Alive and Well!

October 25, 2015 at 10:42 am

It’s been a while, eh? Sorry for disappearing on you like that. I’ve had really, really intermittent internet connectivity …And have been gardening.

I bought a 200 year old cottage in County Mayo back in February, and after I made it to Schull with Bill the weather was crappy, my deck fittings were leaking so everything was wet all the time and we literally had a pattern of a two day gale, followed by a day where the sea would have been too rough to go out, followed by 2 days of no wind at all, followed by another gale. Repeat.

So while I was bobbing up and down in Schull listening to the drips and unable to charge my phone because the sun wasn’t out enough, the cottage renovation was calling. Also, if the truth be known, Bill and I had front row seats for the search and rescue endeavours for this awful tragedy as we were leaving Baltimore which did give me the jitters going off on my own. The plan was still to try to get round and up to Galway. That part of the world is beautiful and rugged and wild, but the flip side of that is that it is remote and I hadn’t quite grasped what that means in reality until I got there. It was getting remoter and remoter and there’s a lot of lee shore with nowhere to take shelter.  So after waving Bill “Intrepid” Churchouse off on his voyage back to Poole I left Duet on a mooring in Schull in Mid July and never quite made it back… She’s now safely tucked up in a yard in West Cork for the winter.

So in the meantime, I had the water and electrics turned off to the cottage, made a veg garden, cleared the back garden of 15 x 40′ forestry trees creating about 10 tonnes of chippings and about the same of wood to log, and have had the sheds re-roofed. There’s a whole other blog there if the truth be known, if only I had the time…

But about 10 days ago we finally had the internet connected, even getting a speed of 6 meg! And I have now done a first edit of the 4 hours or so of footage I took from the Jester. I have had a few messages demanding to see some more Jester stuff but to be honest I hadn’t wanted to do it before; I was so bitterly disappointed with the “Lifeboat Incident” I didn’t want to look at the video. I just wanted to crawl under a rock to be honest.

I’m getting over that now though. Time heals, as they say, and it was exciting to see this stuff again and it has brought all the good stuff back. It was a damn exhilarating 3 and a half days to Courtmacsherry and in retrospect was actually pretty profound.

So here is 4 days condensed into 4 hours of footage, condensed into 4 and a half wobbly minutes on youtube. I’ve tried with this video to give you an insight into my experience of the Jester.  I’ve got more videos to do, with more on my decisions and mistakes, but I hope this was worth the wait.

But what do you do out there on your own?

June 9, 2015 at 4:17 pm

I fairly regularly get asked what I do out there on my own. “Don’t you get bored or lonely?”

Er, not really… Not often.


This was on Sunday morning, about 8am, about 15 miles south of Start Point. I’d left Plymouth at 1400 the previous day, headed South for 25 miles miles, then turned left for 25 miles and here I’d just turned North to head for Dartmouth (also 25 miles) and was using the engine to clear some shipping.

The weather was a bit gnarly leaving Plymouth, beating into a top end f5 with a big SW swell, but it eased and we turned east off the wind by nightfal…  And then by morning the wind had dropped right away.

Was good to test the new stuff. Bernard was brilliant, and the new AIS was money well spent I think.

However, the engine was a concern . The swell was lifting the engine, including the teak wedge it’s mounted on, up out of the lazarette locker. I thought it was going to come loose! A bit concerning at 6 kts and 30 degrees! I think I’ve figured out a way of fixing this though, and there’s still time.

I forgot to shut the sink seacock and had a bit of a panic when I saw the water overflowing onto the floor. Then I couldn’t find the bilge pump handle, then when I did I realised it should probably have a lanyard, like I’ve put on the washboards. And I should probably carry a spare…

I didn’t close the air vent on the fuel tank either, and I think some moisture got in the tank, as coming into Dartmouth the outboard was running really ragged and wouldn’t idle. Managed to get her on the pontoon ok, and fresh petrol has sorted it.

Got in at 1300. 85 miles covered and 23 hours at sea.

Really useful experience.

Tried the egg timer thing but couldn’t sleep. There was too much shipping.


Back in August…

March 16, 2015 at 8:09 pm

Remember that day back in August when my friends joined me in their rib, with their GoPro?

Here’s the result:


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