Cruising Archive

Cruising Archive

Round the Island Race

Pic of us on the last tack before we finished. With over 1600 entrants only 283 finished in what was at times a frustratingly slow event. We finished with 23 minutes to spare and managed to grab a pint or 3 before closing.

The start was followed by a spinnaker run but then the wind dropped and didn’t blow consistently until near the finish. We have a couple of RYA Milebuilders coming up and the Mile building cruise out to the Scillies in August.

100 hours of thinking time

People often ask what the standard procedure is for Man Overboard and, on the Ionian trip I again explained it isn’t that simple and the key thing is to buy yourself a bit of thinking time which increases the probability of a successful outcome. Flying back from Kefallania with Thomas Cook we saw a classic example. During boarding a passport and mobile phone were found on a seat in row 26. The cabin crew reacted by blaming the cleaners for not finding it and then summonsed ground staff to take it to the terminal. Instant and understandable reaction, but with just a few moments thought the possibility that it could belong to a passenger on the plane could have been considered. A moment or 2 more consideration might have led to the idea that if it had been a passenger who had got off 2 hours ago then the lack of a Passport might have been detected at Passport control. Given there is a list of all passengers it wouldn’t have been hard to check but the doors had to be reopened, the steps vehicle returned and the passport and phone taken to the terminal. Half an hour later the process was reversed and the items returned to a passenger in Row 25. 200 passengers sat for an extra half an hour or 100 hours wasted, when a few seconds of considering the possible courses of action could have given a much better outcome and it probably would have taken less time than the tirade about cleaning staff not doing their job properly.Let’s hope the Pilots assess situations better.

One space left on the July RYA Mile builder trip and 2 on the September course, 2 on the mile building sailing trip after the Fastnet

Here we go Round….the IOW

The famous Round the Island Race is on Saturday and Wild Spirit will be racing along with over 1500 other yachts. Superb spectacle and great fun but not one to take too seriously as half the competitors won’t really know the rules.

After the race we have a couple of Mile builders then the Fastnet followed by a Mile building course out to the Scillies then back to Lymington

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