Final Leg departs Eastbourne and Dover

Leg 11 / Day 1

After all of us getting lost we eventually found the yacht, Duet. We then got to know each other and wrote a shopping list. We had to use the boat trolleys to get the large amount of shopping back to Duet. Later on we went down to the Chippy for fish and chips. We went back to the boat for an intense game of Irish snap. Several battered hands later we all went to bed.

Leg 11 / Day 2

Waking up to the sound of James making the tea and Alex screaming. Beth realised we had a drip. After three kettle boils we eventually got our tea for breakfast. We had egg, bacon, sausage and mushy but yummy hash browns. We then proceeded to leave the harbour under motor. We put the main, mizzen, staysail and outer jib 1 sails up. We had a force four west-south-westerly wind. Our point of sail was a broad reach.

Vicky and James attempted to make tea but then had to be taken over by Michaela after feeling seasick. Bethany and Beth proceed to then throw-up over the side. We then changed from Jib No.1 to Genoa. For this James went out on to the bowsprit to attach the tack. Bethany instructed us how to flake the jib.

Chicken Fajita were then cooked in rather bumpy conditions by those who were feeling sick. Beth and Bethany then saw their lunch again. We approached the white cliffs of Dover which was nicely pointed out by Beth followed by a short disagreement about satellites. We then moored up at Dover. Vicky and Bethany then cooked chicken curry which went down well after a day of sailing.

 Leg 11 / Day 3

Breakfast was at 08:30 because James had to go to the hospital after a nasty bug bite. Alex dropped an orange out of the overloaded fruit net which landed in Bet’s tea. We set out in a very light wind using the motor to help.

Leaving Dover hoping for better visibility

Leaving Dover hoping for better visibility

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Beggars can’t be choosers…or can they??

Leg 8 / Day 4 

 Phil – After a brisk walk up to the local shops on top of the hill, the group are feeling good and all suffering from land movement. We refuelled and made our way to Beggars Creek. We continued with our sail training under the Sun in a very idyllic setting. The waters were calm and I barely noticed we were at sea. The group used the Tender to go to land which looked really good fun! A new way of cooking jacket potatoes was learnt by all and another attempt at apple crumble went down well. All in preparation for our final journey tomorrow.

Courtney – Today we took a walk to the local Co-Op to pick up some pepper for Dawn, who desperately needed some on her eggs. Later on we took a small blow up boat and we sailed to a bank surrounding by trees, and found the path we needed to take but it was blocked by Ivy so needed to turn around. On the way back we found crabs, fish and small jumping bugs that chased Jess and I across the rocks. I HATE jumping bugs, blech.

Josh L – Today I woke up to yet another wait for breakfast. After our brunch/breakfast we went to the Co-Op to pick up supplies for the boat. After, we anchored further along the river bank to wander around a wooded area. To get to the path we had a climb over the cliff face. Not all of us could get up to the path as most of us slipped down the bank, cut our hands open, bruised ourselves etc. It was fun though, nice to stretch the legs. Tomorrow we set out and anchor again back to where we first anchored in Milford Haven, where we will wait for the good weather…fingers crossed.

Lauren – Long day to say the least! Weather was lovely though. We took a small boat from the Duet to another part of the river where we were anchored. We had a small test on boating terminology, which I had forgotten. Today has proven that I am physically incapable of climbing, but whatever, I don’t particularly care. Dinner was…um fun to prepare. There was a lot to do, but it was all edible. Washing up after has killed me though. My back aches and so do my shoulders. Note to self; give mum more credit for looking after us! Mixed emotions today, but it was a good day!!

Josh S – Today we sailed to Beggars Creek where we anchored. It was an easy trip as the weather was very good. Once we made it to Beggars Creek we took another boat out to the shoreline where we tried to find a pathway. It was a very fruitless endeavour as we couldn’t even get up the first hill. I arrived back to the Duet for tea and finally bed!!

Jessie – Today was calm, after breakfast we walked to the shop to get pepper and towels. During the walk I had a phone call from home that cheered me up very much. When we got back I sorted my clothes out and cleaned the boat. We then did a bit of calm sailing and stopped at Beggars Creek. We put up the Tender (air boat) and all went over to the shore, where we had to climb up the hill to find the path and get to the other side. Due to some people not being able to climb we were unsuccessful and needed to come back. Oh, and I almost started climbing. When we got back I made dinner (jacket potatoes) and cleaned up. Today was nice and sick free!!! Yey!! I think hearing form my parents made me feel a lot happier and calmer but some people are getting on my nerves. The boat is too small to get along with everyone I guess.

Luke – Today was a much better day, nice and calm and lovely and warm. We had a nice walk up to the shops to get pepper and towels. After that we had a nice sail over to Beggars Creek to anchor down fro the rest of the day. We went to shore to find something interesting but we couldn’t get far as some people couldn’t climb the hills. We then came back to a nice meal before bed.

Beggar's Creek

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Showers, dry clothing and sleep

Leg 8 / Day 3

Courtney says: The waves were much, much calmer today as we arrived in Milford Haven. So we had a comfortable journey and later on I had a shower which was awesome. Can’t wait until bedtime!

Josh L says: Waves? Where you go? Not that I’m complaining! Much calmer today, calm enough to deck up in Milford Haven where we have taken cover from the elements. After a short debrief, I ran off to use the deck showers…bliss! After staying up all night on deck last night freezing, it’s just what I needed. It’s been a very quick day today, but around the corner is an early start.

 Lauren says: Day 3 was a lot better. I didn’t feel sick to the point I wanted to go home at all and I was eating properly. We spent the day in Milford Haven so we could send our soaking stuff through the tumble dryer, and have a well deserved shower! On the way in I learned to navigate a little and I steered the boat a bit. (Proper term begins with ‘H’ but I can’t remember it…) The day was fairly easy and enjoyable, so it will be interesting to see what the last 5 days bring! I spoke to mum, dad and Rhian too. (Rhian is my younger sister). They all miss me, I miss them, and mum and Rhian should stop being wimps! I’ll be home on Sunday!

Josh S says: The day started in Milford Haven where we were anchored. We then sailed through the mist to Milford Haven Marina. It was a long trip but the waters were calm so it was easy. When we made it to the Marina we could finally get back on dry land. Where we could have a shower and dry our wet clothes. Once we got back to the boat we all fell asleep.

Luke says: Today was a much better day. We set sail to dock up in Milford Haven, the sea was a lot calmer today. I was on watch for the way down. Once we got to port I had a lovely shower but whenever I closed my eyes everything felt as if it shook. Then I was carrying all the gear to get it dried once we had done that we went to bed.

 Jessie says: Today I was better! I was not sick and we didn’t go on rough waters. I had some cereal this morning. We sailed through the mist into a marina where we stayed at night. It was fun, I got to drive!! And no, I didn’t almost flip the boat, I was a good driver. I had a warm shower in the marina and it was lovely! We also got to dry our stuff but most of them didn’t dry. I ate dinner, it was good potato, ham and cheese, and chocolate orange angel delight, it wasn’t that nice. Sleep will be better tonight and I’m glad I haven’t been sick. I wish the rest of the trip would be like this, but I don’t think its going to be!

Phil says: A good lie in was welcome but we still needed to be up. Breakfast was served but it was midday by the time we had finished. The mist was heavy and cold, so we took our time to get to Newland Marina to moor up for the night. The guys are learning new skills each day. Josh S can now butter bread, cook eggs and bacon and cut cheese, as well as developing his sailing lingo. All the kit is now dry and the showers were really hot and powerful which was great! Good nights sleep was had by all!

At anchor in Dale Bay

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Log updates for days 4, 5 & 6

Leg 6 / Day 4, 5 & 6

Day 4

Ryan . . .We got up and went for a shower. Had breakfast then made out way to Douglas. Was about a 6 hour journey. On the way round, me and Andy and Cleghorn where doing a tack and as soon as I had tied off my line a big bad-ass wave came aboard and more or less flung me to the back of the boat. It was quite exciting ha, ha!

A wave washs aboard Duet

Day 5

Lexi . . .We were on 2nd watch this morning so we got a long lie. When we got on deck there was no sail up ‘coz the wind was against us so we had to use the engine but later on we put the sails up when the wind changed and we made goo time.

We took it in turns to steer the boat whilst Cleghorn and Tiny tried tae catch fish (Nae luck boys). The weather was ok today when the rain was off.

We saw lots of oil rigs and standby boats and other big ships. The nearer Liverpool we got the more windfarms we saw. We had never seen a windfarm before.

We had pasta for munch, (Tasty Paul!), then we tidied up and scrubbed the deck and took the jib sail down and put them away . Now we have a few hours to kill before we can go up the River Mersey.

Day 6

Lexi . . .We got a long lie in today. After breakfast we went into Liverpool town centre and had a look about. We went through China town.It was cool. A lot of the street names were the same as Glasgow After we went back tae the boat and tidied up and scrubbed if for everyone coming to the ceremony. After that we met the pilot who explained tae Francis how the river was and stuff ‘coz of the fast tide in the Mersey.

At five o’clock the ceremony started. There were lots of people there. We met the guy that owned the marina and our Champion Lisa and some guys that were mates on sailing boats. We met a couple of the new crew and showed them around the boat. (I think we sacred them then!!! LOL).

Later on we had a big buffet. It was healthy. There was all sorts of grub.

Later that night we had a couple of pints and relaxed with Gavin the Mate and Francis the Skipper.

When we got back aboard we went to bed but were up ‘till all hours in stitches. We were laughing about everything and anything. Later on that night Andy ‘sicknote’ took a pounding. We nearly sank the boat we were laughing so much, the tears were running down our faces. LOL.

 

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Showertime!!!

Leg 6 / Day 3

Paul . . Day 3 was pretty banging. We arrived in Peel the night before and got a mooring spot in the morning. SHOWERTIME!!! Hot water never felt so good. We have also explored a castle and walked the hills. Me John and Cleghorn decided to took a detour and got lost in super bushes. On the way down we saw a team of sheep on the cliff and Lexi thought he saw a sheep flying.

That night Paul took us for a pint and John got whipped at pool.

Lexi . . .We got a shower this morning. It was great. I never wanted to get out. Later on we went for a walk around Peel. The town centre was tiny. ‘Not wit we’re used tae!’

We went for a walk around Peel Castle. The woman let us in for free (proud of her). It was good. Later on Tiny, Cleghorn and me went and picked stones and shells of the beach tae take home. Later still we had dinner and went out together.

PS Me and Dempsey puff like chimneys and we made it tae the top of the hill and Paul and Andy bottled it (Chickens! LOL)

 Leg 6 / Day 4

 Paul . . We have sailed around the Isle of Man to Douglas and arrived at 6pm. 32 miles to get fuel!

One more leg to Liverpool. We saw a KFC and I started to feel a bit normal. Came back and got a banging roast beef dinner. They have all gone for a short walk., I don’t want to get soaked in rain so I am staying here to read for a while and get a bit of peace.

Liverpool can not come quickly enough!!!

An island on the West Coast of Scotland

Not the Isle of Man

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Dolphins, seals, crabs and a frog named Gilbert

Leg 5 / Day 4 & 5 (Tuesday 26th & Wednesday 27th June)

Caledonian Canal – Lynn of Lorne – Oban – Crinan Canal – Ardmarnoch Bay

Saskia . .It was hard beginning this morning setting up the sails and allowing the wind to guide us forwardWe sailed south past the Lynn of Lorne passing scenery so devastatingly beautiful.. So enigmatic it was hard to look away!

The weather brightened up around noon and we all enjoyed a much deserved lunch of lasagne and chips.

Levels of excitement reached a crescendo when we witnessed a pod of dolphins swimming by the boat. It was magical. Watching the animals leaping out of the water was truly a sight to behold.

.It was a mad start to the day when leaving Oban. Trying to haul up the 60m anchor chain before breakfast was not easy. Fitness has definitely improved.

I have now decided how I feel about sailing. It is literally methadone . . .all consuming. No greater feeling in the world than when the boat is cutting through the  icy water.. . .smooth . . . free.

Hilda . . .It’s just a few days after midsummer and we are way up north and west so it gets dark really late. At midnight you could almost read a newspaper. Then it is light again by 3am.

On Saturday and Sunday it rained often but the sun came out on Monday and we had two glorious days of sunshine with just enough wind to sail but not so much that the sea was rough.

After sailing south from our anchorage we sailed past the Isle of Seil – we didn’t see any seals except for a brief glimpse of a seals head checking us out. But we did sea the ‘bridge over the Atlantic’ which connects the Isle of Seil to the mainland over a narrow stretch of sea at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean.

For nearly an hour we were accompanied by about twenty dolphins which swam by the boat. One of them rolled over and stared at us from underwater with it’s beady eye.

We continued south past the Gulf of Corriwreckan and the famous whirlpool north of Jura where the Atlantic is squeezed through a narrow underwater chasm.

We could see a strange stillness on the sea’s surface which could lure underwater sailors but we kept at a safe distance

Saskia . . .Get up. Eat. Pass through a lock. Rest. Pass through a lock. It rains. Pass through a lock. Navigate. Pass through a lock. This was the perpetual motion of the morning. It was exhausting work manually move the 15 lock gates going along the Crinan Canal. However when we got out into the open sea things got better. We passed endless islands and uninhabited coastline. In my peripheral vision I could see the horizon stretching for miles around, mist shrouding much of the land. We docked up near Loch Fyne and lowered the anchor for the night. As a special treat we wre allowed to go ashore in a small dinghy to explore and have a treasure hunt.

Shelly . . . Today was a hard day as we had to pull the boat through  the locks as it weighs 27 tonnes. We also had a fun day as we saw loads of dolphins.

Kayleigh . . .Today we have seen amazing mammals in the Lynn of Lorne. We saw dolphins and the head of a seal. And we went past a whirlpool near the Atlantic Ocean.

Hilda . . . Gavin has been busy throughout the day making repairs to the boat. He never asks for thanks but whenever he disappears you can find him beavering away somewhere onboard, for example tying elaborate knots to fix the guardrails around the deck.

Francis showed us how to draw our position on the chart by putting a cross on the latitude and longitude reading. This apparently would be useful in case we got lost.

The Crinan Canal is completely different from the Caledonian Canal. It is much narrower but fortunately we didn’t meet any oncoming vessels. There wasn’t much room to pass. It’s much shorter but their are lots of locks – and unlike the Caledonian Canal where the lock gates are machine operated, these are manual – you have to push them open. It’s very slow.

The lock keepers have been friendly. Almost all like to chat and passing tourists enjoy watching the boats going in and out of the locks. We talked to many international visitors doing our bit for international exchange. We went through the Caledocian Canal together with a big Swedish yacht in tandem, motoring across the locks and lochs.

Although the Crinan Canal is only 12 miles long it seemed to last a long time. It felt like being trapped in Groundhog Day. That we’d never get out of the canal.

Heather . . .The trip up to now has been amazing. We saw dolphins and they came right up to the boat. We also found a frog and called it Gilbert. We went through lots of locks that we had to push open ourselves. It was hard work and a really back breaking task.

We anchored up at Ardmarnock Bay and pumped up the dinghy and went ashore. We had to find four things. It was hard to find them as we left it to the last minutes when the boat was coming back to get us.. We made a fire but it didn’t work for long.

When I was tying the fenders to the side of the boat, my glasses fell off into the water and they sunk.

On the island we found a crab and called it Gavin.

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Great with Marmite

Leg 4 / Day 3

We had a chocolate sponge cake made for us by Jonny Johnsons wife which was “Damn fine” & now the staple for this idyllic sail

‘Southerly 4 at Rattray Head,Sunny & warm’ is a gift from D.O.Andy from Aberdeen…”Morning rolls for fishermen” he said. We said, “Great with Marmite!”

…”I’m Scottish & I never heard of them!! Very buttery,& great for a fuller figure!!!”

Thank you all.

Eating in the cockpit

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