Arklow and Beyond


Cormorant Island

There’s a floating platform in Avoca River whose purpose I know not, but the cormorants do: each has his own spot, a perfect place to dry wings and have a nap. They are surprisingly big birds out of the water, well fed too as none batted an eyelid when a trout jumped a metre out of the water in front of them.


Pete Goss aboard Pippin

I’ve long been a fan of the Vancouver 34 Pilothouse, just like the one moored ahead of me here. Well you could have knocked me down with a feather when I discovered the skipper of ‘Pippin’ to be none other than Pete Goss, ably assisted by his First Mate and wife Tracey. I met him admiring ‘Smiley’ and it was a real privilege to meet the great man and to steal one of his custard creams.


Pete Goss’ Pippin


Over dinner aboard Pippin, I felt very much in the ‘junior dorm’, especially as I have not the courage or skill to beat into a Southern Ocean F12 – Wicklow Head on a bad day is enough for this skipper.  Pete and Tracey plan to go cruising gently, though I daresay he would relish any new challenge, so they will depart at the weekend when the weather should have relaxed a little – Sound plan …….

No plan is any good unless it is designed to be rewritten as necessary; the current Master Plan is being redrafted for the nth time as Pete’s friend and skipper of the Rosslare Milford Haven ferry reported 30 knots and 2.5 metre waves in St. George’s Channel earlier, so Team A-Jay will tarry a while. Time to put the skipper’s steak and kidney stew on hold and enjoy a bowl of chowder, accompanied by a modest mal de tete, the lingering after effects of Shell’s finest, or perhaps the Goss’ hair restorer from the night before.  Talking of stew, I gather Sir Robin Knox Johnston is famous for his 70 day curry, so I have a little way to go yet.


Arklow for the Second Time

Ray the Radar has water on the brain and can no longer focus on detail, a bit like the Skipper so Binny the Binos and the paper chart will have to do – after all, sailors managed before without electronics. Checking him out was all part of Team A-Jay’s ship board routine, to which others such as Espresso prep have been added. I hung the Polish flag, a gift from Marek, in the little saloon and touch it to wish the Team luck before sailing. Daft but fun.


On Avoca River

Senior moments are very much part of this Skipper’s repertoire and I confess to rather enjoying the occasional one, especially as I like a good cuss and a pause to regain lost thoughts or bearings. As the great Pooh said – or was it Eeeyore? – “Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits.”

At least I am still capable of recognising Senior moments, which must be a positive sign, so there’s life left in this old brain yet. But then there is no one around to notice if I have missed one and Team A-Jay are far too loyal to say, even if they could.


Toot toot from Arklow, a proper unpretentious little town.

By ajay290

3 comments on “Arklow and Beyond

  1. Well John, fame at last in pinching one of Pete Goss’s custard creams!
    How amazing to moor next to him. A great man of the sea and his rescue of the French man in the Southern Ocean was an incredible feat of seamanship. A great shame his Team Philips Project was so floored right from the initial design stage, but his devoted faith in his vessel and determination for it to succeed was simply admirable and speaks volumes for his phenomenal courage and strength of his character. I would have loved to have met him.
    Onwards, onwards when the weather improves. Guernsey looking forward to the return of its illustrious sailor!!


  2. Wow! Is that a touch of blue sky we can glimpse on SIX CONSECUTIVE PHOTOS! Happy summer Captain! If only briefly 😀 ps you can’t tell me about senior moments… And I’m not 50 till October! 😕

  3. Hi Dad, yes real blue sky and this evening I AM ALMOST TOO WARM!!! Hope to set off tomorrow. Am well qualified to rub Saga classes if you want to sign up☺

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