Mukti’s Diary • April 2007

Thursday 26th April

Machynlleth • Centre for Alternative Technology

We caught the train up to the C.A.T. and Peter Harper met us at Machynlleth train station in a bio-fuel powered community car. I had been to the CAT 10 years before but there were many new developments including the UK's biggest photovoltaic array. I had a good talk with Peter about Carbon Calculators, as we have both been working on these for years. Then the media officer Jessa showed us around the centre. In the lunch que we got talking to two volunteers and over lunch transpired that one of them, Malka Holmes, works for Green TV. We arranged a video interview at 330 and she would film my talk at 4pm. That afternoon I had an interview with editor of Clean Slate magazine, a video interview with Malka, a telephone interview with the Cambrian News, and gave a talk to the staff of CAT. They said that what I was saying was not new to them, but the way I was presenting it was, and that it was very inspiring. My approach to low carbon lifestyles is very positive, guilt-free and enjoyment orientated, which I think is what they liked. It was very good to get this positive feedback from a centre that is at the heart of the field.

That evening we had dinner with Peter and his daughter Kirsty. Kirsty told me about an old man who wants to give away a three quarters built 70ft yacht to someone who would finish it well. What opportunities this amazing world offers. Keith, Peter and I took the train back to Aberystwyth and went to see Simon's band, the Hitites, playing in Rummer's Pub.

Wednesday 25th April

Strong onshore winds

We were going to sail up to Aberdovey today, but there were strong onshore winds and the bar there is dangerous in these conditions. We were only sailing the seven miles up there to catch the train to the Centre for Alternative Technology, which we could catch from Aberystwyth anyway, so we decided to stay put.

Keith and I spent the entire day in cafés with wireless networks so I could catch up on the 34 emails in my in tray. I am corresponding with event organisers in advance so it's a busy time, but its great to get events organised in advance. I'm so grateful to all the people who are contacting the tour about organising talks and events around the country.

Tuesday 24th April

Hard to orientate ourselves

I spent quite a bit of time today doing my laundry and searching for a new money-belt and ship's wallet. Neither Keith nor I had quite found our land legs yet, and were wandering around like zombies, finding it hard to orientate ourselves - probably pretty whacked from the long sail up here after a short night's sleep.

I gave a talk at 6pm at the Treehouse. The Aberystwyth Peace Choir sung for us before hand, which was quite moving. The Treehouse was packed with around 50 people, and people standing outside the door and up the stairs. It was a very receptive audience, and I very much enjoyed giving the talk. Albrecht, the chef, served delicious soup and rolls afterwards, and they raised £60 in donations for the tour. I was quite tired afterwards, and we went to the Ship & Castle for a drink. Albrecht, Adam, Linda, Simon, many of the staff from the Treehouse, and the "Two Norms" who I had worked on a roof with in Devon years ago, were all there, so it was a great evening.

Monday 23rd April

Aberystwyth • Relaxation

Aberystwyth was a port with a very warm welcome partly as I had many contacts there. These included my old school friend Simon Rodway, Research Director at the Centre for Alternative Technology Peter Harper, Triodos Bank Executive John Harrison, and our new contacts Linda Lime, Green Party Candidate Leila Keirsch, and Adam from the Treehouse Café. We also made friends with Damian on Yacht Celine in the Marina.

Today Simon took me for lunch at a wonderful Spanish delicatessen/restaurant called Ultra Comida ("Ultimate Food" in Spanish). I had three sumptuous courses for £9.50 - one of the best value meals I've ever had. I spent the afternoon tidying up the boat. In the evening Keith and I went round to Simon's for dinner and passed an entertaining evening of sea stories and the like with Simon's housemate, Marion and band member Dave, followed by some guitar accompanied songs.

Sunday 22nd April

Fishguard • 9 knots - an all time record

Today was a great day for Yacht Chance. We broke two of her records. On leaving the mooring at 0730 I radioed Milford Haven Coastguard with an ETA for Fishguard of 1500. We reached Ramsey Sound around 830 and went shooting through at 8 knots. This narrow passage between the mainland and Ramsey Island near St. Davids is notorious for its dangerous currents and Rocks. But we had enough wind for good steerage, otherwise we would not have attempted it. I had a line worked out to follow on the GPS and through we went on a due northerly course. After passing the Bitches (some nasty rocks) to port, a hug seal appeared out of the swirling waters ahead. He looked at us for a while then disappeared again. The currents rushing over underwater contours make the water boil in places, rough up into patches of steep little choppy wavelets in others, and whirlpools appear and disappear. And at 8 knots it's quite exciting.

Soon we were clear of the sound and rushing north with a 2-knot tide and a force 5 from the south filling our sails. I looked in at the GPS, which was registering 8.9 knots. "I'm trying to get it up to nine" Keith grinned. "Look now!" he urged as we surfed down a wave. "8.7, 8.8, 8.7." I called. After a few minutes I looked in and the GPS read 9 knots. "That's an all time record for the boat!" I exclaimed. I calculated from the almanac that we had 1.8 knots of tide so the boat was doing 7.2 knots through the water, when the theoretical maximum for a 15ft displacement craft is 5.4 knots. I was very pleased with Chance.

Our ETA was 1500 but we passed Fishguard about 11am. The boat sped on up the Welsh coast and we had regular sandwich breaks with Anne's homemade bread. Slowly we passed port after port, Fishguard, Newport, Cardigan. When I radioed Milford to say we were off Cardigan they asked for a position, I suspect to make sure we really knew where we were. Next came Newquay, Aberaron, and Llan St. Freid. (I haven't the chart with me as I write so I hope these are spelt ok.) The evening calmed right down and we crept the last few miles, but we reached Aberystwyth at 11pm. 65 miles made good, and Chance's longest ever run in one day, after 700 miles of sailing since she was launched. We were tired but elated, and slept deeply.

Saturday 21st April

Homemade bread and omelette

Caught the bus 15 miles up to Fishguard today. The Mayor gave me a warm welcoming speech and a council tie in Goodwick in front of councillors, friends, and local newspapers. I lived near here as a child and an old family friend Anne Seymour came to show me around. We went back to the house I lived in, Pentre Ifan, an old stone farmhouse, which was quite moving. We had a lovely tea of homemade bread and home-egg omelette.

I gave a talk at the Celtic Diving Centre, which was full up with an audience of around 30. The talk went very well and people seemed very pleased about it. They said it was very positive and uplifting. About 20 copies of the guidebook sold, which was great.

After the talk, the organiser, Brian Richardson, drove my new crew, Keith Muscott, and I back to Solva in a rapeseed oil powered car. Keith is the art editor of the Dinghy Cruising Association magazine and has written many articles on Chance's design, development and success.

We arrived on board around 1130, and rowed to the end of the harbour entrance for an early start the following morning.

Friday 20th April

Solva • Little or no wind

To catch the morning tide we got up and weighed anchor at 630am. We were bound for Fishguard through the Ramsey Sound. But there was little or no wind. The forecast was variable 3 or less, a very unreliable forecast, and it was a 30 mile trip. I considered the situation. I was due to meet the mayor of Fishguard next day at 3pm and to give a talk in the evening. If we only made it half way, there was no-where safe to leave the boat without being on board. Solva lay 3 miles o the northwest. Ben had an apex ticket from Fishguard next day at 1. The chances were probably less than 50/50 that we would reach Fishguard that day, and if we did it would be late and we would be tired. I decided that the best thing to do was to go to Solva, lay up the boat, rest, and take the bus to Fishguard the next day. We reached Solva at 11am. It is a sweet little port with a tiny entrance like Boscastle. We rowed in with barely a breath of wind and a balmy sunshine making the whole village lazy and warm.

Thursday 19th April

Milford Haven towards Solva • Jopples slapping on the hull

Today we had a choice of two tidal gates to pass through the notorious Jack Sound between the mainland and Skomer Island, 4-10am and 4-10pm. As we were tired we opted for the afternoon. We had a lie-in, a big breakfast, filled the flasks, made up pasta lunch boxes for lunch and tea, and verified our passage plans. We weighed anchor at 1pm giving us three hours to reach Jack Sound. But the wind suddenly died away and at 2pm the estuary began to suck us back in again. I stripped off all my waterproofs, grabbed the oars and rowed as fast as I could. We crawled away from the estuary entrance buoy at less than a knot. After 15 minutes Ben took over. A light breeze came up and we "motor sailed" under sail and oar. After an hour and a half we had only just managed to escape the pull of the estuary, and round St. Anne's Head, from where the current would help us go north. The north setting tide was not as strong as we had hoped, and the wind very light, so it took all afternoon to reach the approaches to Jack.

We were going to arrive at half tide on Springs, the time to avoid the sound as the current reaches 7 knots. As there was barely a breath and we had little power to manoeuvre, I said that we should go around Skomer Island instead of passing through the sound, a 3-mile detour. But as we got closer, the wind picked up and we were doing 3 knots. The sound looked quite flat and wide from here and our steerage was good. Ben said he was happy to go through if that was my decision, and everything seemed right. Soon we were in the clutches of the sound's currents, pulling us towards it. I sat on the starboard side with my hand on the tiller, the chart and the GPS in front of me. Ben sat ready to row with the port oar. Before the sound the wind died and Ben rowed. "I don't like this course" said Ben, as the boat was pointing at the cliffs at 45 degrees to our course. But I assured him that our track on the GPS was correct, and our heading was like this because the current was pulling us sideways. 200 yards from the sound the wind came back and we headed straight for the middle. We passed Black Rock to port and aimed to keep Tuskar Rock to starboard on the far side of the sound. Then we were in the sound. The speed was 8 knots. The "Jopples" (Ben's word for rough water caused by currents) were intense and the were patches of very rough and very smooth where the water welled up from below. We rushed on between the green-blue cliffs, the sunny sky, and the navy water, with jopples slap-slapping on the hull and the fresh wind in our faces. Tuskar Rock looked like a motor boat speeding through the water, such was the current pushing past it. Then suddenly we were through, and into the different world of St. Brides Bay. Huge upwellings made the sea an exquisite dark blue flat. The breeze that had rushed between the islands eased to a gentle breath and the sun bathed us in a yellow glow. Then we spotted dorsal fins and a pod of 10 dolphins came to welcome us.

It was idyllic, but the wind died and the tide turned so we couldn't make Solva. We anchored off Broadhaven, 4 miles to the west, at midnight.

Wednesday 18th April

Milford Haven • Military firing range

We left on the morning tide towards Milford Haven. Our major obstacle for the day was the military firing range that extends 3 miles south of Linney Head. We spent so much effort rowing south to get around it that we lost the tide before reaching the Milford Haven estuary and ended up being pushed back several miles all afternoon. We kept up 3 hour watches so we could both get some rest. Around 5pm the tide turned in our favour, and by dark we were creeping into the estuary. The tide in the estuary turned against us once more and the wind died completely, so we rowed to a little bay called Watwick on the north shore, put down the anchor and made soup.

Tuesday 17th April

Mumbles to Tenby • A lot of noise of rushing water

Up at 6, we set off across Swansea Bay to round Mumbles Headland. Mumbles gets its name from the Roman word for breasts, as the Romans thought the two islands off Mumbles head looked like a woman's breasts. To my surprise both the coastguard and yachtclub said we could sail right between the islands, but a tremendous current swept us past the channel so we went around the outside of the islands. There was a light breeze and the spring tide took us west at around 4 knots. It was sunny and flat so we had plenty of time to make elaborate sandwiches.

After lunch we rounded Worms Head and the breeze picked to take us across Camarthen Bay to Tenby. I had a nap after lunch, and awoke to a lot of noise of rushing water. The wind had got up to a force 5 and the gunwhales (sides of the boat) kept going under the water. (Chance has enclosed seating under the gunwhales so this only admits a few cups of water.) Ben was looking concerned so I climbed out of my sleeping bag and put in a reef to calm everything down on board. The wind speeded our passage and we reached Tenby around 5. The Sailing Club Commodore gave us a warm welcome and let us use the showers. Despite the sun there was a freezing wind so we decided to go ashore for some food. We went into a pub and ordered "Quorn Burritos". After the meal I said to the waitress that they tasted decidedly meaty. It transpired that she didn't realise there were vegetarian Burritos on the menu so they had been Chicken Burritos. It was the first time in my life I had ever eaten Chicken. I wanted to ask for our money back, but Ben was taking it easy so we left. I don't know if it was just poor quality chicken, but quorn is much tastier.

Monday 16th April

It will drift down to me!

Today my second crew and personal sponsor for the tour, Dinghy Cruising Association member Ben Jones, arrived. I met Ben in Exeter on the last day of the southwest pilot tour in 2005, and he had invited me home for dinner. He is a sundial maker. After Ben turned up the wind picked up from the north rocking the boat enthusiastically with steep little waves, so we decided to leave the mooring and head to the north of the bay for a decent night's sleep. We tried to drop the tender, kindly lent by Swansea sailor Oscar Chess, off on the pier, but the current was so strong and the wind died by the pier so poor Chance had a couple of nasty knocks. Graham, our host at the Mumbles Yacht Club, saw what was going on from the club house and ran down to the pier. "Drop the tender off upwind from the slip, and it will drift down to me!" he shouted. A great idea, so we beat away and then sailed across the mouth of the slip. At a certain point Graham signed the thumbs up, and we let go of the tender. It slowly drifted down to the right spot. Graham is a lifeboatman and long time sailor so he knows exactly what's going on.

We anchored of the north shore of the bay and cooked rice and beans for dinner. We had a calm night.

Sunday 15th April

Swansea Coastguard Headquarters • A minor disaster would probably help

I was really tired this morning and the wind was not right for Tenby so I continued getting things sorted on the boat, and doing correspondence. It is only a tiny boat but it carries my home, all my needs and my office so there is a huge number of things on board, and for them all to fit and be accessible everything needs to be exquisitely organised. There is also far more equipment on board than the boat has ever carried before. I changed around the locker arrangement to put all the food in plastic boxes in the port cockpit (outside) locker to free up the port cabin locker for the laptop, electric adapters and booklets and flyers.

At 4pm I walked round the Mumbles headland to the Swansea Coastguard Headquarters. The Watch Officer Bob Peel gave me a warm welcome and showed me round the station, where up to 8 radio operators at a time manage rescue and communications for shipping in the Bristol Channel. It is an exquisitely organised operations centre and the staff have an air of calm proficiency, an important requirement as they sometimes manage up to 13 rescue events at the same time. On the Clovelly Lifeboat and Yacht Chance I talk to the coastguard quite a bit so it was great to see the place where they work. Bob and I had a long talk about carbon dioxide emissions, and Bob said that more needs to be done to get the awareness out there. "You just need a bit more publicity" he said. "A minor disaster would probably help. I'm sorry to wish that upon you, but good luck." He smiled, with a warm handshake. It was pleasing to see how much he understood about carbon emissions, and get his encouragement for the tour, even if with a little dark humour.

Saturday 14th April

Today I gave my first talk of the tour to an audience of around 30 at the Mumbles Yacht Club. I showed some photos of the boat and told he story of the inspiration and building and success of the boat, then talked about how carbon dioxide works and why it is of such importance to humans and the Earth. Then I talked about how to live a low carbon lifestyle and how it might improve your quality of life. There were a lot of questions afterwards, and I sold four copies of the guidebook.

Friday 13th April

Mumbles • Any Questions

Today at 3pm I sailed off the mooring and down to Mumbles Pier for the official welcome to Swansea. The Economics Minister for the Welsh Assembly, Andrew Davis, came down to meet me, together with Rhodri Griffiths, local Green Party Candidate, and Tim Claypole, Commodore of the Mumbles Yacht Club. The South Wales Evening Post sent a photographer, and they were all very interested in the boat and the tour.

By complete coincidence, Any Questions was being held in Mumbles that night, and Rhodri Griffiths invited Jo and I to go along. Jonathan Dimbleby is one of the tour's endorsers, so it was great to be able to meet him. It was quite exciting being at the event on air live to the nation. Unfortunately my question, what measures might turn carbon reduction theory into practice, did not get chosen, but it was good to meet Jonathan.

Thursday 12th April

A lot of work to keep up

My host in Swansea, Jo Mullett, Nature Conservation Education Officer for the City & County of Swansea, invited me to stay at her home, so I went for a night ashore last night. I didn't sleep that well as I woke up and worried about the boat. Now I'm on the tour, I seem to want to be with the boat all the time, otherwise I worry about her. Still, Jo cooked a great meal so it was good to get some nice shore food and the hospitality of Jo and Tony. In the morning we shopped for some parts for boat and supplies, and I tried to sort out my email as it has been sending but not receiving. I had lunch in the Red Café, a community centre for young people, who let me use their wireless connection, and the Phone Co-op gave me a new username for email on the move, so that's working. I spent the afternoon doing email and telephone calls. People who want to organise events are contacting me from all over the country, so it's quite a lot of work to keep up with at the moment. But it's great that these talks and events are being organised, and during the second part of the tour there should be less work.

Wednesday 11th April

New photos from the launch

I row up to the pier and go into the yacht club for a shower this morning. I chat to Graham who is scrubbing the whole roof-top patio, assisted by four teenage boys who ask a lot of questions about my trip. Then I row back to the mooring and get back into Chance’s little mobile office. Two missed calls, three messages and one voice message. Brian Jackson from Fishguard would like to organise an event, Richard Youle from the South Wales Evening Post would like to do an article, and Steve Marvell, who’s looking after the website, has uploaded the new photos from the launch. He’s waiting for a press release and diary so I’d better write them...

Tuesday 10th April

Swansea • Welsh hospitality

In the morning we propped ourselves up on our elbows in Chance’s 5ft wide double berth that fills the whole cabin, and made some calls about train times to get Will home. We rowed over to the pier, and Graham, Steward of the Mumbles Yacht Club, came to greet us. “Here’s a key to the Yacht Club” he said, handing me a key, “You can use it for showers and anything you want. Tony, the lifeboat Coxwain, is giving you his mooring, and the lifeboat boys will look after you”. His Welsh accent made me feel like life’s a lot of fun and everything’s going to be alright. I was most gratified by this warm welcome and thanked him kindly. Will said goodbye and the lifeboat boys came over to tow me onto their mooring. I thought about refusing in order to keep this journey 100% carbon free, but decided to accept their gesture since it wasn’t part of the voyage as such, just from the quay to a mooring which I would row back and forth a few times in the next few days. Martin on the Mumbles Offshore Lifeboat came right over to make sure I was OK, and I once again felt very touched at their warm welcome. They took me ashore to use the toilet and we chatted about callouts, as I am on the Clovelly Lifeboat, and was just called out to a couple of people stranded on a beach last Friday.

I will stay in Swansea until the weekend as I am to give a talk on Saturday night at the Mumbles Yacht Club (19:30). So I resolved to get things ship shape on board, catch up with emails and media work, and fine-tune the boat. It’s only when one starts to live on board that you can work out where it is most convenient to keep everything. There is a lot of new equipment on board for the voyage, including laptop, mobile phone, camera and a video camera supplied by ITV, that all need their own special places, and it’s a tiny boat! I think I’m going to have to edit my provisions and send a package home...

I get all the bedding out on deck to air in the sun, stow some of the food which has been sitting in a box on the cabin floor until now, and then make some calls and write some emails, though I’m not able to get a connection to send them. I cook up rice and a tin of vegetable curry and wolf through that – my appetite is very healthy right now!

I’m in bed by 20:00 after watching the sun set behind the village of Mumbles.

Monday 9th April

Ilfracombe to Swansea • Holding onto the tiller with both hands

Will and I awoke in Chance’s little Cabin - the size of a 2-person tent – around 0830. I pulled out the laptop and we looked at the forecast. The wind was given as very light and variable for the rest of the week, but good that day. Since there was no event or talk arranged in Ilfracombe we decided to sail on to Swansea. I plotted a course on the chart and looked at the tides. The wind was forecast as NW to N 3 to 4, which was against us, we would have to tack, making a what would have been a 25 mile journey into a 35 mile one. I estimated a speed of 3 knots (a knot is a nautical mile per hour; one nautical mile = 1.15 statute miles). So 36 miles would take 12 hours. We left at high water at 11am and I radioed Swansea Coastguard with an ETA of 11pm.

Will and I agreed to take 3-hour watches, i.e. 3 hours on the helm (steering the boat) to break up the day nicely. Will took the first watch and the wind was so light that we were doing just a knot. The boat had got covered in sand in the previous few days loading up all the provisions on the beach in Clovelly, so I took the opportunity to scrub all the decks. Will looked a bit disapprovingly at me splashing water everywhere, but I said that a clean boat was good for morale. The tide was also doing a knot out to sea so after 3 hours we were 5 miles north and 5 miles west, when our course was due north to Swansea. But the tide would bring us back in the second half of the journey so I asked Will to keep on the same course. “You know you’re at sea when you can’t see land.” Said Will sounding pleased. The North Devon Coast had disappeared in the sunny haze. After washing the decks I felt quite exhausted and climbed into the cabin for a nap for an hour. I think the tiredness from the last few weeks getting everything ready was catching up with me.

After lunch things picked up a little and our speed got up to 3 or 4 knots, which was nice. I took watch from 2 till 5 and Will unboxed the Finepix 9600 digital camera I had just bought for the tour, and worked out how to use it. Around 330 I spotted the Welsh coast on the horizon.

Will took over at 4pm. I plotted a position and then climbed into the cabin for another nap. We were fairly creaming along by now, and after a while the noise of the water roaring along the hull woke me up. I looked out and noticed that Will was holding onto the tiller with both hands. I looked at the GPS and it was moving between 5.5 and 6.5 knots. The theoretical maximum speed for a 15ft displacement vessel is 5.4 knots so things were definitely up. “This wasn’t what they gave in the forecast” said Will with mild apprehension. I looked to the west and there was a big bank of cloud. Steep little 3ft waves were marching towards us in hurried procession and throwing themselves over the foredeck. “It must be a mild squall” I said, and explained that big clouds create their own weather system, sometimes with rain and wind far stronger than the general weather conditions around. One of the golden rules of cruising is “If you think about reefing, reef immediately, because it’s easy to shake out a reef, but hard to put in a reef late when the wind is too strong.” Reefing is rolling up the bottom part of the sail to make the sail smaller in strong wind. I put in a reef there and then, Will went back to steering with one hand, and the speed went back to 5knots. Everything quietened down again on board and felt much more civilised. An hour later the cloud passed over and the wind dropped. We shook out the reef and headed for the Mumbles lighthouse, now clearly visible ahead.

It was 930pm and dark by the time we rounded Mumbles Head into the western part of Swansea bay and started searching for the yacht club among the lights. Our contact in Swansea, Jo Mullett, Nature Conservation Education Officer for Swansea County Council, is a member of the Mumbles Yacht Club and had arranged for us to use one of their moorings. We picked the building we thought matched the position given on the chart and picked up a likely mooring in front. One great thing about having a 15ft boat is that no-one is going to complain that you’ve put a big boat on a small mooring and might pull it out of the sand; almost any mooring is big enough for Chance.

We made soup, switched on the brand new anchor light recently mounted on Chance’s masthead, and had dinner in the cabin, sheltered from the chilly night wind. Then Will cleared up the decks, I set up the cabin for night mode – putting berth boards over the sitting area to make two 6’6 berths, we crawled into our sleeping bags and fell asleep.

Sunday 8th April 2007

Clovelly launch • A bugle salute

The launch on Sunday was a heart-warming event, 100 friends, supporters and well-wishers came down to Clovelly to see me off, the sun shone, and a breeze picked up, so it was all I could have asked for. Our MP Geoffrey Cox gave a great send-off speech, saying he was full of admiration for my courage and the seriousness with which I was treating the subject of low carbon lifestyles. He said he had been talking to David Cameron about the tour and David said that it could play a critical part in the move to reduce national carbon dioxide emissions, which was very encouraging. It was so nice to see 100 smiling faces of my friends and acquaintances standing before me, a wonderful mental image to carry with me throughout the voyage.

After I gave a little talk about how the tour came about and how it would work, and Geoffrey had wished me well, we all went down to the beach. I and my first crew, childhood friend and engineer, Clovelly-born William Tanner who built Chance’s revolutionary keel, boarded a small dinghy and rowed out to Chance, which was anchored just 20 yards off the beach. As we pulled up the anchor and got under way, the village potter Clive Pearson sounded a bugle salute from the end of the pier, and we were off. I turned to wave and everyone on the beach waved goodbye. “See you in Westminster!” shouted Geoffrey. “See you in Westminster!” I replied, and turned to the open sea.

It was 4pm and the breeze was light to begin with. I called Swansea Coastguard and gave an ETA for Ilfracombe of 10pm. Bideford Bay was pretty flat, with surface wavelets up to a foot or two as the wind picked up. The coast circled around us like a long low arm, greens and greys between the sea and the sky. By dinner time - Norwegian organic blue cheese sandwiches - we were a couple of miles off Woolacombe, and as the sun set we rounded Morte Point and changed our course from NNE to E. As darkness fell we headed for the lights of Leigh, and only when we got within a mile did it look too small for Ilfracombe and I plotted a new position to tell me that we were heading for the wrong place. We cut back out and carried on East. I spoke to a friend on the mobile phone – a little bizarre at sea – as we closed with the bright lights of Ilfracombe. We entered the harbour at 2130 and got a Chinese takeaway.

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