Ahoy again Boatblog®  fans,

It has just come to our attention that we are famous!

These articles appeared in the March and April editions of Yachting Monthly.

YM March



YM April


“….from novice to ocean cruisers.”

Like it!


Ju & Lyn



(Thanks to Peter Smith, Atlantic crew on Reservoir Dogs for sending these to us)

The Virgin Islands

Ahoy there Boatbloggers® ,

Next stop after St Martins was the British Virgin Islands. You may be wondering why they are called this rather unusual name, and apparently it is because when Columbus first discovered them, he was so enchanted by the archipelago that he called them the “Eleven Thousand Virgins,” after the 11,000 Companions of St Ursula who were martyred in the 5th century by the Huns. Which is not as exciting as we might have hoped, but very interesting just the same. And the particular Virgin Islands we were going to were once British, hence, the British Virgin Islands – or BVI.

Unfortunately, getting there was not all plain sailing. We experienced our first STORM AT SEA!

 Storm 9

We should explain about pictures of storms at sea. They never look half as bad as they actually are, so if you’re looking at these pictures thinking, “What’s all the fuss about?” Trust me – when you’re right next to them, those are BIG waves!

Storm 6

The boat is rocking’ and rollin’.

The wind was a steady 40 knots, gusting up to 48 knots, which according to the official sailing handbook is “Force 9 – Strong Gale.” And for the landlubbers amongst you, that means, “Bloody windy.”

Storm 4

That number in the top right hand corner is the wind speed (TWS) for those of you that need proof!

Storm 2

But eventually we arrived safe and sound, and discovered why Columbus had been so enchanted. These are the stereotypes to beat all stereotypes of a tropical island paradise.

Tropical beach 2

Worth battling through a little bit of wind and rain for.

But the real reason that we were coming to the BVI was to meet our friend Nicho…

Nicho 1

…and Ju’s brother, Dave…

Dave 1

…who had come out for a week to be our new crew!

We sailed from one tropical paradise…

Sandy Cay Anchorage

to another…

Palm Tree 2

Snorkelling on the reefs in the crystal clear waters.


Or canoeing…


Of course as soon as the sun had dropped below the yardarm, we had to have a sundowner…


or two…

B Line Bar


Foxy s Bar

One more…

The Boys 1

(ok – that’s enough bar shots. Ed)

Ju even did a gig at The Last Resort

Gig at The Last Resort

(I said no more bars. Ed)

It was good having Dave and Nicho with us to help us with the sailing.

Crew 3

But all too soon, it was time for them to head back home to the cold and damp of Merrie England, so we bid our sad farewells, and set about preparing the boat for the next adventure.

This week we have a number of entries for the Boatblogger® Arty Farty Prize, so please vote for your favourite. 

Arty Farty 1


Arty Farty Hammock


Arty Farty Water


Big Splash



…and finally, AT ANCHOR

Please write your choice on the back of a hundred dollar bill and send it to the usual address.

That’s all for now. 

Next stop – The US Virgins!


Ju & Lyn


Probably the best regatta in the world….

….The Heineken Regatta.

Yes Boatblog® Fans, flushed with success from our racing debut on Galatea in Grenada, we decided to enter The Heineken Regatta on the island of St Maarten.

But this time in our own boat!

Now this is not something to be undertaken lightly, and certainly not something we could do double handed, so the first step was to put together a world class crew. Fortunately, as we have travelled across the Seven Seas, we have become friends with many fine sailors, in particular Stuart and Anne Letton from Scotland, and Dave and Linda Witham from California.

So with Ju and Lyn (from England) we had a truly INTERNATIONAL team, and knew that Domini (from France) was going to be a force to be reckoned with.

Team Bonding

THE A-TEAM. From left to right:- Stuart, Anne, Ju, Lyn, Linda  and Dave.

All we needed now was a costume. 


Maybe purple wasn’t the best colour, but they had six of them on offer in Budget Marine.

We set about honing our skills.

Stuart was volunteered to be skipper…


…on the grounds that he actually knew what he was doing.

Dave was Main Sheet Trimmer… 


Linda was Winch Grinder…  


…and a thousand other things too numerous to mention.



and Ju…


…tried not to get in the way.

And Anne…


 …did everything else.

So all in all, we had a first rate crew. All we needed now was some practice on the boat. Unfortunately, on the day we had planned to go out training, it was too windy to get out of the marina (I’m not kidding). So we had to sit in the pub all day and talk about how we were going to win.

Not to worry. Ready or not, the big day was upon us.




Dave and Linda cast off our mooring lines…

Bottoms Up

(In case you were wondering, that’s Dave on the left, Linda on the right.)

The skipper gave his last minute instructions…

Crew Instructions 1

…and we set off.

Setting Off

Through the lifting bridge out of the marina…

Through The Bridge

…to the race area.

The five minute warning flag was raised, and we positioned ourselves near the start line.




We were off.

Nice Boat 1

There were hundreds of boats all round us.

Nice Boat 2

 Including of course, some proper race boats…

Big Cats

It’s all very exciting. 


We got off to a good start…even with Ju helming.



There is a handicap system at work in sailing races, so that different boats can compete fairly against each other. After a hard fought race, Anne worked out that with the corrected times, from a class of fifteen boats, we had come…


Let me see. Four hours twenty six seconds divided by 0.875, times the boat length, divided by the square root of the sail area, plus the combined ages of the crew, less their weight in kilos means that we are….




Not a bad start Boatblog®  Fans.

Could we keep it up for the next two days?



The second day, Lyn took the helm.

Lyn 2

And as you can see in Stuart’s face, the pressure was on…

Stuart 2

…and that day we learnt many new Scottish words.

This time my friends, after another long and difficult race, we came SECOND in our class.



So now the pressure really was on for the third day. We even got the pole out…

Wing on Wing

Even though Domini broke her own speed record, managing 12.2 knots (and that’s through the water, not SOG for those sailors reading who understand these subtleties) it wasn’t enough to keep the Schooner from overtaking us. 

Schooner 4

But still, once again we came SECOND over the finish line.

Spectator Boat


But Oh No!!


As we went over the line, the race committee boat that we had just passed didn’t blow the whistle as we had expected.  This is the signal that would confirm we had finished and our time had been recorded.

“Why not?” Linda politely screamed at the officials on the boat.

“We’re just spectators,” one of them replied. “The finish line is over there.”

He pointed to an almost identical boat thirty yards upwind of us,  It turned out that the boat we had passed was not in fact the actual Race Committee Boat. It was the committee boat for another race that had forgotten to take it’s flags down, and they were just sat there guzzling gin & tonics.

“Goodness me! You rascals!” Ju remonstrated, or words to that effect.

As quickly as possible, we gybed round, tacked and gybed again, and eventually crossed the proper finish line. 

Race Commitee Boat


But by the time we had done all this, our position had dropped down to SIXTH place. 


This was not fair, and we wanted to officially protest. To do that, under the rules of racing you have to raise a red flag. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a red flag, so we raised a pair of Lyn’s red trousers.

Red Flag


This meant that after the race, Ju and Stuart had to go to the International Protest Committee and explain that we thought it unfair to position such similar boats next to each other. 

After several hours, we discovered that our protest had been UPHELD. Which meant that our original position of SECOND was officially recorded.

And that, Boatblog®  Fans meant that over the three days…

(Cue fanfare)

The Overall Winner in the Lottery Class

of the

35th International Heineken Regatta 2015 




First Place Overall


Much as we would like to take all the credit for our spectacular win, the real honours go to our fantastic friends and crew, Dave, Linda and Anne. And of course Stuart our amazing skipper. Thank you to you all, for giving us such a fun and exciting three days.

Now…off for some Rum Punches to celebrate.


Woo woo woo!


Ju & Lyn


Ahoy there Boatblog fans,

And once again thanks for all the feedback and comments. In response to Alan’s remarks, it’s not the waves that worry us Al – it’s the WILDLIFE!!!

Now you know me – I’m not one to over-dramatise a situation. So there we were, anchored in Columbier Bay on the North West coast of St Barts. A bay known for its rich profusion of wildlife – in particular the turtles.We could see their heads poking up out of the water all around us, so we thought we’d go for a snorkel with them.

Ju climbed down the ladder on the transom (that’s the bit at the back, my landlubber friends) and peered into the depths. When all of a sudden…

Der dum….

He saw, right next to the keel…

Der dum….


Shark 1


Now it might not be a Great White, but it still has big teeth. And I would like to point out that the photos make it look a LOT smaller than it really was.

Shark 5

He waited on the ladder ready to jump back on the boat as soon as it started to look hungry. But after a while it seemed like it wasn’t doing any harm, so once he’d stopped hyper-ventilating through his snorkel he swam off to look for turtles.

And there were plenty of them.

Turtle 3

…and thousands of starfish.


But soon it was time to return. It was a little bit worrying swimming back to where the shark was, but the Jacques Cousteau in him realised zat somehow he must get back on ze boat…

Der dum…

So imagine his surprise when he found…

Der dum…

Not one…

Dum dum dum dum dum dum

…but TWO Sharks.

2 sharks 2

All of a sudden, one of them shot out to grab a passing fish. We have never seen anything go from nought to sixty so fast. Apart from Ju climbing back up the ladder.


St Barts itself is an amazing island; very different from the other islands we have been to. For a start it is French, but it is also the playground for the super wealthy. The sudden contrast with the other islands was a little unsettling.

One More Toy

There are streets of designer shops, and the sort of designer shops that are SO exclusive that you’ve not even heard of them. Rolex and Armani looked cheapskate. The locals thought that our clothes must be really upmarket, because they’d never heard of Primark.

But it was all very nice, and once I had arranged a bank loan we went for a coffee and a croissant.

Shell Beach St Barts

SHELL BEACH – THE ANCHORAGE IN ST BARTS. A beach made entirely of shells.

But before we got to St Barts, we had called in at Nevis and St Kitts. The crossing between islands has been pretty rough in the last few weeks, and thirty knots of breeze (that’s what we sailors call ‘wind,’) is not uncommon.

Rough Seas 2

Nevis is a very nice place to go, with botanical gardens…

Botanical Gardens Nevis

Lovely restaurants converted from the old plantation owners homes…


Plantation garden 2 NevisPLANTATION RESTAURANT

St Kitts is about 6 miles away as the shark swims…

St Kitts From Nevis


This is Domini at anchor from the top of the hill in St Kitts. Next to Robert Redford’s house. (He wasn’t in)

And this is the same place from ground level.

At Anchor


And now we are off to St Maarten to enter the Heineken Regatta with our friends Stuart and Anne Letton from Time Bandit and Dave and Lynda Witham from Purrfect.

On the way to St Maarten

ON THE WAY TO ST MAARTEN (Courtesy of Time Bandit)

And this weeks award for best Arty Farty picture goes to Lyn for her work entitled “Happy Hour.”

Arty Farty Cocktail

We’ll let you know how we get on in the Regatta.

Au Revoir for now


Ju & Lyn