Stage 4 complete, quick debrief

Post date: Aug 10, 2015 4:39:39 PM

Well, that ended suddenly. There I was, just a few days ago, gale bound in Fishguard, with only 2 passages under my belt and now I’ve reached Plymouth 2 days ahead of schedule. Notes for passages 37 and 38 now available.

Once the gales were over I made hay while the sun shone (or didn’t for the last 2 passages). It’s been a good stage. Each time I was stuck in port I made the most of my discovery days (which were awesome - St David’s Cathedral being my all time favourite) and enjoyed the company of two wonderful boaty neighbours. Which all made the hold up well worth it. I’ve since had some cracking sails and one lovely night sail. Not forgetting the dolphins. Golly, what beautiful animals they are.

So I’m feeling fulfilled and satisfied. No nasty dramas. Just another set of great experiences. What fun this now is. All the same, glad for a break.

The boat still has issues, but I have left it in the hands of some very optimistic engineers who promise they’ll fix it all up. Most notable being my mast head aerial. Yes, I know I reported it fixed. But it’s not. There’s something just not right and these guys in Plymouth are going to sort it out. And my winches. And my roller-reefer.

Ominously, my auto-pilot went weird on me during my last passage and I couldn’t use it for the last bit. This being a new one, I’ll be well miffed if it’s gone on the blink but it seemed to perk up a little at the end. It will be with some trepidation when I apply it on my first passage for stage 5. Fingers crossed.

So, I’ve now gone the farthest North, East, South and West. Stage 5 is the “going home” stage. Should be a piece of cake as it’s warmish, harbours splattered around like confetti and I’ll most likely have the trade winds to blow me home. I’ve also sailed this coast before. A no brainer. It’s as good as done.

If anyone’s been waiting to see if I actually do it before donating to the wonderful Honeypot, they’d better start fishing out their wallet now!

Financially it's been a cheap stage, though the Plymouth marina costs are pretty eye watering (South coast now). I've got a summary running cost financials page for all stages.

I covered 343 miles in 11 days with 71 hours at sea - that's an average of 4.8 knots with over a quarter of my life at sea. 33%  motoring. That's my venture average still. To make 30% for the whole venture would mean motoring less than 70 miles for stage 5. Tricky.