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11/06/2022

Arkyla - 11 Jun 22: Ready to go

The time is nearly upon us for the start.  Over the last few days skipper James has been eyeing up the weather, racer-boy Rich has been eyeing up the opposition, charmer Mark has been eying up the totty, and motorboater Mike has mostly been eyeing up the chocolate rations!  A quiet evening is planned for tonight after yesterday’s day sail around the Hoe and impromptu attempt to drink Jolly Jacks dry after the Rally welcome dinner; we will be as fresh for the Biscay leg as our combined 227 years of creaking bones will allow… James Kenning . read more...


Arkyla - Arkyla: Castle Island wing-on-wing
Arkyla - Arkyla: Castle Island wing-on-wing
Arkyla - Arkyla: Castle Island & crew
Arkyla - Arkyla:  Castle Island & crew
Arkyla - Arkyla: Katy under parasail
Arkyla - Arkyla:  Katy under parasail
Arkyla - Arkyla: Katy and Via Mio under cruising chutes
Arkyla - Arkyla:  Katy and Via Mio under cruising chutes
22/06/2022

Blue Pearl - Video & Slideshow of Baiona Leg onboard Blue Pearl

. read more...


21/06/2022

Bolero - Bayona

A shower and a very welcome sleep were deemed priorities when we were safely moored in the marina of the Monte Real Club de Yates, Bayona followed by a leisurely stroll in late afternoon sunshine around the walls of the peninsular by the Paradore de Baiona.On Friday, Katy, the final boat to arrive moored to a loud cheer from everyone just as we were abut to be taken to Vigo so UK passport holders could be checked in to Spain.  Steve stayed in Vigo so he  could meet Judith at the airport.  Maz, Nick and WIlly returned to the good ship Bolero to give her a clean and wash down. Bolero crew was once again quorate when Steve and Judith arrived. All rally crews enjoyed a sangria on the balcony of the yacht club and then a lovely dinner at a local restaurant.   Saturday. read more...


Arkyla - Arkyla: Moonrise mid-Biscay
Arkyla - Arkyla:  Moonrise mid-Biscay
20/06/2022

Blonde Moment - Baiona, Spain Blog 6

Baiona - a really welcome and lovely stop-over.Thursday was spent washing the boat down inside and out.Fresh food was bought and enjoyed and each time another Rallyer arrived we downed tools and welcomed them in.Paul and Roy managed to re-hoist our headsail whilst Dee rinsed the salt off it after its unscheduled swim in the Bay of Biscay!Everyone feeling pretty exhausted after the crossing.Friday the last boat arrived and we were all bused to Vigo to have our passports stamped.Laundry was the order of the day but we finished with a Welcome Sangria on the terrace of the prestigious Yacht Club overlooking the bay followed by an enormous feast in a local restaurant.Saturday most crews went to Santiago de Compostela but having been twice before we decided to walk locally and repair bits and. read more...


19/06/2022

Arkyla - 19 June 22 – Normality returns

That’s it… the last of my delivery crew have jumped (been firmly shoved off) ship, and Jenny has successfully navigated all UK airport chaos to join the boat at 0230 this morning.Arkyla has her standard 2-up crew again!Much like the weather, life onboard has also moderated with the return of the feminine touch to the boat; sudden squalls of flatulence, long swells of crude humour, and kidney-killing nights of madness are hopefully now distant storms in our wake!I’ll miss those boys (cantankerous old men) though and send them a massive vote of thanks – it was a real blast, and I couldn’t have made the crossing without them, but it’s definitely time to settle into chill mode!So here we go… we’re looking forward to getting to know all the ARC P crews a bit better now as we head south to the. read more...


Arkyla - Arkyla: Dolphin Escorts
Arkyla - Arkyla: Dolphin Escorts
Arkyla - Sea Crusader: Plymouth start
Arkyla - Sea Crusader: Plymouth start
Arkyla - Katy, Bolero & Blue Pearl(?): Plymouth start
Arkyla - Katy, Bolero & Blue Pearl(?): Plymouth start
Arkyla - L'Horizon: Plymouth start
Arkyla - L'Horizon: Plymouth start
Arkyla - Falcon: Plymouth start
Arkyla - Falcon: Plymouth start
Arkyla - Arkyla's dolphin escort
Arkyla - Arkyla's dolphin escort
18/06/2022

Arkyla - 12-16 June 22 – Biscay Crossing (is that all you can throw at us Poseidon?)

Sunday morning and my crew is, if not well-oiled, at least sufficiently tarred and feathered!We fire up the iron mainsail and head to the start line with morale at an initial 100%.On the gun, we head for outside the Ushant TSS; somewhat annoyingly the Eddystone is in our way and we are forced to drop east and watch Falcon smugly point higher to the west… but our battle is not yet over with this 2-handed band of blue-hulled pirates!In a few hours the fleet is splitting either ‘inside’ or ‘outside’; we go west tracking Sea Crusader hoping to outwit our nemesis Kite Runner who has stubbornly maintained a mile‘s gap ahead of us all day.By 0400 we are clear of the TSS and heading south.I turn on the engine to charge batteries to be somewhat panicked at the ensuing alarms from chart plotters,. read more...


14/06/2022

Blue Orchid - Leg 5 - Santa Maria to Lagos

On Midday Sunday we passed The starting line and left for a cloudy passage towards Lagos. IMG_1348. read more...


Blue Orchid - Leg 5 - Santa Maria to Lagos
Blue Orchid - Leg 5 - Santa Maria to Lagos
16/06/2022

Bolero - Rocking, Rolling, Riding

Finisterre lived up to its reputation, and delivered a challenging passage.The last 60 miles into Bayona proved that the game ain’t over until the fat lady sings.We had said how perfect the conditions had been for anyone crossing Biscay………… then things pepped up a bit from 19.30.The wind completely died and we wallowed tacking and gybing on the same heading to find the merest of zephyrs on a perfectly smooth sea.Then, as quickly as it had gone, the wind returned and we were off again in heavy seas.This pattern continued all the way to Bayona.A crash gybe followed by goose winging in 35 knots is not for the faint hearted.The headsail was furled and we charged on under full main at 8 knots….quite quick for 43 year old 19 tons!The wind finally died down and by midnight we were becalmed. read more...


Falcon - Log Day 4 Emergency Deck Hand
Falcon - Log Day 4 Emergency Deck Hand
Falcon - Log Day 4 Deck Hand
Falcon - Log Day 4 Deck Hand
16/06/2022

Falcon - Log Day 4

What can I say…it’s not plain sailing!Started the day watching sunrise for an hour with a pod of dolphins and had weather calm enough for showers; all was glorious. Ended the day in multiple gust fronts around the Cape being smacked over again with 25-30 knot winds, pulley breakages on the main, Hydrovane bolts working loose (thanks for the tip to check SV Walkabout!), and to top it off the BWR sail escaping in 25 knots and necessitating an emergency drop on deck in the dark surrounded by fishing boats. A lot for two weary sailors also having to hand steer! And then a weather check to find the rest of the journey is directly upwind and it’ll be raining on arrival. I guess they were really good dolphins though! :-)image3. read more...


Falcon - Log Day 4
Falcon - Log Day 4
16/06/2022

Blonde Moment - LOG 5 - Arrival

"Let's head South for better, warmer weather" the skipper said during the winter when I mooted another summer cruising in Scotland.As I write there is thunder and lightning; we are in full oilskins; it is black up ahead and although it is warmer, it is also raining!We woke (Wednesday morning) to fog north of Finisterre and very little wind.Gradually it got brighter and enough wind to sail - Happy Days! Then as Roy and I were on watch sailing happily along in 8-10 knots of wind we could see a line across the water.Whilst Roy went to get his waterproofs on it went from 8 to 18 and then 34 knots within seconds and seriously needing to let the mainsail out.and reef......scary!From early afternoon till we got in to Baiona at 10pm (UK time) we had no wind - squalls - too much wind - a happy. read more...


15/06/2022

Bolero - Land ho!

We are now flying the Spanish courtesy flag and Q flag and can see the coastline of Spain.We had hoped that sailing in Spanish waters would mean shorts and tee shirts……. Sadly these are hidden under our oilskins at the moment.The frustrations of sailing: a cold damp night with a fading breeze.Yesterday’s sun has been replaced by numerous shades of grey which would put the Farrow and Ball paint chart to shame.The highlight of the night was being joined by a pod of dolphins at 0230.Steve and Maz spent some time overnight trying to work out ship’s time as some of the electronic gadgets were showing UTC and some BST.It took a while to remember that wind up wrist watches gave the correct time!This morning we saw pods of dolphins, a school of whales and two fishing boat and lots of sea mist.We. read more...


15/06/2022

Blonde Moment - Day 4

Everyone slept well after the excitement of yesterday.However, as I came on watch at 5am Roy reported the fog was beginning to roll in......radar on and Roy stayed with me for an hour when Paul joined me as two pairs of eyes better than one.We heard the liner "Anthem of the Seas" fog horn two miles away but could see nothing.A minor miracle - the halyard and remains of the shackle have been coaxed down so no need for Paul to go up the mast and we are planning on getting the headsail back up soon. read more...


15/06/2022

Blonde Moment - Day 3

Having reported a day of surfing down huge waves in beautiful sunshine with dolphins visiting, we all enjoyed Kelsey's spag bol (thank you)! - all feeling more like it tonight.......Overnight we had gusts of 30knts; a boat speed of 13knts on Roy's watch in the dark - great excitement.Even putting the main away at midnight we were surfing at 7-8 knts.The two boys slept well but yours truly could hear the roar of the waves and felt us being picked up and hurled into the night........ (too much imagination!)Tuesday wind slowly decreased.We have been goosewinging since Ushant and then at 1445 bang! the headsail shackle snapped and the sail gracefully descended and very kindly went down the side of the boat into the water rather than under BM."All hands on deck" said in earnest and an hour. read more...


15/06/2022

Falcon - Log Day 3

After a night/day of strong winds with giant waves the crew decided that sailing is cold, damp, uncomfortable and difficult! Bring on the sun and sangria!Testing of the new sail configurations and wind vane continue with much more time spent taking sails in/out and zigzagging about then actually going forward! After getting soaked with waves breaking over the stern it was decided to pack things away (a bold trip to the bow to get the pole in) and just make the boat comfortable to allow the 2 crew to sleep and eat! Now we slowly glide into a much calmer night.Many lessons were learned, half way celebrations were muted but spirits as ever remain high!image1. read more...


Falcon - Log Day 3
Falcon - Log Day 3
14/06/2022

Bolero - Day 3

Bolero continues to romp along.We have had a rolly 24 hour downwind sail with winds up to 25 knots and a 2 metre swell.The sun has now begun to burn through the clouds and the sea is changing from a murky grey to a lovely shade of blue.We lost count of the number of encounters with dolphins we saw yesterday afternoon, many of whom played in our bow wave for quite some time.We have not seen any so far today.Our AIS is picking up all the shipping around us, fellow rally boats go into stealth mode from time to time, Blue Eyes has blinked, Kite’s done a runner, Grey Goose is still lost in flight and Blonde Moment has just reappeared.The crew are quite happy with the nautical miles and food we are chomping through.We have 200 miles to go.Fair winds Nick, Maz, Steve, Willy. read more...


Falcon - Log Day 2 BWR Photo
Falcon - Log Day 2 BWR Photo
14/06/2022

Falcon - Log Day 2

Day 2 saw the formation of the nature appreciation society. Hundreds of birds diving into the water feeding at sunrise was a spectacular sight, followed by frenzied feeding dolphins (no orcas phew!) and one weary bird who cost us a few miles as we didn’t have the heart to kick him off the halyard to shake the reef out! More dolphins at sunset topped off a great day being pulled along by the giant butterfly (Bluewater Runner) and steered by wind magic (Hydrovane). Although the 24 knot overnight winds weren’t necessary!image1. read more...


Falcon - Log Day 2
Falcon - Log Day 2
Falcon - Log Day 2 Sunrise Photo
Falcon - Log Day 2 Sunrise Photo
Falcon - Log Day 1 Sunday Photo Sunset
Falcon - Log Day 1 Sunday Photo Sunset
Falcon - Log Day 1 Photo - Incoming solo sailor race!
Falcon - Log Day 1 Photo - Incoming solo sailor race!
13/06/2022

Falcon - Log Day One - ‘The Crossing’

Awesome weather; sun and light winds for the ARC Portugal Start Line. Mixture of excitement and nerves as we crossed the start line and headed out of our home port of Plymouth. It was so lovely to see many of our friends and family who turned out to wave us off.Photo as we passed Eddystone Lighthouse for the last time heading south. A spirited upwind sail across the channel and then an early decision to run inside the Traffic Separation Scheme off Ushant (France) which meant some cargo and container ship weaving was necessary!Couldn’t believe the oncoming AIS signals about 2am when what seemed like 50+ Solo Sailors in small yachts dodged passed us. A lovely sunset but a chilly night and it was good to feel the hot rays of sunshine in the morning as we emerged into the Bay of Biscay.image1. read more...


Falcon - Log Day One - ‘The Crossing’
Falcon - Log Day One - ‘The Crossing’
13/06/2022

Blonde Moment - Day 2

The start was remarkably civilised......15 boats all sizes but plenty of room. We crossed the start line maybe 1-2 minutes after the gun and made our way to the outer breakwater.No dramas and the fleet soon settled down into their natural positions.Paul was given the task of a roll call at lunch time and everyone seemed to be enjoying the sail and moderate winds.We heard a little later that one boat had had to turn back with an unwell crew member but that was sorted and the boat resumed its course for Baiona.A highlight was a group of small dolphins breaking away from feeding to play round the boat for a while.Things got a little more interesting as we approached N. France.......we crossed the northern line of big ships coming out of the separation zone and had almost crossed the. read more...


13/06/2022

Blonde Moment - log day 1

Before the start........Finally we escaped from Hamble on Tuesday 7th June heading for Plymouth!With a west going tide from 5am, it was an early start.The crew thought we were aiming for Portland - a short first leg, however, with a forecast of westerly winds increasing on wednesday, the skipper decided to head for the west side of Lyme Bay.We anchored in a quiet spot in Torquay Bay at 2100 - grey, damp and poor visibility couldn't detract from the peace and quiet.Wednesday we caught the last of the west going tide with a lively hop round the cornerr into Salcombe.Fish and chip supper was the order of the day but harder to find as restaurants were either fully booked or closed due to lack of staff.The last leg to Plymouth had fair winds and pleasant weather but having berthed at. read more...


12/06/2022

Bolero - A Perfect Start

After two years of delays, we made it to the start line of Rally Portugal 2022.A huge thank you to the rally team for giving us the impetus and confidence to make it there.We have had a great time in Plymouth getting to know the crews from the other rally boats and are looking forward to meeting the other participants who will be joining us in Bayona.We started at 09:00 in lovely Devon sunshine and a gentle breeze with a huge cheer from the boats when the horn was sounded over theVHF.Our first crossing of the Bay of Biscay is now a reality…….I think we have enough food on board to do a circumnavigation!Fair windsMaz, Nick, Steve and WillyWe are looking forward to Judith joining us again in Spain. read more...


11/06/2022

Katy - Log 3 - Pre Departure Excitement

Skippers briefing was today with Simon Rowall giving a weather update which could possibly never be better. If ever there was a time to cross Biscay it is at 09:00 tomorrow. This has proved rather fortuitous as that is the precise start time of ARC Portugal 2022 where 15 yachts will gather off the Plymouth Corinthian start line to begin a great Portuguese adventure. I think there is still nervousness on some boats but mixed with excitement. Certainly this is the longest I will have sailed non stop so I am firmly in this category but deep down I can't wait to drop the lines and head south. This week has been a bit of a surprise for me but a very welcome one. I honestly didn't expect such friendliness and helpfulness from both participants and organisers. I am so glad I participated. read more...


11/06/2022

Falcon - Log Day Minus 1

Finally ready for the start of ARC Portugal after a fabulous induction by the expert WCC Team. We are Adrian and Bev, a crew of two who are both nervous and excited for our first Biscay crossing! Wishing everyone a great sail and a safe passage-see you in Bayona! image1. read more...


Falcon - Log Day Minus 1
Falcon - Log Day Minus 1
10/06/2022

Katy - Blog 2 - Safety Check

We had our safety check today with Roger which was a particular honour for me. I have watched Roger on the WCC videos and youtube for quite some time and I have always learnt something so was great to have him on board Katy checking her out. I think he was happy. Then was the initial crew get together at Plymouth Corinthian where I got to meet some of the other boat crews. Good to see Jayne again from L'Horizon as the last time I saw her she was throwing buckets of water over me me as I tried to get into a liferaft. We were on the same sea survival course a few months ago at Hamble. Thankfully we both survived and are here to tell the tale. I'm so excited for Sunday and can't wait to get going and leave everyone in our wake! I wish! Still a few jobs to do but just about ready.. read more...


08/06/2022

Arkyla - 8 Jun 22: Prologue

Finally, after two years of COVID delays, our ARC Portugal moment has arrived.  Arkyla has been in Mayflower Marina since we splashed her in early April, and (almost) all works and snagging have been completed ready for the off – she is a boat with a mission!The wife, 1st Mate Jenny, will not be on the first leg; reluctant to abandon our ageing cats for too long, she will join the boat in sunny Bayona - conveniently after the slog of the Biscay crossing!  As such I had to scour my list of friends to recruit a fun, enthusiastic, and professional team of seasoned mariners with whom I’m happy to share 45’ of confinement for 4-5 days… obviously an ask too far, I’ve settled for a motley mix of old university rugby and RAF mates.  Arkyla is, for the coming week, a boat of. read more...


07/06/2022

Katy - Log Day 1 Arrived Plymouth

Safely arrived and berthed up at Mayflower Marina (E9). Pretty uneventful trip to get here but was stalked for 30 minutes by a warship across Lyme Bay who kept a few hundred metres away but reciprocated my course and speed. Must have been pretty boring for them chugging along at 3.5 knots. I should have gone in to stealth mode and turned off my lights, AIS, Echomax and turned 180 degrees. I wonder how they would react to that. Completed a huge 3 jobs of 105 on the list today so must try harder tomorrow.Gary O'Grady. read more...


Blue Orchid - Sailing Azores - Leaving Horta and passing Pico
Blue Orchid - Sailing Azores - Leaving Horta and passing Pico
Blue Orchid - Sailing Azores - Leaving Horta and passing Pico
Blue Orchid - Sailing Azores - Leaving Horta and passing Pico

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