Ruby May’s Homecoming, Sailing From Milford Haven to Chatham

After far too may months, restrictions finally eased sufficiently to allow us to sail our much loved new boat home. We’d done various bits of prep on-board, such as fitting a new radar reflector, adding new safety gear, fixing the AIS, and fitting a new log. We’d also had a brief shakedown sail to Skomer Island and finally the day had arrived for us to bring her home.

On this passage we had Dolphins and Puffins, huge waves and flats seas, lots of wind and no wind! We also got to know our boat and had an awesome week on the water with the kids. Grab a cuppa, this blog is my diary from that week…

A Dolphin escorting us on our passage
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Skomer, The Puffin Island

Many months ago, we took the plunge and upgraded our beloved, Artful Dodger, for a newer model, Ruby May a 39ft Beneteau Cyclades. You can find out more about her here. Since then she has been stuck in SW Wales, thanks to various COVID rules in England and Wales. But as lockdown restrictions and ‘stay at home’ advice has recently shifted, we managed to pay her a visit and have a shakedown sail on her ahead of our planned passage home.

Heading towards our anchorage for the night on Skomer Island
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Sailing to Honfleur and the North Coast of France

2020 saw travel plans lay in tatters, with most of us being forced or choosing to stay at home for the majority of the year, while COVID-19 brought a wave of tragedy and mayhem across the globe. As sailors, Hodge and I were luckier than most – jumping on the boat when the government guidance allowed, and so at times we were able to enjoy the freedom and fresh air that sailing brings, escaping the chaos of the pandemic, whilst also staying safe and away from other people. Is there a better way to socially distance, than at sea?

In August, with the kids in their 5th month of home schooling, we decided to make a break for France. The weather was set to be perfect, a summer heat wave, and fair winds. In this blog post you can lose yourself in my diary from that week… Onboard the Artful Dodger as Hodge and I, along with my 3 children took to the seas for a 9 day adventure.

Sailing along the UK coast before heading across the Channel
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