Round Britain – North from Islay

We took our departure from Islay on Friday 18th May at just after 1300, to catch the north-going tide. At first we thought it might be best to go east of Jura, but the Sound of Jura gets narrower at the top end and squirts you through the Sound of Luing, so you need to work the tides, and we … Read More

Round Britain – Antrim to Islay

Monday to Tuesday 14th to 15th May The coast of Antrim was a spectacular delight, better than the Lake District, according to Andy. North from Belfast Lough the cliffs and mountains are craggy, rounded giants. We chose to ride out a tide in Red Bay, waiting until after 10pm before setting out into the strong north-going tide. Wind was too … Read More

Round Britain – Carlingford to Ardglass

What a difference a day makes. Yesterday we were cowering in Carlingford Marina being battered by winds of force 6 gusting to 8, which persisted for 15 hours then suddenly vanished. It was so bad we were concerned about even getting up the pontoon, and spent a horrible night amid squeaks and groans. Then today we left through their very … Read More

Round Britain – meet the crew

We have one amazing crewmember, Otto. He is sleek, black, powerful, doesn’t consume much, never complains about going on watch in the early morning and lives in the back beam. He is the indispensable autopilot, who has done most of the steering tirelessly for the trip. It would be quite tough and unpleasant having to hand steer all the way. … Read More

Round Britain – Up the Irish Coast

3 days of outstanding sailing, running up the Irish coast. First stop Arklow, where we stormed in towards the land at 11 knots with a strong sea breeze behind us. We moored against a pontoon in the river and met some of the local sailing club racers. Arklow is charming, friendly and will be absolutely wonderful once they have got … Read More

Round Britain – days 14 and 15

Crossing the Bristol Channel – Days 14 and 15 Once round Land’s End you are committed to a long passage, either up to Padstow, across to Milford Haven, or further west to Ireland. We opted for the latter, as the wind was free and we were storming along at 7 to 8 knots with tide under us. The ocean makes … Read More

Round Britain – melting down

We departed from Newlyn at about 1230, after a partial meltdown by the skipper. I knew that on this trip I was going to learn a lot and do a lot of things that I have never done before. The most nerve-shredding is close-quarters manoeuvring. Now, monohulls do a lot of this and are easily turned around in tight spaces. … Read More

Round Britain – Newlyn

A peculiar lot, fishermen. Firstly, it is ‘men’; the last bastion of unreconstructed raw masculinity doing one of the most dangerous jobs on the planet. (Newlyn harbour does not appear to have a Ladies’ toilet and I never spotted a single female on the dockside.) And the fishing boats themselves seem to exemplify the character of the men who work … Read More