Thursday, 2 March 2017

Evening View from our Anchorage at Bequia



Thursday, 23 February 2017

Caribbean 2017

Finally got here after 23 days - plenty of wind but a fishing net round the rudder for 800 miles. Yes, a windier trip than we expected - F6-7 gusting 8 for more than 10 days. No serious breakages other than a blown fisherman (topsail). After Barbados we moved on to Bequia, with Canouan, Tobago Cays, Union Island and Grenada to come.

Here's our track, and there are some pictures at http://blue-hound.com/2017-Caribbean.html


Thursday, 28 April 2016

Canaries Cruise, March 2016

A great month of cruising, although we didn't get to Hierro. A couple of bumpy crossings, and a dozen nights at anchor. I might head east next, to Fuertaventura and back to Lanzarote - and Graciosa for some tranquillity.


Monday, 14 December 2015

Update

After a couple of years ashore refitting in Malta, we finally got going in July 2015.

Our track was roughly as follows. Apologies for lack of real narrative!

Anchor off Gozo 2 nights, Marettimo (Egadi Islands) 1 night.

Next was Arbatax in Sardinia (2 nights in the marina – an ok place), followed by a night at anchor north of Cape Comino.

The wind proved to be a problem going on, so we spent a few nights at anchor in Porto Brindici. This was a great spot, very picturesque.

The next leg was up through the Madalena Islands followed by several nights at anchor, gale bound but secure, just south of Cala de Volpe. This Cala was a huge meeting spot for major superyachts, not really ‘my cup of tea’.

Then one more night at anchor before the longish crossing to Menorca. Porto Mahon proved to be a very laid back and pleasant surprise. They offered very good deals for over-wintering, but the 2 mile open fetch to the east did not appeal. A go-to-again place.

Having lost a week with heavy winds along the way, the next leg was to Ibiza, anchoring for a night. Onward to mainland Spain next, and Cartagena. We enjoyed a couple of nights in the marina (great town) and then headed down the coast, anchoring at Aguilas, and then another long leg to La Linea (Gibraltar) for fuel and a night at anchor. On then through the Straits and anchorage outside Barbate.

Next was the leg up to Chipiona where I have wintered before. Not very busy, and we hauled out for a few weeks and return to UK. To keep close to the 6 week window had meant a lot of motoring (1200 litres, 1300 miles) with over 30 nights at anchor.  I spent some time at anchor on the Guadalquivir river just north of Bonanza/Sanlucar de Barrameda, and included a leg to Magazon and back.

In early November we moved to Vila Real de Santo Antonio in Portugal and spent 3 weeks in the very reasonably priced marina – another place I would definitely return to. We stocked up for the trip to come and after a couple of nights anchored in the Olhao Channel (secure and peaceful) near Faro we set off on 6th December for the 525 mile leg to the Canary Islands.

The wind was not up to expectations again, being very light and variable and not living up to the forecast at all - we had a slow passage, arriving in Graciosa on 11th December. Graciosa is unspoilt and delightful – but you have to make your own entertainment. Despite it being mid December, it’s very warm and although we got wet on the bumpy dinghy trip ashore, we were quite comfortable. It just reminded me of why I wanted to be back in the Canaries for Christmas.




As I write this we are sitting out a near gale between Graciosa and Lanzaraote.






Monday, 27 April 2015

Reports of My Death are Greatly Exaggerated

Just quoting Mark Twain!

There is still a problem with my email at blue-hound.com - someone has been spoofing me (are they mad?) and emails to me are being bounced. The hosting company does not know why, still under investigation.

If you've had an email bounce, then please write again to my sailor account at gmail. If you are a friend you will know which one.

I'm just coming to the end of a long refit in the Med and looking forward to getting back out to the Atlantic this year!

Friday, 19 July 2013

How quickly time flies and tides flow...

...yes, over 500 regular tides since I last picked up the pen for this blog. Hard to believe - though obviously we didn't see the tides in the Med! Another winter in Sicily has passed and a windy one it was! We finally got away during the first week in June and spent 2 days wind-bound, anchored off the Palazzo inside Cabo Passero. The Palazzo figured in one of the Montalbano episodes.

It's a good anchorage (have used it previously) though we hooked a rock which kept us solidly held as the gusts blew through. Use a tripping line if close inshore - there be rubble off the factory pier!

Then, a pleasant sail to Malta and an anchorage in St Paul's Bay. We're ashore now for a refit over the next few months.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Decisions - if only there was one to make

I've been in Sardinia almost 2 months now, and I'm chafing at the bit. Wind today E 4/5 and then swinging NW 6/7. I could be down in Gib in 4 days, but commitments and work mean I have to hang around. Med is done for me, but looks like it will be next year before I'm back in the Atlantic. Still, tonight's sunset was a tonic!

(c) James Marinero