Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Time to revise plans for 2021?

It is the end of January and things are not looking good for a launch in mid March and whatever happens in UK, my planned cruise to southern Brittainy in April is certainly a non starter. 

The Jester Baltimore (IRE) is scheduled to start on the 13th June, that might happen but socially distanced events before and after seem problematic. I had planned to to do the JBC, possibly starting from Pwllheli, as a change from Plymouth that I did in 2019, then either the Jester Azores Challenge which also looks unlikely for several reason or a round Ireland trip.  If that happens I have a gap in the schedule during May and possibly April and continuing uncertainty about going to Ireland.

Then add into the mix Covid-19 vaccination, unless things go very wrong with the vaccination schedule I will be in group 5 rather than 4 so I should have the first dose in time for any potential sailing but what about the second? Any decision on that will just have to wait.

With plenty of time on my hands in lock down I am planning for several options and only time will tell which will happen, the two main options are:

Option 1: Only if sailing is restricted into May and Ireland opens up (or announces) by late May (Sailing should start April 12th so jump to option 2!)

Cruise the south coast, Bristol Channel and West Wales arriving Pwellheli for the start of the JBC then if the weather is OK circumnavigate Ireland with a brief diversion to the Scottish Islands, which also avoids the over-falls around Rathlin Island by sailing from west of there direct to Islay returning in August. Then perhaps a quick trip to the Channel Islands in September.

The planning for option 1 is straight forward and now done.

A composite view of legs from Baltimore up the west coast of Ireland to
Islay. I have a number of alternates and diversions on route already in hand.
Screen shot from my seaPro navigation software. 

Option 2: If sailing is OK in England and Scotland from some time in April and the boat is back in the water and ready:

Sail round GB anticlockwise (as apposed to my clockwise trip last year) leaving in April, if the JBC is off take a leisurely route down the west coast of Scotland and England or down the either coast of Ireland if allowed. Or, if the JBC takes place then get to Pwllheli around the 10th June, do the JBC and come home from Baltimore.

Planning for option 2 is not a big job given that I have already been round the other way and already have routes on my PC and plotter, but is does illustrate some interesting points about planning long single handed coastal trips so I am going to spend some more of my lock down time with a few posts and tips on planning such a trip.

Watch this space and / or the consolidated list under "tips" from the panel to the right.

As of 23rd Feb option 2 is looking good. But its going to be a rush to get the boat in the water in only a couple of weeks.

But things keep changing, the JBC looks iffy due to Covid so it may turn into a Jester Fastnet Challenge,  Pwllheli - Fastnet Rock - Plymouth or for others start at either and finish at either. Four for the price of one.

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