Showing posts from October, 2016

Poorly Paul and Porto

Having waved goodbye to Niall in a Coruña, Paul and I set off, 09:35 on the 28th Oct, for the journey south down the Iberian peninsula to Porto. The forecast of little wind proved accurate and as a consequence we motored, occasionally motor-sailed, the 194 nm between our ports of call in Spain and Portugal. As we rounded the corner of a Coruña we passed the impressive tower of Hercules, reputable the longest continuously operating lighthouse in he world.

Once again we found ourselves in company with Tormalind for much of the journey but again managed to put some miles between us. In the late afternoon we had a following wind of 10-15 knts and decided to break out the Parasailor and give it an airing. Once it was set up it required no input from us to keep it full and pulling us along at a respectable 6 knts past the rugged coast north of Cape Finnisterre. We rounded the cape as the light was fading and made a course along a bearing of 169 degrees 12 hrs. Paul and I took 4 hr watches (w…

A Coruña... rest and recuperation

The cry of 'Land Ho!' went up at 10:16 GMT on the morning of the 26th October. Skipper, 1st mate and deck hand Niall had made the crossing of THE bay whiteout so much as a hint of it's reputation. This brings our voyage total mileage to 613 nautical miles.
As we approached land we wondered how far ahead of Tormalind, an Estonian boat which left at the same time as us and who we kept pace with until the second night of the crossing when we suspect that they reduced sail for the night which we did not! We have an advantage in that we can reduce our fore sails without having to leave the safety and comfort of the cockpit whereas Tormalind have to venture out and manually remove one sail and bend on another. maybe they were just tired of us being in such close quarters!!? Thanks to the wonders of modern telecoms we were able to put out a request to the Tin Tin WhatsApp group and sure enough the answer came back that they were about 27nm astern.. Satisfying for us! (Photos wil…

Bay of Delight, sun, sea and shorts!

We are about mid way across the notorious Bay of Biscay now (46 Deg 19.36Min N, 06 Deg 42.03 West), and we are blessed with a calm sea and friendly winds of 15 knts with a good bit of Easterly so we are broad reaching on a heading of 192 degrees towards la Corunna. We expect to reach this northern Spanish port around mid day on Weds.

Our exit from Camaret went smoothly (no hatches left open to douse any berths his time Philip Iceaxe!). We were soon under sail and looking at making the tide gate for the Raz de Sein but he wind encourage us to continue on our course to the West past the lighthouse and the final bouy marking the end of the Illes de Sein. We have been in close company with an Estonian boat named 'Tormalind' who are also sailing south to the Canaries.

If you are following our track (see the top of the page on the blog site for the 'Where in the World is Tin Tin?), you may have noticed that we made an extremely accurate straight line over night... We were moto…

1st Mate loses his sea legs....

So, we set off at last on Friday evening having said good bye to John, Asley, and Steve of Seatech who have resolutely soldiered on in the face of one adversary after another from what should have been a simple engine swap. Full marks for perseverance and a professional job done.

We motored out of go sport at 18:06 BST and headed to Newton creek on the Isle of Wight for a quiet anchorage, but found it pretty much full! An early rise next morning and we passed the Needles with the sun trying to burn through the mist surrounding them. Then on along the southern coast of England on a course to take us past the western edge of the traffic separation scheme so avoiding the requirement to cross at right angles to the ship traffic. This was all done in the night with the half moon illuminating us an closers ships and fishing vessels. We set up a 3 person watch programme of 4hrs on/4hrs off staggering Niall's watch so that he was never left alone (this being his 1st voyage). As the eveni…

The adventure FINALLY starts!!

After two days of finishing off jobs own Thursday and Friday we managed to set sail at 6pm tonight.

Actually I slept aboard on Thursday night along with Niall (a university friend of Kyle and Beccy's) who is having his first sailing experience in preparation for joining in the Atlantic crossing if he likes it.

We have not gone very far tonight, stopping in a creek on the Isle of Wight just a little west of Cowes. Tomorrow we set off towards Brest hoping to arrive on Sunday morning in freshening winds. It may be that we decide to stay a while there until we can be sure of missing any gales as we cross the bay of Biscay.

Today's jobs included;
a). removing and refitting the Spinlock boom brake clutch on its side so that its movement is not restricted by the cockpit Bimini frame
b). Fitting s new pulley to the foredeck directing the sheet that rolls the staysail in a better angle which should put less strain on the curler mechanism
c). more stowing of rather large amounts of &…

Enjoying the weather.... In Gosport...

As with most projects, the last things that need to be finished seem to be the ones that take the longest.  Currently this is tidying up the electronics associated with the engine installation. The new EVC connections have been established and we can now see engine data on the main navigation display, revs, temp, and pressure. What is proving difficult is to track down the source of the leaking current which means that something has a direct connection to the hull which shouldn't even the case! In a metal boat this is a significant hazard as over time this leakage causes the hull to lose material and get thinner... At the same time one display showing boat speed has decided to stop functioning, also not a good idea!

We have now loaded all the charts and 300kg of edible stores, are very happy with the new freezer/fridge set up which gets the freezer down to -15C and the fridge to at least 0C.. Ice cream in the Pacific would seem to be more of a realistic proposition than a figment …

Light at the end of a long long tunnel!!

We didn't go to work on Tin Tin but stayed in Trotton doing other things.

I helped Paul fit new headboards to beds then went out and worked on some art... Well what might pass for art in some people's eyes!
I took the nicely planed and sanded scaffold plank, we will use as a passarelle, and inscribed TIN TIN in large letters by charring the surface of the wood.

I also added the MMSI number, 235111559, which is her personal ID and can be used by other ships to make direct calls over the radio without broadcasting to all and sundry. It can also be entered in sites like to search for Tin Tin's latest reported position using the AIS (Automatic Identification Signal) which is usually monitored up to 30-40 miles off shore, but won't report our position if we are further away than that from a receiving station.

The very good news is that the engine has been running this afternoon and we will take her out for a sea trial on Saturday morning! All being w…

Departure day slips again...

Another eventful week of  extended deadlines and delays.... we thought that it might've been possible to set off with a grand party to wave us goodbye on Saturday.... sadly that will not be possible... But, looking on the POSITIVE side of it all, it has meant that we are now more prepared than we would otherwise have been. 

We have; refurbished the rear lazaret seals and latches so that they should be watertight and are now lockable. supplemented the existing anchoring equipment by adding a new length of chain, 60m, together with 40m of anchor rope to create a new main anchor rode. This should allow us to anchor in depths of up to 30m. We removed the old 35m of chain from the forward chain locker, attached a new 45m anchor rope to make our secondary anchor rode, and relocated it to the starboard lazaret.  We have always commented on the slight list to Port due to the position of the generator and hope that putting the chain on the opposite side of the boat will reduce the listing a …