Despite COVID-19 which makes planning difficult, I have put together a start and end for my summer cruising. I intend to leave the Solent mid June, spending about 5 weeks making my way down the French Atlantic Coast, North Spain and Portugal to get to Gibraltar. From here I will have approximately 12 weeks to explore Mediterranean Spain, France (including Corsica)and Italy (including Sardinia and Sicily) before heading to Tunisia for the winter in mid October. I will need crew for much of this so please get in touch if you are interested in joining me. Route might look something like:
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Just completed a 50Nm sail with from Vigo to Porto with winds directly behind us. After trying to make progress with the main and spinnaker, we decided we would make more direct progress to our destination, albeit slower, by dropping the main sail. With light 10kt breezes we had an 5-6kt easy sail, accompanied by dolphins who came to visit and play around the bow. We had previously encounteres Saorise , a Hanse 455 sailed by an Irish-German family, and they soon showed up on our AIS. They were four miles behind us, but were almost 1kt faster. Eventually we could see them with their secret weapon, a Blue Water Runner sail, essentially two spinnakers that can be flown goose-winged. With twice our sail area, for once we were not disappointed to be passed!
We had glorious weather for the three weeks following our initial trial sail, however things changed dramatically on the day we were scheduled to leave for the official handover sail to Jersey. At 4pm we were expecting to leave and there was a cloudburst. The sunshine from the morning had vanished. We looked at one another and decided to wait an hour to see if there was any improvement. Sadly not, so we all donned our wet weather gear and set off anyway. We had good beam winds across the channel and were approaching the Alderney Race as dawn broke. With increasing winds, we decided to anchor at Derrible Bay on the east side of Sark. The bimini went up to give us some shelter from the rain and we retired below for a sleep. Next day the sun came out for us as we spinnakered sown to Jersey and with an official stamp from the harbour master, Primal was official handed over and the champagne came out to celebrate. Thanks to Paul for agreeing to be my "handover" skippe