16 October 2020 | 28 46'N:14 31'W,
15 October 2020 | 30 29'N:13 11'W,
14 October 2020 | 33 09'N:12 19'W,
13 October 2020 | 36 32'N:10 42'W,
10 September 2020
09 September 2020 | 41 54.391'N:9 19.298'W,
31 August 2020 | 43 49.8'N:8 17.990'W,
30 August 2020 | 46 45.8'N:007 46.6'W, Bay of Biscay
29 August 2020 | 48 36.017'N:6 14.056'W,
29 August 2020 | 50 13.37'N:3 34.7'W, English Channel
27 August 2020 | 50 21.031'N:3 34.384'W, Dartmouth
06 August 2020 | Hamble Point Marina
18 November 2019
05 November 2019
16 August 2019
13 August 2019
17 December 2018 | The Solent
30 November 2017 | Soldiers Point Marina
28 November 2017 | Soldiers Point Marina

Playa Francseca

16 October 2020 | 28 46'N:14 31'W,
We made landfall yesterday at Isla Aleganza, a protected marine preserve off the north end of Lanzarote. A very spectacular sight as we approached these rocky, barren uninhibited and unlit volcanic peaks at dawn. We spent the day at Playa Francseca on Isla Graciosa, a pretty but rather busier anchorage than expected... We ended up anchored in between some naturalist Germans (seems it's always those that should wear clothes that don't) and a rather chirpy Spanish boat that had the world's smallest dinghy, endlessly ferrying their crew, one by one, to the beach and back.

We took advantage of being at anchor in clear water to check the Macglide vinyl silicone hull wrap. There are some issues with starboard waterline sealing that we need to address but overall impressive. There's some minimal algae that remains on the hull that somehow wasn't polished away after we left Cascais. That removes pretty easily and there's no hard growth - barnacles, weed, etc - at all.

We slipped out in the late afternoon for the final run to Las Palmas. A cracking sail under spinnaker running down the west coast of Lanzarote until the wind faded and now under motor again.

On the technical side, the Paguro 2000 generator is finally working after yet another expensive inverter had been fitted before we left PortugaL. Mystery as to why Zephyr has had these repeated failures but net result is that we can charge the batteries but daren't turn on the water heater...

In spite of the cold showers, crew is all in good form and, for the overnight run to Gran Canaria, bolstered this evening by a generous helping of the Colonel's world-famous prize-winning chicken curry and more than a couple of very cold beers.

Calmer with frustrating wind

15 October 2020 | 30 29'N:13 11'W,
Micky St Aldwyn
The wonderful pattern of life aboard has been fully re-established, with everyone diligently adhering to their time slots and comfortably adapting to the 6 hour day and 4 hour night watch schedule.
The wind started to die on us yesterday evening, after the spinnaker run, and we motored through the night after David's delicious lamb tagine and flambéed pineapple. We steered away from the rhumb line in the hope of getting an angle which would allow us to fly the kite again.

Wind did appear after breakfast but not sufficiently reliably to warrant the spinnaker, so we made do with white sails. As we head towards dusk, we have been forced to turn on the engine, once again creating rolling challenges for down-under Master Chef Nico, pictured, who has been designated the culinary creator for tonight.

We expect to reach Playa Francesca (wish you were here) in time for breakfast and an inspection of our Macglide covered hull to see if all the molluscs who had appeared in Cascais harbour have simply fallen away as described in the brochure.
Morale is high and it has been a very enjoyable passage with few mechanical challenges, a great crew and some excellent meals!

Papaya for breakfast and other stories from the galley

14 October 2020 | 33 09'N:12 19'W,
Chris Copeland
We are now into Day 3 and the blue water of the Atlantic is a marked change from my last passage on Zephyr at the end of August when we crossed the grey waters of Channel and headed across the Bay of Biscay to La Corona.

The seas have settled down and with it the warmth has returned as we head for the Island of Isla Graciosa situated just off the northern tip of Lanzarote. The island features four volcanic cones and some lovely achorages. We are heading for the south of the island into a bay appropriately named Playa Francesca. On current progress we hope to reach there by midday on Friday for a lunch time stop and perhaps a swim, before setting off for an overnight sail into Gran Canaria.

Today started well and then got better. Breakfast was not quite up to Squadron standards, but the papaya was quite delicious, even though David has an unfortunate word for it, allowing Nico to have a double portion, well deserved after starving himself for 48 hours. Then with the easing of the wind strength, it finally became time to christen the new big Zee spinnaker. All went well with a perfect launch masterminded by Micky on the bow (where else?).

So we enjoyed a couple of hours of helming with the new spinnaker, but all good things have got to come to an end, so we are now back on white sails and David is in the galley. Let it not be said that he is a prima donna, but the lack of an aubergine, courgette, lamb, saffron and most other ingrediants he asked for, has rather ruined his Moroccan tagine. All I can say is that sitting here at the chart table, in spite of the challenges, the delicious smell of cooking bodes well for this evening.

In front of us we expect little change to the conditions although conditions are overcast so that had better change by Friday morning. It remains for me to thank both Michael and Micky for once again inviting me on board the lovely Zephyr, as I celebrate over 12,000 nautical miles of sailing on board her.

On the way to somewhere in the Canaries

13 October 2020 | 36 32'N:10 42'W,
After a mad rush getting all sorted yesterday - including a rather tasty lunch courtesy of Micky's good mates Jorge & Laura - we finally managed to slip away at 4pm. As we left the harbour we found ourselves threading our way through innumerable lobster pots that lay in our path for over 20 miles. Marked by flags �- that were challenging to spot as they were being blown away from us �- the white polystyrene floats were almost impossible to see until we zipped past, having more than a few close shaves as we skimmed past spotting them at the last second.

The wind built as we cleared the land and we soon found ourselves charging along with two reefs and a building sea. After a not very restful night, the wind is now moderating some. We've shaken out the reefs and are gybing downwind to our destination...

Exactly where that is we haven�'t quite decided. Picture is of the Colonel checking the navigator�'s navigation.

A whale of a time....

10 September 2020
There was a lot of local chit chat and warnings on the VHF about a pod of orcas attacking sailboats in the areas we've been sailing in. Stories even made the international press (The Tale of Killer Whales), so it was with trepidation that we watched some whales we could see in the distance slowly closing with Zephyr. With some relief it turned out to be a pod of around 10 pilot whales that came very close and lingered for some time. A very special moment.

To Cascais on an oily sea...

09 September 2020 | 41 54.391'N:9 19.298'W,
After nipping around Finisterre, we hid out in Muros to avoid the predicted NE gale. 3 days later we slipped south in still blustery conditions with the wind gusting to 45 knots. An overnight in Sanxenso where the wind finally petered out and then on to Cies. Now heading to Portugal under engine with the odd mini porpoise for company.

Heading for La Coruna...

31 August 2020 | 43 49.8'N:8 17.990'W,
We have had a mixed 24hrs, with the initial strong northerlies that Zephyr romped and revelled in dying away to leave mixed light airs that necessitated some motor-sailing over night. This afternoon we have also had a lovely sail with a breeze on the port beam. The truth (and relief to be honest!) is that the most exciting sailing was in the English Channel, with Biscay proving remarkably benign.

There has been a surprising number of porpoises and dolphins during the trip, which we hope signifies the health of this part of the Atlantic.

It is a beautiful evening as we approach the dramatic peaks of Galicia, tumbling into the Bay of Biscay.

It has been a wonderful trip, with top crewmates all, so thank you for including me and happy cruising in Las Rias en Galicia!


Into the Bay

30 August 2020 | 46 45.8'N:007 46.6'W, Bay of Biscay
Chris Copeland
Well its a great plesure to be on board Zephyr once more, this time for a significant passage to position the boat for new adventures, starting with an exploration of Galicia and its islands.

Today has been a complete contrast to yesterday where we had some horrendous, confused sea conditions as we rounded Ushant. Now we have reached "the shelf" where the depth has dropped off from 100m deep to over one thousand metres. With it has come smooth seas and a great deal of sun, so by comparison it was been a leisurely day, with time to catch up on sleep and do those chores which emerge after a few days at sea. There have been sightings of dolphins and on one occasion they came to hunt, not play. It is amazing how you can easily spot the difference as they twist and turn in packs, looking for breakfast.

The forecast for our final 200 nm is favourable with hopes of a final flourish under spinnaker, the Code 1 to be exact. The new Code 4 (Big Zee) must await some more days before it makes its debut.

Chris & Richie will be leaving Zephyr after this important first leg as other committments beckon, even a regatta to defend a cup. But is has been a huge pleasure to be on board, Thank you Michael, thank you Micky, and skipper David for a memorable passage.


29 August 2020 | 48 36.017'N:6 14.056'W,
A confused and messy sea as we rounded Ushant late this evening in a 25 knot northerly. The neph has trip record of 17 knots set as he headed largely in the right direction... That record may hold as the wind is slowly fading and a rolly night beckons.

Heading to Ushant

29 August 2020 | 50 13.37'N:3 34.7'W, English Channel
Forecast way better today - gale has gone through and northerly 25 knots predicted. Left Dartmouth at dawn and should be off Ushant by midnight....
Vessel Name: Zephyr
Vessel Make/Model: Shipman 50
Hailing Port: Lymington
Home Page: www.yachtzephyr.com
Zephyr's Photos - Main
the boat
6 Photos
Created 22 August 2014