After several weekends of practice sails Easter was the start of Juno's competitive season. Instead of the usual Easter cross channel race with JOG to Cherbourg we opted for some "round the cans" racing in the Solent. This is in preparation of the Fastnet race later this year.
So we have finally arrived at Grenada - although we still have to sail up to St Lucia to finish the rally as Eowyn was laid up in Grenada we actually started from here so have completed our own personal circumnavigation.
I met Phyllis Mackay in Gibraltar when "Boot" the Blue Waters Rally administrator approached me for a berth to Lanzarote. She then introduced us, and we got on immediately. Phyllis checked out of her hotel and moved aboard "Amber Sea" that afternoon.
If you'd like to follow him (sailing not hanging), why not join the crew? You'd be much more comfortable as we've chartered a Leopard 42 Catamaran (4 double en suite cabins)
It is hard to believe that I have had two summers sailing on Lake Balaton already. I suppose time passing so quickly is a sign of getting older. Maybe because I am older, I haven't missed sailing in UK waters. I am often asked by Hungarians if I miss the sea and I can honestly say that I haven't missed the times that I was cold, wet and frightened. Call me an old softy, but I much prefer air temperatures in the 30s and water temperature in the mid-20s.
Not that the Balaton hasn't got its own dangers. It is hard to imagine how quickly a blissfully calm day can suddenly change. Squalls and gales can suddenly come hurtling down from the hills on the north side of the lake, and although a well-found boat won't capsize or sink one can be painfully aware of the one thing lacking here: sea-room. There is no heaving-to and sitting it out
Watch this sketch with Ronnie Corbett and Harry Enfield, ""My blackberry isn't working" .. which will make you feel so much better (and laugh too!)
It's that time of year - HPO dinner followed by visit to the London Boat Show. The show was quite quiet today (Wednesday 12 January) which wasn't what our hard working colleagues on the LSC stand wanted (C85 North Hall, in the new section of Excel). But of course they were cheerful and welcoming as always.
So winter is over for me – back in South Africa where it has been very hot. We have been getting the boat ready for the next leg, quite why there is always so much to do when the boat was fine when we left it is of course one of those great mysteries of life. Have been shopping today and plan to finish by getting the fresh meats and vegetables tomorrow ready for the off on Saturday.
It doesn’t seem possible that we only have another 3 ½ months and 6,000 miles to go although the next leg is quite long. We expect to finish about 15 April in St Lucia.
I have not posted for a while as we have not had good email facilities. We have now reached South Africa so have finished crossing the India Ocean. It was not the kindest of seas - on the leg from Cocos Keeling to Mauritius we had to run before gale / near gale winds for 6 days and had two sets of waves, one set we could take on the quarter as you should, but the other ones hit us almost abeam and was most uncomfortable. On the last leg from Reunion to Richards Bay SA we had a gale off Madagascar and then again on our last night. The last night the winds dropped down to 22 knots and the seas flattened when a freak wave hit us on the beam and we went over at least 70 degrees, I was on watch and was thrown across the cockpit and then back again ending up laying on my back in 6 inches of water.
Yes I really went up there! When the Royal Southampton Yacht Club invited Little Ship Club members to join them on the Tall Ship Stavros S Niarchos for a short trip across the channel I was the first (and only) to sign up.