December 15, 2012
Sail away on the tears we shed
April 10, 2012
The adventure has come to an end.Good times, sad times and happy times.There is a time and place for all we do and our adventures will return in another time, another place.
We have met some lovely people along the way,learnt alot about ourselves and found the real us and the real others.Erimar did us proud and never missed a beat and she dealt with all that came her way.We have said goodbye to Erimar until she is reincarnated in another time and another place.
It is still good to be home in Snowdonia, a place close to our hearts with good people , good friends.It is time to get back to selling boats for Boatshed Yacht Brokers.So, if you want to sell your boat or buy a boat, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I would be delighted to help you.
Be seeing you………
May 24, 2011
Being so close by we had a day out visiting Port Isaac, famous for being the setting for Doc Martin and the Poldark series amongst others. It is a tiny but charming place with tight streets, quaint shops and tea rooms along with the craggy tiny harbour. I love these unspoilt harbours that have not changed over the centuries and there is the scent of an age gone by still lingering. The scent of a time when wine was sipped at carved oak tables from golden goblets and the scent of a time of honour and valour, a scent of a time of smugglers and lance and sword, which I suppose is why series like Poldark were set here.
We were fortunate to find that they were filming Doc Martin while we were there and it was fascinating to watch the proceedings as Caroline Catz (Louisa) and baby, the famous dog and of course Martin Clunes, acted out their parts. Martin Clunes kindly posed for a photograph and a brief chat between shoots with nothing being too much trouble and it really topped a lovely day.
Of course Padstow wouldn’t be Padstein without the presence of Rick Stein and he was in town for a book signing. Now, I may have got the wrong impression but he didn’t look too happy and 11am may have been a little early for him, as he struggled to speak and pose for those getting his book signed that they had just purchased and an hour of book signing is an awfully long time for celebrity chef. Maybe he should have a chat with Martin Clunes!
May 20, 2011
It is normal for Erimar to slip port with the milk train, it comes with the territory as she chases the horizon, as the curtains are pulled open on the dawn of a new day. Squally showers chased us as we headed for Padstow, sprinkling us with the wine of life only for the sun to steal it back, until the next squall allowed us to taste the nectar once more.
As with all of our passages this time out and being quite early in the season, Erimar has been a lone yacht – scolded from the fleet – ostrocised but content. Again the sea grumbled away, agitated and threatening like a playground bully, never actually becoming violent but we were never quite sure. The Cornish coast eventually loomed proud and tall and the river Camel, toothless, sucked Erimar towards Padstow and through the gate and into the heart of the town.
The winds and seas continued their incessant onslaught and so Dave was to say goodbye in Padstow, defeated by the sands of time but so many memories remained scrawled in the grains. Several boats were sentenced and locked away in Padstow, severed from the ocean awaiting pardon or acquittal, knowing it would come but not knowing when.
We met Paul and Finlay, his African grey parrot, sailing single handed around Britain raising funds for Crohns & Colitis UK and of course Dave and Kim who had been rafted against us for so long now that our boats had become gelled!
Passage: 69.89nm Distance run so far: 1689.14nm
If you would like to donate to the Crohns & Colitis cause please go to: paulhardakersailing.co.uk
May 17, 2011
Erimar made her escape from Camaret like a fugitive from justice with the tide coaxing her toward her motherland and her bow seeking the scent of home. We had the Chanel du Four, France`s last barricade to break through and we had timed it for its point of weakness and its achilles heel and hopefully off guard. The wind and sea in unison were still fighting with the enemy attempting to hold us back from the front line and keep us imprisoned within this last French bastion. The Four was not only fighting Erimar but also our coalition partner nature and gradually its resisitance weakened and not to be thwarted we burst through its defences to continue our night passage through the western edge of the English Channel and onward to the Isles of Scilly.
Erimar sailed beautifully, steadily eating into the 120 miles and sniffing out her destination. Tiredness was cloaking over us but Dave and I kept each other awake as commercial traffic lit up the night sky whilst the radar alerted us to their presence well before they appeared. Dawn beat away the night and trawlers made for port laden with their catch heading for another pay day and the Scillies was still nowhere to be seen. As lunch time approached the Scillies protruded timidly from its Atlantic swell, so low lying that Erimar was almost upon them before they could be seen. We moored in St Mary`s next to Frasers boat having followed in the Scillonians wake, both boats being featured on the “Island Parish” programme. We spent the afternoon wandering around St Mary`s in a sleep deprived daze before succumbing to a well earned rest.
The Scillies, guarded by Bishops Rock, are a place where time has stood still, but not its prices! A place of beauty with clean fresh air and clear waters. A sanctuary for birds, flowers and plants and an inspiration for writers and artists.The islands are scattered with beautiful coves and beaches and quaint cottages, interspersed with tea rooms, cafes and restaurants eager for business and very eager to charge. A captive clientele!.
Passage: 126.08nm Distance run so far: 1619.26nm
May 14, 2011
Audierne was short and sweet and Jean Louis cast us off reminding us of our forthcoming Barmouth liason.
The French waters have been like a spoilt child this time, grumpy, insolent, moody, inconsolable and selfish-no compromise. Aided and abetted by a cold,biting disdainful wind, Erimar rose to the thrill giving a lovely sail to Camaret, our last French port before our channel crossing to the Isles of Scilly
Camaret is place we know well, having wintered here when Mum was taken ill. Nothing had changed, although like everywhere else at this time of year, it was pretty much a ghost town after late afternoon but it has a special place in our hearts. With uncertain weather it would be three days before we could say Au revoir to France , until the next time.
Passage:28.23nm Distance run so far:1521.41
May 11, 2011
Port Tudy slipped slowly into the past as we left with the dawn fishermen intent on netting their salary. Dave was down below, not well, catching up on sleep after a restless night. We needed to sort a batten for our mainsail so we headed to the town of Concarneau and its charming walled Ville Close and just an overnight stay. We wanted to drop in at Audierne on this trip as we had missed it out on our trip south and we managed to tie up just before dark and grab a late drink in a bar.
Audierne resorted to type in late evening, nearly closed, nearly deserted but we managed to stumble on a lovely little bar nearly open! An Irish man and his wife sat on bar stools talking to the barman and our arrival gave the barman his chance to escape. The couple delighted in engaging us in conversation and somehow I got involved deeply in discussing the whys and wherefores of the Alternative Vote, wishing for an alternative bar but the place was snug and warm. The barman was very friendly and the place had free wifi, the lifeblood for anyone on a boat so we promised to return in the morning.
It was whilst using the bar wifi that we noticed a guy at the bar speaking fluent French adorned in a Welsh cap and rugby shirt. Summoning deeply, I muttered a few Welsh words, Bora Da, Sut dach chi? and of course bendigedig and a new friend was in the bag, Jean Louis Lebegue-Jones , Captain de corvette. Jean Louis was borne in Barmouth but worked in the Navy for many years settling in Audierne. We had plenty to talk about but we were leaving to time the Raz De Sein and Jean Louis kindly cast us off, but not before agreeing to meet up in Barmouth before he competes in the 3 Peaks this year.
Port Tudy – Concarneau Passage:25nm
Concarneau – Audierne Passage :28.23nm Distance run so far:1493.18
May 10, 2011
All that remained was to fill our water tanks and we could begin our journey home. Although we had drained our tanks for the winter, some water must have frozen in the pump and cracked it. It was good to have Dave on Board!
Erimar escaped the Arzal Barrage after nestling in the bosom of the Vilaine for so long- set free. We hoisted the sails and the genoa filled proudly as Erimar sucked air in to her lungs and resuscitated back to life as the swell held sway gaining in confidence with an endless sequence of lifting us to the heights, only to slide us down to the depths, like a manic depressive.
Wearily, we arrived in Port Tudy, a sleepy town on the Island of Ile de Groix. In fact everywhere is sleepy in early May, if not quite comotose. Cooking was not an option after our draining 50 mile journey so we made off in the dinghy to a restaurant for steak,chips and beer!
Passage:49.63nm Distance run so far:1439.95
May 06, 2011
Like a tortoise we woke Erimar from her long winter slumber as we clambered aboard her naked form, stripped bare of her seasons plummage.We had arrived on cue thanks to our regular French chauffeur Taxi Nicolas. He was at Nantes airport when we arrived holding a card with “Wood” emblazoned in black and we gathered around him like adolescence would with their teacher on a scool trip, or an avangelist preaching the word to his believers.Follow me I`m the pied piper.
Our friend Dave had joined us for this trip as he had a longing to sail the English Channel and revisit the Scillies and we were pleased to have him onboard.
With only 36 hours until our launch time was precious so we got on with the anti fouling while Mandy made the boat habitable.The winter must have been harsh like home as the cold seemed to have got into Erimar`s bones.We started the engine and the battery alarm fired into life screaming in pain as though we were forcibly bending her arthritic joints.We also thought the alternator had suffered heart failure over winter but it turned out to be merely a bad connection,like a blocked artery that cleared and her heart pumped her blood charging her system once more.It was good to have Dave on board, our own Mr Fixit!
Erimar had suffered a few winter niggles but once she was back on medication and in care her health steadily improved.The launch went smoothly as she was led to the waters edge, back to where she belonged,almost rid of her ailments, to be bathed in her holy water, as if on pilgrimage to Lourdes,finally free of pain.
September 28, 2010
Up river, deep in the Vilaine with Erimar stripped naked in readiness for her hibernation, it was time for our farewell barbecue .Time for reflection, time for celebration, time to give thanks for our lot. With the evenings drawing in, closing the curtains on Erimar`s stage, autumns ghostly dampness and chill was plainly evident in the Rieux air, as the charcoal aroma left it`s taste and mark on the scene. Five of us and a midnight feast like badgers frolicking away from the lair.
Foleux was to be Erimar`s nesting place for winter and we awoke, shrouded in a mist being dissolved by a dominant sun. A dominant sun turning mist into a steam rising from the water. Erimar was lifted and coaxed to the boatyard for hibernation and we bode her farewell but happy to be going back to our home, family and friends.