Course Reports

Plymouth Ho

Pic is of Starling Control at Lymington but we have moved.

Wild Spirit is now in Plymouth Yacht Haven and with the current ‘Lock Down’ will probably be there until early May. We were of course meant to be moving to Troon and, as I have paid for an annual berth there, this is still the ambition but it became clear a couple of weeks ago that this was not going to be a normal year for sailing. With this in mind a quick look at Fixed Costs and some negotiating with the Yachthavens group we decided to leave Lymington earlier than planned and berth at Plymouth instead as it saves £4000 p.a. — Yes the number of zeros is correct and Lymington is now well over £9000 plus electric on top. We run on a ‘Not for Profit’ basis, I don’t draw a wage and any surplus goes to Charity so £4000 is significant especially when we are likely to lose half the sailing calander due to Covid. Paul will give the options more thought over the next few days but still wants to run the Milebuilder sailing trips in Scotland. The Mile building course from Lymington to Troon is off and as both the 3 Peaks yacht Race and Scottish Islands Peaks Race are cancelled one option is to operate out of Plymouth when the situation improves. This would allow mile building sailing to several West Country Ports and the Isles of Scilly. For serious Milebuilders the ports of Brittany would be a possible option and I recall a particular little restaurant or 2 that could be revisited.

More soon

Cruising Reports

Decisons, decisions

One of the problems in developing crisis is not making decisions at the right time. A classic example of this was Macron’s decision to close all French Ski resorts taken at 2115 on a Saturday on a weekend when 100, 000 people were travelling to the Alps, me being one of them!

Clearly Corvid 19 is wreaking havoc with our programme.

Here is the rough outline.

Move Wild Spirit to Plymouth Yacht Haven. Plan for starting again late June/ early July and heading up to Scotland for Mile building sailing and then leave Wild Spirit at Troon in the Autumn. Start sailing again in 2021 with similar programme including Scottish Islands Peaks Races and 3 Peaks Yacht Race plus Mile builder cruises up round Shetlands, Orkneys and Hebrides.

Cruising Reports

September Sailing

September and October are great months for sailing as the weather is still mild the water is warm (sea is at highest temperature about 21st Sept) and the crowds have gone.

We are looking at a cruise in September which will either go out to Islay and Jura or explore the Firth of Clyde and Arran. These are different from our Milebuilder cruises as long legs will not be a feature. Still very useful for mile building and experience but more time ashore in some friendly small ports

Evening of 6th to 12th September, looking like the most likely dates and we may use Largs as a base which is more convenient if we decide to explore Loch Fyne or go through Crinan and round the Mull of Kintyre.

Cruising Reports

‘And it came to pass’

We are now back home after shortest Ski Holiday ever–we managed to cross the Channel just before the news of the new French Coronavirus restrictions broke. We found out about them over breakfast in the Hotel 150 miles into France so we headed back. What effect will the Virus have on our sailing programme. Truth is I don’t know, the predictions seem to be that we will be through the worst by mid June so we continue to work on the basis that the Milebuilder sailing in Scotland will be OK. This mile building sailing is great for those progressing towards YachtMaster or anyone who just wants to sail in beautiful, remote, very low population density and possibly Cornavirus free places.

Cruising Reports

Normal service will be….

There is a pub in Sale called ‘Jackson’s Boat’ so thanks to Wild Spirit Wrench for the picture.

We are off Skiing until 22nd March but will get e-mails most days.

We are following Government advice and all events are on though we will have extra cleaning in place. The Milebuilder sailing trips in Scotland are on (and should be well after the peak of Coronavirus). These mile building trips are great for gaining experience and qualifying passages for RYA YachtMaster or just simply sailing in marvellous scenery. The Milebuilder from Orkney up round Shetland and back is probably full but not all deposits in yet so do let me know if you are interested. The other 2 Scottish Milebuilding courses have more miles plus still have places.

Cruising Reports

Sailors Grab Bags

Pic fro an Australian Boat–we don’t drink and sail, but once we have tied up…

We are now back from the Caribbean 600 and preparing for the UK season. Before the Mile builders we have a couple of races suitable for sailors who want to try racing. After a RYA course we then have our first Mile building sailing trip from Lymington to troon by way of Dublin, where we will be tied up

The Mile builder from Fort William up to the Orkneys is almost full but there is space on the other 2 trips and both of these will include a Qualifying Passage or 2 for budding YachtMasters, St Kilda is on the cards for the first Scottish Mile builder and we will certainly visit the outer Hebrides on this trip.

The third Mile building sailing trip from Kirkwall down to Troon is also likely to visit several hebridean islands and possibly Rathlin Island as well.

Cruising Reports

What a way to spend Easter

Pic of Wild Spirits having lunch outside one Easter after a race.

At Easter we have a race to Cherbourg, a good meal out and then a race back to Cowes. Both races are morning starts so we meet Thursday evening and will be back in by early afternoon on the Monday. These are Junior Offshore Group JOG races so a good social do in the Yacht Club in Cherbourg. Suitable for most people with sailing experience and for those with sense of adventure.

This will be our last JOG race before summer as we will be Milebuilder sailing up in Scotland this summer. We will also try and win the 3 Peaks Yacht Race for a second time plus compete in the Scottish Islands Peaks Race. After these we have more mile building sailing with Qualifying Passages for YachtMaster. Destinations include, St Kilda, Fair Isle and the Shetlands.

Cruising Reports

Try Yacht Racing

Before we go up to Scotland for the summer of mile building sailing we have some races starting at Cowes (join Wild Spirit in Lymington). The first one is weekend of 27th March and is out round Nab Tower at the East end of the Solent. Last year in windy conditions we finished 11th out of 22 in this race and hope to improve this year.

The Nab Tower race is suitable for people who have sailed a bit but not raced much.

This is a JOG (Junior Offshore Group) race so we always have a good social do afterwards. After this race we have the Easter races and then our first milebuilder sail up to Troon in Scotland

Cruising Reports

West Scotland Milebuilder sailing

Pic–Anchorage with rather good Restaurant in W. Scotland. I know where it is but don’t want to tell too many others

Our Mile builder sailing for 2020 will be in Scotland for several reasons including 1) The West Coast, Hebrides, Orkneys and Shetland offer some of the best cruising grounds in the World. You can find a secluded anchorage with Otters, Seals and Birds as your only company but sail somewhere and get provisions the next day. 2) The scenery is World Class and so is the local sea food. Paul loves cooking with fresh Fish, Scallops and Venison 3) For those progressing towards RYA YachtMaster there are a number of interesting Qualifying Passages available on this mile building trip. 4) We will go to Tobermory on Mull and out to the Hebrides, possibly even St Kilda on our way up to the Orkneys, we should have a couple of days cruising up there as well