Stage 3 complete - wrap up

Post date: Jul 15, 2015 9:22:7 AM

I've finished stage 3, a few days ahead of schedule and quite a few miles ahead of plan, Holyhead being considerably better for continued progress than Liverpool which is where I had originally thought I'd end up. My last passage notes are all written up.

Stage 3 consisted of 12 passages totalling 385 miles which is shorter than the first two stages of about 440 miles each. Stage 3 has been a breeze compared to the other two. Nothing went wrong. In fact quite a lot got fixed. So the boat is in better shape now than where it was at the start of stage 2. I've had a few warm and pleasant days, though I have to say that the majority of them were disappointing weather-wise - cloudy or rainy or cold or a combination.

So, um, no dramas to report, I'm afraid. There were only two things that disturbed me. First my bum/leg problem never went away. So walking was slightly unpleasant. So this was a physical thing that disturbed me pretty much most of the time. Didn't stop me cycling though (or sailing), I did a reasonable amount of that - especially on the Isle of Man. Second there is something wrong with my VHF aerial setup. I'm getting very bad reception and it's making my passage reports with the Coast guard a fretful and unreliable business to the point that a few times I didn't bother, breaking protocol. I won't bore you with the details but I tried several times to get to the bottom of it with no success. So that's a job outstanding upon my return.

So, a far less stressful stage than stage 2 and considerably more pleasant even than stage 1. I've enjoyed the stop offs as ever, The Scottish west coast is glorious and I enjoyed my Belfast and Isle of Man discovery days in particular.

I've done very well with the motoring vs sailing ratio with only 23% motored. This despite the fact that I've really only had 2 or 3 days where I can say the wind has been in my favour (coming from somewhere behind me rather in front of me). So very pleased about that. This brings my overall motoring proportion down to 33% which is still good. I've got a chance to improve that further for the remainder of the venture.

On the fund raising front things are not so rosy. Berthing fee donations have been pitiful, I'm afraid to report. And I think I got one other donation (anonymous) during the whole time. Hmmm, I think I need to do be more proactive. Sorry Honeypot.

Financially not good either. In stage 2 the engine cost me £500, but stage 3 was even more expensive repair-wise what with the masthead, autopilot and battery having to be replaced - £700 in total. This is almost half the total cost and is note-worthy in that it was not expected or budgeted. Bummer.