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British Isles

Table of Contents

Dartmouth Harbour, Devon UK

Channel Islands

1 June 2004

With any luck this will be the last entry before we leave. We are still waiting to have our life raft sorted. We have just spent the last couple of hours stowing food for our trip - NOT including meat, fruit&veg. As a result one of our heads (bathrooms) is filled with beer - Kev has commenced his training and has stocked up on Brisbane's XXXX ! We are both really looking forward to making our first real passage.

29 May 2004

We went for a sail / race today with Rod, the owner of Kalina, a lovely custom built boat (Kalina is apparently Aboriginal for Breeze). We did really well in the race though it seems that we were not following the same course direction as many of the other boats. In any case we had fun! We have been made to feel very welcome by Rod who is the Commodore of the St Helier Yacht Club. We are still waiting for a cannister for the life raft. This will now determine when we leave.

22 May 2004

Liferaft Packing Laughing Mark and Kate arrived yesterday and we went for an eventful sail today. We set off in the middle of about 50+ French racing sailors. This in itself would have been fine except that in front of a race about to commence we managed to accidentally deploy our life raft (we had removed the safety pin for cleaning a few days previously and forgotten to replace it). This meant that while the racers were belting off across the harbour we were limping back in towing a fully inflated life raft! After a couple of bouncy hours we managed to recover the raft - though we lost the cannister. Eventually we set off for a boisterous sail along the Jersey coast.

20 May 2004

After arriving in Jersey one of our first jobs was to take delivery of the many bits and pieces we had ordered over the past few months - including three extra anchors and five boxes of spare parts! Not to mention a fairly extensive medical kit - WHERE WILL IT ALL FIT???

16 May 2004

bikes mum_kev We spent the last few days with Marilyn and Myles (Kevin's parents) cycling around Guernsey - the views of the coast were really lovely. SOME of us were feeling a little saddle sore so we visited the military museum which is situated in tunnels dug by British POWs during WW2. The museum was fascinating though I thought it was sad to see military medals on sale for a few pounds when the people who received them paid so much for them in other ways. It was very sad saying goodbye to Marilyn and Myles as they headed to the airport.

9 May 2004

bcb2 A champagne breakfast on board for Helen's birthday did the trick after a tedious journey back against the wind and tide. We headed into town to watch the carnival in celebration of liberation (from Germany during WW2) and independence from Normandy - 800 years ago!).

8 May 2004

Steve helm 2 Helen and Steve arrived and after considering the weather man's offering of strong winds, decided to go for a sail. We headed over to the lovely island of Sark with a 7-8 behind us. We had a great run over before dropping the anchor in Dixcart Bay on the other side of the island. We ate pizza in the cockpit before taking the tender ashore for a few beers. We had a delicious meal ashore and enjoyed a gorgeous walk back along the cliff tops. Unfortunately by the time we arrived back we found small waves breaking in the bay so getting into the tender was soggy work. We spent a fairly uncomfortable night in the bay as by this time the anchorage was really rolly. Nobody needed much encouragement to get up early the following morning for the trip back to St Peter Port.

4 May 2004

We left Scilly yesterday morning at 0900 and arrived at St Peter Port in Guernsey at 0900 this morning. We had a wonderful sail yesterday in bright sunlight and again last night under a full moon. For the bulk of the trip we had great winds (force 5/6) but at about 0330 this morning things went a little down hill and before long we had a force 8 which was not the best way to approach the Channel Islands. Still Sapphire took this all in her stride and we arrived without any problems (if somewhat wet and very tired).

Scilly Isles

2 May 2004

idis wasp4001 Back to St Marys this morning, picked up a mooring and settled in to watch the final day of the Gig racing world championships. This follows the tradition of the original Gig boats - these small boats used to compete with one another years ago in the race to deliver a pilot to the larger ships off the Scilly Isles, the first boat to deliver a pilot to guide the ship through the waters won the business.It was a really beautiful day, we were in two minds though as to whether to leave tonight to tomorrow for the Channel Islands. It seemed such a shame not to make the most of the day so we decided to leave tomorrow morning. The atmosphere for the racing was great with good spirited competition between the racers and bags of enthusiastic support from friends and families who had travelled to cheer them on. Even the local fishermen were escorting the gigs in - with passengers on board. We paddled over to "Tamarind" to have a drink with Merv and Penny (who had come out to watch the races). Merv and Penny were entertaining the crew of "WASP" - a local Yealm boat.

27 April 2004

abbey pink_flowers We are now moored at New Grimsby Sound between the Islands of Tresco and Bryher. Tresco is renowned for its magnificent gardens wherein plants from all over the world, including Australia and South Africa flourish. The Scilly Isles are notorious among seafarers - there have been over 900 recorded shipwrecks in these waters. They are now very well lit and marked but still to be treated with the utmost respect!

23 April 2004

johnhelm2 We were really lucky with the weather today and enjoyed a gentle sunny sail from the Helford River to "The Cove" between St Agnes and Gugh in the Scilly Isles.

Devon and Cornwall

22 April 2004

kevjohn001 carlatheresa What a fantastic day! After spending the night at John and Carla's gorgeous house on the cliffs of Cornwall we enjoyed a wonderful breakfast on their terrace - we even saw seals playing in the bay. We spent the day seeing St Michaels Mount and then lunch at St Ives. Kev and John made sure we were fully stocked up on the MOST delicious Cornish pasties in preparation for our trip to Scilly.

12 April 2004

newton_ferrers fc9001 smugglerscottage2001 We arrived in the River Yealm yesterday to catch up with Mervyn and Penny, good friends of ours. After spending last night at their house in Newton Ferrers on the Yeams eating, drinking and talking into the early hours, today was a little more sedate and a day to see to the domestics of shopping and laundry. Merv, Penny and Fred (their son) came on board this evening for a drink with us whilst Merv (having spent quite some time there) pointed out some useful anchorages in the Azores.

10 April 2004

kev2 Up at 5.00 am and off to Salcombe today. We had an easy trip around and were very excited to see our first pod of dolphins playing in the bay. We were hoping that they might come and play in our bow wave but they weren't interested. (I am told that this is their breeding time so they may have had other things on their minds..) We spent the night at anchor in the Salcombe estuary. We wandered around the town and visited the lifeboat museum which was well worth a look.

9 April 2004

dartmouth_harbout kev_pub Following our arrival in the River Dart on 7 April we spent yesterday and today exploring the river and the towns. The Dartmouth Harbour is quite spectacular and the towns of Dartmouth and Kingswear (on opposite sides of the harbour) are pretty with some beautiful old buildings. We took the tender up the river to Dittisham where Kev saw fit to sample the local ale.

London, Ipswich and South Coast

6 April 2004

studland We headed from Portsmouth through the Solent to Studland Bay where we spent the night snugly at anchor. Though the winds were still fairly strong Studland Bay is well sheltered and has very good holding for the anchor. As we were beating into the wind ALL day I was dismayed to see that at one point we were only making 2 kts through the water - until I noticed we were making 8+ kts over the ground due to a fair tide.

30 March 2004

east_coast leaving_Ipswich We arrived at Fox's marina in Ipswich on 7 March where Sapphire was hauled out of the water to have her bottom painted! We spent about three weeks in Ipswich having the boat serviced and slight modifications made including a sun cover to offer some shelter in the tropics. While Sapphire was out of the water we were extremely fortunate to be "taken in" for about a week by Graham and Gillian who live in Woodbridge and then by Dave and Rosemary who live in Chelmsford. Their kind hospitality made this time significantly more pleasant. We departed Fox's on March 30 2004 and headed down the Orwell River to the Stour where we spent the night at anchor.

5 March 2004

Millenium_Dome thames_barrier After refuelling we set off down the Thames. We passed the Royal Naval College at Greenwich, the "Dome" and through the Thames Barrier to the Medway where we spent the night at anchor. It was not one of London's sunnier days but in any case a day we will not forget. One of the St Kath's swans saw the opportunity when the marina lock was opened and made his escape down the Thames with us!