Monday, 30 April 2012

Jean and Bob Each Taking Steps To Ensure Their Passage Over The Irish Sea Goes Well.

Jean Says: Ireland's large land mass protects the Irish Sea from the big Atlantic swell, but because it's relatively shallow, and has strong tides, the result is something known as The Irish Sea Chop, a short steep sea, which can be uncomfortable, and has the ability to leave your boat wallowing in the troughs and unable to gain momentum (except if your boat is called Bella Rosa the wonder boat).
It's not been a difficult decision to stay put for the past four days, because the weather down the length of the Irish Sea has undoubtedly been unpleasant. Surprisingly, we're not the only visitors here in the marina, there are several others who arrived at the same time as us, and none of them have left. If we'd known this earlier, we could have set up a small support group.
The first real glimmer of hope is on Tuesday when, later in the day, the winds finally die down, and the nasty dark red swirly bits on the weather charts will be at a safe enough distance for us to cross the Irish Sea on Wednesday, with some peace of mind.
We kept changing our minds about where we wanted to go first, but settled for Kilmore Quay, which is just West of the South East corner of Southern Ireland. We phoned the Harbour Master at Kilmore to check that there would be an available berth. He asked us whether we'd been there before, and when we said no, he said, "well what took you so long"! Quote the Irish Sea Pilot book, "the Quarter Deck fish and chip shop is outstanding, and the Silver Fox seafood restaurant is highly recommended". We love the place already. Our friends Mary and Martin, who a number of you know, are coming up from Waterford to see us Wednesday evening. We haven't seen them for a few years so lots to catch up on.
As soon as the winds die tomorrow lunchtime, we're going to leave the marina and head up to Dale, a relatively sheltered small bay at the mouth of the Milford Haven Harbour, where we can slip off the mooring buoy early on Wednesday morning, and head West with the wind behind us.

Bob has had to resort to taking a course of antibiotics because he's got an abscess on his gum. This is disconcerting news, as he will have to give up the booze for seven days, just when we're about to sail to the land of Guinness and Jamesons. His perspective on Ireland is going to be very different from the last time we went. I have tried to console him by saying that I will hold the fort, and will represent both of us on that front.

Test video Arriving at Newlyn

Test upload Bill not sure how to use the iPad video feature!,

YouTube Video

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Test video upload

Jean Says: After the play last night, (which was very good), in order to mingle with the cream of Milford Haven society, we dropped into the Lord Nelson Hotel for a nightcap. We were met with very suspicious looks, and thought it better to avoid eye contact. I was tempted to say loudly to the bartender "my husband does have Welsh ancestry", as they may have understandably felt threatened by our sophisticated English demeanour. I accidentally smiled at someone on the way out, and was rewarded with a quick nod of the head. I think that if we ever came to live here, with a little effort on our part, they could eventually accept us.
Walking in the dark back to the boat along the cliff above the harbour, we could see the oil refineries lit up like a Manhattan skyline. It looks almost magical at night, whereas during the day, it's just rolling countryside with a few industrial looking bits dotted around.

Is there a party going on?

Today, the weather is diabolical. It's blowing a force ten out in the Irish Sea, and it's raining cats and dogs on us in Milford Haven marina. It's reminiscent of many childhood holidays in rented cottages, usually in wild wet Wales. There isn't a cinema in MH, otherwise we'd go to it and see almost anything, even Kung Fu Panda, but Bob has managed to download an episode of Mad Men, so we're saving it for later tonight as today's high point. Bob's managing to watch the Heineken cup in full crackly colour on the iPad and I'm playing around with my brushes app, and have produced a still life that for me, just about sums up the afternoon. Tomorrow, I may draw an exotic summer scene, but it'll have to be from a distant memory.

Going a Bit Bananas........

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Jean Says: If you want a tattoo, Milford Haven is the place to come. In the local newsagents, there was a section of shelf devoted entirely to publications such as Tattoo World and What Tattoo magazine. There must be a lot you can say about tattoos that the uninitiated can't even begin to imagine. We asked directions to the town centre today and were told that we were in it, but if we were looking for sophistication, the marina was the place to go. I'm glad we know that now, because we might have left Milford Haven without appreciating it's finer points. MH, is not however the cultural desert you might imagine. There is a thriving theatre here called the Torch Theatre, and we're off there tonight to have pre theatre dinner (pie and chips), and to see a play called " Who's Afraid of Rachel Roberts". This is no amateur theatre. There are many well known actors and actresses that tread the boards here, so we're optimistic that the standard could be quite high. MH also has a bowling alley and a Tesco, but they don't sell postcards with Milford Haven written on them. Either they don't like to blow their own trumpet, or no-one ever comes here on holiday.

Coming around the headland into Milford Haven after the night sail

Friday, 27 April 2012

The Amiable Alex

Alex our expert sailor friend met us in Newlyn on the 25th April. After very close scrutiny, we decided that we should grab the weather window on the 26th and 27th, prior to more horrible weather coming in again on Sunday. For Bob and myself, this was where the big adventure really started. We'd been to the Isles of Scilly last year, but we'd never rounded Land's End before, and never had a 24 hour trip before. We cast off on Thursday morning at 10.00am in acceptable weather, wondering how it would feel and how we'd cope. It made a big difference knowing that Alex was there to advise if we needed it, and also to give us some practical help.
As we rounded the Runnel Stone, switched the engine off, and started to sail North, we had a group of dolphins accompany us. They were joyfully ducking and diving around the front of the boat as we carved our way through the waves. It felt like a good omen. The weather was settled enough for us to sail between the Longships Lighthouse and Land's End itself, a narrow channel with fierce rocks either side. It would eat you up in no time in rougher conditions. Sailing through the night was going to be the hardest part of this passage, so we devised a watch rota. One of us would be on deck for two hours, one sleeping within shouting distance and one switching off totally, then we'd swap round. My first solo night watch was between 10 and midnight and the second was at 4.00am. I wanted to be the one who sailed from nightime into daylight, hoping for a glorious sunrise, but it was more like a series of progressively lightening shades of grey. It was good to see some colour contrast when we finally saw land, even if it was a dull shade of green. At 5.30 am, another school of dolphins appeared and swam along with us again for twenty minutes or so. It was a cheering sight on a cold and damp morning.
Despite the thick cloud cover, our night sail was straighforward, with consistent winds, very few gusts and no nasty surprises. The traffic in the Bristol Channel is always minimal, so apart from a few fishing boats and the odd cargo ship, we had the place to ourselves. We arrived in Milford Haven almost exactly twenty four hours later, having clocked up 142 nautical miles, feeling a bit dog eared, but having a good sense of achievement.

The Longships Lighthouse off Land's End

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Gwennap Head as we turn North for the first time on the trip!

Newlyn Harbour Light before the next gale.

25th April

Under the surface, Newlyn is quite an arty place. It's probably because of it's proximity to St. Ives and the Tate. We walked along the seafront to Penzance and stopped in a lovely little gallery along the way for coffee and culture. The storm must have been pretty bad last night, as the promenade was strewn with seaweed and pebbles. The sea was still throwing up big spray as it hit the sea wall, and sometimes we had to dodge being soaked. There's an huge triangular outdoor swimming pool on the seafront called the Jubilee Pool. At the moment I can't imagine anyone wanting to be anywhere near it let alone in it, but then we saw a middle aged lady in a bikini just stepping out of the sea. How hardy can you get?
We've just been in to the RNLI office and asked the coxwain "Patch" advice about rounding Lands End. He's put us on to a brilliant wind strength and swell site called xcweather. It has substantial looking arrows pointing in the direction the wind is going, and is colour coded into wind strength areas. Once it starts to look like the pink/ red spectrum is heading your way, it's stay put time.
We're near the home of the Penlee lifeboat disaster which happened on December the 18th 1981. We remember hearing about it on the news. The lifeboat was manned by eight volunteers from Mousehole, but because of the dire conditions that day, only one volunteer from each family was allowed to go. The lifeboat had gone to the aid of a cargo ship called The Union Star, whose engines had failed just of the West Cornwall coast. The south east winds were classified as hurricane level force 12, gusting 90 knots with seas of 60 feet high. Initially, the crew had managed to save four people from the Union Star, but eventually, the lifeboat was thrown onto the deck of the cargo ship in the swell, and all eight volunteer lifeboatmen and the passengers from The Union Star perished. The replacement lifeboat is now kept at Newlyn. When we think about how scary even moderately choppy water can be at times, we're in awe of the courage of these men who risk their lives regularly in such unimaginable and terrible conditions. Patch is the son of one of the volunteers who died that day in 1981.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Newlyn Fish Remoska Hotpot

Grab whatever fish you can from the nearest trawler when no-one's looking. Get someone called Bob to gut it while you rapidly chop an onion, some carrots, some new potatoes, and fling them in the pot with a tin of tomatoes and half a teaspoon of dried chilli flakes. Switch the Remoska to ON. Half an hour later, lift the lid and throw in the fish chunks and stir. Shut the lid, and let it cook for another half an hour. Make sure you drink at least five large glasses of sauvignon with this to experience it at its best.
Alternatively, you can open a can of beans, but depending on your type of tin opener, and how long you've had the can of beans, you might find that making the Newlyn fish hotpot is far less strenuous.
Jean Says: It's quite exciting to have got to Newlyn in good time and be a little yacht amongst a haven of fishing boats. This was our first important destination, and from here onwards we're entering unknown territory. Getting the timing right to go round Lands End is crucial. We need the tide to be going our way, and winds need to be moderate, especially if they are from the West, otherwise there would be a battle to avoid being blown towards the rocky lee shore. The coastline around Lands End is strewn with wrecks, but lots of them are from times when they didn't have decent weather forecasts or chartplotters. We thought that it would be somewhat exhausting to try to do this passage with just two of us, so we asked our sailing expert friend Alex if he'd like to accompany us. He's arriving late tomorrow, and we intend to set off for Milford Haven around Thursday lunchtime. Alex also just happens to know everything there is to know about engines!! The trip to MH. will take us around 22 hours from lunchtime on Thursday to mid morning on Friday, if all goes according to plan. There are few bolt holes on the way. The North Cornwall coast is very inhospitable apart from Padstow, which you can only enter at certain states of the tide. Other than that, if we need to take refuge anywhere, it's possible to anchor off Lundy Island. Being on watch over night will be a new experience for us. We've been told to work it to suit how each individual functions best. Apparently, I am nauseatingly chirpy very early in the morning just when Bob is at his worst, but Bob says he's not good late evening either, so it could be tricky. We're hoping that Alex is at his best all through the night so we can sneak off to bed as normal, and wake up in Milford Haven just like you would on Stenna Lines.
Bob wrote: A quick update on plans for the next few days. Although the weather remains unsettled it looks like it might be possible to make the 24 hour passage to Milford Haven on Thursday after the current gale passes through and the others in Biscay and west of Ireland remain at bay. To that end our mate Alex is coming down to join us tomorrow night with a view to leaving for MH on Thursday morning. It'll be the longest passage we've ever done and sharing the watches and the responsibility with a more experienced sailor takes some of the pressure off. So, Bathonians if you're crossing the Severn Bridge at about 4am on Friday you might just see us sailing across the Bristol Channel! After recuperating in MH for a day we'll then make the 80 mile crossing to Arklow, which is where the Tyrrells originally come from ....... really. My great uncle actually designed Gipsy Moth III, which was the yacht before the one Sir Francis Chichester sailed around the world.
A couple of people have asked about our sails and how we've deployed them. We only have a main and a genoa. The main is in mast furling and to be honest it would have been a lot tougher and more dangerous for the two of us if we hadn't had it, we've had reefs in and out all the time, often sailing with 3 reefs in the main and a very small genoa, but we've been able to do pretty well all of it from the cockpit. Bella Rosa sails fantastically well into a F7 with minimal sail. Sadly we've had no down wind sailing to speak of, although we have enjoyed some beam reaches for short periods. Sue and Richard, you won't be disappointed with your Najad in mast main, you can take advantage of light winds and quickly get yourself upright and feel safe when the wind strengthens. There's probably some deterioration in performance but the trade off seems well worth it to us.
Here's a photo of Bella Rosa amongst the fishing boats in Newlyn.

Bob wrote: Woke up early this morning and looked at all the available weather forecast and decided that there was a weather window that could get us from Fowey to Newlyn. A gale F8 was forecast for 'later' (that's in more than 12 hours) and untIl then it looked quite nice. The last thing you want to do is go around the Lizard in bad weather. Well, we arrived in Newlyn an hour or so ago and it turns out our decision was right! The Lizard had some big rolling waves but there was lots of space between them so you just sailed up one side and nicely down the other. When we got to Mounts Bay the sea really flattened out and we had a great 3 hour sail into Newlyn. This is a real fishing port where they have a couple of places for visiting yachts en route to the Scillies or even around Britain! Luckily we've got a nice berth to sit out the next couple of days of gales. We can now say we've reached the end of the beginning!
A couple of photos on the trip here. First Jean with St Michael's Mount in the background and then one of the Lizard itself

Monday, 23 April 2012

Bob Demonstrating How to Cook "Remoska" Style......

Jean says: We're spending today around Fowey, because the latest forecast is for a F8 "out there" later. We're on a mooring buoy in the estuary, so we called the water taxi to take us to the town quay, followed by the ferry to Bodinnick, walked four miles down along the other side of the estuary to Polruan, and then took the foot ferry back to Fowey, followed by the water taxi back to our boat. We just can't seem to stay off boats, but the legs did get a look in for a while. It's a good idea to check that they still work from time to time.
I don't know how the seafaring themed pub 'The Lugger' managed to give the impression that we were rocking as if on the sea, while we ate our crab sandwiches at lunchtime, but it was very effective.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Fowey by night

Jean says: Cooking on board is easy. We've got a Remoska, a small cooker from the Czech Republic that looks like an electric frying pan, and can fit on any small surface near a plug socket. We can use it anywhere that has shore power, and it saves hugely on the gas. It does what an oven does, but seems easier.
You can sling a load of chopped vegetables in, a drizzle of oil and then a couple of chicken breasts or similar on top, put the lid on, switch on a single switch, and everything takes about an hour. You can even bake scones or crumble in it, but it's highly unlikely that either of us will be doing that, given that it would involve waving a bag of flour around in a confined space. We've eaten 'Remoska' style 5 times out of six already, and we only set off on Friday. The other night was fish and chips in Dartmouth. I'm wondering how else it could be useful, and if it would be possible to dry any washing in it? Not that we've done any yet!
Today, we set off at 9.30 for Fowey with the intention of arriving at lunchtime and having a relaxing afternoon (for once). We had more choppy seas and big gusty winds, but at least it was only for four hours this time. We almost enjoyed this trip, as we knew it was only for a short time. We are however looking forward to future sailing being more gentle, and not like a Bucking Bronco ride. (Yes it was meant to be a B!) I wonder when that will be? If we didn't have a trusty boat like Bella Rosa, we'd still be in Portland right now, so we're happy to be making progress and are optimistic that we'll be in Newlyn in time to meet Alex before crossing the Bristol channel.
Fowey is a lovely place, and because it's April, there's not a grockle in sight, and what's more, all the visitor moorings are available. This is clearly the time to come here.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Jean says: We left Dartmouth to sail to Plymouth in a gentle breeze and lovely sunshine. Despite the optimistic start, the forecasts were for lots more wind and big gusty stuff in particular. People might think that because we're SAILING round Britain we would be wanting wind, but we like it to be consistent and stick to a nice steady predictable rate, and not be so temperamental. Today's trip became yet another session of wave bashing, and almost feeling the teeth rattle in our heads, as we crashed through the waves. At least I didn't feel sick this time, but there was some
swearing from Admirable Bob, and we both felt slightly exhausted when we arrived in Plymouth.
We've got this amazing thing call AIS which shows where any commercial boats are, how fast they're travelling and what course they're on. They can also see where we are, which is even better. Today, for instance, I knew we had a very large cargo ship belting straight for us on collision course, before we could even see it. One particular feature of AIS is that people can start panicking well before they would otherwise have done. By the time the ship finally appeared on the horizon, it had changed course most likely to avoid us, and I was in need of a stiff drink.

The Mew Stone as we approached Plymouth

Friday, 20 April 2012

Bella Rosa The Wonder Boat

Jean Says: It was tempting to spend the day in the marina facilities (the bath), but we were lured by the prospect of another boat trip, this time by ferry to Agatha Christie's house down the river. Sorry Agatha, but it's just begging to be gutted, but unfortunately can't be because the National Trust now have their hands on it. We had a great scone in the old stables and headed back on the boat for a lie down before tackling a fish dinner at Rockfish - possibly the best posh fish and chip emporium we have ever been to. Dartmouth is very seafaring, and retains it's latter day charm. There isn't a coffee franchise to be seen, and the river is stuffed with boats of all shapes and sizes.

Bob wrote: at last a day resembling summer, sunny and light winds. Spending the day in Dartmouth fixing a few things on Bella Rosa after yesterday's battering and drying out. Moored just outside one of George and Dawn's properties on the south coast, think we may try to break in tonight to get a bed that doesn't rock. To be honest yesterday felt like sheer endurance and no pleasure, I had my doubts about the round Britain malarkey, but when you've had a glass of wine or two and then wake up to a day like this your faith in the enterprise is restored.
Here's a piccie of Jean smiling on the quay in Dartmouth

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Day Four: Portland Bill to Dartmouth 19/04/12

Jean says: Having kept an ear open half the night to hear if the wind was dying down, we got up at 7.00 and saw that the weather was going to be pretty much the same for the next few days, so we might as well leave today. The force eight had finally died down, and it was likely to be a force six, which was fine, but the coast watch at Portland Bill had reported that the sea was particularly rough around the Bill area.
We knew Bella Rosa the wonder boat could handle it, and decided to take a chance on being able to handle nine hours of very choppy seas, with wind against tide ourselves. Bob was 100% fine, but I felt sea sick for the first time ever, and spent six of the nine hours trying to watch the horizon
and think of nothing. This was interspersed with trying to keep an hourly log, and an occasional visit to the heads, both of which involved a trip down below.
Today, all forays down below were hindered by the Velcro on the coastal offshore foul weather sailing gear attaching Itself to as much as possible en route, including one of the blue and white striped nautical themed cushions, and the union jack tea towel. I've never noticed this happening before, but it was probably because every move made was followed by being slammed against a surface quite hard. I never realised what impressive stuff it is. We could use it to secure ourselves to the seats in the cockpit in future for additional security. I wonder if anyone has ever thought of that?
We were very relieved to arrive in Dartmouth and decided to stay in the upmarket Dart Marina, This marina has great facilities like proper baths, a swimming pool, sauna and jacuzzi. Bob went off to have a shower, and I spent about half an hour in very hot water up to my neck trying to thaw out. Being able to have a bath is the one thing that I miss on a boat, and I wasn't expecting to find one in Dartmouth, but it feels like such a luxury. We're going to have tomorrow off to recover, before heading off on a shorter journey possibly to The River Yealm.

Couldn't get a picture of Portland Bill so here's one of Portland Bob!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Jean Says: We're still in Portland marina and could well be the only humans here sleeping on their boat. This suggests that we are possibly a bit unusual.
We walked the 4 miles into Weymouth today for a Marks and Spencer fix as there may not be many more M&S's for some time. The walking is keeping the limbs working anyway! We've had a few tips from friends who know the area about what else we can do in Portland. We've decided on a visit to the lighthouse tomorrow, and the full cream tea option at the Lobster cafe. This is what holidays in Britain are all about. Having said that, Bob has put some Spanish music on to conjure up a more Mediterranean atmosphere, and we're having a glass of wine.  
We're hoping to be off on Friday, but the wind needs to calm down by tomorrow lunchtime. Thanks J and J for the reassuring tip!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

It's lucky that we like Portland Marina, because we'll be here for a few days. It's blowing a right hooley out there, and the sea state is very rough in Lyme Bay - who'd have thought it? We went for a long walk round Portland, mainly round the perimeter of the prison, which goes on for miles. We were forced to buy sandwiches from the Co-op, as it seemed impossible to find a gastropub anywhere. Perhaps the locals don't go out to eat very often, or could it be that most of them are behind bars?
Looking out to sea, we could see the extreme turbulence of the notorious Portland Race. Allegedly, substantial vessels have disappeared without trace in this race, and seeing it in its full force eight glory was a reminder of why it's important to give it a wide berth. Preferably via Dorchester if it was possible.
We think that we may be able to leave on Thursday or Friday, but the forecasts are changing all the time, and even if the wind dies, it still takes 24 to 36 hours for the sea to calm down. You can't cheat and get the bus when you're on a boat.

iPad painting 'Passing Old Harry'

Monday, 16 April 2012

DAY ONE: 16/04/12

Jean says: My parents came down to Berthon marina at 8.30 this morning to wave us off, and take photos of us wearing our "Round Britain" caps that Sue and Richard had made for us. Tres chic! At 9.00am we finally sailed out of Lymington and turned right, headed down the Needles Channel, across Poole Bay and then on to Portland Marina. We were whooshed along by a fair tide that just happened to be going to Portland as well. There was no wind at first, but after St. Albans Head, we switched the engine off, and sailed peacefully the rest of the way.
Portland is a strange place. There used to be a naval base here from the 1800's, when they built the long breakwaters to keep out first the French, and then the Germans. Now that we're all big mates, it's just the waves that need keeping out, although there are some very suspicious characters lurking around the motor cruisers. Some of them may even be foreigners.
When the Navy left, the marina was built, and the area has been designated as an official Olympic venue for water sports. Apparently it was the first Olympic venue to be finished, but we can't see any evidence that anything has changed since we first came here three years ago. I don't know what we were expecting, perhaps a large dome of some sort, or even a ferris wheel?
We've also been told that the Crown owns the seabed under the pontoons, which is a very odd concept. Perhaps the Queen comes sometimes to shoot a few pheasants when they're running a bit low at Balmoral.
The shipping forecast predicted gale force winds tomorrow and maybe Wednesday, so we are tucked up in the marina for at least two nights. We said we were going round Britain, but did we ever say it was by boat?

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Jean Says: We've finally set off to the boat. Leaving for three months doesn't feel very different from leaving for a two week holiday. We're both feeling so relaxed, we're almost in suspended animation. It's a perfect day with clear skies, cool crisp air and the English countryside is showing itself at its very best. We've closed the door on normal domestic concerns, and have three months of edited living, and the chance to see our Island home in all its unadulterated glory. This is the year of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics being held in Britain, so it feels like an auspicious time to be doing this trip. We've said a temporary goodbye to Bonnie dog, Sophie and Gracie, all our lovely and supportive friends We are about to visit my parents to say goodbye to them and they'll be waving us off tomorrow when we set off from Lymington. I think they feel scared for us, but we've re-assured them that it's not dangerous, and we won't be going near the notorious whirlpool in the Gulf of Corryvreckan. That's what you could call a Pinnochio moment. I think they're going to have to stop watching "Coast" for the time being.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Bob wrote: A few people have asked if they can track us en route and the answer is yes, via a site called Shipfinder. It works off AIS which basically broadcasts our position, speed and heading whenever we're sailing. You can track our postion 'live' when we're sailing or if we're tucked away somewhere or in the pub it'll show our last position. Go to and search Bella Rosa
Jean Says: Preparations still underway, even though we aren't yet...... Provisioning: It might be hard to get your five a day when you're crossing the Atlantic, but given that we'll never be more than a day away from a shop, we have no real excuse for eating convenience food. Having said that, we are about to enter a world of instant coffee, hob nobs, tinned chicken balti, baked beans, anything covered in chocolate, and items of the well known brand, I can't believe it's not edible. We know this for several reasons, one is that through previous experience, we've already anticipated our imminent culinary downfall, and have stocked up copiously on the above, the other is, that we've found that we frequently don't CARE what we put inside ourselves after a day of being tossed about on a boat, and generally being blown to smithereens. So far, standards have never dropped to the level of Pot Noodle, but if they ever do, our training in May Day procedure will come in handy. The most important thing is to make sure that we don't arrive back covered in carbuncles and twice our normal size, although if we do, it might not be because of the food. Other shopping: Age defying Moisturising cream

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Jean says: It's important to make offerings to the Gods particularly Neptune prior to embarking on an epic voyage, so I'm putting some money on "Seabass" at 18-1 and "Neptune Equester" at 100-1 in The Grand National. There doesn't seem to be one called "Trouble Free Trip Round Britain In Unexpected Three Months of Fabulous Weather". Maybe I should be packing....

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Well, just four days to go. Everything on Bella Rosa looking good, went down today to get a couple of things, sort a problem on the electronics and fit the auxillary anchor. Weather not looking great but still hopefull we can get from Lymington to Dartmouth in one hop on Monday. General plan is to get to Newlyn towards the end of the month. Our friend (and Coastal Skipper teacher) Alex Day will then join us for a few days to do the passage to Milford Haven and then over to Arklow. From there it's up the Irish coast to Dublin, Strangford lough and Belfast.