When I was stopped on the pontoon last week by a complete stranger and told ‘Your boat looks gorgeous’ it made me feel really proud. The look of surprise on his face when I told him that Velvet Lady will be 24 next week made all the hard work we have been doing on her seem really worthwhile!
He was right – Velvet Lady looks gorgeous at the moment. She has spent the last 10 days out of the water being worked on by the great team at Dicky B marine in Plymouth. We have had lots of work done that you can’t see, and also plenty that you can see. Hidden under the floor boards we have done lots of plumbing – replaced all the skin fittings with new blakes seacocks and all new piping. These deteriorate with age, and it was a ‘peace of mind thing’. The prop shaft was showing signs of wear so we have had a new one fitted for the same reason. Outside, Dicky B’s team have spent hours cleaning and polishing the topsides, which is what is making her gleam.
Whilst all this was happening Richard and I went to the boat show. It was a bit like taking children to a sweetie shop, and we had to be very careful to budget our spending money. Nevertheless, the navigation station is now full of new toys!
Those of you that regularly read my blog will remember that in April this year a big wave wiped out our auto pilot. We have tried having it fixed, but that hasn’t worked so we have bought a new one! Fingers crossed it will be delivered to us before we set off across Biscay.
More recently, just as we left Norway, our radar stopped working, and again because of age we were told that the spare parts were not available. We have been toying with the idea of fitting AIS for a while now, so whilst we were at the boat show and looking at replacement radars, we decided to really splash out and buy a bigger chartplotter which can be overlaid with AIS data and the radar picture. Richard is busy working at the moment fitting it all, and on Monday there will be a rigger up the mast fitting the new scanner.
We are certainly managing to squeeze an awful lot into our short stop in Plymouth before heading south to the sunshine for the rest of the year. As well as all this new work we are continuing with our preparations for heading south and not returning to UK until April next year. As usual we will be heading for the Canary Islands in a series of legs, which are all detailed and on line, available to be booked.
Coming up soon – 2 – 12th October, The Bay of Biscay crossing is nearly full, with only one place left available, which has now been discounted to £895 per person.
This is followed by a 10 day Blue Water Adventure from Sanxenxo in the Spanish Rias to Rota on the Costa de la Luz
21 – 31 October 2010, 10 nights, also reduced to £895 per person
This trip give the opportunity to mix day sailing and passage making. With quite a few miles to cover we will spend at least 3 of the nights at sea
I mentioned earlier that Velvet Lady is 24 this year. We are not sure what date she was first launched but we took possession of her on 2nd October and always think of that as her birthday. This year to help celebrate Velvet Lady’s birthday why not sail with us. All our our trips are fully detailed in the Schedule part of our website. We are really pleased to see bookings now coming from customers for their fourth holiday and look forward to welcoming old and new friends on board later this year.