Puttng aboat to bed, then Gibraltar and Beyond

November 3, 2016

This blog is being written to let you all know just what will be going on over the next few months as well as letting you into the secretive world of the Byrnes in Cornwall. Not a vast quantity of boaty stuff but enough to keep you interested and not stray too far from the ethos of the blog (ie to be boaty).

So, first off the Byrnes in Cornwall. We are back in Pendra Loweth, the holiday development we have stayed on for the past two winters. We’ve moved house but not estate: now in number 91 as opposed to number 112. Its fairly weird, as its not the same house but it is identical to the last one and you keep getting these deja vu type moments.

Julia is fully back into student mode and is indulging in minor panics about getting work done on time. However, it’s nothing like as bad as the first year; she does seem to have realised that she can actually do the work in the time allowed. She has also become involved with the Mature Students Society (an oxymoron if ever I saw one) and has been arranging things like quiz nights.

I’ve been doing some work down at the gig club, as per last year and the supervets crew has started rowing together again. I also cox a renamed group out on a Thursday morning: no longer improvers, just a social row! If the weather keeps nice we intend to check out the local shoreside cafes for coffee and cakes.


Lady J on her winter berth.

Lady J (my Hurley 18 project boat) didn’t suffer too much from neglect through the summer months and we’ve managed to escape on her for a couple of sails. Mainly fairly light winds, so no challenging sailing, just nice pottering about the Fal. I’ve now moved her on to a half tide berth (that’s a berth which only has enough depth of water to float her for half the time or less) near Devoran. The berth is such that a very high spring tide is required to get her on to it and last Wednesday was the last opportunity before my next adventure. She needs to be tucked up safe from the winter storms before that starts as I won’t be here to move her into a marina berth if a big storm threatens.

Which neatly leads me on to the my next big adventure. Regular readers will remember Steve and Linda off the catamaran Tantrum. Steve has decided, given that he is likely to be based in the Caribbean over the next few years, that it would make sense to have Tantrum there rather than Greece. He appealed for crew to make the trip and so I’ve agreed to help him sail the boat to Barbados.

I meet him and Tantrum in Corfu on 5 November along with a third crew member. Then, presuming the weather is OK, we will set off for Gibraltar and then Tenerife. Steve and Linda intend spending Christmas and New Year in Tenerife whilst I come back to UK. Early in January I will rejoin the boat and, all being well, we will depart for Barbados on 10 January as part of the Odyssey Rally. Julia will be joining us for this leg because, as she puts it, its a very big tick off her bucket list! She clearly had some well spent factime with the head of the English department over the weekend, as she has got leave of absence from her course.


Tantrum in Lefkas.  Note the logo on the bow: light winds sails also carry the logo but like 10 metres high….

During the trip, I will post blogs when we have access to the internet and time to write. I may resort to something a little more diary like as I suspect that I may not have much time to deliver the polished pieces of deathless prose that regular readers have come to expect. Indeed, if our experiences of making long passages is anything to go by, when we’re not at sea, I’ll be trying to catch up on lost sleep.

That said, Tantrum carries a deLorme intouch satellite communicator. This cunning little device transmits our position regularly and plots our course on a website. I will post the link to the site shortly on facebook so you can follow our day to day progress along with pithy comments (the gadget has a texting capability so as can send short messages).

So, now you know why I needed to find Lady J a safe winter home: it’s because I won’t be here to look after her during the winter months. The trip up to Devoran went well albeit at an hour I’ve tried to believe was fictional since retiring. Julia dropped me at the sailing club with the beaching legs at 0630. I rowed out to Lady J in the dinghy, loaded the legs on board and set off into the growing light.


Under sail early October.  Glorious day on a crowded Fal estuary.

I had no trouble finding Restronguet Creek which was nicely full of water. High tide at the entrance to the creek was due at 0812, so I was aiming to be at the berth by about 0750 or so. I’d laid out mooring lines the day before and Julia was bringing the car round to meet me and take lines from me. I actually arrived on time but J was running a few minutes late: no worries, the lines I’d laid the day before worked perfectly and there was just enough depth of water to get Lady J into the berth. It then too us about 40 minutes to fit the berthing legs and adjust the mooring lines, by which time the boat was firmly aground in her safe berth.

Well, that’s it. The next entry on this blog will be from either Corfu (if the weather’s pant and we have to wait for it to clear) or the Aeolian Islands (if the weather’s good and we make good time).



  1. Good luck! I hope the winds are good to you (or whatever you’re meant to say?)

  2. brilliant J so glad you have decided to join them, trip of a lifetime I should think

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