Ionian Dilemma

Pic of standard greek parking at Ag Efemia Paul is just back from the Ionian after sailing on a 44 foot Cat with Aussie Bruce. June is not high season, that really starts first of July but it was already getting busy and the Ionian Dilemma was painfully obvious. Quite simply the prevailing wind does really start until mid afternoon most days and the best places to spend the night are full by 1600. The result is that instead of sailing most people end up motoring before noon and are in by three before the wind picks up. For families with school age kids they also are trapped in the most expensive weeks but for others the quieter first 2 weeks in September are a good option. By October the probabilities of uncomfortably strong winds increases and by the Autumn half term the chances of not being able to sail increases significantly A Cat has some advantages when it comes to anchoring as you may be able to find a spot that is a bit too shallow for most monohulls and we did this for a couple of nights but don’t rely on it. We spent one night alongside a quay courtesy of a Greek Harbour Master who had sailed on Wild Spirit. As the wind picked up to over 30 kts we watched late arrivals suffering stress, in this harbour expert guidance from the HM was given to all and if followed worked well. This is the exception rather than the rule so do make sure everyone is well briefed on their role and remember to allow the clutch on the windlass to run the chain out at the 5 kts of boat speed you will need to manoeuvre with 30 kts of cross wind Pic of view from boat but you can’t see the other 12 further out

back in UK now with a few RYA Milebuilder trips plus fastnet coming up.

2020 Vision

Paul is skippering Spirit of Juno (picture Juno a Farr65) again for the 2020 Caribbean 600. Details will appear on OnDeck Antigua site soon or you can register your interest with us. we sold out well before the race this year and had to turn people away. Looks like we already half full (13/6/19) so if you want a place do ask for now.

Training starts 0930 19th February and for 2020 we have managed to secure a berth alongside in the World Heritage Nelsons Dockyard. Race starts Monday 24th and you are safe to book a flight out from Saturday evening 29th.

If you want to try sailing with Paul before booking we will take you on a Mile builder or Race training weekend or September race at normal price (from £195) but give you £150 off the cost of the C600 (£1950) when you sign up for the team on Juno.

Till death us do part

Pic of us on our way to winning the 3 Peaks Yacht Race last year.

I will miss the 3 Peaks Yacht Race this year due to a family wedding but some former Wild Spirits plus former team members from Juno in the Caribbean and Helsal 3 from Sydney Hobart will be racing. Start is Barmouth on saturday evening and you can follow progress via http://yb.tl/threepeaks2019 with details about the teams on www.threepeaksyachtrace.co.uk

Last year our mile building sailing was mainly in Scottish waters as we kept Wild Spirit in Troon before and after the race, this year our Mile builders are mainly cross channel or out to the Scillies

Sunny Climes and Communications

Dolphins, but I can’t remember where. I have senn hundreds of them, probably thousands but they still fascinate me. I can remember lying on the trampoline of a Catamaran crossing the Atlantic and looking plus listening to the dolphins less than a metre below me as they watched me and made noises. I remain convinced they were trying to communicate with me. From Sunday for 8 days i will be at sea, hopefully seeing more Dolphins and definetly hard to communicate with. I will try and do brief replies to e-mails but not expecting much connectivity. Places for RYA courses, cross channel mile builders and mile building sailing are accurate as of 13th June so do drop me an e-mail and we can confirm the booking on 26th June before I set off for the Round the Island race with training starting 27th, this one is full as is the Fastnet but we do have places on other races and the race training weekends

A Windy weekend

picture of Wild Spirit under just storm jib in a gale

We decided against racing in the Channel last weekend and trained in the Solent instead. We saw a gust of 47 Kts and several in the low 40s as we trained with various combinations of Storm and heavy weather sails before overnighting in Southampton. Of the fleet of 64 in the RORC race less than a quarter finished.

The cross channel mile builders are about half full and we have a few more enquiries. One question I am asked is ‘Where will we go?’ The answer is that the destination in the name of the trip is where I intend we should go and I have already looked at the tides. What I can’t do is predict the weather in advance and, rather like last weekend, I have no intention of setting off on a RYA Mile building sailing course across the channel when a severe gale warning has been issued.

Caribbean 600 race on Farr 65

Paul has just agreed to skipper Spirit of Juno again for next Caribbean 600 race starting 24th February. Half the places in the team hace gone already to repeat offenders so do get in touch soon if you want one

Qualified for Fastnet

Pic of a Hare from Rathlin Island, at the start of the Eddystone race we were much more like a Tortoise, but when we had some wind we got going and finished the race in under 2 days logging 347 NM for a 230 course. This means we have now completed the qualifying miles required for the Fastnet. We have some more races to come before August but we also have several RYA Milebuilder trips. Mile building sailing has a maximum of 6 on board and normally we have some qualifying passages for Yachtmaster.

Ready to Go

After our cross channel RYA Milebuilder to Alderney, Weymouth, and Poole Wild Spirit was lifetd and scrubbed ready for racing–pic

Our next mile building sailing is on 20th July to 27th when we will cross the channel again. 2 regulars on board at present and a max of 6 when we are running a mile builder.

4 day mile builder to St Vaast

Pic of fastnet team at restaurant in St Vaast

We have a 4 day mile building trip to St Vaast starting Weds evening 15th May and coming back on the Sunday. max of 6 on board and 2 regulars already booked.

late addition to programme so only £245 but allow for a good meal or 2 out plus possibility of bringing some wine back.

As ever destinations are weather dependent but we lose less than one day a year of complete sailing to it.