Adventures of a small yacht

Expeditions

New Toys – GME Epirb and Garmin Inreach Mini

5th February 2022 The 406 Epirb wasn’t really a new toy. My old GME Epirb’s battery had expired so it needed renewing. When I phoned Sartech they offered me a tempting upgrade to the version which has a built in GPS. It can save rescue time if the Epirb incorporates a GPS, so it seemed a no-brainer to pay the difference and get the upgrade. I sent off my old one for deactivation and the new one arrived very swiftly. What is so lovely about these gizmos is that there are no charger cables involved, no pairing to other devices

Read More »
Boat Maintenance

Sumara’s Propeller

I’ve just finished painting my propeller. It does seem a shame to cover up all that lovely bronze, but I think it may be getting some really hard use this year. The wind in Scoresby Sund can often be very light. If there is a lot of drifting ice around then it can be very hard to steer a clear path whilst under sail, so motoring will often be the way forward. Johnston and Loftus Boatbuilders had the propeller specially cast in nickel aluminium bronze by Clements. This is a very resilient material both strength wise and for resistance to corrosion.

Read More »
Clothing

Gloves or Mitts – or Nothing at All?

Best for Dexterity – Bare Hands Here are a couple of tricks to keep your hands toasty warm without using gloves at all: Just Rubbing Let your hands get very cold, then rub them vigorously until they warm up. They will soon get cold again, so rub them again. You may need to repeat this a third time but then something wonderful happens and your hands will start to heat up into little furnaces – well mine do. I use this technique for the winter in England, it probably wouldn’t work in Polar regions! Ski Poling You don’t need ski’s

Read More »
Arctic

Notes from my Expedition Journal – East Greenland 2019 – in the yacht Integrity

Notes from my Expedition Journal These are notes taken directly from my little waterproof notepad. I was invited as crew on Will Stirling’s splendid yacht “Integrity”. We were aiming for Scoresby Sund but for my second time we were thwarted by ice. Any additions or alterations to the original notes I have made in blue, otherwise it is an exact transcript. The notes were really just aimed at being a brief aid memoire for myself but I thought I would share them. They certainly only just touch on the wonderful adventures that we had! Scoresby Sund July 2019 5th July

Read More »
Camper Van

Canterbury in the van

25th – 27th December 2021 For Christmas we thought we would do something a bit unusual and whizz off in the van. It transpires that it wasn’t very unusual at all as the Canterbury Camp Site was fairly well booked up. We pitched up at 15:00 on Christmas Day and set up the awning, laid down the ground sheet and popped the roof before taking the woofer for a short walk – in the dark. Spaghetti Bolognaise isn’t our usual choice of Christmas dinner but it was easy and warming. We washed it down with a few beers and a

Read More »
Gear - Camper Van

Laptops for Boats and Vans without spending a fortune!

14th December 2021 Rotherhithe Although I am more than happy to leave my laptop resting at home, there are certain voyages when they can be useful, or even virtually essential. I need one for my next trip to Greenland so that I can download ice charts and grib files*. I rather liked my old Toshiba Notebook which I took on my Jan Mayen expedition but because it is now just 11 years young it is no longer possible to run the latest Microsoft software, so it was time for a forced change. I had a hankering for a Panasonic Toughbook

Read More »
Boat Maintenance

Applying Gold Leaf

Gold leaf is the ideal way to set off a cove line or a carved name plate. Gold paint can often be troublesome because the “gold” is normally made from brass flakes which can go green with verdigris when exposed to salt water. It can be protected with varnish with some success, but the effect is unlikely to ever match real gold leaf. If you are going to use a metallic paint, try looking at Ardenbrite or Polyvine and follow their instructions carefully. Applying gold leaf to get a reasonable result is relatively easy. You will need: 320 or 400

Read More »
Boat Maintenance

I’ve had an idea – and I think it’s a good idea

In the world of “Lifting” and “Working at Height” all the gear needs a regular inspection. Generally every six months, unless a competent person decides otherwise. With large items it is quite easy to label items and keep a log of the inspections but for small lifting gear such as shackles it can be very hard to label the product so you can easily tell when the inspection is due. Some organisations have come up with the simple wheeze of attaching a coloured cable tie with each colour representing a time period. They can then say: “Can you gather all

Read More »
Crew and Friends

Velsheda J Class Yacht K7 May 1987

I know the subtitle of this website is “Adventures of a small yacht” but I recently posted a picture on Instagram of the time when I chartered Velsheda for a weekend. I had a request to see more pictures – so here we go. I’m not too sure who actually took the photos but, as I seem to be in several of them, it clearly wasn’t me. Credit to the photographer if they own up. Just a reminder of 1987, it was the year of the Great Storm…….. Of course digital cameras didn’t exist then so these photos would have

Read More »
Boat Maintenance

Sumara’s Ropes and Rigging

The Standing Rigging November 2021 There is the age-old debate for when the correct time is to replace a yacht’s standing rigging. All my rigging has been changed at least once over the thirty-one years that I have owned Sumara. With my planned expedition trip to Scoresby Sund in 2022, I decided to take the plunge and replace all the standing rigging and the halyards. My old policy was to replace a couple of shrouds each year, but I have rather lost track of the paperwork and it seemed more straightforward to just renew everything in one go. I have

Read More »
Categories
Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.