How It All Began

Mina2 in the Caribbean - Where's The Ice Gone?
Tim Barker
Wed 23 Sep 2009 08:05

How It All Began


Position:          37:06.36N       008:40.25W


This blog will (hopefully) tell the story of the cruise of Mina2 from Portugal to Brazil in the autumn and winter of 2009 via Madeira, Tenerife, West Sahara, Senegal, Cape Verde islands and across the Atlantic to Salvador. After which we will be cruising down the Brazilian coast to Rio de Janeiro finishing in March 2010.


The Story So Far


Mina2 is a cutter-rigged Oyster 485 owned by Tim Barker of London, England. Built in 1997 by Windboats Marine in Norwich on the east coast of England, she was bought by Tim in March 2003.



"Mina" is Argentine slang for an attractive and curvaceous temptress.

Cruises to date

2003   Shakedown cruise to North Brittany and the West Country (it would have been a cruise to Southwest Ireland had it not been for continual NW gales in the Irish Sea!).

2004   The Norwegian Cruise. London to the Lofoten Islands in the Arctic Circle at the top of Norway, then a cruise down the spectacular Norwegian coastline, thence back to St Katherine Docks by Tower Bridge in London for the winter.


Lofoten landscape at Reine


Mina2 at Aesoya – one of the lovely anchorages of Lofoten


2005   The Baltic Cruise. London to the top of Denmark then through the middle of Sweden on the Gota Canal . Thence round the Baltic via the Aaland Islands, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Denmark, and Germany. Out through the Kiel Canal and back to the UK via Helgoland.


Vadstena castle in the middle of Sweden – 100 miles from the sea!


2006   The Iberian Cruise. From Helford across the Bay of Biscay to the rias of northwest Spain and down the Iberian peninsula. After going up the Guadalquivir river to Seville, Mina2 overwintered in Chipiona.


The fort on Isla Berlenga with Mina2 at anchor


2007 The Lotus-Eating Cruise. Into the Med to the Balearics and later over to Corsica and Sardinia, over-wintering in Cagliari at the bottom of Sardinia.


Cabrera harbour - a beautiful nature reserve with a tragic history


2008 The Adriatic Cruise. Wending our way down the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia, and south via Montenegro and Albania to Ionian Greece, overwintering in Preveza just south of Corfu.



    Kotor Bay – Montenegro                 Mina2 in front of Ali Pasha’s castle - Albania


2009 The Aegean Cruise. Through the Corinth Canal and up to the Northern Sporades, down the Aegean to the south coast of Turkey, thence across the Cyclades. Then The Med Exit. 2000 miles in three weeks out of the Med via Crete, Malta, Tunis and Ibiza, to Lagos in Portugal.


Anchorage on Skopelos – with Mamma Mia! wedding chapel in background


Greater detail of some of our earlier cruises can be found on our website