Sprint to Lisbon to catch the Volvo Ocean Race

Well after cruising in Galicia there was a quick dash to do the clean up and then Lin and Rich set off on their own sprint to get to Cascais in time to watch the Volvo boats sail past the Oeiras gate on the way up to Lisbon.

Glassy coastal cruising

We are often asked what the weather is going to be like for a passage, our passage was 40 hours long and in that we had a real mixed bag – so here is a precis from our log

  • Flat calm on departing from Sanxenxo but with 5 metre left over swell it was quite  rolly polly.
  • Light airs from the north, not enough to sail but good for a bit of motor sailing.
  • These light airs shifted to the west giving us enough wind to sail slowly so motor off.
  • The light airs shifted to the south west – allowing us to create a little extra apparent wind and we started to speed up under full sail.
  • 25 knots from the due south, just as we were serving dinner and confused wind over tide sea, lots of reefing.  Velvet Lady heeled over and raced along at 7 knots, shame it was in the wrong direction
  • No wind, calm seas, sails flapping all over the place so time to start the motor again
  • Out of nowhere, great wind from the east allowing us to charge down the rhum line at 8 knots with full sail
  • as we approached Cabo de Roca, lunch time,  strong SE winds so reefing again and then a beat the last 15 miles to Cascais.
  • The only thing we didnt have was a gale

The answer to what weather can you expect on an ocean passage – anything if that was what we could have on a short 40 hour sprint!!

As well as sailing and reefing we were busy keeping a look out.  This part of the coast is famous for numerous small fishing boats that come charging towards you like bullets

All sorted – time to head out and look for the Volvo Ocean Race boats


Cruising in Galicia

Lucky, Lucky, Lucky

We managed to cross Biscay before Hurricane Ophelia and then round Finisterre before Storm Brian.  We had a lot of sun and light winds followed by plenty of rain.  The sun is back now, but for the past couple of days we have had the most amazingly big swell.

Richard and I are off on our own tomorrow, dashing to Lisbon to catch the Volvo Ocean Race – still spaces – join us


Watch the start of the Volvo Ocean Race Leg 2 Lisbon

It’s started.  Volvo Ocean Race start in Alicante was full of drama.  We streamed it live on the Internet.   We plan to be in Lisbon for the finish of Leg 1, the in port race Leg 2 and start of Leg 2 to Cape town.   You can join us, see details here


Cruising in Galicia at the moment, and planning on a dash south to Lisbon tomorrow with just Lin and Richard on board.  Trying to catch the end of a race is much more difficult than planning to be there for a fixed date start

Hope to see you on board

Hurricane Ophelia

We’re really pleased this year to have made it across Biscay before the coming of Hurricane Ophelia.  Our guests left from La Coruna on Monday 9th October and after a quick clean up we immediately departed and started heading west to get around Cabo Villano and further south before the weather struck.  It really did feel like the calm before the storm.

Whilst you guys in UK and most especially Ireland are battling with storm force winds and flood damage today – Galicia is suffering from forest fires and the air here is yellow, not from sahara dust but from the fires.

Currently we are tucked up in the marina in Sanxenxo with wind and rain, watching the news and hoping everyone in UK stays safe.




Happy to be back in Plymouth

We’ve had a great season in Norway but its still nice to be back in Plymouth.  Sailing 1352 miles south we had a tough trip from Kristiansund.  With gales forecast we spent 4 days at the beginning in the protection of the fjords before heading out into the wild.  With favourable SE winds, we raced across the Norwegian sea getting to Stornoway just before the next set of gales.

From there it was a quick dash across the Minch to the Kyle of Lockalsh and a night at anchor waiting for the tide.  The weather looked like it was going to be against us as we were still in Kyle Rhea on Wednesday morning, but with some luck with the wind and the tide we sailed the last 600 miles efficiently in 96 hours arriving in Plymouth a mere 2 hours late, just before the next and worst of the gales.  We are tucked around the corner in Mayflower Marina in a very quiet spot whilst the outer breakwater is bouncing in the waves.  Thank you marina staff.

Work has started – sails are away for a wash and a check, the wheel has been fixed (we broke a spoke) – engineers are servicing the engine and generator and the rig has had a good check up.  Marching through the jobs list means that we’ll have a chance to visit family next week before setting off across Biscay

Still one space left on the Biscay crossing and a few more between now and December.  All spaces can be seen on our Schedule here.

How many WOW moments can you have in one trip.

We’re now finished our Lofoten Islands trips for this summer and are in Kristiansund waiting for the guests to arrive for the passage south.  Yet again no words are necessary but a pictorial tribute to the past 3 weeks

We did and arrived safely in Kristiansund!

We’ve just published the calendar for 2018 – join us, details here