2019. Plans are Afoot


Voyage preparations for 2018 can accurately be described as disastrous and reduced the skipper to a jabbering wreck just before departure from Guernsey across Biscay for Spain.  It all began with unexpected and expensive last minute repairs involving open hull surgery, rescue whilst windless  and propeller-less (newly refitted prop shaft fell off!)  metres from rocks, followed by a powerboat mooring alongside overnight without fenders and smashing 2.5 metres of Pippin’s toe rail.   It was a battered Pippin and anxious skipper that set out for and returned from Spain via Biscay but all went well – except that Pippin collected the dreaded diesel bug, almost certainly from the one pump filling station in sleepy Moana.

Thus far in 2019, things are progressing rather better – so far.  Sails have been fettled, rigging checked and tuned, hydraulics overhauled, engine cockpit start switch repaired, new bow thruster installed, new port and starboard LED nav lights fitted, life raft serviced, toe rail repaired. toe rail leaks addressed and the primary fuel filter is about to be replaced with a better more effective model.

Current sailing intentions are to cross the Channel in the first few days of June, to be in Plymouth by 16th June.  Why?  Because perhaps foolishly I have entered Pippin in the Jester Baltimore (Eire, not USA – I’m  not that brave) Challenge out of Plymouth, leaving Wolf Rock, Bishops Rock and Fastnet  lighthouses to starboard.   It is more a gathering of solo kindred spirits with little more than a start line and a destination than a race –  I don’t race anyway, as I don’t like spilling my tea or getting any wetter than I absolutely have to.

Pippin in truth is a little large for the event, it really being for sub 30′ yachts, but she won’t be the smallest and I am quite certain that, all being well, we will finish comfortably towards the rear of the field which could have as many as 50 starters.  You can see the entry list on the Jester website at the link below, though I understand the latest as yet unpublished entry list has 60 or so entrants.

Click to access JesterBaltimore2019Entrants.pdf

As ever Boreas and his mates will decide the shape of plans post Baltimore, but I have an urge to turn right and head north again.  Angie, my wife says that I carry bad weather in my grab bag, but I am hoping for better things than A-Jay and I experienced in 2015.   That shouldn’t be difficult as it really was a rubbish year and I am secretly hoping I deserve a weather break.  Perhaps I’ll even get to see the northern isles this year.

Of course I do have an ultimate destination in mind, but I’ll come to that nearer the time.

In the meantime, I am making lots of lists of things to do, as I forget these days what is  I should be doing and when.