The Plan (Version 0.1)

April 18, 2014 at 10:16 am

So, I’m planning 3 months off work so I can go sailing.  I know I’m really lucky in that I’m freelance so can be flexible like this.  I have found a house sitter who is known, but not too close (he’s my Chiropractors brother) and is willing to stay 3 months for a contribution towards the bills.  The dog is all set to go to my Mum’s for the summer (and I think it will be nice for them both), and my good Mother is also willing to look after the order fulfillment side of my business while I’m gone.

I’m trying to figure out if I can possibly go cruising and carry on working 2 days a week.  All I need is a hookup for the laptop and WiFi. I can tether my phone (which has unlimited internet) and this has been tested well on land.  The problem is the hassle of trying to get to a Marina for electric hook up 2 days a week, and the impact of that on my sense of freedom.  Who knows what will happen with the weather this summer and I can imagine myself just worrying how I’m going to get to a marina berth for *next Tuesday* and whether the phone signal will be good enough.  I can see it being a bit of a nightmare to be honest, though of course the income would be nice.  I’m still deciding on that one…

However, my manager asked me the other day if I was going to be checking in with the Coastguard on each passage, to which I of course replied a confident, “Yes, of course!”.

Now, I hate using the radio. Probably something to do with growing up in the Solent and sniggering at all the posho’s asking Solent Coastguard if a F7 would make them spill their G&Ts.  “This is Yacht Elvira” said in Received Pronunciation was a very long running family joke…) and it is a few years (maybe 4?) since I did my VHF course so I admit I’m a bit rusty… So I’ve made up a prompt card which will fit nicely on the back of the Mayday card I’ve already done.   It’s more of an ‘aide memoire’ rather than a verbatim script though, and I’ve added the “Prowords” out of the Almanac for a bit more confidence/authority.

I have also registered with the CG66 scheme, a voluntary safety registration scheme where you record your details and a contact of someone ashore.  Details of this scheme are here

So. The (current) plan is to launch around the end of May, have a shakedown to Poole maybe with some stops at Worbarrow Bay and Studland (and I may go to Cherbourg from Weymouth if the weather is absolutely right. I think it would be good for confidence as I do know Cherbourg quite well), and then head out West across Lyme Bay to Brixham and hop down west all the way to the Isles of Scilly.  Then round and up across the Bristol Channel, definitely stopping at Lundy. I would like to get across to Ireland also if there is time.

There’s a great article in this month’s Yachting Monthly, “How to sail around the British Isles” with a great map.  The pink areas are what they call “Primary Cruising Zones” and the green areas are “Wilder Holiday Zones” (and I do like the sound of that….).

I have circled my hoped cruising area for this summer in red.  Fingers crossed for decent weather now.

The Plan

Scanned from the May 2014 Yachting Monthly Magazine