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 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

Saturday, 3 August 2019

Lochranza, coastal walks, warm gensets

Another sunny calm day enticed us out to walk part of the Arran coastal trail. It was well worth it. At the end of the loch, there is a little golf course that had attracted more than people who wanted to bother little white balls:

We wonder if they replace their divots and clean up the piles of poo. Graham and Pat (the house in Samos folks) suggested that the golfers were on a stag party. The general levels of humour in this blog are dropping dramatically now.  On the way back you climb up to around 60 metres (OK Anne, nothing at all, we know) and you get some good views of the loch. Play spot the Nordhavn again:

On the way there is a good spot for an ice-cream break, The Whins where Reg an elderly English guy crafts stone figures and sells Arran ice-cream. Which to choose? Simple on a warm day:

You can play spot the fuzzy Nordhavn in this picture.

As we walked back to the dinghy, we saw a dog looking most captain like sitting alone in a canoe next to the little slipway:

He seemed quite patient but made no attempt to get hold of a paddle. Returning to the boat, you can see how calm it was from the surface of the water and the slack lines attaching us to the buoy:

Maintenance news:

The genset seemed to be running a bit warmer than usual when it was busy battery charging / making hot water for the showers / running the washing machine during the morning. So, the strainer was cleaned out (not very grubby, no signs of extruded jellyfish in there either) and a new impeller fitted. The raw water flow seemed fine.

Running it later, the temperature stopped rising and stabilised but at a higher level than before. Looks like the new thermostat that was fitted recently is a little "warmer" than the old one. This winter we will remove and clean out the tubestack in the heat exchanger just in case.

Friday, 2 August 2019

Campbeltown to Lochranza

Having enjoyed some wonderful weather in Campbletown, Roland's brief company, a Redbay RIB trip and a generally good time, we departed on a very very calm day. The original intention to head around the Mull and "vaguely up north" got binned when we saw the unsettled forecasts ahead. Not windy but a bit soggy. We decided that as we had visitors coming we ought to stay a bit closer to some civilisation just in case the deluges got a bit much.

So, we has a gentle flybridge trip up to Lochranza on the Isle of Arran as below:

Sitting up top, admiring the sticky up bits of Arran (which Anne had some mad desire to climb) and the general lack of other boats was good. This poor picture of the flybridge screen shows you the true wind speed of 1.1 knots! Wow:

Lochranza is either an anchor into lots of kelp and poor holding or pick up the one big (80 Ton) buoy that is mainly intended for the use of the "Alba" fleet of sail training yachts. We stalked them on AIS and decided that none were heading to Lochranza and so if the buoy was free we could use it. So it turned out to be, the gods were smiling on us in many ways, The crew executed an excellent rope through buoy thing with plenty of yotties watching and willing a disaster.

To go ashore, we unveiled the "rubber flubber" rollup Avon dinghy with the tiny Tohatsu outboard for the first time in ages and ventured ashore. The ruined castle sits in a suitably commanding position by the water:

with nice views back up the loch:

One old yacht was very poorly named, it looked more like a lack of dignity for her now:

Another renovation opportunity? In contrast to the friendly smiles and greetings from the locals that we passed, this house made things pretty clear:

For the foreign readers, the SNP are the Scottish Nationalist Party who want an independent Scotland. No idea how they would fund themselves but that doesn't seem important in the general rush around the world to having "self government". No desire to bring up the Brexit mess here though...

The evening gave us great views up the loch of the moored boats and the ferry Catriona which goes across to the Kintyre peninsular:

A truly beautiful spot in calm conditions, the boat seemed happy there too:

And we got to enjoy a stunning sunset to enjoy as well:

All in all one of those days that you recall fondly when sitting with the rain hammering down and the wind trying to break your mooring lines. Might be next week?