Marine Insurance

This is a subject I approached with great respect. My research in Internet forums led me to believe that the insurance market is peopled by evil, money grabbing scrooges who hide behind small print and set unreasonable conditions before they will even agree to consider taking a huge chunk out of your boating money.


This turned out not to be true.

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History of Artemis of Lleyn

In 1991 the original owner paid the deposit to Orion Marine in Falmouth for a Rustler 36 that was to become hull number 56, “Artemis of Lleyn”. In 1992 she was displayed at the Southampton Boat Show. Her first season of use was 1993.

Artemis in 1993 being sailed by Mr John Hodges (photo: Martin Turtle)
Artemis in 1993 being sailed by Mr John Hodges (photo: Martin Turtle)

During 1995 she did a circuit of the Atlantic and cruised in the Caribbean. After that she was in the Baltic for three years and cruised as far as the Russian border in Finland to the East and the Aaland islands in the North.

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Buying Artemis of Lleyn

I knew that I wanted to sail; that was the easy bit. The hard bit was knowing what I wanted to sail.

Two weeks on a brand new Dufour 350 with self tacking jib showed me exactly what I didn’t want. A roll threw me on to the chart table and it broke. The locker fittings broke as you opened them and we found some screws on deck at the bottom of the mast. And the noise of the flat bottom at the bow slapping the waves was awful. Four weeks on a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 37 were fun and most of the time I could actually reverse in to a marina, but deep down I knew I was looking for something else.

Dufour 350 in Croatia
AWB – exactly what I didn’t want

After 18 months I had read all the arguments in the Internet about sail area/displacement ratio, stability index and the angle of vanishing stability and was thoroughly confused. The only useful result of all my reading was that I was slowly getting a feel for what I should be expecting to pay for the boat of my dreams.

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Thirty Years Ago. The start of the Adventure.

Thirty years ago I was a young member of the British Army out sailing in the Mediterranean. I was actually meant to be in Germany protecting the free world from the Soviet menace but that was a very boring way to spend a summer so instead I was off sailing.

One night we were sailing west towards the setting moon and I was alone at the starlit helm enjoying riding over the seas that approached as looming black hills. The weather was perfect, the temperature just right, the boat perfectly trimmed and I decided that I was just going to remain at the helm and keep sailing west for ever.

Sunset at sea in Croatia
Sunset at sea

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My experience with a Garmin eTrex Touch 35t

I have been using Garmin devices for years to navigate to new places and to record my adventures. Additionally I use a Polar Training Computer to record my fitness training. Recently I updated to a Garmin eTrex Touch 35t partly in the hope that I could reduce the amount of devices I need and the complexity of my data aquisition.

etrexMy first Garmin device was yellow and easy to find if I put it down or dropped it. Continue reading “My experience with a Garmin eTrex Touch 35t”

Navigation. And what do I do with my new found knowledge?

After a long pause I am returning to sailing. This year I took the RYA day skipper course and exam. A part of the course was about navigation and if you believed what you were taught then you could be forgiven for thinking that it was all about understanding the charts and pilotage notes and applying them.

Then I flew to Spain for two weeks sailing and the truth turned out to be a little different. In reality everything seems to be a best guess and the only truth is what you discover when you get there. Continue reading “Navigation. And what do I do with my new found knowledge?”

Why we hate hearing “But you are so lucky!”

outback Australia

Probably the most annoying sentence that one has to hear is “But you are so lucky!”

My daughter spent the last summer working in Portugal and then flew on to Shanghai to work. One son is training to be a joiner and loves it. The other son is working his way across Australia and has now been doing so for nearly a year. I have a job I love and enjoy at least one adventure every year. And all because we “are so lucky”. It is not luck and the record needs to be set straight. Continue reading “Why we hate hearing “But you are so lucky!””

Experience with a Polar Training Computer

Polar FT60 training computer

Elsewhere I mentioned that an important factor in achieving your adventure is to make and then keep to your training plan. This applies equally to training new skills or to your physical training.

I enjoy cycling (mountain bike and road bike) and the last few years we have been doing a week long road bike trip each Spring. Obviously it is vital to have a route planned but, with routes of a thousand kilometers, it is your fitness program that decides between success and failure.

Since the beginning of 2014 I have been using a Polar FT60 training computer to plan and monitor my training. This article describes my experience. Continue reading “Experience with a Polar Training Computer”

Adding an Infobox at

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I was writing an article for this site and decided I had some text that I wanted to separate in an “infobox”. Ideally I wanted the infobox to take up about half the space on the right side of my column and for the text to flow round it. Checking in Google I found links to plugins that world achieve this but I also found that plugins can not be installed on sites hosted at

This article describes how to achieve an Infobox as shown on the right.
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Make your adventure happen

The world is full of potential adventurers; people who have a plan to “get out there and do something”. But in reality most of them are waiting for a tomorrow that never comes. 

“out of office”

A couple who had cycled to Nepal were giving a presentation to a packed hall. They cycled up to Finland, across in to Russia, took the Siberian Express (after smuggling their bikes on board) and then cycled across the Gobi Desert and through the Himalayas. After the presentation, some one asked what the most difficult part of the journey had been and the man answered “setting off!”

This article explains how to ensure that you achieve your dream. Continue reading “Make your adventure happen”