Prior to 2014 I had not sailed offshore and my sailing experience was limited to messing around on Lasers and Lightnings; but I had a dream to sail around the world and completed a number of RYA sailing courses, from Competent Crew to Yachtmaster, between 2014 and 2016, plus some mile-building passages. Then in May 2018 I retired to go sailing.
I bought my first and only boat, a Sadler Starlight 39, in January 2017 and have since sailed the Solent and Channel waters; around Ireland; cruised the Inner Islands to Orkney and back to Pwllheli (home port) via the Caledonian Canal and have recently completed a 12,000-mile circuit of the Northern Atlantic.
We (me the skipper, plus one) started in North Wales in April 2019, cruised south to Portugal and the Azores before sailing to the Cape Verdes to cross to Barbados in January 2020.
We cruised swiftly north from Grenada through the Caribbean up the USA East Coast and our passage continues to head north; hoping to make it to Greenland this year despite the COVID-19 restrictions.
We had a few minor boat issues en route – who wouldn’t? But my latest little drama could, with hindsight, have been avoided. Should it occur again, I can now resolve the problem without the expensive diversion to a marina and use of a professional engineer.
The problem revolves around impellers. How many times have you changed your impeller? We have done so several times and never given much of thought to where all the bits of missing rubber have gone. Out of the exhaust... haven’t they? Well, actually, no – as we found out to our cost when the last impeller shredded itself!
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
A WEEK AFLOAT NORTHERN SPORADES, GREECE
Blue water, rich culture and charming fishing villages are all waiting to be discovered in these Greek islands, says Lu Heikell.
‘The boat was slammed over and water poured in'
Randall Reeves leaves the storm jib in its bag while braving the Southern Ocean to prove that speed is safety in heavy weather
The easy way to calculate course to steer
You don’t need paper charts and complex diagrams to calculate course to steer. Mark Browse explains a method that’s easy enough to do in your head
Sailing schools ‘severely hit' by COVID-19 social distancing restrictions
Training centres offering sail cruising courses have been disproportionately affected by restrictions introduced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
JON SANDERS WAY OF THE WORLD
Jon Sanders is nearing the end of his 11th solo circumnavigation around the world. Elaine Bunting finds out what drives him to keep seeking out the solace of the sea
HOME WATERS - ENCHANTING ARCHIPELAGO
Justin Butler takes his five-year-old daughter on a magical cruise along the south Cornish coast to the Isles of Scilly
Sailors warned of berthing scam
Chris Chandler (inset) is advising people to check with marinas before parting with money for berth rental after he was scammed out of €3,500 for a berth rental at Port La Napoule
FIRST TEST BENETEAU OCEANIS 40.1
The 40ft yacht market is fierce, so has Beneteau’s new family cruiser got what it takes? Graham Snook heads to the Solent to find out
A VOYAGE AROUND THE CUILLINS
Having scattered the ashes of his friend Roger Chisholm in the waters of Loch Coruisk, Howard Steen continues sailing his circuit of Skye
How To Cruise In Europe After Brexit
Keeping a boat in Europe has offered easy adventure and warmer climates, but as regulations after Brexit begin to take shape, this could all change. Lu and Rod Heikell look at what this means for cruising sailors
Into the Denmark Strait
A bristlingly cold gale whipped across the silvery North Atlantic and up the narrow fjord.
Riding on Thin Ice
Greenland is hoping to ramp up its adventure tourism with outdoor pursuits like mountain biking. But can—and should—its small coastal communities handle a boatload of tourists?
Greenland's Hostile Wilderness Becomes A New Front In The Trade War
Greenland’s hostile wilderness becomes a new front in the trade war.
Beast from the East to roar again
THESE hardy New Year dippers may not be so shore about getting back in the nippy North Sea any time soon: the Beast from the East is returning.
Amazing winter birds
Now the cold season has arrived, visit one of these top locations to see birds in spectacular numbers
BEST OF THE WORLD
The joy of travel comes from the unexpected. And while the pandemic was just that, bringing journeys to a standstill, it’s certainly not quieted our curiosity. With the new year comes the promise of a return to travel, and we’re eager to get going. The editors of the 16 editions of National Geographic Traveller around the world have lined up 35 of the very best places our planet has to offer for 2021 and beyond: superlative destinations that speak of resilient communities, smart sustainability efforts and unforgettable experiences for post-pandemic explorations. The world is full of wonders — even if they’re hard to reach right now — so take this time to plot and plan your next journey and lay the foundation for that much-dreamed-about big trip
Let the devil take the hind most
Sometimes, the hardest part of selecting a cull beast is separating the stag from his harem of hinds, especially when he’s busy showing off to a young pretender
Kings Of The North
Venture into the breathtaking, fragile realm of the polar bear
Piecing Together Historic Climate Events
Researchers from the University of Melbourne in Australia, Dr John Hellstrom, Prof Russell Drysdale and Ellen Corrick, have managed to assemble the most precise records of major climate events from thousands of years ago. They explain what their research has revealed.
Fat Tyres In Frozen Lands
If you’re a regular reader of Expat Living, you’ll know that we enjoy following the adventures of the HER Planet Earth team as they explore some of the world’s farflung corners. This time, they journey across Greenland – by bicycle!