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Mary Doll
Owner Derek Smith
Design Oyster 56
Length Overall 17 m 47 cm
Flag United Kingdom
Sail Number

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Mary Doll - Day 2 - Soggy Breeks

Today started off in a very soggy fashion. It’s great sailing downwind (going in the same direction as the wind is blowing) as you have a nice breeze through the boat and the path across the water is generally smoother and more comfortable. The downside is that when we get a Caribbean style downpour (aka ‘totally pishing’ doon) we get the full cold water shower treatment. Standing at the wheel soaked to the skin… ah, this is the life!Shouldn’t complain as the downpours don’t last long and the warm breeze dries you out quite quickly. Normally fully dry just as the next shower comes through and the whole sequence starts once more. We are making good progress, cruising along at good average speeds. The sea is a bit ‘confused’, the waves don’t know which way to go, all crash into each other. read more...


Mary Doll - Day 1 - Rawhide and an International enquiry.

And we are off, to buy some lovely St Lucian rum and then we might just join a race, sorry a competitive but fun rally. Jostling for position at the start we managed to stay mid pack and hopefully got a couple of good photos of our fellow participants raring to go. We got our downwind sail plan deployed, poled out headsail, main on a preventer and staysail funnelling the wind onto our headsail. Reasonable speeds achieved, decent course,all was good.Well almost all, it rained and it was cold during our first night. Too many Caribbean days have been spent without jumpers or wet weather gear and Mary Doll was searched or rather ransacked for appropriate clothing. Our second challenge, sleep.The sea is confused and we are often presented with large random waves from multiple directions.It’s. read more...


Mary Doll - Day 18 - Time flies when you’re having fun

Today was to be a good day.It was foretold, but someone didn’t tell today.Last nights gastronomic delight was tuna and sweetcorn mayonnaise with crackers and breadsticks.Mmmmm.At least we have an electric kettle and can make a welcome cup of tea.The last night watch of yesterday saw me awoken from my sleep to assist with the navigation systems which had lost signal.Using the trusted IT department trick of turn it off and back on again the system was back up and running in no time.Midnight to 3am watch went without a hitch so maybe today will be a good day after all.4.30 am I’m awoken from my sleep again but this time with more urgency.The autopilot has gone off and the navigation system is giving incorrect course details.It took a few minutes to get our steering back on track using the. read more...


Mary Doll - Day 17 - What could possibly go wrong

We are not looking our best* but we continue on under main and stay sail.We get remarkably good speeds. Morale is a bit low today with lots of replays of last nights events taking place in the minds of the crew. But we resolve not to let the event with the squall get us down but to learn what we can and accept what we cannot change. We are all safe and we know things could have been worse.Surely now our bad luck is behind us.Toasted bagels are ordered to give the crew something to smile about.Life is good. The gas we changed a few days ago went out unexpectedly and on inspection we find the canister empty.No more gas is on board. Half toasted bagels and another opportunity for the crew to find the positives, this is character building. Luckily we can use the microwave. Problems starting. read more...


Mary Doll - Day 16 - A Little Hiccup

Everyone onboard is safe and well. Repeat, everyone onboard is safe and well!The same cannot be said however for Mary Doll. this morning she is looking a bit like Cinderella running from the Ball. (Or in her case - squall).At 0115, we were hit by a squall and despite our best efforts, we weren’t able to get the headsail in before it ripped. It was a hectic time getting the sails under control and stabilising the boat but the crew teamwork was fantastic. Adrenaline is an amazing drug!!An arguably even bigger problem we had was that the pole (used to keep the headsail rigidly out) had been ripped from the mast and was swinging dangerously. Given that it is 15ft x 0.5ft metal pole, it was a very real risk of causing further damage (breaking windows, rigging etc) as it swayed.The stormy. read more...

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