Barbados, Antigua, Azores, Portugal -
April to June 2010
A Project Management and Skippering appointment.
I joined 'Longobarda' in Port St Charles in Barbados in April 2010. She
was too large to be in the marina itself but was berthed on one of three
berths for superyachts on the approach to the marina.
is longer than the channel is wide and she draws 4.2metres.
There is insufficient space to be able to motor
off the berth before turning to starboard to join the channel to sea. concrete pier.
To leave the berth, it was
necessary to motor forward into the wind until the keel (the pivot
point) had just cleared the pier, use the engine to stop the boat and at
the same time turn the bow through the wind until it fell on the port
side and wait patiently while the boat rotated about the keel but not so
long that she was blown back onto the concrete pier. A potential
The crew of 4 spent almost a month, servicing all the equipment on the
boat and I oversaw the various contractors who came to overcome problems
with the electronics and other gear. I also located somebody to repair
damage to the carbon fibre structure in the transom. This work was
undertaken from the dinghy to a very high standard. This was necessary
as there was no practical way to lift her ashore on the island and the
work needed to be done before she could put to sea.
Because we intended sailing to Portugal with total crew of 4 we 'slowed'
the boat by tying in two reefs and enabling the third reef.
We sailed to Antigua as a 'shakedown' and whilst there we had the
liferafts serviced before sailing to Horta on the Azorean island of
Faial and then on to Portimao in the Portuguese Algarve.
Now in summer 2011, I am overseeing a partial refit in Portimao,
negotiating with contractors, agreeing the details of the work to be
done, finding quotations for the owners agreement and flying to Portimao
when necessary to oversee the work and accept it or otherwise on the
Outremer 55ft Catamaran
Ocean Lady Sweden
Mallorca to UK - July to August 2010
I joined the owner and some of his family in Palma Nova on Mallorca on
their luxury Outremer 55ft Catamaran and we spent a week cruising the
Balearics and to Faro and Villamoura on the Algarve while the owner
decided whether I was worthy of looking after his new baby.
I must have passed the test because they left the boat in Villamoura and
my crew joined for the delivery to Kiel. As we entered the Atlantic we
were met by a strong northerly gale with confused sea. We had to sail
almost 600nm out in the Atlantic before we had a change of direction,
turned north and eventually sailed 600 miles back east to UK. By then
the owner decided that he would prefer to winter her in UK where he
could have work done cheaper than in Sweden over the winter and in more
benign conditions, so she stayed in Lowestoft where there is now a thriving
marine industry fed by offshore wind and gas industries.
Balaerics June 2010
In July 2010, I joined the owner and family of an Oyster 56 in Denia for
10/11 days of cruising in the Balaeric Islands. My presence allowed the
Owner to extend his cruising range while I help sail the boat and
suggested alternative methods of handling various tasks on board.
We were able to discuss the onboard equipment in depth and perhaps found
methods and practices that will make the boat easier to handle.
This trip was also intended to be a mutual 'get to know each other' in
preparation for a longer ocean voyage in the future. The owner has not
yet decided to move her from Europe.
Since writing the above, I have twice delivered a different
Classic Swan 42 - 'Antares'
Delivered Azores to
UK June 2010
This is probably the best yacht I have sailed.
The owner sailed her from east coast of USA to the Azores and we took
her from there to Shotley Point marina where he took over and sailed her
to the Baltic.
She was good downwind and beating. We had about a week of gales,
sometimes straight down wind and we sailed a lot of the way with just a
genoa, often reefed.
She was a pleasure to sail and a tribute to her designer. A lot of the
woodwork was removable, especially around the engine so if you needed
access to any side of the engine, it was available.
The galley was a narrow passage between the main saloon and the master
cabin aft and therefore excellent for cooking in rough weather.
Whenever the weather was rough, she felt safe. There were no sharp edges
and there seemed to be a grab rail to hand wherever you were.