Helping (the easy way) two guys, Phil and Jeremy, sail a Wayfarer dinghy, “Hafren”, around Mainland UK in 2014 re-awakened in me a dream, long-ago put aside, to sail around as they did (more or less). I say “more or less” because the lads felt that an outboard motor would not be in the spirit of their endeavour! You will know that they got around in 32 days, which was very very impressive.
Anyway, in July 2014, I suggested, tentatively, to Gina that we might buy a yacht and sail around, to which she responded that she had always wanted to. Re-arrange mouth and money to make a sentence!! We saw “Tiftie”, a Moody 376, whilst we were at Largs during August, where I had been race officer for the Laser National Championships. We realised pretty much straight away that we were looking at the perfect boat for us.
A mere two months after first mentioning the possibility, we became the proud owners of “Tiftie”, which had been beautifully maintained, updated and cared for by her previous owners, Sandy and Nancy Tosh of Largs.
So, at the end of September 2014, Gina & I sailed her from Largs to Portishead (407 nm), stopping at Holyhead, Fishguard and Dale, and passing through Bardsey, Ramsey and Jack Sounds, the latter of which is about 250m wide. Pretty exciting. Plenty of tide, but very little wind, so no real problems. During the trip, we undertook two night passages.
During the winter, Tiftie was close enough to home for me to regularly visit and begin to understand the various safety, water and electrical systems and piping routes, etc etc etc. I also had AIS fitted.
At the end of March 2015, with the help of our friend David, we sailed her from Portishead to Plymouth (230 nm), where she is now. During this trip, we were in a bit of a hurry and, so, of the 4o hours in transit, we motored for 30, which included through the night because the wind was dead astern and an involuntary gybe would have been unpleasant. We locked out of Portishead Marina at about 02.00, a couple hours before HW, so as to catch the best of the ebb. Along most of the north Cornwall coast, we undertook another night passage during which we found the AIS very useful in assessing the speed and direction of the numerous fishing boats off Trevose Head. The roundings of Lands End and the Lizard, in daylight, were interesting.