Cruising Reports

RYA Milebuilders Summer 2019

For summer 2019 we will offer several Milebuilder trips, these are also called RYA Mile Building. These are rather different from the Delivery trips which some offer, sold as ‘mile builders’.

Pic of us in Fair Isle on a previous trip. That was part of a great Mile builder all the way round Britian and Ireland and then back to Lymington so definitely not a ‘Delivery’. Our RYA Mile building sailing trips last 5 or more days and visit several ports. They are likely to include at least one night sail and you will be involved in all aspects of sailing Wild Spirit if you wish. Some people focus on areas for development such as practical navigation skills and passage planning and, accepting the need to sail safely, one to one coaching is given. For the number of days on one of our Mile Builders you won’t sail as many miles as a delivery but you will gain much more knowledge. You can also build miles and experience by just sailing on one of our RYA courses. If you wish you can just sail, but if you want, we will also involve you in Navigation, Passage planning etc in order to keep developing your skills.

Cruising Reports

Row, row, row your boat

We have had a couple of requests about how to row a yacht from would be 3 Peaks Yacht Race teams. The picture above shows a square section aluminium extrusion attached to stanchions with U bolts and the rowlocks fitted to it. The only rowing that could be involved in our cross channel milebuilders or RYA mile building sailing is from an Anchor or, more likely, a mooring buoy to the shore, though we normally carry a small outboard for these purposes.

Cruising Reports

Round the Island Race–special offer

We were full for the Round the Island Race but have lost one due to work. So we have one place and if you are female it makes the cabin share easier. details are on the programme page, in short, meet Thursday evening 27th June, train Friday, race Saturday back to Lymington Sunday afternoon. Anyone signing up by 9th February gets £95 off so just £300. The milebuilder cross channel sailing and RYA mile building courses are now up on the site and we have several bookings.

Course Reports

Why are we based at Lymington Yacht Haven?

Well certainly not because it is cheap. Lymington Yacht Haven is just about the most expensive in the country, but it does have a number of significant advantages especially for Mile building courses.

Unlike many Marinas it has free car parking which is patrolled at night. Others charge or you have to find a spot on a road as near to the Marina as you can.

Being close to the West end of the Solent RYA Milebuilders to France, Channel Islands and the west require only 3 miles before you are heading towards your destination. Compare that with say Port Solent where you have to lock out and go down to Portsmouth, then round the east of the Island before heading South.

The facilities are superb, LYH was voted best in UK in 2017. The New Forest National Park starts at the edge of the Car Park 100m from Wild Spirit. With a variety of paths some regulars choose to arrive an hour or 2 early, miss any traffic and go for a walk.

Cruising Reports

Sailing, the meaning of life and brexit

Will it affect Cross Channel Milebuilders, races etc? My guess is that it might possibly make it difficult for Basil in the picture, sadly no longer with us, he would dip under the Boom and hook his paws over the other side as soon as he heard ‘Going About’.

I am confident that our RYA Mile building sailing to France and the Channel Islands will not be affected. Two main reasons. 1) The French want our money 2) The Channel Islands have never been part of the EU. Travel to and from France to the CIs has never been an issue, which just demonstrates point 1.

We already have a booking for the May Mile builder and if I am not available (due to some delayed keyhole surgery) then Geoff West a very experienced skipper will run the trip.

Cruising Reports

Civil Unrest in Somerset

The civil unrest in Somerset–see picture from Somerset County Gazette 10/1/19 has had no impact on our Milebuilder sailing programme, or inded it seems anything else. I love the dog having a scratch.

Cruising Reports

Keyhole alterations

Wild Spirit under Spinnaker in round ireland race

Paul has a keyhole Op on his knee on 10th January. due to this the RYA course/ Milebuilder on 1st Febraury is now just a weekend. The price of just £95 reflects we might have to call it off if he isn’t fit (unlikely as recovery period is 7 to 10 days) or weather is forecast to be horrible. Good opportunity for those thinking of a cross channel Milebuilding sailing trip later in the season. 2 booked so far and maximum of 6 on board including Paul.

Cruising Reports

Full for Caribbean 600

We are now full for the C600 on Spirit of Juno a Farr 65 which Paul skippers in the Caribbean. We can get you on a competitive 40.7 for the race, call paul on 01823 433813 if you are interested.

The Fastnet has been full for several months and we have just 2 places left on the Round the Island Race meet evening Thursday 27th June. Still space on the RYA Milebuilders later in the season including the Mile building trip out to the Isles of Scilly in mid-August.

Course Reports

Where are we going on the mile builder?

Where are we going on the mile builder? A question I am often asked and to which I am tempted to reply, “Tell me what the weather will be”. A quick look at the full programme page will tell you the destinations that seem reasonable to me and I check out the tides before fixing dates. But this is just one part of passage planning and there others. I know what Wild Spirit can do and what sails we will have on, for most of the areas we will sail in, I already know the ‘Safe Havens’ and the spots where wind against tide is particularly nasty. On some RYA Mile Building trips I know several of the team and what they are capable of. This isn’t just their experience and qualifications, you can have lots of these, but not be much use at 3 in the morning because you can’t get up, or take half an hour to become fully functioning. Age and medical conditions as declared on forms aren’t much of a guide, I have a 70+ regular who is more useful when it gets tough than some half his age, and Pete in our team that won the 3 Peaks Yacht Race is a Type 1 Diabetic. But on some of the Milebuilders all I know is what you have told me, and there may be secondary issue here in that you tell me you are a Coastal Skipper when you have just done a course with another Sea School but not taken the exam. More on this in another post. Unless Brexit throws in a 3rd factor which seems unlikely as French Ports, Restaurants etc want our money, there are 2 other main factors left when we decide where to go on a Milebuilder. The first is what the team want to do, if 2 or 3 arrive and declare exhaustion from working too hard in order to be able to go sailing, a night crossing to Guernsey is less likely. Finally the weather, we can sail in almost anything, the first picture shows us off Cowes in F8 with F9 on the way up from Lymington, the second shows us only making a few knots in the Bay of Storms in the roaring Forties off the South of Tasmania.