Monday, 30 May 2011

Almost time to leave !!

Finally a gap in the weather, it is looking like an early start on Wednesday morning for Newlyn :))))))

Its been a real test of patience but boats are now arriving at Padstow from France, so departure is imminent.

Even the local fishermen took pity on me and dropped me off a little present this afternoon, (finally some fish, and I didn't have to kill them ;)

I have scrubbed the boat down today as it was starting to look like the local chip shop bin, covered in fish and chips, pasties and crabbing bait, bank holiday attracts the crowds in Padstow.

Roll on Wednesday !!

Friday, 27 May 2011

Sod's Law.

Its looking like I will get around Lands End next week but when, I am not too sure.

The weather seems to be so confusing and the weather forecast prove that its all over the place.
A boat attempted to leave Padstow this morning only to return four hours later, with a wind blown crew.

Its sod's law that from Thursday onwards the wind changes to an easterly, just when I plan to hit the south coast but thats a week away and the way the weather fronts are, that could hopefully change.

I am becoming a bit of a weather anorak and I think I am making the mistake of looking at far too many weather web sites and analysing the weather too indepth. This next leg has got to be right, it is probably one of the trickiest of the challenge and when you're trying to avoid cabin fever and the only thing not letting you move is the weather, its difficult not to analyse the weather on an hourly basis.

Its all about the weather !!!

Leg 7 , Newlyn Marina (Milford) - Dale Bay - Padstow

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Still in Padstow

One week ago today I arrived in Padstow, if I stay any longer I will be getting charged council tax !!

I can finally see a break in the weather coming after the weekend, however the seas are going to have to calm down, so hopefully early next week I will be setting sail to Newlyn.

I am going to have to take on longer legs to recover the time lost but hopefully with a NW wind that should not be a problem and I aim to be at Dover for week commencing 20th June.

I would like to thank all the people who have gone to the effort to donate to the charity, its amazing to see the generosity and the lovely messages and emails. Thank you.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Patience !!

I thought this 'journey' would be a test of my stamina and my sailing abilities, but its proving to be a test of my patience.

The weather since I left Liverpool has been poor to say the least and progress has been affected, I am currently storm bound in Padstow, I was hoping to leave for Newlyn in the morning but the very little gap in the weather has closed, resulting in a potential long stay in Padstow.

The Padstow to Newlyn leg has so many parameters that have to be met, ie, sea state, wind direction, neaps or spring tides and all these have to be in the right state to enable a safe passage.

Its very fustrating as I am falling behind on schedule but when the local fishing boats wont go out I think thats a message to be taken, this west coast has been very trying and hopefully when I eventually get round to the south coast conditions will improve.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Friday, 20 May 2011

Crohn's and Colitis

I am now feeling like this is all so worthwhile, the amount of people who have stopped and chatted who have Crohn's disease is amazing, its so much a silent disease which people don't discuss. They see the banners on the boat and come over to chat and to talk to fellow sufferers is great. Some horrible stories though !! I can now see that there are 1 in 250 who have Crohn's and Colitis.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

May 19th

Left Dale Bay at 05.30 hrs this morning, had a good crossing (79 miles) and arrived at Padstow at 20.00 hrs.

There was not a great amount of wind, even though it was from the north west for a change, held a steady 5 knots, sea state was a bit scary though, massive rolling waves which Zuma rolled over thankfully !!

Had an amazing encounter with another pod of dolphins and hopefully got some really good footage, will try and post video of dolphins tomorrow.

Padstow is a gorgeous little place with showers, electric and great pasties, next stop south coast.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

15th May

Well I never expected to be at Neyland Yacht Haven today, but thankfully I never went back to bed this morning and I attempted another try and it was probably the best sail so far, wind on the beam for a change instead of right on my nose. I am so chuffed to be here.

Fishguard was ok but mainly a fishing port with very little facilities and a horrible wall, where as Neyland has the biggest Sunday roasts, wifi, showers and a lovely welcome.

I went through a stretch of water today called Ramsey Sound, an unbelievable stretch, the best I have ever sailed in, the boat reached 9.5 knots and there were whirl pools, springs, calm water, really something special.
(most avoid it, but Paul from the RNLI pointed me in the right direction).

I am learning on this 'journey' that there are going to be high times and low times, yesterday was a low moment to turn back and think I was going to be stuck in Fishguard until Thursday with no amenities, but you dig deep and today is a massive high.

Thank you to all that are following , it does make a difference..Weh Hey !!

Saturday, 14 May 2011

14th May

Arrived at Fishguard yesterday after a lumpy crossing, tied up against the dock wall.

Attempted to get to Milford this morning but had to turn back due to sea state and winds, the peninsulas are proving to be very hard to get around due the the crazy tidal movements.

So its back in Fishguard against the wall with no electricity, water or showers. I am thinking of moving onto a mooring as this wall has the potential to eat boats.

Going to try again in morning, fingers crossed the sea state might have calmed down...

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

11th May

Arrived at Aberystwth at 13.00 hours after an early start and after all the praise I was giving the autohelm, it decided to pack in just as I left Pwllheli, so its full time on the helm which makes things a little bit more tricky.

Hopefully leaving for Fishguard in the morning then onto Milford Haven, I could really do with getting to Milford by Friday as storms are coming in over this weekend.

About half a mile outside Aberystwth I was welcomed by a pod of Dolphins and decided to turn around an have a little play with them, they are an unbelievable animal. Video clips on next leg video.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Weather !!!

I been stuck in Pwllheli since Thursday now due to the weather, hopefully leaving at 05.30 in the morning for Aberystwth, but I am tempted to go to Fishguard and have a long sail and make some time up.
I have covered approximately 120 mile and I am into my second week, I ideally need to be covering about 200 miles a week, so a few longer legs may be required..

Sunday, 8 May 2011

8th May

I would like to say a massive thank you to Conway Marina for waivering the bearthing fees, what a lovely marina with spotless facilities, also Victoria Marina with more than helpful staff. Victoria Marina is in the process of being developed and has the potential to be a great stop off.

Lastly and by no means least, Pwllheli Marina for the help and support and fantastic facilities, especially Will for helping with my passage plan and Paul who helped me moor up and keep myself entertained with some good local information, including informing me of an island just outside the Marina that Bear Grylls owns and another owned by Carla Lane ..

6th May

Currently moored up in Pwllheli, going to probably stay for weekend as the weather is not looking so good, next leg to Aberystwyth.

Had an 'exciting sail' over from Caernarfon (Victoria Marina) in a 'lovely' force 6 in wet conditions, wind on the nose.

Glad to have conquered the Swellies, Caernarfon Bar and Bardsey Sound as these places were giving me sleepless nights.

1st Leg - Liverpool to Conwy

Thanks for a great send of and further thanks to all sponsors and everyone who helped make this happen.