14 January 2023 | 38 45.642'N:0 15.249'E, Passing Denia
02 June 2022 | 38 20.362'N:0 29.043'W, Real Club de Regatas, Alicante,Spain
01 June 2022 | 36 34'N:2 37'W, 70 miles N of Melilla, Algeria
31 May 2022 | 36 14'N:4 41'W, 35 miles W of Gibraltar
30 May 2022 | 35 28'N:09 12'W, 170 miles W of Tangiers, Morocco
29 May 2022 | 34 48'N:12 14'W, 220 miles SW of Cape St Vincent, Portugal
28 May 2022 | 33 43.9'N:14 36'W, 115 nm NE of Madeira
27 May 2022 | 32 47'N:16 30'W, 15nm SE of Porto Santo
27 May 2022 | 32 44.478'N:16 42.722'W, Quinta do Lorde marina
25 May 2022 | 34 04'N:18 41'W, 106nm NW of Madeira
24 May 2022 | 35 30'N:22 29'W, 340 miles WNW of Madeira
23 May 2022 | 36 22'N:25 01'W, 33 miles S of Ilha de Santa Maria, Azores
22 May 2022 | 36 14'N:29 09'W, 90 miles WSW of Ilha de Santa Maria, Azores
21 May 2022 | 36 21'N:30 30'W, 720nm ENE of Madeira
20 May 2022 | 36 19'N:34 51'W, 300nm SW of the Azores
19 May 2022 | 36 08'N:36 47'W, 450nm SW of the Azores
18 May 2022 | 34 48'N:39 45'W, A week from Madeira
17 May 2022 | 32 54'N:45 07'W, Still in the middle of the Atlantic
17 May 2022 | 32 54'N:45 07'W, In the middle of the Atlantic
16 May 2022 | 32 14'N:45 49'W, 1450 miles west of Madeira

On to Barcelona..

14 January 2023 | 38 45.642'N:0 15.249'E, Passing Denia
Light southerly wind pushing us slowly towards Barcelona on what might be the last sail on Zephyr...

Alicante Awaits

02 June 2022 | 38 20.362'N:0 29.043'W, Real Club de Regatas, Alicante,Spain
All good things must come to an end, but not until the skipper decided it was time to stop the boat and go for a swim, for most people for pleasure, but for the skipper it was a chance to inspect Zephyr's hull to see how the MacGlide had coped with the encounter with the fishing nets off Morocco. Happily there was no sign of damage either to the hull, the propellor nor the impellor although the MacGlide had suffered from an overly enthusiastic hull clean in Antigua.

We spent the next 16 hours under engine as the wind died to a whisper (actually a zephyr would be more appropriate) and apart from dodging a few more fishing pots, our passage to Alicante was untroubled by anything unexpected and we safely arrived into the marina at 10.00 am precisely.

So ended another wonderful passage on the mighty Zephyr and my thanks to Michael & Francesca and Micky for allowing it all to happen. Micky was much missed on board but grandfather duties must always take priority; I know that to my cost!

After note from the Skipper. Chris forgot to mention that last night was curry night and what with poppadums, garlic naan bread and some wonderful spices, the ball was once again knocked out of the park and into the next county. Chris was awarded the Zephyr Masterchef Champion for June 2022.

Drone me up, Scotty

01 June 2022 | 36 34'N:2 37'W, 70 miles N of Melilla, Algeria
After leaving Gibraltar and the excitements of our pit-stop behind, we picked up a wonderful 15-20 kn sea-breeze, broad reaching under the code Zero, zipping along the Spanish coastline with the Rock swiftly disappearing behind us - over 12 knots SOG. This was wonderful sailing, the best of the trip so far, with Zephyr in her element.

There has been a startling quantum of shipping around the Straits and along the coastline. Many of the ships appear to be just drifting along at 1-2knots with the wind. The water is fairly deep here, so the speculation is that with fuel prices so high the captains are just cutting their engines and drifting while they wait for directions or a berthing slot. It makes for quite interesting navigation, picking our way through.

As predicted, the sea-breeze died off around suppertime, but once again it was a beautiful cool, clear evening. We have barely seen a cloud in the sky and while we have not been blessed with great winds for sailing on this trip, the weather has been very kind. So, we motored all night and into this morning, when the opportunity was too good for a spot of drone-flying, the result of which is this rather splendid photograph of Zephyr becalmed in the misty Med with the rising sun reflecting in the oily surface.

Sunsets, Fishing Nets and an F1 Pit Stop

31 May 2022 | 36 14'N:4 41'W, 35 miles W of Gibraltar
As we lost the wind to much disappointment after a day of some fine sailing, we were rewarded by the stunning and unusual site of a calm Atlantic Ocean. The sea state became like glistening oil as we motored into a beautiful sunset and a night filled with the milky way and a sky full of twinkling stars.

Then as the crew slumbered in dreamland, a sudden clunk clunk clunk and a change in motor alerted the watch to all was not well on the good ship Zephyr. With fast thinking of engine off and speedy assessment, the stark reality was a maze of fishing nets laid no less than 30 miles off shore. Another crew member had heard the sound and come to support, looking around the hull and around the water line, which was equally eerie as a light mist lay across the water. We were VERY lucky not to have been sailing as we managed to back out of the net. We slowly crept through the dozens of faint flashing red and green lights and then crossed the shipping lanes earlier than expected, as dawn came upon us to light our way out and onwards to the Gibraltar straights.

Breakfast done and time to plan our pit stop to get diesel and let the spaniels (aka crew) out for a run to the supermercado for essential items. Navigating through the port full of container ships, oil and other commercial vessels, was yet another maze to be accomplished. Once parked up, with the spaniels returned with Spanish goodies, we lost the el capitan as he'd locked himself out of marina gate and with the rest of the crew hearing shouting from another boat to come and get him!! Hahahaha

We're now off again, with fair winds behind us and calm seas, trucking along at 12 knots. Champagne sailing on Zephyr at her best. Thanks Micky and Michael for the opportunity to be part of this fantastic sail.

Pig Pie

30 May 2022 | 35 28'N:09 12'W, 170 miles W of Tangiers, Morocco
There is a certain arrogance in Brits in that we expect all foreigners to speak English and that's not always the case. This has led to the odd misunderstanding, especially when provisioning. On an earlier trip Henry Faire purchased what he thought was a nice leg of lamb so was a little confounded when he found it was a whole rabbit. This trip, Chris was thrown for a loop when the minced beef he bought for his cottage pie turned out to be pork. Abandoned at the bottom of the fridge, yesterday's chef du jour used it to whip up a pig pie and quite tasty it was too.

The wind filled in at dawn and we're now running with Code 4 (FKA the Big Z). This wind should hold for most of today and then light winds are projected until at least Gibraltar. We could possibly eke out fuel we have but we're planning to top up fuel tanks at Marina Alcadesa so that when we motor, we can motor at speed. Forecast up the Mediterranean coast is for very light overnight and morning winds with a sea breeze in the afternoons.

ETA Gibraltar is tomorrow (Tuesday) mid-morning and Alicante daytime Thursday.

Penny's Fish Pie

29 May 2022 | 34 48'N:12 14'W, 220 miles SW of Cape St Vincent, Portugal
Last night fish pie was on the menu, but this was not just ordinary fish pie as there were certain essential ingredients which the girls would know about whilst the men just assume, namely a quantity of prawns, capers and L&P sauce to give it that added flavour. But is it the making of the white sauce at sea which makes up a serious challenge for the average sous chef. Thanks to some recent instruction from Penny, which included a reminder on those essential ingredients, Chris just about survived the test and comments from Richie like "knocking the ball out of the court" improved morale and made for a memorable evening.

We are now under engine in a flat sea. We had enjoyed some wonderful sailing last evening with the Skippers favourite sail, the Code Zero giving us 7-8 knots - Zephyr is so wonderful under these conditions - but by midnight the wind gods had deserted us and we were under engine again, this time with low revs to conserve fuel.

We have just finished breakfast, the Skipper's scrambled egg was faultless - I looked for egg whites but found none - whilst the croissants where a real treat. The forecast is for some wind later, the sun is shining and all systems are working on board.

Happy days.


After note. The Skipper has done his sums and decided we can opt for higher revs for the time being. He is also considering putting out the lines, which fills me with dread as fish are never ever caught when I am on board.

Pushing on...

28 May 2022 | 33 43.9'N:14 36'W, 115 nm NE of Madeira
With a beautiful sunset over the island of Porto Santo (pictured) and stir-fried chicken and noodles for dinner, a fairly uneventful night was passed with ideal conditions. This morning the motor was needed but we are continuing to make good time towards Gib. Light airs are anticipated for the next day or so but otherwise conditions are ideal with gentle seas, clement temperatures and plenty of sunshine.

The alternator gremlins have not resurfaced so all is well aboard.

And it all went a bit flat...

27 May 2022 | 32 47'N:16 30'W, 15nm SE of Porto Santo
All was going all so well - quick 36 hour turnaround, new crew, fresh laundry, provisions loaded, beer stocked. Heading back to Z for a quick departure, bang went the tire in the middle of a tunnel. Speedy work by the Colonel and Neph saved the day and we left on time at 1500.

Motoring out past the east end of Madeira, the alternator on the engine then decided it needed a holiday. Disconnected all the wires, cleaned the connections and seems we're back in business. Light NW wind that's supposed to fill in, enough that we should be able to ghost along with the Code 0. Waiting in quiet anticipation for when we can turn off the engine... Forecast is for a light NW next couple of days and then a building SW breeze. On paper looks ideal for a good passage to Gibraltar, ETA some time there on Tuesday.

More from Neph manana.

Topping on the Madeira Cake

27 May 2022 | 32 44.478'N:16 42.722'W, Quinta do Lorde marina
At 8:58 local time on May 26th Zephyr drew up alongside the fuel dock in Quinta do Lorde Marina, Madeira after a particularly lively night which had seen 8 headsail changes as the wind eased and strengthened and backed and veered with a mind of its own. The brunt of that activity was borne by the sterling team of George and Harry whose energy, enthusiasm, and pure hard work have been hugely appreciated - not to mention their jokes, pranks and imaginative cooking.

And so the passage came to an end - a fascinating mix of balmy days, starry nights, and a very bouncy last 48 hours, which provided every element that we could wish for. Coupled with bonhomie and the great sadness at David's loss this has been a very special trip and one that will be remembered for a long time.

Micky, George and Harry all got off in Madeira and the new team of Chris Copeland, Izzey Hung and Richard Sharples join David for the next leg from Madeira to Alicante. Weather conditions favour an early departure later today or first thing tomorrow , so watch this space and thank you for all your kind and generous remarks.

Comin' in Hot

25 May 2022 | 34 04'N:18 41'W, 106nm NW of Madeira
Since the previous blog, the last 24hrs has been even more active. 20-30kts from the NE, we are thundering towards Madeira, m'dear. The wind has been notably inconsistent. A true wind direction of anywhere between 30 and 75 degrees and a true wind speed of anywhere between 11kts and 30kts. This has kept the crew guessing all night. Do we go with a working jib and a double reefed main or used the reefed jib instead?

The inconsistency has created a very messy sea state as well. Described as a nasty north sea chop, Zephyr's Achilles heal has always been going upwind in a sea like this. The forward cabin clearly expressed this morning how well they slept last night!

HoP is in the galley today working his magic. We think we have just about has every form of tuna. Last night was Tuna steaks. Yesterday lunch was fish pie. Today's lunch was tuna melt. Any further suggestions please?

ETA into Quinto do Lorde marina is still tomorrow (26th) AM.
Vessel Name: Zephyr
Vessel Make/Model: Shipman 50
Hailing Port: Lymington
Home Page: www.yachtzephyr.com
Zephyr's Photos - Main
the boat
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Created 22 August 2014