About us and the boat

About us and the boat:

We were lucky enough to retire early at the start of 2013 so we could head off and "live the dream" on board our Nordhavn 47 Trawler Yacht. The idea is to see some of the planet, at a slow 6 - 7 knots pace. There are no fixed goals or timings, we just had a plan to visit Scotland and then probably the Baltic before heading south.

The Baltic has been postponed as we didn't manage to see everything we wanted to in Scotland during our first year owing to family issues. The idea is to visit the nicer areas in these latitudes before heading south for warmer weather. If we like somewhere, we will stay for a while. If not, we will just move on. So, for the people who love forward planning and targets, this might seem a little relaxed!

If anyone else is contemplating a trawler yacht life, maybe our experiences will be enough to make you think again, or maybe do it sooner then you intended!

The boat is called Rockland and she is built for long distance cruising and a comfortable life on board too. If you want to see more about trawler yachts and the Nordhavn 47 in particular, there is a link to the manufacturers website in our "useful stuff" section. For the technically minded, there is a little info and pictures of the boat and equipment in the same section


Richard and June

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Troon to Greenock (James Watt Dock)

The forecast for the next few days was not good. Windy, rainy and unappealing. We must be in Scotland and it must be summer. With 4 days of that ahead of us, we opted to head up into the Clyde and hide out in James Watt Dock for a while. We'd not been there before, however some folks that we met in Dartmouth a year or so ago have their yacht based there now and they are involved in the company that runs the place too. On the basis that we could catch up with them and also easily get into Glasgow, Greenock seemed like the place to go.

 It was rare / unheard of to say that during our time living in Edinburgh of course! Greenock is not one of the most scenic parts of Scotland. So, not expecting beautiful surroundings upon arrival, we headed off for a run that should take just under 6 hours with the promise of "moderate" seas according to the Met Office. (For the non boaters, moderate means 1.25 to 2.5 m high).

The route itself is most scenic, around the islands and up towards Glasgow:

Heading out of Troon harbour we had the lovely smell of freshly cut timber thanks to the stacks on the quayside and this little guy who had just brought some more:

The sea conditions were as per the forecast so around a couple of metres. Not enough to bother a couple of tankers anchored up nearby:

which were, naturally, right in the way of our planned course. A small diversion gave us the delightful sight of her bottom:

Not quite as pretty as the bottom belonging to Mimosa that we enjoyed in the Dunkirk film.

As we turned to head north inside the Cumbrae islands we had a nice following swell. A workboat, appropriately named Bruiser was pushing into it:

or maybe that should be through it? Typical small tug style craft, lots of power, lots of wash to go just a little above hull speed. They went out to one of the anchored ships and then back towards Glasgow all at a totally inefficient and very wet velocity.

Passing Hunterston, the wind turbines were, despite the nice force 5 wind, not very active:

This is not a fast shutter speed picture. they were not moving. Seems to be the way. The ones on the land look a little less menacing than the ones we passed out to sea off Arklow. Not pretty but less menacing somehow.

There were very few pleasure boats out until we got into the more sheltered waters further north. Even then they were struggling a little. This motorboat was making very little way but still throwing up plenty of spray:

We entered new territory for us as we passed Dunoon and hung a right turn. The dock area (Clydeport)  was pretty empty as we passed by:

It felt a little like Prestwick airport, lots of infrastructure being barely used but politically important.

On our berth in James Watt Dock the view aft made us feel rather insignificant:

Washing the boat off later on we didn't feel too jealous though. Apparently Amaryllis has 17 crew on board. If you are tempted to a trip on her, she is for charter from $770K per week plus expenses. Have a look at Charter website. Maybe we need to up our rates a little when friends stay on board?

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Trooning around

What to do during a few days in Troon with very mixed weather? Well, as the crew was deeply upset at coming 4th in the weekly Fitbit step challenge we had to have a good walk. The so called Ayrshire coastal path:

was attempted but parts were very overgrown and we didn't fancy doing the whole distance on the beach. So, re retraced our steps and walked the nice path between two golf courses to Prestwick instead on the nattily named "cycle route 7". The walk ended up on a main road for a mile or so before reaching the town, but that was well worth it as we discovered Buckleys a very nice local bistro come cafe for lunch. We were feeble and got the train back.

During a wet morning, the captain decided to fit a cooling fan into the cupboard that houses the navigation PC. On a couple of hot days, it had warmed up quite a lot (solid state 24v thingy, no built in cooling fan, just vents in the cupboard door) and we felt that it needed a little forced cooling. A little 24v computer fan was procured and holes driled into the cabinetry as needed. This was not popular with the crew who was worried about scratches, holes in the wrong place, the size of the hole saw being used etc etc.

We've commented on the substantial build of a Nordhavn before. Well, this is the section cut out from the front of the cabinet:

For the folks who don't normally handle the UK 2p piece, the coin in just under 26mm in diameter! Fairly solidly built cupboards we reckon.

During a very windy and rainy day, we took the train to Ayr to see the film "Dunkirk". Why? Because Bernie and Jenni's Dunkirk little ship Mimosa was in it of course. They were too! You met Mimosa a while ago in here as she was leaving Cardiff Bay:

You also saw perhaps more of Jenni than you expected to:

as she tested out her new hot tub in Dartmouth. We have similar pictures of Bernie but will save you from those. Here he is in the Nordhavn saloon instead:

We kept the picture small too. We are so kind to you.

Mimosa's bottom looked very good in the film, No unwanted comments about bottoms and hot tubs please. Glad we saw it on the big screen, the noises and effects would not have been the same on a DVD although many boaters consider our 42 inch saloon TV to be a little OTT (OTT = over the top for the non native speakers). We consider it an excellent addition by the man who had the boat built.