Fab sailing en route from Plymouth to Oban

We arrived in Scotland in blazing sunshine, motored through the sound of Islay with the tide and anchored in West Loch Tarbert, Jura.  After 3 nights at sea it was time for Scottish Gin and Tonic at sunset.

541 miles on the log,  with stops in Fowey, Falmouth, 3 nights at sea ,Jura, Mull and finally Oban. We had a bit of everything.  A long beat around the Lizard in a steady force 6, downwind to Lands End in a steady force 7 and then a beam reach north through the Irish Sea and north channel.  The wind died just before we reached the Mull of Kintyre but the sun came out and we enjoyed motoring in sunshine for 30 hours.

The only rain of the trip was on the last day as we motored from Loch Duarte in Mull to Oban – we looked a bit bedraggled when we arrived.

Its best to let the guests sum up the trip

Sunny skies, starry nights, a bit of rain and lots of fun.  Superbly organised and hosted trip

Amazing experience of watches and variable weather.  Excellent hosts and lovely food

Velvet Lady inspires confidence and is a beautiful boat to sail.  Your attention to detail and safety left me in no doubt that this is the way to sail

First rate hosts, ship ad journey.  A wet day at sea is better than any day in the office

Azores to Plymouth

We’ve arrived in Plymouth – just in time to find out that there is going to be an election.  Well it will not effect our plans for the summer and we hope it will not effect yours!  Just in case we are offering a 20% discount on all remaining sailing holidays in the Lofoten Islands this summer.  For further info see our newsletter 

1600 miles we sailed to get from Ponta Delgada to Plymouth in 12 days and 1 hours including a pit stop for diesel in the Spanish Rias at Camarinas marina.

The prevailing wind should have been westerly, but not this year, the wind was in the east or the north the whole trip and often very light, so to windward we went along with 5 days of motoring.  We had very little rain and some stunning cloud formations.

Despite that, there were not many opportunities to use the sextant – every time the sun was out our 2 ocean candidates were on deck with their sextants and achieved some very reasonable results.

We had a really enjoyable trip with lots of laughs along the way – and only 1 gale

Join us this summer for some more great sailing


All secure in the Azores

We had a great trip from Madeira to the Azores – downwind all the way with big waves due to a storm further west.  This gave our guests plenty of opportunity to practice their helming and surf downwind.  Unfortunately the size of the waves prevented us from visiting Santa Maria and so we arrived in Ponta Delgada a little earlier than planned, but before the torrential rain!

We saw loads of dolphins along the way and also a selection of turtles of different sizes.  Ugo, our Italian guest was mesmerised by the phosphorescence but unfortunately despite a lot of trying we did not successfully manage to photograph it.

All geared up now for our trip to the UK.  The guests are arriving on Saturday but before then Richard and I have a few jobs to do, including putting the final touches to the Autumn programme.  It will go live on line on Thursday.

We can already taste the English beer and sausages, and are looking forward to being ‘home’ for a while

Lanzarote to Madeira

Fantastic sailing last week from Lanzarote to Madeira.  A fantastic close reach for the first 200 miles and then a beat for the last 100 giving a total of 488 miles sailed.  We also had time to visit Porto Santo en route.

It was Richards Birthday the day before the trip started, and so this was the perfect chance for him to model his new birthday present – bright orange oilies!

Wear and tear and breakages on passages are a problem.  So as always we monitor exactly how the boat is being sailed and look out for chafe etc.  We can always get caught out by the unforeseen though, this week it was the stitching going (uv degradation) on the leech line of the mainsail causing it to flap a lot.

Richard made a temporary repair (I couldn’t reach)and whilst in port we have now fixed it properly, ready for the next trip.  We are just sorting the last jobs – guests arrive this evening on late flights tomorrow we will brief and get ready before setting off on Friday.

Want to join us in Norway – there are still some places see our schedule

La Palma Expedition 2017

lanzto la palma

Last week we set off on our expedition to La Palma.  We had tried this in previous years and never quite made it due to the weather.  At last, we made it after a great sail.  40 hours downwind on the way there and 62 hours upwind on the way back.  After going to so much effort to get there we spent a day and a half ashore.

Wow.  What a beautiful island.  So different to Lanzarote.  Richard and I went off on  a public bus into the mountains where we went for a walk and discovered that everthing was lush and green.  A very helpful taxi driver showed us terraces of bananas, advocados, oranges and more. We found the island far more like Madeira than Lanzarote and we would love to go back

walk in la palma

Velvet Lady was moored in the newish (2010) Calero Marina at the north end of the commercial harbour in Santa Cruz.  A word of advice for future visitors, there is an incredible swell in the marina, make sure you have plenty of mooring lines!

velvet lady in la palma

We went out for dinner on the last night in Marina Rubicon and were pleased with the feedback we got from our guests.

‘Your website is great – it describes just what to expect and you guys always deliver just what you said you would’

What a great end to a trip.  So with the first of our expeditions complete we are now getting ready for the next leg – Lanzarote to Madeira.

If you fancy the challenge of an ocean voyage there are still two places left on Madeira to the Azores – maybe we will see you on board.


Happy Customers

happy customer

Fulfilled my lifetimes dream fully!  Excellent sailing, cooking, hospitality and attention to detail on safety

Yet another fabulous time.   Lin, Richard and Velvet Lady provided a perfect holiday.  Wonderful company too.  Can’t go without mentioning the excellent food

Velvet Lady is such a gorgeous yacht.  Fabulous week.  Great company,  excellent food,  fun and occassionally bumpy sailing, wonderful chilled out experience with plenty of laughts.  Thank you Lin and Richard for taking such great care of me and for the patient tuition and guidance.  Loved it

Our final circumnavigation of Lanzarote was a great success – we’ll be back next year – despite a gale on the first day which kept us harbour bound.  We sailed 131nm from Marina Rubicon to Puerto Calero to Marina Lanzarote in Arrecife to Graciosa – had a full day in Graciosa and a long sail on the last day down the west side of the island to bring us back to Marina Rubicon.  The week was all wrapped up with drinks in the sports bar watching rugby highlights!

Now its time for expeditions.  Next week we hope to get to La Palma before setting off on our trips north en route to Norway

annual route

Why not join us for a leg – full details on our schedule

If long expeditions are not for you why not join us when we arrive in Norway for our day sailing holidays in the Lofoten Islands