Cruising in Greece

Sailing TB from the Villaine River in 2009 and now cruising Greece in 2011.

Vessel Name: Tobin Bronze
Vessel Make/Model: 35ft cold moulded plywood sloop
Hailing Port: Bristol
Crew: Peter and Judy Ward
Launched in 1985. After one year sailing in the Bristol Channel, TB has been sailed for 17,700 plus miles by Peter, Judy, Charlotte, Ben and Sofie - firstly based in Dartmouth and then in South Brittany. [...]
03 July 2016 | Agmar Marine Boatyard. Partheni, Island of Leros
30 October 2015
01 October 2014 | Kilada to Orei
25 November 2013
19 July 2013
26 June 2013 | Koilada
01 December 2012
01 November 2012 | Koilada
29 September 2011
10 September 2011
15 June 2011 | British Columbia, Canada
20 August 2010 | Ria de Vigo
28 October 2009 | Cangas
17 September 2009
Recent Blog Posts
21 June 2017

Dodecanese Islands - Spring 2017

Judy and I arrived back at Leros airport at 08:15hrs on Wed 10 May 2017. We had a three and a half hour wait at Athens for the small commuter plane to Leros. A long wait but we enjoyed the views of various islands on the one hour flight to Leros. The boatyard had arranged for a hire car to be waiting [...]

03 July 2016 | Agmar Marine Boatyard. Partheni, Island of Leros

Orei to Leros, Summer 2016

Judy and I returned to Greece on 17 April 2016. Sofie and one year old Edith met up with us at Heathrow and we flew off together. We picked up a hire car at Athens airport and drove to Orei on Evia Island, crossing on the Arkitsas to Edipsos ferry.

01 October 2014 | Kilada to Orei

Summer 2014

19 July 2013

An Island Too Far.

For the first trip of the summer, I planned a nice little cruise down the west side of the Argolic Gulf, past Cape Maleas to north west Crete and along the coast to Iraklion. We were to meet up with Kevin and Lesley there and then continue the loop back to Koilada via Thira (Santorini) and Milos in the [...]

Biscay crossing

04 June 2009 | Ribadeo, Galicia
Monday 01 June 2009. Delivery trip to Galicia, Spain.

Crew:- Peter, Sofie, Roger Eaton and John Wakley. Sofie was freshly returned from a RYA Day Skipper sailing course and volunteered to be Navigator for the trip.

We caught the 07:47hrs train from Bradford-on-Avon to Southampton airport and a flight at 10:35hrs to Rennes. Ricky (from the B&B in La Roche Bernard) had arranged for his mate to pick us up at Rennes and drive us to Port de Foleux where we boarded Tobin Bronze. By 15:30hrs we had moved down the river and were alongside in the marina at La Roche Bernard.

The original plan was to do a quick supermarket dash for provisions but that didn't take into consideration the fact that it was the Pentecost public holiday in France and everything was closed. So we had to wait till Tuesday morning before shopping.

After stocking up on provisions for 5 days, we motored down the Villaine to Port Arzal, topped up on diesel and locked out at 11:00hrs. Weather was bright and sunny with a good forecast for the next week. By 13:00hrs we were out in Quiberon Bay in a light easterly breeze and at 14:30hrs, up went the spinnaker for a nice run across the bay.

The wind died completely by 17:15hrs as we exited the Teignose channel at the end of Quiberon peninsula. We motored around the north end of Belle Isle and set course in a calm sea under motor for Ribadeo on 216deg magnetic, distance 279 nautical miles.

Just before sunset, which was at 22:02hrs, the wind started to kick in again from the north-east as forecast and we were able to make sail under genoa and full main. However to keep the genoa filled we had to sail under our lay line. The wind remained steady overnight at 10 to15 knots, which kept TB hurtling along at a good rate on a broad reach.

The seastate and good breeze provided an easy motion which was very gentle on the crew. Nobody was seasick except for the skipper who felt a bit queasy while making a cup of tea at 04:30hrs. But once back on deck with a cup of tea inside me I felt fine almost immediately.

After the moon set at around 03:30hrs on the first night, the great visibility and complete darkness allowed a brilliant display of the Milky Way, Venus and the stars.

We worked a two hour on, six hour off watch system with a longish hand-over between watches. Roger and Sofie shared the cooking duties. Judy had provided us with a casserole and fruit cake. So all in all we were well rested and well fed. However when Roger produced a pasta dish in the washing up bowl, nobody was particularly interested when I offered to give details of some of the different purposes we had used that bowl for in the past.

Gourmet meal?

At 12:30hrs Wed, we had a brief visit from a few dolphins but they didn't stay around long. The wind was decreasing during the afternoon and at 14:45 we flew the spinnaker in 7kts of apparent wind. But at 17:00hrs, when the apparent wind was down to 3kts, we dropped the spinnaker.

Position at 17:00hrs, Wed 03 June:- 45deg 23.0min N; 004deg 57.77min W;
Distance covered:- 179.75 nM at 6.01 kts.
Distance to go 137.1nMiles

At 20:00hrs, we could see high cirrus cloud to the south, first sign of an approaching front. Once again this was in line with the last forecast we had received. The barometer had only dropped a couple of millibars over the preceding 24hrs; so it was nothing to worry about.

Weather front

With the motor on we made up ground to the west in the hope that we might be able to make sail under a westerly wind after the front passed. On Thursday morning, in damp mainly overcast conditions we did shake out the sails for a few hours but there really wasn't enough wind to make decent progress. We ended up motoring for the rest of the voyage in much the same conditions.

At 09:30hrs, position approx 44deg 31min N, 006deg 17min west , 3 long finned pilot whales crossed our track quite close to the stern. Then at 10:30hrs was the high light of the trip when an enormous pod of dolphins closed in on us from all directions. There were hundreds of them and I suspect that they were hunting as a pack. Some of them then played around the boat for at least 15 minutes while the rest were feeding all around us. What a display! There were a couple that we kept identifying - one with a broken dorsal fin and another with an unusual set of "eyebrows".

Distinctive dolphins

There are some more images in the Photo Gallery.

A couple of hours later we saw 4 or 5 more pilot whales 500 metres away slowly passing us in the opposite directions.

After that, Biscay was once again a very empty place. In total we saw only 4 ships in the distance and overtook 1 fishing boat.

Ship at sunrise

The autopilot took us straight into the Ria at Ribadeo and by 20:15hrs, Thursday 04 June, we were alongside in the marina where there was plenty of room. Distance logged was 344 nMiles after 57.25 hours, average speed 6kts. It was an easy trip with the only downside that we had to motor for a total of 36 hours. When we did have wind it was from astern and when the wind died, the seas were glassy calm.


Tobin Bronze's Photos - Main
Photos 1 to 3 of 3
Tobin Bronze going out in the 1967 Melbourne Cup.
Sept 2017. Dodecanese Islands
17 Photos
Created 20 October 2017
Dodecanese Islands
23 Photos
Created 24 June 2017
Cruising from Orei. Evia to Leros in the Dodcanese in May, June
18 Photos
Created 30 October 2016
Launch from Orei, sail north to Thessaloniki, around the Khalkidhiki paninsula and Mt Athos to Nea Peramos.
17 Photos
Created 14 December 2015
22 Photos
Created 15 October 2014
Re-launch in Kilada to Orei, Evia in early July
16 Photos
Created 22 July 2014
13 Photos
Created 18 May 2014
A late summer cruise to the northern Cyclades
18 Photos
Created 20 January 2014
Cruise to Crete
11 Photos
Created 19 July 2013
Visits to Koilada May & june 2013
11 Photos
Created 9 June 2013
From Kalamata to the Argolic Gulf in July 2012
57 Photos
Created 12 January 2013
From Messolonghi to Kalamata May 2012
45 Photos
Created 10 January 2013
Italy to Zakinthos and Messolonghi
15 Photos
Created 24 November 2011
Lipari, Vulcano and Stromboli - three of the Aeolian Islands
30 Photos
Created 24 November 2011
Sardinia and Sicily Sept 2011
19 Photos
Created 24 November 2011
Sailing from Cartagena to Sardinia
24 Photos
Created 24 November 2011
Sailing TB from Faro to Cartagena in June and July 2011
64 Photos
Created 9 August 2011
Sailing on John's boat 'Derby Lass'
20 Photos
Created 6 August 2011
Delivery trip with Woody from Vigo to Lisbon when John Q. met us. Then to Ohao where Judy replaced John for a trip up the Guardina River.
41 Photos
Created 1 October 2010
June - July in the Rias Baixas, Galicia
26 Photos
Created 8 August 2010
Six days on the "Dunmow Flitch" between Braunston and Market Harborough in April 2010.
26 Photos
Created 1 June 2010
Lay up for winter in Cangas
17 Photos
Created 27 October 2009
Newport R.I.,Cuttyhunk Island, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket
48 Photos
Created 17 September 2009
Highlights of the trip from Viveiro to Ria de Vigo.
34 Photos
Created 2 August 2009
Hugh pod of dolphins encountered 10:30hrs 04 June at approx 44º24'N; 006º32'W
18 Photos
Created 23 June 2009
Between 02 June and 04 June 2009 from La Roche Bernard to Ribadeo in Galicia, Spain
11 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 18 June 2009
Port de Foleux is about 15 miles up the Villaine River, 6 miles upstream from La Roche Bernard
4 Photos
Created 18 June 2009