Forever left

Experiments in enriching life


We have forever left

  • Safety briefings: Distress signals

    December 14, 2019 by

    We have a variety of ways to signal distress if we run into problems. The easiest internationally recognised distress signal is really simple. Just hold your arms out to the sides and move them up and down. Easy as that. Don’t wave your arms over your head – you’ll look like you’re saying hello, and… Read more

  • Day skipper: Passage review

    November 29, 2019 by

    There are 4 stages to passage planning. AppraisalThis is where you look at the route, the weather, your boat etc and decide whether the journey is a good idea or not. PlanningIf it looks like a good idea, then you work out your route and come up with pilotage plans for any ports in the… Read more

  • Day skipper: Pilotage

    November 28, 2019 by

    I’m unreasonably proud of this tatty piece of paper. Pilotage is about close-in navigation, like finding your way into a harbour or through a restricted channel. It’s fun. Or it’s fun when it’s going well, anyway. When it’s not, it’s deeply frustrating and/or stressful. The key here is to be able to identify things you… Read more

  • Day skipper: Passage planning

    November 27, 2019 by

    I’m about to do my first real passage plan. We’re out for a week on the water starting from la Linea, heading down to Ceuta. From there, we’re going back across the straits to Europa point and up to Estepona. I’m going to be planning the passage back to la Linea from there. Passage planning… Read more

  • A marathon, not a sprint

    November 25, 2019 by

    Today has been the first day that I’ve edged towards not wanting to be here. It’s been a good day so far; we’ve been out in the bay with nice gentle F3-F4 westerlies doing boat handling drills and occasionally rescuing Bob, who’s a fender with a habit of falling overboard any time we’re not paying… Read more

  • Day skipper: Charts and tides

    November 25, 2019 by

    Chart work Day skipper theory got us started on the basics of chart work. This was actually fairly straightforward given that I’ve spent a lot of time with maps before. The key points are being able to accurately plot lat/long pairs, measuring the same for a defined mark, measuring distances and finding bearings from one… Read more

  • Marine radio SRC (short range certificate)

    November 24, 2019 by

    The first of our self-study courses is here. The marine radio short range certificate allows you to operate the VHF radio on the boat. While some aspects of it are fairly straightforward (e.g. push the “push to transmit” button to transmit), there’s a fair amount to learn to be able to use it effectively and… Read more

  • Theoretically competent

    November 17, 2019 by

    Competent crew week is done. And it has been another tiring one. This week has been about the absolute basics of making yourself useful on a boat. The idea of the competent crew course is that you can move from being a passenger on the boat to being able to help sail and maintain her.… Read more

  • Victualing

    November 12, 2019 by

    One of the things I like most about this adventure is that you can tell just how old an activity sailing is by the wonderfully archaic terminology that crops up everywhere. Victualing is the practice of planning meals for your journey and shopping for the ingredients. If you’ve ever been camping, this is a lot… Read more

  • Meet an asshole in the morning

    November 10, 2019 by

    I’m not a fan of television. I’m more of a looking-for-the-mouse person. But I do have a soft spot for Justified. I don’t know if it’s because I grew up with cowboy films and find this modern take on the genre entrancing, or because of the depth and colour of the characters, or because of… Read more

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