small world sailing

Yachtmaster Practical

So today we start our Yachtmaster practical in the Solent in February! It’s a cold frost on deck but the crew is ready and raring to go. By the end of the week I shall be a master of yachts ūüôā


February 20, 2012 at 07:55 Comments (0)

The engine is in!


Big news, the engine has finally gone in, now we can start to build the cockpit. Exciting times!

January 26, 2012 at 09:12 Comments (0)

New years day Canoe

So, went for a Canoe on Loche Clunie with a short stop on the man made island in the middle to have a look around the remains of Clunie castle.

Beautiful new years day morning and a great excuse for my first blog post of the year.

Tom was very pleased to have managed to get both his Canoes on the roof of his car!








January 1, 2012 at 15:05 Comments (0)

Welcome to the all new leeonsea!

leeonsea has been all wordpressed up. Now people can comment and all sorts, its very exciting!

December 14, 2011 at 22:26 Comments (0)

Additional Pictures

Getting the Spring On

Demonstrating my improvised ‘Sea Anchor’

Poppin the Cork!

Need a Shower and Bed (and a shave)

July 9, 2008 at 10:08 Comments (0)

Mars Bar, Champagne and Curry

N50.45.44 W001.31.94

It’s raining! welcome to the Uk.

Got tied up at 2100 BST last night, a little earlier than I had expected. Greeted on the dock by a Mars-Duo’ lovely.

Very nearly cocked up the berthing, let the back slip out on the wind, first time I’ve ever really made a mistake coming in, I think it’s cause I was tired, that’s what I’m saying anyway.

Good sail coming in, I was up very early and watched myself pass the Start-Point light in Devon at 0200. Very gusty, squally and wet. But I didn’t want to reduce the sail to cope better, I wanted to make good progress as I new it was going to be a little tight getting into Lymington before dark.

So I sat in the cockpit, cold, thinking, ‘why the hell was I bringing my boat back to the UK?’ then, a little after dawn, I saw the outline of Portland Bill. The weather had improved and things began to look very rosy indeed. I had a great days sail, dead down wind all the way from west of Portland to the North channel at the Isle of White. Touching over 8kts as I passed the Bill and Purbeck.

It’d just turned slack water as I got to the Needles, a rough place to be if the waters running fast and no place to be if the waters running against you. But it was just starting to run gently with me as I rounded Hurst castle, anyone would think I’d planed it that way ;o)

Once the Boat was safely alongside at Berthon we headed back to Ma’ & Pa’s for some Champagne and Curry, what bliss. I upset father on the way back as the heating in the car fetched up the stink from my feet, but apart from that it was a lovely home coming. Thanks to Rene for coming down too and for buying the Curry.

So all in all, I feel very excellent indeed, quite quite super. Whana go again! cana, cana, cana, pleeeeaaaasssseeeeeee!

Azores – UK Stats

Days/ Hrs 14days 10.5hrs
Miles Covered 1542nm
Miles Per Day 106.78nm

Bahamas – Azores Stats

Days/ Hrs 26days 22.5hrs
Miles Covered 2854nm
Miles Per Day 105.95nm

Total Stats

Days/ Hrs 41days 9hrs
Miles Covered 4396nm
Miles Per Day 106.23nm

Coming Up Hurst Spit at the Needles

Entering Lymington River

Coming into Berthon

Rene helping me tie off

July 9, 2008 at 09:59 Comments (0)

Day 41

N49.26.73 W004.58.42

Heading 060T Wind, westerly F4-5 (lovely)

Strange feelings again today, Looking forward to making my final destination but at the same time sad it’s nearly all over. After all the Highs and Lows and particularly over the past week you’d think I just wanted to get off this dam boat, and to a degree you’d be right, I stink and I’d really love a plate of Steak&Kidney Pie and Chips……..and a Mars Bar, but by an equally simular token, particularly today where the sailing has been good, I’d really like to keep going.

I’m not going to of course, I’m going to stop and wash this salt out of my hair and stop my feet stinking of wet dogs and diesel, I haven’t took them out of my boots since the last time, rank! But of course I would do it again, I’d do it again tomorrow, well, after a bit of sleep. Not always been enjoyable and certainly sometimes been a bit of a handful but taken as a whole, let me at it again! I wouldn’t do it the same, I’ve learnt a lot, but I would do it, course I would. Maybe next time, having now sattified my desire to do it solo, I’d let one of you lucky folks come too. Form an orderly Q wont you ;o)

I don’t believe this feeling is uncomon in Oceans sailors, I saw a documentory on the first round the world race, in which Knox Jonsen won, and two of the competitors of that carried on going instead of crossing the finishing line. One other wrote some wierd stuff about Aliens in his logbook and promtly vanished, Donald somebody, they found his boat, and his logbook, floating off the Carribean some months later.

Anywayz, on that happy note, with a bit of luck I’ll make Lymington before dark, might have to do a bit of motor sailing to get there in time. Stats to follow.


July 7, 2008 at 18:05 Comments (0)

Day 40

N48.18.25 W007.40.23

Wind F5-7 Heading 060T

Hard days sailing, wind has been consistantly F5-7 Very gusty and I’ve been sailing under 3reefs and some or none headsail depending on how it’s been going.

But that’s not been the big issue, the big issue has been the sea as I’ve approached the Banks. The Atlantic approaches our continental shelf and is greeted by a 3800m cliff face. The sea floor goes from 4000 to 200m in a matter of miles and the sea gets a bit choppy just then, specially it would seem if theres a near Gale blowing.

I had on one occasion, one wave break over the port bow and one over the starbord quarter simultaniously, quite mad. I’ve been thrown about the cabin all day, swinging around it like a monkey in a cage. At one point whilst sitting I was up’d and over the sallon table so quick I didn’t have time to think.

Not Nice.

Presently though I’m running downwind at about 6kts and the sea has settled. The sun has come out for the first time today just in time for it to set. Making very good progress and long may it continue.

I’m wondering if I might go to Poole town quay instead as currently it looks like I might make the needles channel just in time for dusk on Tuesday, typical! But I’ll keep this under revision and see what happens on the day.

Not long now, starting to feel a little excited ;o)


July 6, 2008 at 18:12 Comments (0)

Day 39

N47.09.10 W010.11.65
Heading 055T Wind, F5-7 Westerly.   
Well, so that’s what storm force winds feel like! that’s just crazy nuts!!
Hydrovane wasn’t even coming close to keeping up last night, I decided to try and deploy my home made sea anchor from the front which is the agreed method from what you read, but it just put the beam of the boat to the waves, not good. I got another extra long length of line and streamed it even further from the stern and it sort of worked keeping the starbord quarter to the waves.¬†I drifted slowly¬†SE all night as the wind howled around me.
Once or twice the boat has been launched, I have a little brass Lloyds plaque that states the boats registered weight is 10tons and 73/100ths plus all the bits on board I must top 11tons easy and yet just every now and then, off she pops from the top of these waves. A few have broke over the top too.
I had a really good nights sleep, slept like a baby,¬†didn’t set any alarms, what can I do? I’ve done all I can. I woke to an odd smell, like diesel oil and rubber, I was a bit worried that maybe the tank had ruptured in the night but it turns out it was just my feet…….again. I am desperate for a shower.
At Noon I stuck my nose out of the hatch again, winds had moderated to 25kts gusts 30kts+ so I thought I’d have a little go at some sailing. Pulled in the sea anchor and got a little head sail out. Things have progressed from there really, it’s slowly moderated, that Low is working it’s way up the Irish Sea, and I have 3 reefs in the main and some head sail, the winds on the beam. It’s lumpy, cold, windy, rainy sqawls etcetcetc all the things you come to expect. But I’ve cleared the 400nm mark this afternoon so nearly there. Looking forward to a nice cup of tea and a ham sandwich.
If you sail, read on, if not you can skip this bit.
I shy’d away from sea anchors and hove too methods of heavy weather handling, I didn’t like the idea of being passive in¬†a ‘what will be will be’ kind of way.
I was naive and foolish. No one should attempt an ocean crossing without a sea anchor and have practiced deploying it. There is nothing you can do in a F8-10 (12?) absolutly nothing atall. Best on the boat and the crew if you just sit tight and wait for it to pass.
Running works, but I covered nearly 140nm the other day running, fortunatly in the right direction, but you wouldn’t have to be to close to shore for this to suddenly become a very bad tactic.
Hoave-to I don’t like because¬†of the unecessary strain put on the sails and rigging. The forces involved here must be enormous and getting through the storm safely is one thing but if you ruin your sail in the process, how would you continue sailing after?
A sea anchor is the answer, holds you in position supprisingly comfortably, puts nothing under strain but the kleets which are designed for it and once it’s all over the rigg and sail, with luck, will be as you left them. Google ‘jonsen series drogue’ I think it’s called,¬†for a good one, it’ll certainly be my next purchase.¬†
It’s been pretty Joyless this last…….well, actually one way or the other, this entire leg and I don’t mind saying I’ll be glad to see the back of it! All charictor building stuff of course and an increadible experience but this is just endurance now.
July 5, 2008 at 18:48 Comments (0)

Day 38

N47.20.47 W011.32.40

Heading 100T Wind Gale

Tough day at the office dear?

Had a good sleep last night but was up at 0400, the wind had moderated enough to have a little sail up. Had the strangest feeling as I put my gear on, like I was getting ready for work! Sure enough it’s been a hard slog.

When I got out on deck the Hydrovanes ‘vane’ looked a bit wobbly broke and sure enough it’d ripped the tubing around a rivet. With a couple of screws, a jubilee clip, some cunning and the teak trim from around the fridge I was able to patch it up. Hopfully it’ll hold, if not, theres plenty more trim left ;o)

I think, looking at yesturdays chart, I have passed through the eye of this depresion as have managed to sail from 0400 till 1400, albeit very windy F6 plus gusts. Made good progress though. Then after two, things picked up again to F6-7 plus gusts, It seemed silly to risk the Canvas, or indeed the Rig, so dropped the sail and am running again just south of east. Have improvised a ‘sea anchor’ out of one of my empty 5gallon water jugs (like you get in offices) and a length of chain, cutting the bottom out of the jug and passing the chain through it to create a bucket with a hole in it. Reduced my speed and the Hydrovane can now keep up holding the stern to the wind. It’s more windy than the last one. I’ve got sustained 35kts and higher gusts. IF I ever cross an ocean again a sea anchor will be top of the wish list.

Well, what can I say, I’m a vetran gale sailor in just less than a week. Wonder if this leg will have any good sailing in it at all? Look out for crap conditions in Blighty over the next few days, trust me, it aint gona be nice.

July 4, 2008 at 18:18 Comments (0)

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