Sail away with Paul Chopin.
A blog highlighting the steps taken to purchase a yacht, getting out to sail her and the adventures, not to mention the cost(!) in putting her to sea.
What has happened since the boat has returned to Greece?
Since the boat was left at Basimakopoulous Boat yard in Kilada, Greece it has not been possible to get out there. Covid started to prevent any travel between countries so that put a block on my intended April 2020 departure and then again in September 2020. On both occasions both the shuttle and ferry (Venice to Patras) had been booked and then cancelled. The same happened in 2021 and although it was possible to travel out this year, a death in the family meant that it was not an appropriate time to go out.
So, what have I been doing during the lockdown. Well, my intention to sail around the world is still there and taking shape. Crew are beginning to be recruited and I will be meeting some over the coming months to see whether we can make things work. I have tried to find insurance to permit me to sail solo across oceans but this has not been possible. Therefore, the need to plan when and where the crew join the boat is extremely important to ensure that I am not delayed when the time arrives to depart.
I have been buying quite a lot of equipment for the Round the World passage, some of it essential, others, maybe not!
New main and head sail. The original sails are still usable but have had a couple of repairs and will also need some further repairs.
12v - 240v inverter. The one I had on board for my Atlantic passage died so this is a replacement. Maybe not essential unless I manage to get a portable washing machine back on the boat and maybe a coffee machine, toaster and / or microwave.
A new kettle. The other one was boiled dry!
Replacement finger fenders, ball fenders and fender covers.
Sailing blocks and rigging equipment. You can never have too much!
Chain counter. Bought as I thought I might not have to colour code the new anchor chain I've purchased.
Flags for most of the countries I think I will probably visit on the circumnavigation. Maybe just need a couple more.
All the digital charts to take me round the world using my current Garmin chart plotter. These may become redundant - more later.
Mug holder for holding four hot drinks at a time. Essential to avoid burning hands.
Melamine canteen set. Better than plastic, not as good as china but stops things getting broken.
Drogue anchor - just in case the winds pick up too much!
More cockpit cushions - mainly bought as they attach to the guard rails and prevent the wires cutting in to your back.
Deck broom and Dyson portable vacuum cleaner. At some point cleaning will have to be done!!
SSB radio. Absolutely essential as it will do away with the need for a satellite phone. Not sure if this will save me any money!
Jonbuoy liferaft. Hopefully nobody goes overboard but just in case.
4 x 22 litre jerry cans.
In order to use the SSB radio (legally) I had to study and pass a long range radio course. The only one I could get signed up to was the GMDSS GOC course, so now I've got the highest qualification needed for any size boat / ship(!).
So why will the digital charts become redundant? The desire to cross oceans comfortably has taken my thoughts towards a catamaran. I know that Corryvreckan will cover the route without too many problems, and has been kitted out for such travels. However, she does have a few failings in terms of:
Insufficient room for all the additional bits and pieces that I have bought.
There is nowhere to store wet weather gear other than in the Heads. Not acceptable when in use!!
For the additional distances being crossed in the Pacific I will need to carry extra food and store the rubbish. Where?
Slower than a catamaran for the majority of the circumnavigation. Probably the only time it will come into its own is the 1000+nm up the Red Sea and the Suez Canal.
Less cockpit space, smaller saloon / galley and one fewer cabin and heads.
More rock and roll when at anchor (in the Pacific).
Greater chance of being knocked down - although better righting than a catamaran if this should occur!
Narrower walkways from stern to bow on my yacht leading to greater risk of mob - although should be harnessed on at all times.
So with this all in mind I have decided to sell Corryvreckan. I have had some interest in her and I shall be going out to Greece early next month with a prospective purchaser. If the sale doesn't go ahead that isn't the end of the world. I will continue with the passage next year in Corryvreckan and just use one of the cabins to store equipment rather than crew!
It wasn't convenient to go out to Greece and sail Corryvreckan this year but I did manage to get a couple of weeks sailing in. Good friends, Simon and Rachel, who crossed the Atlantic at the same time as me in 2018, were now bringing their yacht back from the Caribbean. I had booked flights to go out to Antigua in May but had to cancel. Instead, I met up with them in Sao Miguel, in the Azores and help sail back to Portimao in Portugal. Thank you Simon and Rachel and hope to meet up some time soon.