When I first saw Ibis at Antiqua Classics, I knew I would have to sail to England. For many years I read anything about fishing boats, smacks, oyster sailboats, troshers & fishing schooners that I could get my hands on. Something about the lines of these boats, combined with the large sail area broken into many parts and the matte finish of the hull. ( often black)excited me.

Julien and I sailed into Falmouth for the Falmouth classic regatta this June. Sarah O’Neil of St. John joined us for three days. We were floored by the amount and condition of wooden old boats here in Cornwall uk. We saw some wooden oyster work boats that still dredge oysters under sail.( the only way u can take them in the fal river)

Onto Fowey, a must see by sea village with dramatic cliffs and stunning old houses built into the cliff side. Wind in the willows was written here as well as the short story that Hitchcock turned into the movie “the birds”. A short walk from town brings you to a great beach with a water fountain and coffee bar! Onward we walked thru cow fields, over hill and dales on the southwest coastal trail.

We then headed to Polkerris , a tiny fishing town with a low tide beach. Here we enjoyed the natural beauty of rocks, cow pasture and sea. The village on land is a gem with 10 stone houses and two beach cafes with beer on tap and Italian espresso done right. We came back to this gem again on our way out to the Scilly Isles.

Charlestown was our next overnight stop. Here we found the clay port turned into a theatrical set for the three musketeers and Poldark. The floating basin, with a lock door and square rigged tall ships make it worth the trip. We had to wait for off breezes & settled weather to anchor off this port. The Shipwreck museum houses an amazing amount of artifacts from ruins along its coast. Worth the 10 quid.

The Helford & Fal river have many anchoring spots with cottage towns along its river.

St Mawes is a small town with old houses that have been converted into holiday homes.

We are waiting for weather and tide to hop over to the Scilly islands. Fortunately the weather is in our favor to spend a few days walking Penzance, mousehole and st micheals mount. Penzance being the perfect city like town for pick up of fresh veggies and charity shop ( went into at least 10) book shelves.

St micheals mount consists of a castle and Benedictine monastery with the owners St Aubyn’s still living below it. The castle is on an island linked to the mainland by an ancient drying stone causeway. I received my first attempt at dousing on the castles rooftop. Here there are energy lines that converge at the monks chapel.

Mousehole is an old fishing port with an oval harbour with mass granite boulder walls. Narrow streets, country cottages and a wild bird hospital add to its charm.

Everywhere we have had interesting conversations, great pasties, tons of fish and chips and plenty of old world sites for our senses. The pace of life here is comfortable and has contributed to us meeting real life brits who love to sail. The sailing has been great with gentle north and east winds, blue skies and 25 mile hops to the next bay. We have loved our stay in the UK and glad we missed the hectic Solent sailing area.

Kirby paints are made here in the US. Kirby paints have been around since the 1800,s. If your ever in New Bedford Mass go take a look at where the paints are made and meet the owners. I use them both on boats and in my home. They do exceptionally well on the hulls and interiors of yachts where salt, sun and water are ever present. I love the historical colors for all my wooden floors & built in fitted furniture. Here Dulcinea has been painted in Kirbywww.kirbypaints.com paints.

Here I have painted a floor in Kirby paints.

When we came in from our Atlantic crossing this is where we first landed. It’s the perfect protected spot. When you get the energy to pump up your dingy and ride ashore, you are greeted by two pubs, plenty of drink and usually a warm fire. Mostly second homes litter this beautiful snug harbour. A short walk out of town past the 1904 school house takes you to a sandy beach with wild flowers and fern abound. 

Castle town bear is a small port but is irelands second most important fishing port. We anchored snugly in the harbour and spent three days walking town, Dunboy castle and the back roads of town. We never found the stone circle. People here were super friendly and have a great love for there surroundings. We met several ex pats that felt the very same way. A cheese maker who set up a farm and made cheese said it was the best part of Ireland. The crepe maker, from Germany had the same to say about his neck of the woods. 

On we went to Glengarif , a sheltered bay at the end of Bantry Bay. This is a gardeners delight and there are three garden tours to be taken. One being the bamboo gardens, the town gardens and the Italian gardens on one of the islands. We chose to hike to the national park and hike old carriage roads and scramble up rock outcrops. I most enjoyed the coffee caravan that housed an indoor reading nook filled with surf and seaside books.

Plenty to do here in Kinsale. The yacht club is most excellent with showers, laundry and great food. The people here are really genuine. On our first days travel I met a gypsy who settled down to raise horses, an ex real estate salesmen who sold out and became a fisherman, and a young man who returned home to roast coffee beans in an old warehouse. Although Kinsale is a tourist town with plenty of bus loads of people it still has its characters.
A short walk out of town takes you stone throw from people s windows and through there gardens up stilly walk towards the fort. I enjoyed this walk emmensly as I was able to admire people’s building styles and garden idea.s.

Back in town I spent time at local library which has enough local books to get a gist of Ireland. I ventured up hill to the cork design building where I purchased a marbled blank book, wooden garden dibble and garden tools all made locally.

The grocery store, tucked in the back corner had everything one could want all crammed into a small space but bustling with fresh bread, sweats and local caught fish. The back streets have bookshops, used and new and plenty of coffee and tea shops. This is a great place to spend a week. 

  • First we found rotten wood under the teak decks on the port side. This project set us back a full month in our schuduled departure date for the crossing. A bit stressful as we had crew and hurricane season approaching. 
  • Waiting an extra day in Provincetown to finish shopping and fueling up cost us 5 long days at sea motoring. We should have jumped on that lumpy ass low but there was still so much to do .Because we only carry    40 Gallons of fuel we had to head into St. John’s newfoundland with out charts. We were able to do it when Julien found a navonics chart downloaded four years prior still on his iPad!!!! I found it rediculious as Julien had sailed around engineless before I came into the picture. It was an ocean we were crossing with no obstructions. Oh well captains orders. 
  • Captain Julien hits a weather buoy along the coastline of St. John in fog with the auto helm on and the engine blasting. Who auto helms into a new place with out charts and in fog? We found out a day later that we passed a tanker size ice burg . 
  • our prevented main does a jib in a building brisk wind with the Aires steering and breaks the wooden boom. Two days of repairs during 2o – 25 knot winds with out a main and we are back at it waiting for the next low to bring us heavy 30-35 knot winds. Let’s hope the boom holds out. He slyly repaired it with a 2 by 4 scarf in three spots, west system and several large hose clamps. 
  • Tomorrow is half way day and I have been told to keep the captain crunch cereal at bay until we are tied up at a dock.  Captains orders.

We were preparing for an Atlantic crossing on our cold molded wooden sloop tiger Maru, when Julien spotted rot in the port deck. ” people do ocean crossings in open row boats” I said knowing how long our project list was already. It was to late he had already chiseled back the rot and was letting it dry in prep for his Dutch men repairs.

He knew it would be a messy job so we headed across the Hudson River and tied up to a rust barge where he proceeded to get loud and dirty. We also pulled the mast and placed it on the barge for a total refit. New inter stay with running backs for a storm sail. New halyards, rigging, staylocks ( norsemen is out of business) and new beefy spreaders.
Re doing a teak deck

Julien has decided to us west system g flex as the glue for this project.

  •  our decks are plywood with double diagonal mahogany. Once the decks were repaired, we milled the teak wood and scarfed the pieces together full length. Most of the source of rot was at butts so Julien wanted tight splices with no end grain exposed. next we removed all fastenings and filled the holes, while fiberglassing thin spots on the deck.
  • First deck piece was thru bolted with 2 by 2 cross clamps. This clamp would bridge the following strips so that we could wedge each strip with out fastenings.
  • It is a messy affair. I lay down g flex with 403 and 407 filler on the teak strip. Julien spreads it on the cambered deck with a sculpted plastic squeegee. We only lay enough goop for one teak strip.
  • Next we bend the teak in the shape of the deck, the breadth of the boat, while trying not to mash up our glue. We tuck it under the cross clamp and wedge the ends tight as we go down the deck.
  • Next we insert our separating string which is . 155 inch weed walker cord. This creates an even separation of the teak strips and a breaker for the future caulk.
  • We clean up epoxy that has used out of the wood strip so that we will not have to scrape and sand tommoroow when installing the next strip.
  • Each day we knock out the wedges and install a new strip. It takes a long week to do the port side.
  • After all the strips are laid  down we remove the cross bar and plug and fill the holes that were holding the cross bars. We sanded the deck with a belt sander and caulked with PL roof polyeurithane. We has sampled it 8 years prior and ir worked better then the expensive teak deck systems caulk. It is easy to remove and does well in the sun and costs $ 5 a tube at Home Depot.

We estimate about 100 Hours  ( we charge $110 an hour for both of us so that’s about 10,000 plus $2500 dollars in materials for this job.)

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