Sunday, 10 December 2017

Here we go....

The day had finally arrived, and we only had a few jobs to do before we set sail. We topped up the boat with fresh water, did the final checks on the engines etc and paid our dues to the marina. All Kim, Simon and Sienna had to do was to say goodbye to their friends and while they were doing that I went to help another sailor who was solo sailing and needed a little bit of help to get off the dock, so he could get some fuel.

I jumped onboard the boat with him and we headed towards the fuelling dock. After filling up I gave him a push off and off he went. I have to take my hat off to this guy, as he is 70 years of age and still sailing on his own and loving every minute too. Got to love him for that.

After he set off, I ran back to Simon’s boat and jumped onboard. His friends let the ropes go and after a few tears we waved goodbye.

We motored out of the marina, down the Charleston channel and out into the Atlantic where we set our sail for the first time and then Simon turned off the engine. All I can say is that it is a weird feeling knowing that the wind is moving along on total silence. All I could hear was the waves and the wind, but we were motoring at 7 knots and it was free…. Yes free…  No fuel being used just us and the sea ahead with solar panels powering the batteries all we would have to do is sit back and enjoy.

Well if you know the sea at all, then you will know that this is not the case. The wind picked up and the temperature dropped, and the seas turned rough. I had gone from shorts and flip flops to woolly hat, gloves and winter clothes. Oh boy, it was freezing out here. It was like being at home again but this time I was going to sail through the night too. Talk about being thrown into the deep end and it was so cold that Simon decided not to do 3 hours on watch and 3 hours off, but 2 on and 2 off. It made total sense as we were both frozen to the bone during our 2 hours on deck and we were glad to get out of the wind and the cold. What made things worse was the driving rain that decided to join us I the middle of the night. It was bad enough the with the wind and the cold but rain hitting you so hard it hurts is not nice at all. We had winds gusting 30 knots, the seas were about 2 meters and in the dark of the night all you could see was the whites of the waves breaking in the moon light. At times I was glad it was pitch black as I could not see the size of the seas.

After sailing for 23 hours we eventually arrived in Amelia Island. It was a beautiful island, so we decided to get a little bit sleep and then have a look around the island about 3pm. We were at anchor on an anchor ball provided by the marina for 20 dollars a day which was really good value and then we launched our dingy to go and pick up Michael from his boat. Michael was the guy who I helped fill up with fuel and he decided to sail with us down the coast.

After paying the marina for our stay we went to the pub for a stiff one. I have never had a drink for 5 years now, but I pushed the boat out and had a shandy. Yes, I know it’s not really a drink. We had hardly left the pub when Michael got a call from the marina saying his boat had come off the mooring. We rushed back to the dingy, started it up and sped across to his yacht. Lucky for Michael’s sake a couple from another yacht managed to grab a hold of his boat and tie it against theirs without any damage done either boat. The luck of the Irish was on his side this evening. We started his engine and headed back to another mooring buoy where we put two ropes around the mooring buoy just in case one broke and the other was there for back up. After everything was tied up good and tight we made our way back into town for something to eat.

Michael was a little shocked and who can blame him after that. Its his home and when we arrived at the restaurant he entitled to another stiff one. After a lovely meal we arrived back at the yachts for an early night as we were leaving at 6am the next day as we were heading to St Augustine and we wanted to be there for day light as the mooring buoy was in a shallow area and it’s better to do that during the day than night.



Thursday, 7 December 2017

Nearly ready to sail.

We have been working really hard over the last few days getting the boat ready to sail and we can see the light at the end of the tunnel now.
The boat is polished, the hull is cleaned, anchor winch switch is fixed and lots of little jobs being done now before we set sail into the ocean.
Its all hands on deck as the start line gets closer. Sienna has now finished school but she had her 1st day of home schooling on the boat on Monday which I think really well.
Simon and Kim are getting the final things put into place before we leave and hopefully everything goes smoothly while we sail.

Here is a few pictures of the jobs we have been doing and hopefully this will be the last as we enjoy the sailing adventure.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Let the adventure begin

Over the next few weeks I will not be posting about our adventures around the Farnes but I will be posting about my adventures from another boat.
I have been lucky enough to be given the chance by my family to join another family on their yacht sailing from Charleston USA to the Caribbean.
I have been here for two days now and we are getting the boat ready for sailing so its all hands on deck before we set sail, so over the next few weeks my adventure will be a little bit different but still on the water and hopefully still seeing loads of wildlife but fingers crossed its in calm seas with fair winds.
The family have been very kind to me and made me feel at home straight away which makes life a lot easier for and I suppose for them too. It must be weird for them having a stranger come into their home and to make things worse its not like a house where you can escape but its a yacht and we are on top of each other but I have to take my hat off to them as they have feel so welcome its like home from home.
I have my own room in the bow (front) of the boat and I share a small bathroom with their daughter Sienna who is a real chatter box and is 7 years of age.  She loves life on the boat and has just finished school, so her mam Kim, is going to home school her during their adventures. Simon is the captain and he is also an Englishman and Kim is an American so its apt that they called their boat BRITICAN.

Personally I'm really excited to be given this opportunity to do something that I have never done before and if you know me at all, you will know that I don't do land so this might seem like a busman's holiday but for me its home from home but just a little bit different, so bring it on.

I will keep you updated during different stages of the trip but the internet is not the best so sometimes I don't get anything at all so please bare with me and hopefully you will enjoy the ride.