Emerald Tales

Currently in Portugal after 7 years in the Mediterranean

18 July 2011 | Gairloch Harbour
17 July 2011 | Gairloch Harbour
14 July 2011 | Rona to Gairloch: 18nm travelled
11 July 2011 | East Loch Tarbert, Harris to Rona (Acarseid Mhor) via Shiant Islands: 45nm travelled
10 July 2011 | Loch Maddy, N. Uist to East Loch Tarbert, Harris: 25nm travelled
04 July 2011 | Loch Skipport, S.Uist to Loch Maddy, N.Uist: 21nm travelled
03 July 2011 | Loch Harport, Skye to Loch Skipport, S.Uist: 31nm travelled
02 July 2011 | Loch Scavaig, Skye to Loch Harport, Skye: 24nm travelled
01 July 2011 | Inverie to Loch Scavaig; 24nm travelled
30 June 2011 | Arisaig to Inverie, Loch Nevis: 16nm travelled
28 June 2011 | Loch Drumbuie to Arisaig: 31nm travelled
25 June 2011 | Tobermory to Loch Drumbuie: 6nm travelled
23 June 2011 | Ardtornish to Tobermory: 13nm travelled
22 June 2011 | Oban to Ardtornish Bay:11nm travelled
21 June 2011 | Puilladobhrain to Oban: 6nm travelled
19 June 2011 | Jura to Puilladobhrain: 36nm travelled
16 June 2011 | Islay to Craighouse, Jura: 22nm travelled
12 June 2011 | Rathlin to Port Ellen, Islay: 25nm travelled
10 June 2011 | Glenarm to Rathlin: 24nm travelled
09 June 2011 | Near Glenarm, Antrim, Northern Ireland

Why Did We Have An Overheating Propeller Shaft?

23 February 2024 | Porto Santo
Nichola Wright
In December, an overheating propeller shaft had necessitated our return to Porto Santo during our passage south to the Canary Islands. We had been slowly motoring for under two hours, with a forecast of north east winds picking up later in the day. Colin had been checking the prop shaft, which was warm but not worryingly hot. Then, we increased the engine revs. Almost instantly we heard a bad sound from inside and promptly stopped the engine. This time when Colin went to check the prop shaft, it was burning hot to touch.

Due to Emerald's design, there was no way to safely investigate the drive train without having her lifted out of the water again. The boatyard in Porto Santo is small and in high demand, but we were offered a place potentially in early January. In reality, early January turned into late January, but beggars can't be choosers. We were just very grateful that a space was available as we were reluctant to travel elsewhere without knowing what the problem was. Further use of the prop shaft could exacerbate the damage and lead to water ingress.

After waiting not so patiently, a place in the yard became available and we able to investigate and fix the propeller issues.

Read all about it here on our web site.

We Need New Sailboat Batteries: Lithium or Lead Acid?

02 February 2024 | Porto Santo
Nichola Wright
Back in October we were basking in the glory of Emerald's successful launch from the boatyard, but unknown to us, there was a problem brewing with our sailboat batteries.

We'd last replaced the power bank in early 2017 using 6 x 6V Trojan T125 lead acid deep cycle/traction batteries. They led a very pampered life with monthly checks and top ups with water. We also rotated them once a year to evenly distribute the loads on the lead cells. We'd spent the last 16 months plugged in to a plentiful power supply, so they hadn't really had had much to do. We expected to get at least another year of use from them and had a plan for a Lithium LiFePO4 upgrade.

However, as with most plans, the batteries had different ideas to ours. Just two weeks after launching we had to face the reality that we had at least one failure.

To read the full blog, please click here to go to our website.

Festive Fun in Funchal and Porto Santo

22 January 2024 | Madeira
Nichola Wright
Following the disappointment of our failed attempt to leave Porto Santo, we were both feeling very fed up with the sailing life. What we needed was a break from the boat and some distraction while we waited for a place in the boatyard. So, to cheer ourselves up, we went on a search for some festive fun in Funchal.

There was nothing we could do to fix the propeller shaft bearings problem until a space became available in the yard. Once lifted, we'll be able to pull the propeller shaft out and inspect it and the two bearings. They were only replaced two years ago, but we'll replace them both just to be sure. We already have one spare bearing onboard, but how to get the second?

To read the full blog, please click here to visit our blog.

Leaving Porto Santo - Our Hotel California

15 December 2023 | Porto Santo
Nichola Wright
Porto Santo has become our Hotel California, the place from where however hard we try, we just can't leave. Or for fellow fans of The League of Gentlemen, it is now our Royston Vasey. But at long last the day had arrived where we were finally leaving Porto Santo for destinations south.

We'd arrived 18 months ago with a broken engine. Now after a rollercoaster ride of emotions as we'd rebuilt the engine, we were finally ready to leave under our own steam.

To read how our departure went, please click here to visit our website.

Emerald's Launch From the Boatyard: The Moment of Truth

01 December 2023 | Porto Santo
Nichola Wright
"Are you feeling excited or nervous?" I asked Colin as we left the harbour office on a Monday afternoon, having made the arrangement for Emerald's launch tomorrow.

"Both" he replied. "Me too!"

We learnt that it is possible to feel so incredibly excited by a moment whilst at the same time feeling absolutely terrified. Emerald's launch would be the moment when we would learn whether all our work over the last year was good or not.

If everything went well we'd be floating not just on water but also on a euphoric high, celebrating the successful completion of what at times felt like an impossible ask. Or, it could end in failure, with a sad return to the boatyard and an even longer postponement of our dreams. I tried not to think too much of the former in fear of jinxing it, whilst being absolutely terrified by the latter.

But we didn't have too much time to dwell on the bad as we now had to cram two days of final prep into half a day. Click here to read more on our blog page.
Vessel Name: Emerald
Vessel Make/Model: Kelly Peterson 44
Hailing Port: No fixed abode
Crew: Colin 'Skip' Wright, Nichola Wright
About: One from Northern Ireland, one from Yorkshire, UK
Extra: Emerald has been our home since 2004. We've sailed around the UK, the western Baltic and have spent 7 years in the Med. We're currently in Portugal, planning a refit. Lot's more information about us and the boat can be found at www.yachtemerald.com
Home Page: https://www.yachtemerald.com/