Highs and Lows

Toodle-oo! and her crew are back where the voyage started 2 1/2 years ago – at Pirate Cove Marina in Portsmouth, RI… Having had a wonderful 2 years here are some of the highlights:

First some Voyage Statistics:

Year

2013 2014 Total
Miles Covered: 4,604 3,499 8,103
Days Voyaging: 142 145 187
Hours Motoring: 213 297 510
Fuel Consumed: 132 148 280
Approximate Miles per Gallon: 35 23 29
Number of Waypoints: 60 760 820
Number of nights spent at Anchor: 8 13 21
Number of countries visited: 5 8 13

 

The Best and Worst:

So, after a drink or three, Laurie and I sat in the cockpit one evening reviewing the highs and lows of the voyage…  Went something like this:

Favorite Destination:  Sao Jorge, Azores. Runners up: Dupjviken, Finland’s northern Fijord and Långskär, our first landfall in Sweden.   There are many other places that were favorites for other reasons – we really had some fantastic destinations throughout the voyage.

Favorite City: Gdansk, Poland

Crane Gate from Toodle-oo!

Crane Gate from Toodle-oo!

Most Stupid Event

  1. Hitting the rocks in Lagavulin
  2. Encouraging Bertie to tow us off the rocks in Lagavulin

Lagavulin - Not so good on the rocks! (Still a favorite.)

Lagavulin – Not so good on the rocks! (Still a favorite.)

Best sail: Mariehamn to Swedish Island Långskär (Closely followed by Kaslteholm to Mariehamn)

Favorite Anchorage: Enskär – the “Lost” Island

Dinner on the barbie

closely followed by Bergskär – First island in Finland (even if we did go aground!)

Most relaxing day:

Alone on the “Lost” Island – Enskär

Friendliest Nation: Scotland – hands down!

Nicest person/people we met:  Tough. We met so many really tremendous people all through this voyage. Tony and Rachell helped us into the ‘slip’ in Flores – and have become lifelong friends. Jenny and John of the OCC, John and Val on the Isle of Man who introduced us to the Green Flash. Tony at Adrfern who was always there, all the lock keepers along the Caledonian Canal, Leslie and Adrian aboard Lalize who will become lifelong friends, but the award goes to Gus and his team on Islay – who made a really nasty situation a really quite enjoyable event.

Gus, with Alec at the helm, towing Toodle-oo! up Loch Craignish

Gus, with Alec at the helm, towing Toodle-oo! up Loch Craignish

Lowest Point: For Laurie this was sitting in the cockpit in the car park at Ardfern, discussing the real possibility that we would not get to the Baltic.  For me: Our gybe between Fowey and Dartmouth – when I thought I’d ruined all chances of Laurie coming cruising with me because the whole event was so traumatic! (It’s not one of her high points either!)

Biggest Surprise: The long days and short, almost non-existent nights this year in the Baltic – which completely altered our cruising plans and enabled non-challenging overnight passages.

Biggest frustration:  Sevenstar Yacht Transport! However, in the end they came through and Toodle-oo! arrived safely in Newport – and on time.

Don't drop her please!

Don’t drop her please!

Best Harbormaster: Kastleholm in Finland, but Whilehills in Scotland gets a special mention as does Tony at Whitehaven who watched over Toodle-oo! last winter. Kastleholm won it though – by lending us the much needed Swedish Hook to allows us to secure to the Stern Mooring on our first attempt and by serving almost the best cinnamon buns in the morning. Which leads us to:

Best Cinnamon buns: Harlingen, Netherlands – special mention to Kastleholm!

Scariest Moments:

1. Out on deck in the middle of the night when running down wind in the Atlantic with poled out headsail, the boat started yawing side to side, threatening to bury the end of the pole in the water. We had to adjust the whole set-up on a pitching deck at night – and it was none too pleasant.

2. Day one on our passage from Boston to the Azores when sailing close hauled, we came upon a Fishing boat that we had real trouble making room for. Our mistake in not giving them room.

3. Mid North Sea Crossing (which we both thought was much easier than it turned out to be) had an interesting log entry: 15:00UTC on June 18th: Laurie’s comment in the log: “Flying and Scared Stiff” Sea height: “Big!”

Biggest Pain in the Butt: Getting laundry done

Worst general fear: Falling off the boat

Most enjoyable social event: Tony and Rachel’s OCC get-together in Dartmouth – small affair with current cruisers of great experience.     Runner up: Impromptu get together in Toodle-oo!’s cockpit in Dover with Dutch boats Bojangles and Wildeman – great fun!

Most expensive Harbor: Stockholm (Also had the worst harbor master!)

Best walks: Up Helvellyn in the UK’s Lake District

P1010702

and also Sao Jorge, a great downhill walk to meet Mike and Jane at an isolated restaurant.

P1000976

Least Expensive Harbor: Weymouth (given a freebee!)

Best Parallel Parking: Christianso, Denmark – coming alongside the harbor wall into a 48ft space – without hitting a thing!!

P1030142

Visby was actually just as tight – between two very expensive boats – but in fact one of them had to move a little to provide sufficient breathing space between it and our solar panels (which sit about 15 ft off the water – so you can tell how big the other boat was).

Best Cocktail:  Caipirinha in Sao Jorge – every bit as good as are found in Brazil!

Prettiest Sea:  Azores. Clear Blue – and full of Dolphins!

P1000804

Ugliest Sea: Irish Sea – grey and grows into a washing machine at the drop of a hat!

Worst Weather Encountered: Mid Atlantic we had the most dramatic – with 20ft following seas, however the Irish Sea was consistently the most uncomfortable sailing.

 

I’m sure there are many other highs and lows – but all in all, we’ve had a fantastic couple of years traipsing around at our own speed.

 

3 thoughts on “Highs and Lows

  1. Dave and Doreen

    Is there a “based on true events” novel we should all expect soon?

    All in all it sounds like a memorable experience, and we’re very happy to have you back safe and sound.

    See you soon.
    Dave

    Reply
  2. Paul

    Great summary. Sounds like it was an experience and a half for both of you. Now to plan the next adventure. Your anchor must be almost brand new.

    Paul
    SV Georgia

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Hi Paul,

      Must say, I thought we’d be anchoring far more often. Last year we were following a rally for much of the time in the Azores – and while it was certainly possible to anchor, we were more interested in socializing with everyone and felt a dock was much easier. Towards the end of the season we were actually quite static for various family reasons – in Northern Ireland and then in the UK…

      This year, we started well – first 3 nights we were anchored – then we hit the rocks! Once into the Baltic we were following cities for a while – so again, not much opportunity to anchor AND experience the city… Then we got to Finland and had windlass problems – that are once again plaguing us…

      When we set off again, it’ll definitely be with more anchoring in mind – too expensive to stay in slips all the time…

      You’re in Bonaire I think – what’s the plan for the winter and next year?

      Reply

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