Late February 2019
We’re looking forward to our third year (yes, already!) as full-time liveaboards, but first we reflect on what we’ve done, and where we’ve been so far. We’ve achieved our first two plans, to go all round the UK, and to explore the Baltic Sea – these were our ‘Northern Cruises’, to get them under our hull while we were in the area, and before we headed South, to warmer climates from whence it may be very hard to venture elsewhere…
Inevitably, in turning our bows (loosely) Southwards, we passed back through the English Channel, and decided to pause awhile on home shores, to catch up with people we’d been missing, and deal with some of the many projects still outstanding for l’escale. Not surprisingly, we’ve done lots of the former, and not quite so much of the latter, but the ticks on the job sheet are gradually increasing.
Meanwhile, the sun is shining, the pressure is high and the temperature positively balmy for late February – even Mate is venturing out from her Winter hibernation, and washing has been seen drying on my lines once again. So, where to next?
First we are going to retrace our previous route Southwest, pausing in Poole Harbour and thence to Plymouth, where we hope to obtain our completed cockpit tent from the lovely ladies who have already made up our smart bimini and porch. We’re aiming to take in some of the sights we missed last time, such as the Eden project and some of the region’s best gardens, and at the end of May we have a date at Minack open-air theatre in deepest Cornwall, where our daughter will be stage managing a show.
From there we’ll hope to test our new Windpilot – assuming it’s fitted and operational by then – on a long passage to St Malo, in order to pick up our exploration of the French coast, West around Brittany, and into the Morbihan, from where l’escale’s name originates. We’ll continue around the inside of the Bay of Biscay, pausing at Nantes to fly home for our son’s graduation, visit La Rochelle and La Gironde, for Bordeaux, and then aim for Biarritz and the Northern coast of Spain: San Sebastian, Bilbao, Santander and around the corner to A Coruña.
With luck and a fair following wind, we may reach Porto in Northern Portugal, Lisbon or even Gibraltar for next Winter, but then it all depends on Brexit, and statistically (in our experience, anyway) we are not due a fantastic Summer, as so far they have fallen in even-numbered years.
Anyway, watch this space, and come and join us when and where you can…the blog will be updated – honest