittany
Manice, good wind, lovely stars
Wednesday 11th April
Larry's diligent analysis of all available weather forecasts led us to Wednesday morning at 10.00 to be the best time to set off. We were expecting light wind from NE/E so we allowed for a 5 knot average speed, intending not to arrive at the Chanel du Four before 0300, at the start of the south going tide. Preferably we would arrive at dawn, about 0600.
Early on Wednesday it was cloudy and rainy but by the appointed time the sun was shining, though the wind was just too light to sail so we motored south until the wind filled when we were level with the Lizard lighthouse. From then on we had the most marvellous beam reach all day, with dolphins, sunshine and slight sea. The only trouble was Tern likes going 7 knots so we were rapidly getting ahead of our schedule. Still, you never know when the wind will fail so we put in a reef, rolled in the staysail and reefed the foresail and managed to slow down to 6 knots. The night was beautiful, no moon but plenty of stars and not too cold. Fortunately the wind dropped as we approached France and we slowed down to 2-3 knots and managed to get to the Chanel at around 0300, though it was dark and becoming misty. With no wind we put on the motor and got through uneventfully, arriving in Camaret in time for breakfast then a sleep. First call ashore: shower, second call, fish shop. Ca va bien!

Tern Turns South: 1- Winter 2017/18 in Falmouth

17 April 2018 | Falmouth UK
Manice Stabbins early spring 2018
We hauled out in the Rustler yard's hard, as usual, for the winter and managed to fill the time with maintenance jobs. There was a niggley leak on the portside of the saloon which we eventually tracked to the caulking under the toe rail. In the course of discovering this Larry recaulked much of the deck and rebedded many a screw and Tern does seem to be more water tight. We also had the cooker (now nearly 25 years old) serviced and Larry insulated the engine room so motoring is far quieter now.
The house was booked for holiday lets from Easter onwards so we had to be back in the water and out of the house before the end of March, still quite cold, wet and windy but with some promisingly warm days. All in all , we were happy to be back on board and ready to go so early in the season.
The Easter holiday brought Roger and Rosa (son and his girlfriend) to Cornwall. Stella and Mungo (daughter and boyfriend) had moved into a flat in Falmouth which gave us a family land base so we had a sociable week before leaving the relative homeliness of Falmouth marina and launch off south. We checked that all was well at home after it's first week of rental; we have new caretakers and a new gardener, fortunately all was fine and we are hoping it will remain so in our abscence, with many people enjoying it over the summer.
Our first sortee was to our home waters of the Helford river and a night at anchor off Tremayne Quay. This is one of the few places we've found where there are no shore lights or dwellings visible, no phone signal and no internet, just the tide, trees, birds and stars. However, as we needed to watch the weather to find a good Chanel crossing window, off we went back to the relatively connected anchorage at Trebah/Durgan and found there was due to be some suitable NE/E light wind for a day or so in a couple of days: April 11/12. We did a sail trail by going back to St Mawes and we seemed to be able to remember how to do it so after a couple nights at anchor, off we went to France.









Homeward Bound: Northern Ireland to Cornwall, late August

25 September 2017 | Irish Sea
Larry Stabbins, fair much of the time.
After short walk, showers and catching up with washing at the very pleasant small marina in Glenarm, next day we caught the tide for a fast sail down to Bangor and went into the enormous, very expensive car park of a Marina at Bangor at the entrance to Belfast Loch. We left the next day for Ardglass but, as seems to be becoming more frequent, with a fair tide and good forecast, changed plans and headed for Holyhead, instead thinking we'd be ok entering after dark as it's a big commercail harbour. However at 2300 off Holyhead with a big foul tide and no wind we changed plans again and decided to carry on to Fishguard. We could see a frontal system approaching the northern Irish Sea while the SW of England, and Cornwall in particular, was about to have a heatwave, so getting south asap seemed a good plan.

Fishguard was a surprisingly nice anchorage for a day sitting out the strong south westerly winds and though we didn't go ashore, it was WARM! and SUNNY! Next day we left at 5am to catch the tide around St David's Head knowing we had three tide gates to negotiate before Falmouth. All went well and we had a good fast sail as far as Land's End where we arrived at Longhip's Light around 1am with no wind, so back to motoring again for the final leg. We arrived at Durgan on the Helford River in time for lunch and a very peaceful night at anchor in our favourite local anchorage.

Overall we had a another wonderful summer. Norway is spectacular and stunningly beautiful in places, the Norwegians were friendly, helpful, generally lovely and seem to have huge respect for seafaring people; fishermen would come to the boat just to talk. The midnight sun was wonderful and the weather generally pretty good though with such good forecasting now it's easy to avoid the bad bits. The sailing is pretty easy really, bouyage is excellent so the tortuous passages through the skerries are just challenging enough to be satisfying. The down side is the vast amount of motoring. The leads are too confined for beating and Tern isn't a boat for short tacking anyway so when there's no wind we motored to make progress.Norway is also eye-wateringly expensive and the food is some what restricted. I was expecting lots of great seafood but what you get is lots of cod. So we're going south next. We really enjoyed Shetland and Fair Isle and would like to explore the Outer Hebrides but maybe later.

Islay and Argyl: whisky galore

06 September 2017 | Islay, Argyl, Scotland, 54.58N 005.57W
Manice, pesky SW winds when trying to go SW
Pilgrimage to Islay, August 18 - 24th
The weather finally settled sufficiently to allow us to dash to Oban on the afternoon tide of Friday 18th . We just had time to replenish our stores and calculate the tidal gates before the journey south. There was no favourable wind forecast, just a lack of wind on Sunday 20th then ceaseless SW wind for the foreseeable future. So at 0630 we reluctantly motored south with a strong tide helping us through the Sound of Luing. Indeed, we hit a top speed of over 10 knots and made such good progress that we covered the entire 60NMs to Port Ellen on Islay in the one journey, finding ourselves with no more than a knot of tide against us as we passed Jura. Islay to Glenarm in N Ireland, across the North Channel is 32NM and so can be done on one tide making Islay the ideal place to await a weather window as there is so much to see and do there. I say "so much" but it mainly involves visiting one or more of the 8 distillers of the finest single malt whisky in the world.
We like to get the feel of the places we visit but Islay was more of a pilgrimage and we duly booked into the Lagavulin tour and spent a wonderful afternoon comparing and contrasting the whisky distilling process with that of Tobermory, our warm-up distillery. When it came to the tasting at the end of the tour we were introduced to half a dozen Lagavulins and allowed to choose which one we would like to try as our dram. Larry chose the 16yr old classic as he just wanted to be sure that was the one he wanted to buy. I tried a special Festival edition which was utterly delicious and I found out, when we went to the shop, that it was also their most expensive product at £128 a bottle! They even gave us the dram glasses engraved with the Lagavulin logo; a great value tour for £6 each!
We could have visited more distilleries but we didn't want to confuse our memories of the Lagavulin experience, so we took a grand bus ride to the north side of Islay and gazed across to Jura, which has to be one of the least populated, inhabited islands in Argyl, just mountains and deer forests (and of course, a distillery). After a good walk we were able to catch the bus to Bowmore , chatting all the while with a native granny of Islay, covering health, education, agriculture and of course, the Whisky industry. It doesn't take long to walk around Bowmore but we found the Harbour Inn had a scrumptious menu so treated ourselves to lunch. The bus ride back to Port Ellen crosses the peat bogs which have enough peat to maintain the whisky industry's requirements for smoking the malted barley for at least 15,000 years!
Tides and wind were finally favourable to get to Glenarm on Thursday 24th August. The passage involved another dawn start and the wind was just too far south of west to be able to sail but we motor sailed and with spring tides to help us, we broke our speed record and went at over 11 knots for about an hour. Farewell Scotland, hope we return soon.

Tobermory, Mull

28 August 2017 | Tobermory, Mull, Scotland. 56deg.25.1N, 005deg,30W
Manice, more rain and gales
We hope to visit the west coast of Scotland and the Hebrides and, hopefully, the Orkney islands on a future trip. Meanwhile here is a picture of Tobermory from the harbour, with
its iconic colourful buildings along the waterfront.

Caledonian Canal east to west and on to Mull

28 August 2017 | Caledonian Canal and thereabouts
Manice, SW gales
Caledonian Canal, 10-14 August, Loch Ness defeats us and Mull, 15 - 19, even more rain and wind.

Although we were disappointed to not go around Cape Wrath and though the Minch, on the other hand there is great incentive to return to Scotland and spend a whole summer in the Western Isles, Hebrides and visit the Orkney Isles. The forecast was for depressions and relentless SW wind so even the canal was a bit of a challenge as it goes due SW down the Great Glen. By now, being old hands on the Caly, we were prepared for the locks and swing bridges and we planned to spend the first transit night at Fort Augustus and catch up with our friends Fergus and Mole on Friday 11th.Once through the first morning of lock passing we started motoring down Loch Ness into a stiff SW wind. It's very shallow at the NE end of the lock and after spending half an hour driving into waves and wind and making only 2-3 knots despite a roaring engine we gave up and turned back to Dockgarroch. After two Atlantic crossings and a return trip to northern Norway, in which time we never once had to turn back, Loch Ness had defeated us! We humbly stayed in Dochgarroch until Saturday and F&M were able to visit and have a Norwegian lunch on board Tern (Fergus lived in Norway for 9 years so appreciated the typical food). In the afternoon we were taken for a DRIVE in their MOTOR CAR to visit a Bronze Age burial ground: beautiful, fascinating and nowhere near the sea! F&M had evening commitments so in the evening we treated ourselves to dinner in the local restaurant which specialised in Scottish food, absolutely delicious and great value. It was so nice to be able to eat out, which we found completely unaffordable in Norway.
Fortunately the gale went through and we were able to cross Loch Ness on the Saturday when the highlight was spotting a Golden eagle diving for a fish. The rest of the canal crossing was straight forward if rather wet and windy.
The options for where to go once on the west coast were many and varied, but with a brisk SE wind and another gale due we made for Tobermory on Mull. It's a wonderful harbour and the main town on Mull so we had plenty to amuse ourselves in the three days we were there. Sadly the weather was so bad that we didn't see much of the rest of the island. However, the distillery is a spit from the marina and a tour of it got us in practice for the forthcoming trip to Islay which we were promising ourselves.
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