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

Regards

Richard and June

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Dunstaffnage to Loch Aline

The Hamsterley Mill mob had to head back home today, so we decided to venture a little further. After saying farewell, we had to extricate ourselves from the horrid walkway "berth". Even better was that the wind, which had been pretty insignificant each morning since we arrived, was a nice force 5 pinning us onto the pontoon. Somehow, with the help of the thrusters, we extricated ourselves neatly enough. Another "interesting" manoeuvre. Thanks Dunstaffnage, thanks again.

We opted to try and use the new(ish) pontoon at Loch Aline rather than anchor as some strong winds were forecast so the crew called them. A very friendly lady said that we could have the northern hammerhead - dead simple (so we thought)

The trip is a pretty short one but very scenic. Very scenic. Here is the track for information:



Heading over to the south of Lismore, we had the first of many Calmac ferries against the backdrop of Mull and the Morven area:


A bit Paramount pictures like if you cut out the ugly ferry - cloud over the mountains and all that.

The southern tip of Lismore has a very distinctive lighthouse on it:



Just to the south of it is another rock and most small craft head through the narow gap between them. We were following a yacht and had to slow right down as there was oncoming traffic too. Amazing - a first in Scotland for us, a Solent style traffic jam. We hope this is not repeated, thought we had escaped the summer lunacy down there.

The eddies around the island are fun - our speed approaching Lismore was about 6.3 knots at 1450 rpm. It then went down to 5.7, up to 7.0, down to 5.4 and up to 8.0 within 5 minutes' travel time. Our track through the water was suitably wobbly too. Then we hit a commercial vessel traffic jam:



Oh, and a coaster was coming down the Sound of Mull too. This place gets more and more like Southampton water - except it is very warm and sunny here and rainy and grey in Southampton today. We were pleased when we were properly tucked in the sound and the yachts and commercial ships all vanished. This was more like the Scotland we love! Just before Loch Aline you see the ruins of Ardtornish castle:




Ever so slightly spoiled by the boxy little light tower thingy that someone with no sympathy for the scenery at all has erected. Still, one small blot on the landscape is OK. Sitting on the flybridge, we headed into the Loch and spotted the pontoon moorings. We also spotted a Trader motor yacht on the hammerhead. Hum, this was starting to feel like Dunstaffnage all over again. The second hammerhead berth had an Elling on it (one we knew - they also used to berth at Swanwick where we kept our Nordhavn from 2009 to 1013) so we were stuck - the finger berths were tiny and no use to us at all.

No answer on the VHF, the land line or the mobile number (amazingly we had a phone signal to call them with!) Should we just anchor or? Well, the nice lady then answered the phone and apologised profusely that the promised berth was occupied. Apparently it was a local boat whose mooring was being lifted and fixed so he would head off very shortly. With this in mind, we just picked up an empty and very chunky looking mooring bouy and swung around happily enjoying lunch. There was a lovely old fishing boat astern of us:




and a modern plastic pig in the background of course. The Loch still has a working commercial pier where they take away sand that is mined here:



Whilst we were "swinging about" a coaster arrived through what must be a very narrow entrance for something their size and moored on the pier:




Note the pollution levels from his funnel - not quite as bad as the antique Commodore ferries in Guernsey though. The mine apparently produces very high quality sand - have a look at the history and how production was set up during the second world war to enable specialist glass manufacture on Lochaline quartz sand website. Walking around the area later we have to agree that it is incredibly white stuff compared to most UK beaches based on what they have spilt!

The Trader motor yacht on the pontoon didn't seem to want to go back to its mooring though - later we discovered that it was called "Rogue Trader" - kind of apt. Eventually we saw it move and so we headed in, moored, paid a very reasonable sum to the still apologetic very nice lady, admired the excellent new facilities building and went for a wander in the sun around the village thinking how much better it is than the Solent (on days like this).

Monday, 30 May 2016

Dunstaffnaging (is there such a word?)

We had a few very happy days in Dunstaffnage. Not because the marina is the best organised place on the planet but because the scenery is great, the weather was even better and John, Irene and Archie were excellent company.

They kindly took us into Oban by car for a couple of big shopping trips - the last chance to hit big supermarkets for a while we fear. Bulk stuff like cartons of milk are so much easier to get that way as we continue to resist having a trolley shopper.

A walk into Oban thought the parkland and Ganavan Bay was great. The part down to the beach is through some lovely countryside but took us a little longer than shown below as the captain was not paying attention and we took a wrong turn:



He is still being reminded about that. Archie,  the Lakeland terrier, enjoyed the beach a lot:



Of course, he still watched carefully in case treats were being offered. Afterwards, he went on strike a few times on the path to Oban and so John had to carry him a little. Perhaps he should be a French not Lakeland terrier with all that striking? The crew was jealous about the being carried bit of course.

We also did a little browsing and chart purchasing at the Alba Sailing chandlery. The owners are just so helpful and friendly - the chandlery is very well stocked too. Seems that they have the biggest yacht charter fleet in Scotland too - have a look at Alba Sailing website. We think that they deserve to continue to do well.

A walk around the bay to Dunstaffnage castle ruins was lovely in the sun. The castle dates back to the 13th century and the grounds were lovely. We were too mean and a little too late to go inside though. Sorry Historic Scotland. As payback, we will give you a plug - so look at their website.

We fed the Hamsterley Mill mob one evening and Archie enjoyed some of the leftovers. The only problem was that there was some paprika in it:



His little beard has a new temporary colour. We think that we are in trouble. He had the remains of some mixed berries on board with us last year and got a purple chin. Perhaps we should set ourselves up as dog colourists.

Maintenance news:

Well, some polishing was completed and the lucky captain went around the waterline in the RIB to scrub the accumulated grassy stuff off. Nice sunny weather and clear waters are bad news for the underwater areas. The captain also cleaned up the fuel cooler block on the Yamaha outboard where some aluminium corrosion around a seal could be seen. Not big but satisfying to take the thing to pieces, figure out how it works, drop a little nut, swear a bit, find a spare and then get happy again when it all works.

The main engine was treated to about three quarters of a litre of engine oil. It has run about 160 hours since the last oil change and although it wasn't down to the fill mark, it deserved a little treat. The next oil change will be due at the start of July (6 months).

The fun stuff? Well, the Hamsterley Mill mob took us for a sail on their Catalina 320 yacht, "Esprit". John looked very much the salty seadog preparing Esprit for departure:



Whereas Irene went for the Victoria Beckham over the shoulder pout instead:


Only in a much more elegant way of course..... Of the crew, Archie was the least happy. He does not like wearing his lifejacket one little bit:





The wind was on the nose (as always) so we motored down to Oban and then through Kererra sound. Coming back up the other side of Kererra, we did get a little sail with the genoa out and pulling well. Lovely. Heading back into Dunstaffnage with the sun behind us was quite special:



Archie was less impressed, sticking his tongue out at it:



It was great to be out on a yacht again for a little sailing trip with the Hamsterley Mill mob.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Craobh to Dunstaffnage

One of those tough decisions faced us. We fancied the walk over the hills to Ardfern (perhaps because there is an excellent tea and carrot cake stop there?) but also fancied pressing on to Dunstaffnage as John, Irene and Archie were driving up to their boat which is now quartered there. Tough call. The thought of an Archie cuddle won (or should we say "the thought of seeing John and Irene"?)

So, we popped into the Craobh office and had a quick catch up with Sue the office manageress. Sue used to work in Kilmelford and was very kind to us three years ago when we abandoned the poor boat for a few weeks. We offered her a trip in the sun up to Oban but work got in the way - we can just remember how irritating that work thing was too. Only just mind, we are old and the memories fade quite quickly at our age (luckily).

It was such a glorious morning and it seemed criminal to leave a spot as lovely as this:



The marina in Craobh has changed a lot since the previous, terminally grumpy, manager "was retired". A much friendlier place with some maintenance work that had been long neglected underway too. Such a transformation.

So, after paying and wandering back, we headed off for one of our favourite trips up to Oban.  Lots to see and enjoy en route.

The Sound of Luing is interesting - lots of disturbed water and whirlpool things to spin you around and spit you out at strange angles. Eddies over the very uneven seabed that cause you to speed up and slow down by a good couple of knots within 100 metres or so. Seabirds galore. All in all, pretty beautiful.

Passing Fladda in the narrow channel was good. Just love the cute little lighthouse on the island there:



The rock on the other side has a less appealing structure though:



Some canoeists were out and about hugging the shoreline and trying to avoid the stream. It looked like very hard work even though the sea was very very calm - the promised North Westerly force 5 hadn't materialised.

The Calmac ferry looked kind of insignificant against the dramatic backdrop of Mull:




Kererra Sound, heading up to Oban was sunny and inviting:


Talking of ugly little light towers, the entrance to Kererra sound had a beauty:



There are some stunning houses on the mainland, overlooking Kererra island. Tempting but perhaps a bit too remote in the winter when Oban itself (the only sizeable town for many miles) part closes. Glasgow is over 3 hours away by train so when you want anything "special" it is either internet shopping or a long trip. Still, this building is tempting:



Oban itself had the regulation Calmac ferries in situ:





A long thin French motor yacht had been chasing us up the sound and he passed us pretty close by so that he could be first into Oban Marina on Kererra Island, maybe to get what he thought would be the last large mooring space.  No idea why he felt the need to overtake, we were not going there! Behaviour just like the French catamaran that was determined to get to the Scilly Islands before us last year. Perhaps it is a national trait, along with cleaning their fibreglass boats using scouring cream?

Once we cleared Kererra and got into more open water, the forecast wind was evident and we actually threw up a little spray! Not impressed, we will have to wash the boat off now.... Guess what, the French boat had clearly been told there was no space for him in Oban so he raced past us towards Dunstaffnage. Ho hum. Same game perhaps. Again, the entrance to Dunstaffnage bay has been "improved" with a lovely fish farm:



We pottered into the bay with a nice force 5 gusting 6 behind us. No problem as the crew had called the marina early in the morning and been told that we could go onto the hammerhead of B pontoon. No pontoons were marked of course and equally, no hammerheads were free. Hum. The same admin mess that we had encountered here before. As an added pain in the ***, they use VHF channel 37. Most marinas use 80. Our two very wonderful high quality Icom radios don't have channel 37 on them (not typical for the USA). So, in the howling wind which wanted to push us onto the pontoons, with limited space to hold off owing to the boats on mooring buoys in the bay, we held off and called them on the handheld VHF. The reply was "Oh,  I will check and call you back in 5 minutes". More fun in the wind followed until they called us and wanted to put us alongside the walkway between two pontoons with the wind blowing straight onto the berth.

The only thing that cheered us up was watching the speedy Frenchman leaving the bay having been told there was no space for him.

Mooring was always going to be fun, no going back once you are committed and heading into the gap between the pontoons. Kind of an "into the valley of death" thing. So, a big burst of power ahead with the wheel hard over to force the bow into the wind and get the boat side on to it followed quickly by a burst astern to stop ramming the moored yachts. Then we let the boat drift down the last 10 feet onto the walkway thanks to the wind, using the thrusters to slow down as we approached. All this had to be done with about a 10 foot clearance ahead and astern. Debbie (the Norn Iron circuits and bumps lady) would have enjoyed the challenge we think.

We were once more highly amused at Dunstaffnage and their organisational abilities. Enough said.

Still, the trip had been lovely and shortly after we arrived, John, Irene and Archie (the Hamsterley Mill mob as they will henceforth be known) pitched up by car ready for a few days on their yacht. For the avoidance of doubt they are not the Lavender Hill mob. For foreign folks and the younger readers (if we have any), see Wikipedia. That made us happy again. Even better - they fed us that evening and provided happy making fizz and wine.

Archie seemed pretty tired after his trip of course. the stress of being a backseat doggy driver:



Maintenance news:

Nope, nothing. Of course, we didn't use the navigation lights so they might decide to play up again when we do.....

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Bangor to Craobh Haven

Leaving Bangor is hard. Such a friendly place (locals, marina staff, even David the mooring assistance man). The trip up north beckoned though and as the wind calmed down, we felt obliged to go. Timing it is interesting. You really want to take the tide with you around the Mull of Kintyre where it runs quite strongly and as we would be travelling with spring tides that made it even more important. Then, there is a tidal gate at the Dorus Mor where you really want to be going through when it is fairly slack but turning to run with you. That is many hours cruising from the Mull of course. Then you want to do the usual departure and arrival in daylight.

That worked out as a late evening departure from Bangor. Where to go? Well, we fancied a couple of days in Kilmelford, where the folks had been so kind to us 3 years ago when we had to leave the boat to travel south unexpectedly. A little reminder of the area:



Their moorings were full though! Horror. Apparently not all of them have been checked yet this year so space was tight. David the owner sounded very apologetic on the phone. So, we planned Craobh Haven instead for a couple of nights so we could do some walking.

Departing a little before the optimum time for tidal help, but whilst we could see, we headed north. Of course, there are not too many really dark hours in these latitudes at this time of the year. As it was almost a full moon with no cloud that made the "dark" hours lighter too. A great trip was ahead, except that the fog decided to set in around the Mull of Kintyre and stay with us as dawn arrived. At least the tide was kind, zipping (it is all relative after all) us north at 9 knots.

The pesky fog finally cleared enough to take a few pictures just as we were approaching Gigha:



And for those who like to orientate themselves:



Then it was simply stunning. Calm, sunny, spectacular again:



The run up the Sound of Jura towards Corryvreckan is always special. Glorious scenery on both sides (fog permitting of course) and that feeling that you are approaching "proper Scotland" somehow:


Even if this is looking backwards to the less hilly bit. As it was nice and calm (and pretty much slack water time) Corryvreckan looked tame:



Patrick was a bit scared after reading the pilotbook information on the infamous race and whirlpools though - he grabbed the follow up lever and insisted on steering:



(For the non-boating folks, this little lever lets you move the rudder around by fingertip control, using the autopilot hydraulic pump - much less effort than twirling the steering wheel about.)

Unfortunately the proliferation of fish farms hasn't stopped. They still make such a beautiful and, of course, fish friendly addition to the landscape:





We pottered into Craobh to find lots of empty space. In fact we were encouraged to stay for the whole summer! Amazingly the sad broken pontoon that we were on a couple of years ago has become a new nice pontoon. The electrics were still grim though - only one of the four plugs could be used, the others were nicely corroded and refused the amorous advances of our shorepower connector quite firmly.

The view from the pilothouse was suitable though - Due North a lovely Nordhavn 63 was ahead of us:




Numbers:

Well, the trip is 97 nautical miles and took around 17 hours at 1450rpm. We could have cut the journey time and used the tides a bit more successfully if we'd left Bangor in the dark but there are a few buoy markers around in the Lough so we opted to burn a bit more fuel and take a little longer. Wildlife - plenty of interesting birdlife and one dolphin that the crew spotted as we came out of the foggy bit. Being a Scottish dolphin, he didn't come to play though. The Welsh ones are still our favourites.

No maintenance news to report. We gave the little Lugger wing engine its normal run towards the end of the journey and it seemed pretty happy too, just like us.



Sunday, 22 May 2016

Norn Ironing again

Bangor, once again, kept us very busy and amused. Doing what? Well, here are the repeatable bits.

We managed a train trip into Belfast and a good wander around there dodging the showers. The houses have, of course, the famous murals celebrating IRA or UVF or any other group who was busy shooting the others. All a bit sad but very beautifully done of course - see our posts from Derry a while ago. Someone had fun on the end of a terrace of houses in relatively poor and deprived, fiercely Sinn Fein supporting area of the city though:




The cynic in us reckons that only a very low percentage of the local residents have even the faintest idea what quantum gravity is and particle physics in general. Not something they teach in depth at the local Irish language school (which we also passed) we guess.

What else? Well, some catching up with folks was needed too. David (the man who helped us berth) and Caroline (his way better half) came for dinner and also took us to the Royal Ulster Yacht Club for drinks. Still amazed at the building. It is such a glorious place:


Whist there we were introduced to John Minnis, who owns an estate agency chain in Northern Ireland. The next day we discovered a lovely green golf umbrella on board - a marketing give-away for his company that matches the green covers on our boat very well. When it rains (bear in mind that we are heading north - it is bound to rain a lot) we will look very smart and co-ordinated indeed.

His present deserves a marketing plug so look at John Minnis website and if you live outside Norn Iron, look at what a good investment property is here!

Keith and Julie, the folks we bumped into a couple of years ago in Oban also came round one evening. We still owe them a trip on the "mighty ship" - Keith's name for the Nordhavn. Of course, after the trip he might not view her as quite so mighty. Perhaps the mystery of the whole thing is better than the reality.

We also had an invite to dinner from a man who, we discover, has been reading this stuff for a while. Ken, the yacht race man who kindly took the captain out on his yacht as ballast in September 2014 invited us for the evening. Rain didn't deter him from a BBQ either. We managed to upset him though. Whilst he had to work, we took Debbie his wife for a few circuits and bumps around Bangor Marina in the Nordhavn so she could see what they are like in close quarters situations. Sorry Ken (unless you have stopped reading this blog now in protest).

Maintenance:

Well, that pesky navigation light got some attention. The bulb was fine, so the connections got a good clean up and a little silicone grease around the fitting to make sure it stayed dry. Treated the other side to the same just in case. Time will tell if this makes it behave.

The gearbox oil change didn't happen - it isn't overdue yet anyway. Far too much going on in the social whirl known as Bangor, but we are heading for the less populated areas of Sctoland where you get excited if you see a local Co-op store. Plenty of time ahead to do one little oil change anchored in the middle of nowhere in the pouring rain. Or are we too pessimistic?

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Neyland to Bangor

We mentioned before that when you travel slowly, you try to work with the tides. Unlike the fast motorboat guys, you cannot just cram on another couple of hundred rpm and still get there at the same time. However, you can afford the fuel, cook whilst underway and you don't have to stop every day to fill up either.

The trip from South Wales up to Northern Ireland is an interesting one to plan. So many boundary conditions to consider. The tides run strongly around the St David's Head area of South Wales and again around the coast of Northern Ireland so you want to try and take those with you. Of course, one is at the start of the trip and one at the end so guesstimating the speed and your arrival time at the Northern Ireland coast is important. It is also tricky as you will have several hours of tides with then against you as you head up the Irish Sea.

You also want to try and leave and arrive in daylight as there are a few pot markers around the harbour entrances to contend with. Then there is the weather - the forecast was for calm conditions but a S or SW'ly wind building on the morning of the second day which would pull up some sizeable waves over time. Oh, and you want to run the engine at an efficient speed for it and be as miserly with fuel as possible given all the above. Here is the track (less the initial trip around S Wales where the AIS system didn't track us properly all the time:




See, this holiday cruising stuff is easy, no planning to do at all really. Anyway, the result was a departure as soon as it was light from Neyland and a 1625 rpm cruise to give around 6.4 knots through the water at our current fuel load.

Things started badly though - the port navigation light bulb blew when they were switched on so the last remaining spare, bought in Guernsey to replace the others, was fitted. This was the second bulb that went pop in that fitting this year - time to check it out. So, we headed off a little later than planned into an eerily quiet Milford Haven. Nothing moving at all, not even one of the many spare tugs, just the strange but somehow compelling twilight view of them and the refinery:



It was as calm as predicted out to sea, for the entire trip as it turned out. Rounding St David's Head and heading north, we took the compulsory South Bishop lighthouse shot again:



There was very little shipping about as we headed up the middle of the Irish Sea. Nothing to alter course for, gawp at, watch overtake us etc etc. Just lots and lots of very calm sea so the radio and TV were busy on board. Sunset was glorious:



Overnight, more of the same except even less to see until we approached the Holyhead / Liverpool to Ireland ferry routes. They caused a couple of detours, usually during the crew's watch to add to her stress levels. Passing the Isle of Man the number of fishing boats increased too - more to focus on.

We arrived off the Northern Ireland coast pretty much as planned, just as the tide was turning to take us north except the **** port navigation light bulb failed. This boat is getting too expensive to keep in light bulbs (the 24v 21W  bay15d fitting bulbs are around £8.50 each!!) - a big check of the fitting is needed when we are in Bangor. A message from David (the Royal Ulster Yacht Club man who you have met in here before) arrived with an offer to meet us in the marina and help with our lines too. Proper Norn Iron welcome coming up.

You pass Donaghadee pretty close in and so yet another little lighthouse for the very boring collection:



As you can see, it was a little bit grey.

We duly trundled into the Marina, backed into what has become "our berth", handed lines to David and collapsed with a coffee to chat to him in the saloon. An amazing trip - the calmest we've ever seen the Irish Sea. No spray more than half way up the hull despite covering around 220 miles out to sea including the usual wide open throttle run just before berthing, plus the trip in the estuary. The wind duly arrived during the afternoon.....

Maintenance:

Just that pesky nav light bulb to attend to. Might also go wild whilst in Bangor and change the main gearbox oil and filter as a routine change is due next month.

Numbers:

It took 31.5 hours and burned about 350 litres of fuel to cover just under 230 nautical miles over the land and 199 through the water. As you can see the faster cruise hurts the litres per mile through the water figure but overall gave a pretty normal 1.5 litres per mile over the ground for the trip. The delights of planning....

Will probably hang about here for a few days as there are some great folks to catch up with, plenty of stuff to do, bits of maintenance to tinker with, an engine room to deep clean, lots to do and see in the area and sleep to catch up on (oh, and because the forecast is pants for the West Coast of Scotland in the next few days).

A little Nordhavn and Welsh diversion

Well, you must remember Andrew and Linda from their many starring roles in here ranging from sink plug repair man to long distance helmsman to maintenance man to Caledonian Canal lock crew to lemon curd testers.

Just thought that we should show you their new pride and joy. It seems that spending hours aboard a Nordhavn doesn't put you off, it only makes you go and buy one. Yes, they are now the proud owners of an exceptionally tidy Nordhavn 43 called Zephros. A bit of touching up for the antifouling after she was lifted from her supports:



Then the slow waddle over to the lift bay:



And finally afloat and ready for Andrew to have a sea trial too. Any boat owner will know the excitement of that first launch:




Of course, this might well mean fewer starring roles in our blog for them in future as they cruise on their own Nordhavn. It will also mean more overnight watches for the captain and crew with no Andrew to rely upon. There are always downsides to other people's boat ownership.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Skomer to Neyland, Bronwen came to visit

Quite a messy title really. Anyway, we left Skomer once the forecast hinted at some nice southerly winds which would put a nasty swell into the anchorage from heaven. We contemplated heading up north but decided upon going into Milford Haven for a while to check the forecasts (no mobile phone signal near Skomer) and potentially see Bronwen, the famous spaniel.

We did the short hop into Milford Haven and luckily the nice folks at Neyland Marina had a spot for us, but only for one night. So, we caried on towards Pembroke, happy to have escaped the delights of Milford itself (as sad as Holyhead, just in south rather than north Wales).

Passing through the harbour we spotted 4 commercial ships (oil / gas tankers) and 9 tugs in total. Here are three rafted up in mid channel:





We reckon that Milford is a rest and recouperation centre for distressed and overworked tugs where they can recover or just quietly rust away in peace.

Arriving at Neyland, we had a welcoming comittee on the pontoon. One of the dockmasters from the marina plus the full crew from C-spirit. Remember their names?? Neyland is entertaining. You enter via a narrow channel then have to do a 180 degree turn to go alongside the visitor area. the only challenge is that the turning area is about 20 foot longer then the boat at half tide. No pressure then, with such an audience. This had to be a no thrusters, no drama docking - amazingly it was.

After a chat to the C-spirit folks and a very kind offer to take us shopping if needed, we did a little boat washing off. Well, quite a lot really. Thanks puffins. We also admired a Royal Marines craft moored nearby:



When you walked around to the bow, you could also admire their temporary repair capability:



In the captain's youth working on Norfolk Broads hirefleet boatyards, a large plywood patch would be slapped on, known as a "tingle". When the skipper of this craft unfortunately got a little close to their little remote controlled vessel out to sea, we bet he tingled a bit. Imagine the Naval paperwork he had to fill out for this hole.

On Sunday, we had a visit from Bronwen, who needed some help from Steve (aka dad) and Paula since she doesn't have a driving licence yet. For those of you who don't know this famous girl, have a look at her Facebook page.

Here was her "please feed me" face:



So, soft touch Steve felt he had to:



As did the crew and captain of course.  Most important was the relighting of the flame that existed before between Bronwen and Patrick. You can read their email exchanges in earlier blog posts but it was touching to see them interact again:


Patrick was pretty upset when she went for a walk. so were we when she got herself all wet and muddy and then resisted the towel upon her return:



After her departure, Patrick went all quiet and has remained so since. Hope he isn't going to be a broody, sulky, hormone crazed teenage penguin now.