Here we go again. 51:42.55N 05:09.38W

Robin & Jenny Martin
Sun 12 Jun 2016 19:18
After three years away from boat ownership we have taken the plunge again.
We have down sized and gone with the KISS principle which will hopefully mean a lot less maintenance and strife and more coastal day sails. You can only have so much ocean sailing.
The boat is a Bavaria 33 sloop and it fits our requirements nicely, immaculately looked after by the last owner and most of the kit on board is nearly new with home comforts with heating and even TV.
Our plan is to sail to and explore the Western Isles of Scotland for the next two summers.
So after several trips from Topsham to Deacons yard on the Solent we finally untied the lines and headed west on 2nd June. Deb and Jules helped to mark the occasion with champagne and supper at the Jolly Sailor the night before.
Being Spring tides we shot down the Hamble and out into the Solent in no time at all. It was the usual organised chaos, massive cargo ships, ferries, hydrofoils, day sailors and the very serious racing sailors. It was a bit of a relief to whiz past the needles and get some peace and quiet. The weather was bright and sunny but the wind light and variable so we had to motor sail to ensure we'd get to Weymouth in daylight. The tide sped us all the way to Anvil point when we slowed up a bit as the tide turned but we still got into and tied up onto the town dock well before dark.
Next morning we had to get away early to catch the tide around Portland Bill. Misty start but cleared to another fine but windless day. We had a gentle motor sail across Lyme Bay getting into Brixham in time for tea.
Phillipa and Cora came to meet us and stayed for a sleepover before taking us back to Topsham, another good reason/excuse to crack a bottle of champagne. Cora thought it all a huge adventure and the gentle rocking induced one of the best sleeps she'd ever had.
A three day stopover in Brixham meant we could get home tidy the house up for its various visitors and do some final shopping.
Sailing along the south coast is so familiar to us having many, many summers cruising when the kids were young. However, there was no room for complacency this time as we had fog so extra caution was needed and we were very thankful for the on board radar. For a coastal cruiser Mandalay is very well equipped, she also has an AIS transceiver which means we can keep an eye on others and we ourselves can tracked.
Keen to get a move on we hopped along the coast quite quickly building up to an overnighter from Falmouth to Milford Haven. That was an easy motor sailing passage in very light winds, and because of the short night it wasn't at all arduous. The highlights had to be seeing puffins and lots and lots of dolphins.

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Happy Skipper leaving Milford Haven for Dale Bay in order to catch the tide for either Arklow or Fishguard - morning weather will decide.