Ocean Sailor No More!

The beginning of the end. The Ocean Sailor gives up his freedom, nights rolling at anchor, tinned food in bowls, stories of the ocean wave, of fishing, of customs houses, boat boys, lobsters, wahoo & mahi-mahi, dolphin, whales, live blues, rum, dangers in the night, the meeting of so many nomadic friends and sleepless nights at sea lashing things to the deck, reefing and watching in exchange for…..Corporate Man!  I mean just who is that? It’s all wrong isn’t it? Mmmmm, go round again??? Which way is south? How satisfying will the future ‘long legs’ of 65nm across the Channel

Chuting down La Manche

Rounding Ushant we raised the cruising chute in the steady waters of La Manche, the English Channel, as we ran downwind toward Guernsey. Making up to 9.5 knots we decided not to fly the kite at night so as dusk fell we drew down the sock and packed it away all relatively easily. Now what did we learn on the ocean? Ah, yes, to reef down at night. But this is just the simple little old Channel, right? Home waters, only 65m deep, just coastal stuff. So we went into the night with a slight sea and full sail. The

Post Biscay

Everyone is happy to have crossed Biscay. We caught up with Sacha who single handed the Atlantic circuit and he is with Monica and his mum, Siggy. We met in Grenada and again in the Azores. As a family we are re-united again with just the UK shore team missing. Will has joined us for a week’s holiday and has settled in very well.

Brest arrival delayed by Starfish

One lucky starfish about to get minced through the bow roller but spotted whilst checking the angle on the chain. Would it let go? Not on your life. The first attempt to remove it was to douse it with a litre of fresh water. At first nothing happened so we were pondering step 2, maybe a bit of salt and vinegar? Alas it found fresh water so disgusting that it pealed itself away and fell to the depths.

Biscay Battered Day 2

It doesn’t matter what the wind is doing this patch of sea is totally unpredictable and quite mad. The waves have no pattern or shape to them and it can be relatively calm for 30 minutes and then turn wild again within a few hundred yards. All in 15 to 25kn of wind. It is almost spring tide so the currents are running. Now I know how it feels to be a battered cod. What am I talking about? I have no idea but after being Biscay Battered for 48 hours with almost no sleep because conditions are changing that

Biscay Madness

And the rough night turned to a rougher day. How can waves that size develop on the back of 20kn wind? It was getting big in the afternoon and we were already facing being unable to make Brest simply because we were unable, and unwilling, to climb the wave faces. But at around 6pm the wind dropped to 10kn, the waves mellowed, the tide turned and life has been OK since then. The wind bounced back to 20kn, backed to WNW, and now we are on easy street fro a run to Brest with about 140nm to go. Fingers crossed

Biscay Badness Day 1

Nobody wanted to leave La Coruna and we had to force ourselves to let go the lines; what an amazing city in August. And I can vouch for the medical facilities and staff as well. Up until about 40nm offshore everyone wanted to U-turn but there is a point far enough from the shoreline that breaks the tie. We held onto our Caribbean experience and put a reef in the main as we left the marina. Within 500 yards the wind dropped from 15 knots to not much. As everyone else raced around under full sail we found it hard