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Update 18th May 2012

Where next? Probably up the east coat of Ireland on our way to Scotland. This all depends on the weather of course. For some time now it has been fairly abysmal hence our prolonged stay in Milford Haven. Below are some photos showing Police RIBs at our stern. These guys had come to our assistance after we managed to touch our nose on a slipway due to a number of unfortunate circumstances conspiring against us – never a dull moment!

May 2012 – Milford Haven

Milford Haven – Photo on Left is a gas terminal

Despite the incident involving the Rangers (notice the blue light)…….

. and local anti-terrorist police patrol boats …..

We successfully performed a full power system check.

March 2012 – Stourport to Cardiff

 The last night at Stourport Marina and Chef prepares a simply amazing meal.


Stopover at Gloucester Docks taking on water and food

The day we went to sea......

Daybreak, and thick fog greeted us here at Sharpness. Through the bridge are the docks and sea lock. Visibility decreased still further and we were obliged to navigate the tortuous channel between Sharpness and Avonmouth practically blind. All hands were fully employed watching radar, AIS, charts, plotters and for other shipping! There was no relaxing.......

A Severn crossing appears in the distance as the fog begins to lift.
Visibility wasn't a whole lot better on our approach to Cardiff some time later.

But we made it. Here we are in sunny Cardiff bay having just left the barrage lock. The boats are waiting to enter, Next stop - our berth.

And we are all happy bunnies!


The bad news was.

Around late August last year we made our way back from the Firth of Clyde via Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man to the River Severn. Having negotiated the South Stack, Bishops and Clerks and all sorts of other incidental Irish Sea inconveniences, we naturally thought navigating the relative tranquillity of the River Severn would be simple. Wrong! Inevitably we managed to severely clout an unmarked underwater obstruction on the river, courtesy of British Waterways who having known about this problem for many years have yet failed to mark it or officially make it known (shallow craft such as canal boats are unaffected).

Mangled propellers after the incident and the new ones fitted. 

The boat was hauled out of the water in September 2011 and finally made it back in March 2012. During this time the propellers were replaced (thank you insurance company. They were not cheap!) and other work undertaken. For example, Sirius Marine and myself decided to Soda Blast the bottom to check the integrity of the epoxy resin covering the steel hull. It was probably a good thing since it showed up a few minor problems, not serious yet but maybe in a few years. The rust was treated and a new coating applied. It will probably out last me!

More 2011 snapshots

Left. Angus, (a professional skipper), looking at a Severn crossing on our way to Cardiff.
Right. Lou, visiting from Australia, decorating the front of the boat at Whitehaven.

Left. This glorious photograph was taken one morning on our way to Douglas, Isle of Man.
Right. Stranded on Bardsey Island waiting for the tide. The boat is anchored in the distance.

Left. Waiting at the Ardrishaig sea lock to enter the Crinan Canal.
Right. Escort duty on the River Severn to ensure the way ahead is clear after damaging the propellers