Velvet Lady is now in Plymouth following her successful first season in Iceland. The 14 day trip home from Reykjavik was windy, windy and more windy – with the anemometer never showing less than 25 knots. We were joined on this passage by Jon, his first ocean passage and what a baptism of fire! He now knows all about seamanship in gales, sleeping in a tumble dryer and cooking at an angle. Dealing with the constant motion of the boat is very tiring and so we decided to take a breather in Bangor, Northern Ireland. For about 2 hours, we managed to carry full sail in the shelter of Belfast Lough. As it happened the breather was well timed, we missed the southerly gales, and went back out when the gales were more favourable north westerly!!
No ocean passage is uneventful, and this one was not different. Our events began at the beginning of the trip, when we managed to suck a plastic bag up the seawater intake of the engine. The most spectacular event of the trip was when we encounterd a pod of migrating whales. These pilot whales appeared on the horizon late one evening, at first we counted about 20 whales, they just kept coming and it dawned on us that they weren’t the same whales playing, but hundreds of whales migrating south,. It took 2 hours for the whole pod to clear us, and it was just fascinating watching them and listening to them. We could hear them communicating to each other under water, mesmerising.
The dark nights gave us plenty of time to observe shipping and learn the characteristic of navigation lights – we had fishing boats, ships carrying dangerous cargo, sailing boats, tug and tow, and a ship not under command. The navy were exercising when we arrived in Plymouth, and we were followed up the harbour by a ‘submarine’
We are now busy preparing for our winter season in the sunshine and will be leaving Plymouth on 13 October; the full programme is available on our website.