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

Heading South

sunset followed by moonrise

Heading south from Bodo to Kristiansund we are now starting to see the sun rise and set and are even having to get used to a bit of darkness!  Last week we had some great sunsets and even one followed immediately by a moon rising in the glow.

We had a slightly different route last week – we headed west to Traena and crossed the arctic circle before heading south and winding our way through a series of intricate islands and small harbours.

Now we are in Kristiansund and getting ready for the long passage home.

One way trips a success

view from the saloon window

Summer arrived in Arctic Norway this week, with temperatures up to 27 degrees we were able to wear our shorts and t shirts on deck.  Blue skies and sunshine greeted us at breakfast time most mornings.  We had plenty of time for sailing, exploring ashore, swimming and fishing.  A first this year – Jeff caught a Halibut, which was indeed very tasty.

fishing

We did not have much wind for the first few days whilst we were on the north side – but fortunately as soon as we headed south from Trollfjord we found some wind and had some great days sailing.

sailing

and visited some beautiful places

stunning scenery

yankee and staysail

All on board for both legs thoroughly enjoyed the one way trips beween Bodo and Stokmarknes and the return from Stokmarknes back to Bodo.  Each with the opportunity to explore the north of the islands.

We are just about to start our last Lofoten Islands trip of the season, but will be returning here again in 2017.   Full details on the schedule will be published at the end of September but will include both one way and circular trips as well as our popular 8 night trips.

Guest comments from last week

Another most enjoyable trip with good company, good food, good weather and fair seas.  Felt I reallly learnt a lot and respect the patience and understanding of Lin and Richard.  Would definitely recommend this and I hope to take another lovely trip on Velvet Lady soon

Well looked after – like being on holiday with your Mum and Dad, just what I needed – look forward to joining you on board again in the future

motoring in the flat

 

Vesteralen

vesteralen

One of the reasons for ending our last trip in Stokmarknes was to give Richard and Lin the opportunity to explore the island group of Vesteralen, just north of the Lofoten Islands.  After a quick scrub, clean and shop we were ready for the off and left Stokmarknes heading west to circumnavigate the island group.

We were really surprised to discover how different the islands were from Lofoten, lower, greener and more rounded.  There was also lots more habitation than we expected colourful houses, pretty churches and plenty of birds.

colourful buildings and hills

We found some spectacular anchorages but the highlight of the trip was the 5 killer whales who coasted by and stayed with us for about an hour, and even returned the following day.

3 killer whales killer whale tail

Now we are in Stokmarknes and ready to start our second one way trip, this one ending back at our usual base in Bodo.

Last Lofoten trip of 2015 – We’ll be back in 2016

leknes

For our final 10 days in the Lofoten Islands we yet again had an international flavour with our guests.  2 couples, both from Australia.  We were looking forward to meeting them – they didn’t know each other and Australia is a big place.

Within 5 minutes of talking we discovered that they lived a mere 5km apart just outside Freemantle – both owned boats and went sailing in the same area.  Whats that about 6 degrees of separation or something!

We had a great week – mixed weather added to the lure of the islands and we found plenty of time to explore ashore. We visited many of our favourite places for one last time before heading home, and dubbed Haversand ‘Paradise Beach’

a fantastic anchorage in haversand
a fantastic anchorage in haversand

One day – Richard found this hat in a shop in the Lofoten Islands – thought it would be good for keeping the rain off.  The next day, I had to model it for real!

Its a long sail from Bodo to the Lofoten Island – 55 miles – not so different to a channel crossing.  Not the kind of thing that you want to do either on the first day of a cruise or the last day, so we allow for this and spend the first day and last day sailing amongst the islands on the mainland side.  We’re going to make a change next year.  We’re going to do 2 one way trips, Bodo to the Lofoten Islands and the Lofoten Islands back to Bodo – meaning more cruising time in the Lofoten Islands and a trip on a small propeller airplane to get there/back.  What an adventure.  Dates and prices for this will be published at the end of August.  Sign up here for our newsletter to receive details hot off the press

 

Super Special OFFER – sail north to Norway now reduced to £980

2 last minute places available to sail with us from Oban to Bodo in Norway

30% off – now £980 for a 15 night trip, all inclusive once on board

Join us in Oban and sail north for 300 miles to the Shetland Islands.  After a brief stop sail a further 500 miles across to the Norwegian coastline.

We will creep inshore and sail the last 150 miles north amongst the islands.

Cross the Arctic Circle and stop at the Svartissen glacier.

Always hopeful of playing with dolphins on the bow

and in previous years we have seen whales

Before arriving in Bodo (photos from last year)

15 nights on board – join 30th May 1800, depart 14th June 1000.

Flights available from Bodo to London via Oslo for approx £120.  See www.jetcost.co.uk or www.skyscanner.net

More information on the Schedule page of our website

You will be expected to take a full part in the watch system, sailing the boat, and all other routine chores on board.

Booking is easy on line at our website but please remember that you are required to be medically and physically fit to sail with us.

By medically fit we mean that you must not be suffering from
any disability, epilepsy, diabetes, dizziness, asthma, angina or other
heart condition.

By physically fit enough we mean that we require you to be steady on your feet,
able to move around the boat and climb up and down the companionway
steps unassisted, able to climb into a top bunk (even though you may not
be allocated one) and be able to climb in and out of the dinghy (with a
ladder of course). We also expect that you have sufficient ‘grip’ to be able to hold on when the going gets tough.

Our usual age group on these trips is 18 – 65, If you fall outside this age range please contact us before booking.

We hope you can join us and are happy to anwer any questions if you want to give me a call on 07801 627660

Lin and Richard