31st May 2016 – Getting Tikka to the start line.

It has been a busy and stressful few weeks. After all the work we did on Tikka over the winter, when we did the sea trials she sailed beautifully with a clean, freshly anti-fouled hull and crisp new sails. However, she had developed a leak  coming from the rudder seal and sea water was finding it’s way into the aft cabin. So it was back out of the water she came. We found an engineer that promised to help and could meet our deadline. We were plagued by delays though and it took over two weeks to get her repaired.

We finally got her back in the water on Saturday afternoon 28th May, rudder functionally tested and good to go. We had 6 days to get her to the start line ready for the Launch Party. With a forecast for good winds but building to  strong  by Monday we needed to get going.

We planned to sail to Gosport over two days, taking turns to drive or sail as we needed to take our dogs, Bosun and Sally and also get the car from Portland to Gosport. Harry decided to stay with me for a bit of Father and son time. So the first leg was to be Kaz’s first ever solo sail. She didn’t look phased or nervous but I was! I didn’t need to worry though, she did a great job, confidently sailing Tikka into Poole Town Quay.

Sunday was Kaz’s turn to drive and dog walk whilst Harry and I sailed Tikka to Gosport and the start line. We started out with 1 reef in the main and were flying along with a good tide and relatively flat seas, this changed during the afternoon though as the wind freshened to a North Easterly force 7 with wind over tide. It was a bumpy beat down the Solent putting Harry, Tikka and me through our paces! With 2 reefs and greatly reduced fore sail we flew into Gosport arriving well before sunset.

With Tikka scrubbed and put to bed, we headed home for a few days rest and final planning. Next event will be our Launch Party on Friday then the big day and the long awaited trip begins. I hope we are blessed with tight lines, fair winds and following seas as we head off to raise awareness and funds for some of the most disadvantaged children in our society.



Back to Sea

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

22nd May 2016

Not long now……

I will be sailing around the UK with my family and friends onboard yacht Tikka to raise awareness and money for Action for Children soon. We set off from Gosport on the south coast on 4th June 2016. For the past 18 months my wife Kaz and I have been getting Tikka ready. She now has new rigging, sails, interior furnishings,  navigational and safety equipment ready for the big trip. With less than 2 weeks to go before we set off we are putting the final touches to our preparations.  Charts, clothes, books are all being checked, double checked and stowed.

I aim to keep a blog going as we travel around the UK.  We will be heading off anticlockwise and have 12 weeks to get around. This will be done in 11 legs changing crews each Saturday. I think it will be fun, challenging,  difficult at times but rewarding as we aim to help Action for Children help some of our countries most disadvantaged children have a better chance in life.