Calypso Capers

2016 in numbers and 2017 plans

Including sailing a bit faster!

We followed our intended plan for 2016 quite closely, leaving Cambeltown, Scotland for Glenarm, Ireland; traveling down the East coast of Ireland to Arklow, jumping off from there to Milford Haven. After exploring the Welsh estuary of Milford Haven we rounded Land’s End, overnight, to Falmouth in Cornwall and headed East via Devon and Dorset to the Solent, ending the year at Hamble Point Marina, where fitting out works were planned.

This involved:

748 nautical miles;

117 hours on motor including motor sailing;

34 hours sail only;

Average speed 4.95 kts

117 nights in a marina;

28 nights on a mooring ball/mid-river pontoon;

1 night at anchor;

1 night at sea;

6.35 days average stay at each of 23 stopping points;

£23.96 average nightly cost of parking;

£220 spent on diesel (29p/nm);

£ CENSORED spent on beer;


Looking at the above numbers it would be good to reduce our average overnight parking cost – possibly more anchoring and mooring balls, and lower French marina fees may assist.

It would be good to motor less. The high percentage of motoring is largely due to selecting a weather forecast for long passages that should have just had us sailing, but on each of the 3 longest passages the wind was a little lighter than forecast and saw us motorsailing. Better that than getting caught out by setting off with a forecast at the higher end of our comfort zone which then pipes up by a couple of Beauforts! However we may have to be slightly more adventurous.

We averaged only around 5kts. We do sail faster than that but feel we are under propped – we should be motoring at 6kts+ but see only 5kts at 2600rpm. We are speaking to a propeller supplier and that could be the major investment in 2017/8 winter. Forum research suggests that the Flex-o-Fold is a good prop for us – but the cost is over £2k! (EDIT – the jury is out on the Flexo-Fold – awaiting detail on galvanic corrosion issues reported on forums).

So, on to our travel plans for 2017.

Our plan is to travel from Southampton down to the West Country, stopping off at some favourites from last year but adding in Yarmouth, Weymouth and Brixham, which we had to miss out in our rush to get to Southampton in time for a university reunion and the Southampton boat show.

From somewhere between Plymouth and Falmouth we will hop across on an overnight passage to L’Aber Wrach or (if we can hit the Chenal du Four at slack tide by good fortune) Camaret, hopefully arriving by early June.

From there we will head around the tip of Brittany and cruise the south of Brittany and Loire Atlantique. We return home for a couple of weeks in the height of summer and then return to the boat in the car. We already have a haul out date in a marina in the area on 21st September, from where (weather permitting) we head down to end the season with a spot of wine tasting in the Bordeaux region, visit the La Rochelle boat show and return home in early October.

Well, that was our plan – typing this in Weymouth with Westerly winds forecast for 10 days or so suggests that end of May across the Channel might be optimistic!

NEXT LOG                                                                                                                                          PREVIOUS LOG

A flying visit…..then to Greystones

Alice leaves and a fog descends………..

Thanks to Mr O’Leary’s steerage class airline Alice was able to pay a flying visit – after work on Sunday, arriving midnight Sunday and departing Tuesday 5pm – for the princely sum of £20 (return!). The coach from the airport was 16E return, so all in all a cheap visit………………or not!

Read More »

All’s Well That Ends Well

So what went wrong to lead to the title of this blog?

1. We had to get up at 4.00am to get to Dublin in daylight. And we like our bed;
2. Paul usually gives too much “offing”, but not through the Copeland Islands overfalls;
3. It took 5 minutes longer than the passage plan to get to Howth (Dublin) – 16 hours and 5 minutes!
4. After getting excited about Howth they told us we couldn’t stay;

Read More »

A sailing blog at last

We ended up staying at Rothesay for 12 nights waiting for a weather window, but enjoyed every moment. The weather was breezy but beautiful. It is not our intention to sail every day and visit as many places as we can (exhausting ourselves in the process). Instead we intend to linger and smell the roses (well, ok, the seaweed), just as we did here. But the time came….

Read More »

Waiting for the weather!

We called the Rothesay berthing master on our way back from Portavadie. “Hello Dave, it’s Paul on Calypso here – have you any room?”

“Aye, you’re the guy who cannae steer in reverse” was the retort. Yes we have plenty of space – even fer ye”.

And so we arrived on Sunday, allowing Graham and Amanda to catch the early ferry on Monday morning, leaving us to sit out the forecast high winds for a day or three. So we thought.

Read More »

Life’s a bag of prawns……..

We are writing this in Rothesay harbour having just waved goodbye to our friends Graham and Amanda, who traveled to Kip to spend a farewell weekend with us and to bring up final bits and pieces – and alcohol to fill the bilges with!

Re-winding a little, we arrived at Kip by train. The journey did not go as smoothly as it might – firstly we couldn’t retrieve the tickets as Paul had chopped up the card that they were purchased with, and then………

Read More »

Hard Work Rewarded

So after two long hard days of servicing, antifouling and waxing the boat – I thought it was time to find out what the “Scooby Snack” on the menu at the Chart Room looked like. So here it is – and as a lifelong fan of Scooby Doo – I have to say that they did it justice! Scooby Dooby Dooooooooooo!!!

Shaggy and I took a van-full of gear to Calypso at the weekend and not only ………….

Read More »