Adventures of a small yacht

Things from the Sea-caves of Criccieth yonder

Yesterday was my last day with Arthur Beale!

1st April 2022 Yes, I am moving on. It is now an unbelievable eight years since that slightly scary “Whoops-a-daisy, we’ve bought a Chandlers!” moment. I have certainly enjoyed the challenge of resurrecting the old ship, but it is now time for me to to allow the new owners to make their mark while I move onto other projects. The truth is I never really planned to buy the old shop in the first place. I simply contacted the owner to see if he would like to hold some stock of theatrical hardware from Flints Theatrical Chandlers. With the shop

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Camper Van

Wells-next-the-Sea and the Coastal Exploration Company

Wells-next-the-Sea 25th – 27th March 2022 As a Christmas present for Grit, who decided she didn’t want anymore “stuff”, I purchased a day trip on a Mussel Flat Boat with the Coastal Exploration Company. The slightly devious part was to choose to take up the voucher on the weekend which just happens to be my birthday – clever wheeze, or what! The other “clever” bit was choosing a day that was warmed from dawn to dusk by spring sunshine with a gentle north-easterly breeze. There was no “cleverness” involved here, it was a sheer fluke. We booked Friday and Saturday

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Boat Maintenance

Making a Scramble Net Cum Boarding Ladder – Part Two

I’ve finished the the Scramble Net cum Boarding Ladder! Ok, I haven’t tested it yet, so it could be a totally useless pile of junk but we shall find out in a few weeks when I hope to test it in the chilly London Docks. I was surprised how many things didn’t work. In the original drawing the webbing was just one loop at the top to be tossed over the winch which was being used as a strongpoint. However, when you put your foot on one side of the first rung, the loop slid around the “winch” and the

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Expeditions

High Latitude Expedition Insurance

14th March 2022 – London There are probably going to be two parts to insuring an expedition yachting trip heading for the high latitudes. Firstly, insuring the boat, and secondly insuring the crew for any potential search and rescue costs. Generally, this will involve two separate policies. Let’s start with the yacht. High Latitude Sailing Yacht Insurance I wasn’t too sure if I would ever get insurance for Sumara to cover the Greenland part of her trip, but I was very keen to have some cover for Iceland. My concern was that an Icelandic Harbour Master may ask to see

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Running, Walking and Training

Steyning Stinger – Half Marathon – 2022

6th March 2022 – Steyning Our favourite Half Marathon has returned! As I’ve mentioned this wonderful race many times before in this blog , I won’t bother describing the course again only to say that this year the running conditions were perfect. It was cold, maybe a bit breezy, but it was generally dry underfoot, which is very rare indeed! This time we decided to drive down from London, leaving at 06:00 and arriving way to early for the 08:30 start. It gave us a chance to have a natter with Anthony and Pen who were also back for more

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Gear - Yachting and Boating

Making a Scramble Net Cum Boarding Ladder – Part One

I have been giving some thought to retrieving a MOB and decided to make a boarding ladder that can also be used to parbuckle a casualty onboard. Not sure how this will work out but here is the design concept. I’ll post another video showing the build process and finally I’ll try it out and see if it actually works!

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Deal Half Marathon – 2022

20th February 2022 – Deal, Kent In order to keep on track with at least a moderate level of fitness in preparation for the forthcoming Greenland trip I have been entering the usual half marathons. Deal is the first up for 2022 and serves two very useful functions. Firstly, it is a great excuse to catch up with fellow Vertue owner Philip Main who lives nearby and secondly it is a fitness check just two weeks before the brutal and very muddy Steyning Stinger. Let’s get the excuses over with, and there’s always something wrong. This time I broke a

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Boat Maintenance

Storm Proofing Sumara

Friday 18th February 2022 – London With Storm Eunice approaching, I am picking up on a slight sense of panic amongst many boat owners. Will their covers be OK? Will their boats be OK with those wooden props and wedges especially with the mast up. Will their mooring lines chafe through? etc With Sumara currently in Scotland, and I’m down in London there isn’t a realistic chance of popping up to the boat to check things are alright. Over the years I have taken various measures to help me feel at ease when a storm sweeps through. Always Mast Down

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Camper Van

Chatsworth in the Van

We stayed in a small campsite about 40 minutes drive from Chatsworth. I like these little sites run as a side-line to a pub or farm. This one was called Poplars Farm and seemed to have about 5 hard standing pitches, plus a couple of “cottages”. It cost us £19.00 per night with LX hook up. I would suggest you take a doormat with you as the hard standing seemed to rub off a white dust which some fussy campers might find annoying. We were sited away from the minor road, but at night you could still hear the local

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Arctic

I’ve just built a Classic Wooden Drone!

It will fly at 24 feet above the deck and point in exactly the same direction as the boat. That is because it will be fixed to the upper spreaders! It is typical of a wooden boat owner to solve a technical problem with a piece of wood and six coats of varnish but at least it will look nice even if it doesn’t work! The problem I am trying to solve is being able to spot leads in the ice. William Scoresby Senior invented the crows nest partly for finding a path through the ice but also for spotting

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