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Approaching the Start

Day 3 - Yesterday was far pleasanter, we had sun and smaller seas. I was goosewinged from 0800 and under almost all plain sail except that I’d a couple of rolls in the genny just to prevent chafe on the pulpit. At 1030, with the wind fairly steady at about 12 knots I set the assymetric spinnaker which gave us another knot or so. It’s still cold but far nicer in the sun, no radio signal so I listened to some ‘Du Glas’ (Lucy’s band) on spotify.

Having tidied up a little. Really, a little. I started reading Ma’s diary that she wrote for the ‘Weekend’ magazine as a substantial part of their income when they were sailing Salmo, shamefully I’d not read it before. It’s fascinating and although I know the story it gives a different perspective to the story. I also have the Restless Wind, to keep me company when we set off across the Atlantic. I possibly spent too much time reading yesterday as I’m just leaving Pitcairn with them a the moment. It also highlights Daddy’s minimalist sailing style and some of the advantages disadvantages of it. One line I liked was ‘going through the locks Salmo ended up about 10 feet below the lock wall, Peter found this no problem, he just leaped at the shrouds, monkey like, and slid down them to the deck.’

By 1500 there wasn’t enough wind to keep the assymetric flying so I stowed it and started the engine, we’d been maintaining about 5 knots in the lighter winds but this dropped below 3 and as I’m not racing I couldn’t be bothered to keep trying to keep her going and also want to avoid any damage to anything as much as possible.

In the middle of the afternoon a tweet disturbed my reading. A swallow had flown into the cabin, quiet and controlled he flew up to the loo, turned around and flew out again. I have brought a bird book with me, as homework for Beagle Cruises, so can confidently say it was a swallow and not a heron. Going up on deck some time later three swallows were sitting on the pushpit, they then flew into the cabin, sat on my hammock (a small one I’ve made for potatoes onions veggies etc) and surveyed the area. I believe that they were thinking that this was an acceptable roost. I chased them out before they made any mess. They aren’t bad at flying, it’s not a big cabin and it’s moving around a bit but they had no problems manoeuvring turning or landing, I don’t think I could manage it. Anyway after that I closed the hatch.

Dinner included fried eggs, the olive oil has gone through the cloudy stage to a jelly like stage, I had to squeeze the bottle to get some dollops out of it.

I picked up a phone signal around 2100 and have now booked a car for travel North on Monday. It looks like Guido is still in Gibraltar* although the last time he was transmitting was on the 24th, I’m hoping, possibly optimistically, that he’s left and not been transmitting on AIS.

It’s now 30th, I’m around the Lizard, there’s still very little wind so I’m still motoring and due into Plymouth early this afternoon. I’ve a berth booked from Sunday but hope it’ll be available, I told them I may be a little earlier if the trip went well.

Not much has gone wrong, I’m going to buy some extra rope for the self steering as it’s chafing on the turning blocks, it’s not surprising, it works hard and there’s a fair bit of strain on the lines. It’s the same set of lines I’ve had on it since buying Freya so it’s doing ok, I think that they are braided so I’ll try to get the same again as some braid on braid that I had on Stearnan was looking about done after sailing to the Faroes. (Braid being rope which is plaited up all the way across it’s diameter whereas braid on braid has a braided core with braided cover or sheath, braid is particularly difficult to splice but splicing’s not needed in this case.)

*Editor's note: Looks like Guido and Hannah of Cowes have left Gibraltar and are off Lisbon.

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John Burdett
John Burdett
May 04, 2021

Great blogging Jock, I’ve bookmarked the site and will be dipping in and out. Hope the COVID jab is a breeze today - not that you’ll be needing it whilst voluntarily self-isolating for quite a while.


Apr 30, 2021

well done! That distance is normally good for a whole summer holiday. Curious about your ma's diary.

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