hello and welcome to this first episode of our new life on board fair isle we sold our home and bought Fair Isle nearly three years ago and we’ve been pretty much living on board ever since yes and we’ve started a website called sailing fair isle.com where you can see the first of our filmed adventures. This is us on our way now along the south coast of England to Plymouth because we’re starting a rally called the ARC Portugal which takes us from Plymouth all the way down to the Algarve and then after that we will be staying in the med and making sailing videos so there’s lots more on the website including a tour of the boats hope you enjoyed this first episode. Coming up our trip through the Solent with some beautiful anchoring spots It can get a bit busy at times but I was amazed how close you can get to the wildlife whether you want to or not, this one does sting. Among our favourite ports, Dartmouth where you can go back to the days of steam So here’s us getting ready to go leaving Eastbourne with a couple of friends for the first leg to Brighton our route includes several stops along the way to Plymouth. We planned a gentle meandering trip of about ten days visiting places we loved along the south coast. After two years at Eastbourne this was our final trip through the lock then out into the ocean arc Portugal is going to take us from Plymouth across the Bay of Biscay and down the coast to Lagos it sounds easy and the journey began with some welcome easterlies but for someone like me who enjoys the comforting and beautiful coastline I’m a little daunted but more on that later for now we’re just enjoying the sailing motoring up the river to Chichester marina always makes me feel happy. keep an eye on the tide though we did get stuck once but on this occasion we were straight through the lock to the visitors berth we really love this place so we stayed for a couple of nights I recommend the 30-minute walk along the coast to the pub for lunch which we did with a couple of friends it’s definitely blocked luckily there is another way to the pub round the back Back to the sailing and there’s a tricky bit here in the Solent going into Gosport you have to stick to the channel which goes through two forts which were built during the Napoleonic Wars at least they are easy to spot there were originally four forts three now have hotels on them and this one is going to be a museum as you can see there is quite a lot of traffic more like a motorway than a shipping lane and for those of you who like Maps I do like the chartplotter this is the journey from Chichester it took about four hours keysight’s our hms victory Lord Nelson’s flagship in the Battle of Trafalgar and Sue Hayley the boat that Sir Robin Knox Johnson sailed around the world in

he was the first person to go non-stop round the world single-handed which he did in 1968 those were the days before iPhones and chart plotters and Sir Robin was not just the first but the only skipper to make the circumnavigation last year we met 18 skippers in les Sables as they were planning to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Sir Robins record by also sailing in small boats single-handed without modern electronics only four of them made it all the way round but they all did come back in one piece. Back to our less stressful journey and to one of my favorite places in the world Newtown Creek on the art of white spot the paddle boarders our friends Lindsay and Susie who’ve been coming here for nearly 30 years I can see why five minutes of stability I can still be ruined by a moments loss of concentration it was flat calm but still it takes a bit of getting used to the reward is a sense of, well walking on water it’s fairly empty in here at the moment which is lovely you can get about 50 boats in here it gets very packed on summer weekends there’s a few mooring buoys which they do charge you for but you it’s free to anchor we normally anchor over in the corner where Judy is there now but actually when we came in yesterday because he actually was quite shallow there it’s only a few places we can get without 2 meter draft in here and you’d have to be careful with the navigation you can see this is whole wall here which on Springs gets covered it’s marked on the corner here and you know you’d be silly to come here not play close attention to your charts because you can go very wrong if you go in the wrong place here the beauty of being on top of the water on a paddleboard is that the wildlife here the seals that live here are happy to come really close they don’t tend to come this close if you’re in a boat even a small one for some reason it must be something to do with the board being less threatening this bull sale seems to love diving in the water and just touching the paddle then spinning off hours of fun anyone who swims here needs to look out for jellyfish beautiful to watch but quite unpleasant if you get stung their markings are quite distinct you can see why they called compass

jellyfish. The marshland is owned by the National Trust and they don’t charge to come here but we do make a donation our second night idyllic as always just incredibly peaceful. Well we’re just sailing past the needles now of the of the Isle of Wight having had a couple of nights anchoring out in Newtown Creek beautiful place and it was fantastic weather hardly anyone was there you barely believe you’re in England really yeah well certainly not the Solent. I think I’ll be rude about the Solent in the preview video and that you know it gets quite crowded it is quite expensive but you know occasions like that we’re outside the summer season it’s not an expected ly nice day so actually we almost have the place to ourselves Newtown Creek which you can’t get really full it’s just lovely isn’t it yeah beautiful we weren’t intending to stay there as long as we did actually so we’ve got to put a bit of a move on now so yeah it’s only now that we’re coming out passed the needles this is a image that we used on the front of our website because we stopped here and drop the hook to try and catch a fish last year yeah well I’m not a good fisherman okay but as i say we’re going to put the move on now to get to Weymouth tonight and then on to Torquay and then a couple more stops on our way to Plymouth more about fishing later we hope to get some advice from people who know a bit more than we do meanwhile some good wind in the sails took us out of the Solent and into the English Channel we arrived at Weymouth at sunset ready to drop the anchor So we’re about half tide at the moment, there’s about 2.5 meters of tide about a 1.5 meters, so ill be looking at about 5.5 meters? yeah somewhere about there. We’ll see how far off the shore we are what doesn’t it too crowded, no I think we’re the only ones out here! no! in fact only greeting was from these giant barrel jellyfish they don’t sting which the Suns gone down as you can see theres a little bit of a swell going on just a little one annoying because it’s pretty flat and it’s just a little swell coming in on the beam my usual trick of having the bridle on one side and the other one going back to the stern isn’t working because we’re sitting over our anchor riding forward on it I think we’re a bit too deep and not enough cantinori going out there’s no wind at all pushing us back so actually I can’t use it to pull us out I’ve got it the other I did end of the bridle coming through here and onto the winch but winching it in is just bringing it up against the whisker pole so no good don’t think he’s rolling as much as me it doesn’t matter really I quite like being gently walk to sleep the next day we rafted onto the harbor wall in Weymouth in preference to going under the bridge to the marina the bridge only opens on the even hours the other advantage of being on the wall is that you are surrounded by excellent pubs and restaurants the next day was a long sail to torbay taking the close route on a slack tide round Portland bill a good time for a bite to eat thank you very lovely Cornish pasties, one beef one chicken theyre bought in Dorset yeah but it’s sort of local food we decided we would eat local food we wherever we went so at the moment its english food its probably really supposed to be chicken tikka masala

yes I suppose in this part of the world west country you’re talking about Cornish Pasties but on the seaside its fish & chips isn’t it? absolutely nice I mean we don’t normally have pasties do we, theyre not the most healthy food. yeah chicken chorizo your one, they’re supposed to have these really thick crust they’re originally originally for Cornish Tin men yeah I could hang on to the crust I think they eat the middle bit its just an elaborate sandwich, no theyre very nice we arrived at sunset and spent the night just outside Torquay then onto Brixham this is a lovely fishing village that people often miss out it’s well worth a visit and you can walk around in a couple of hours a quick look back at the map and you can see why sailing across lime Bay takes some time this is the direct route from Weymouth to tour Bay and this is the one we actually traveled you’re very likely to get westerlies as we did so planned for the full 8-hour trip but after that Dartmouth is just around the corner and the wind was in our favour now this is a site sailing into Dartmouth always takes my breath away the whole town is built on the river and there’s always something to see the chain ferry has been here for decades still the cheapest and most efficient way of getting across if you want to go exploring the river do it at high tide this tunnel by the nos marina leads to a secret lake but it’s quite tricky to get to and the engines gone we can get rocks between us and that little Lagoon we can’t quite get to it high tide only they didn’t mean high tide on me Steve what are you doing outboards not going not really critical because we don’t need it for for the arc the dingy will be packed away for Biscay but to be nice together going to get to the pub tonight there’s always something is now I thought that we’d pretty much covered everything that’s two weeks before we came out was something our preparation in Eastbourne included changing the guardrails from the plastic covered ones which showed a bit of rusting to bare stainless steel another problem acquired a trip up the mast a foil had become completely detached okay

well that lift at all the foil if you try and give a drum can you pull it upwards luckily it was possible to just reattach it in Dartmouth we bumped into another crew preparing for arc Portugal seasoned sailors all of them with their own particular reasons for making the trip I’m looking forward to a sorcerer putting a saucer on the bow putting a packet of butter on it and as we go down through the latitudes that that butter melts because this is all about going where the butter melts some sunshine and Sailing where we can open the cockpit and enjoy it rather than be all dressed up in oil is and so forth so looking forward to that and the challenge of crossing the Bay of Biscay of course because everybody I tell that I’m going to cross the Bay of Biscay be ok what at your age I said well the other two people on the boat are both older than me so there you go So we’ve made it to Plymouth and the sun is shining so we’ve started the procedure that you do here you do here we’ve had our safety check weve had our safety check already so if you watch the next episode it’ll show you a little bit about what happens on these sorts of events I think it was really because we had the list and we ahead of time yeah I mean so we go through it in the next one but it’s very helpful it’s not something to be worried about I know some people were yeah and it’s all being very helpful we had the minibus takers to do our supply so we played for about five days four nights we think across the Bay of Biscay yeah and a bit of extra just in case and though it has been you heard from Chris in there and the link earlier but lots of people lots of trepidation about going of course Biscay for those that don’t sail in this area is the sort of the bogey area to to go across this game it’s one small thing I think we’re the only people doing it was just two of us huh well we yeah okay everyone else has got a bigger crew and I think that’s possibly a good idea we haven’t you’re gonna get rocked about by the ferry yeah anyway so we’re looking forward to it we should get some wind we’re told but you never really know so yeah hopefully we’ll see land in five days time yes watch episode two and you’ll find out www.sailingfairisle.com

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