Course Reports

West Country Milebuilder

Pic of Plymouth as we arrived at the end of a Milebuilding sailing trip from Dublin in 2018 We have a Milebuilder out fo Plymouth in August this year. As ever with sailing things are weather depndent but we have enough time to go out to the Isles of Scilly and if things look go that is the most likely destination. Other RYA Mile building trips include France and the Channel Islands

Sailing Report

Experience v Miles

Picture shows us on a lovely day with just enough wind and the team are learning how to use a spinnaker. We are off the south coast of England having to work out the tides, ‘keep a weather eye open’, plan our days and think about where to go if it doesn’t all work out. In terms of a RYA Milebuilder probably 60 miles at most and you need at least 2500 before you can take YachtMaster Offshore exam. But they are 60 valueable miles and when we offer sailing mile building it is about developing you as a sailor. So whether it is a cross channel Milebuilder to France or the Channel Islands, or even just in the Solent we will help you gain experience and develop your sailing skills. Do you get this experience in an Atlantic crossing–more in a future post.

Course Reports

Snowy sailing

We are sailing 1st to 3rd February. Obviously a bit on the cold side but we do have both diesel and electric heating. Bit on the short side for a mile builder but we will probably log over 30NM and include Cowes with a good meal out. Our RYA sailing mile building trips in the summer typically log 200miles or more and normally include at least one overnight passage. Great for budding Yachtmasters and those who want something a bit more challenging than the Solent

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

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.

Sailing Report

A good meal out in Cherbourg

Quite a few new Skippers, particularly those who have sailed only in the Med, struggle to understand just how important tides can be so here is an example I use.

We are crossing to Cherbourg on a RYA Milebuilder from the West of the Solent so it is 60 NM which will take us about 9 hours. The tides are stronger on the French side and the assumption that one side cancels out the other really doesn’t work even on a 12 hour crossing. At 60 miles a one degree error is a mile out at the far end. doesn’t not sound much, but let’s say you are 3 degrees out and the tide is 3 kts across the ‘Horns of Cherbourg’ plus it is wind against tide so you can only make 4.5 kts under engine or by tacking under sail. As a result you are now only making 1.5 kts towards the hot showers and restaurant plus you are 2 hours behind target on this RYA Milebuilder. What happens if you are wrong the other way so you are up tide. You are still 3 miles out but now close on the entrance at between 7.5 and 9 knots which equals 20 minutes to half an hour late.

Even better if you get your RYA navigation right on the Milebuilding sailing and we correct as we go we end up just right with plenty of time for a shower and a good meal out.

Sailing Report

2019 Sailing Milebuilders

As well as the mile building trip out to the Isles of Scilly in August, we have several other trips and 7/8 day RYA mile builders, sailing across the channel on which you can also do RYA qualifications. These trips involve at least 4 hours of night sailing, often more and include 2 Qualifying Pasages towards RAY YachtMaster qualification.