Ship radio license and EPIRB registration

After months spent trying to register Artemis, I approached the task of obtaining a radio license and registering the EPIRB with trepidation. I was already stressing about pages of forms and days of work. It turned out to be extremely easy and less than an hours work from beginning to end. Continue reading “Ship radio license and EPIRB registration”

Navigating with Sun and Moon

using a sextant to take a sunsight
using a sextant to take a sunsight

After having learned the theory of fixing my position using celestial objects during my Yachtmaster Ocean theory course, I was keen to try it for real during a trip from Spain to Morocco a few days later. The first two days there was no horizon, no sun, nowhere you could  safely jam yourself in to and no chance of my even thinking about doing calculations of any type. But on the third day the storm abated and the sun came out. Continue reading “Navigating with Sun and Moon”

The Perfect Reach

After crossing the Straits of Gibraltar from Spain, we were cruising south about twenty miles off the Moroccan coast. Just before dusk the wind freshened and turned off our port quarter so we stowed the mainsail and continued with just the Genoa. The wind was pulling us, the swell was pushing us and a half knot ocean current was also helping us on our way. The heavily laden boat was perfectly balanced and we were helming with just two fingers.

sailing towards the sunset
sailing towards the sunset

Continue reading “The Perfect Reach”

Sailing School

I have been sailing since the army kindly taught me during my twenties but living in the middle of Europe has severely curtailed the use of boats the last thirty years. I did however join a cruise with a friend in Croatia and passed my German “inland skipper” course which allowed me to take the family and friends out on a local lake.

Go-n-Sail at Ayemonte
Go-n-Sail at Ayemonte

When I decided it was time to “get back in to sailing” I took a look at the British and German systems and decided that the former seemed to be more “reality based” while the latter was perhaps more interested in “passing tests”. I therefore searched for a school offering British RYA courses but better weather than is normally to be found on the island. I was attracted to Go-n-Sail in Spain, particularly as they offer an instructor ratio of three students to one instructor and only have rave reviews. After a discussion with the school I registered for two weeks training with the target being my Day Skipper certificate. Most RYA certificates have a practical and theoretical element and in order to be awarded the certificate you need to not just prove yourself practically but also take a theoretical exam. Continue reading “Sailing School”

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.

sinking

This turned out not to be true.

Continue reading “Marine Insurance”

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

Continue reading “Thirty Years Ago. The start of the Adventure.”

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!”

aus
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!””

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. 

zugspitz
“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”