Mal de Mer and Mutiny on and off the High Seas  - 2011 Season

I had been planning a long voyage this season as far back as January when in the depths of the freezing evening air (after the children had been successfully put to bed) I “popped to the boat for a quick job or ten”. The prospect of a long voyage possibly to the Isle of Man and elsewhere with various drunkenly (and as it transpires temporarily) enthused friends spurred me on to work tirelessly to improve the accommodation on Wren.

After many years of a light touch approach by Jim in the interior cleanliness and tidying department the boat had responded well to multiple and vigorous applications of Mr Muscle.

Now it was time to go further. Aided by the statutory cup of tea that takes up twenty minutes of any quick job on the boat I had replaced the perspex locker covers, which had permanently revealed the mess and mould behind, with personally hand crafted teak faced plywood, having thoroughly cleaned and painted inside the lockers themselves.

Encouraged by the progress I then proceeded to repaint everywhere that had once been glossy white and replaced the curtains with bespoke navy blue courtesy of my mother in law.

In a final effort I pulled back, stripped and re glued the headlining in the forecabin providing pleasing results and a confidence that any guest crew/wife would be kept in the best kind of luxury a 23 footer can provide.

However despite a longstanding vague plan to sail to the Isle of Man with some old university buddies I noticed the email feedback was becoming slow to nonexistent, my photos of the boat in glamorous condition had no effect. Encouraged by the occasional promise to get back to me etc I persevered but found with increasing rage and bitterness that a sailing trip on those terms was increasingly unlikely and was not making for tranquil sailing memories. The first mutiny had occurred even before they had set foot on the boat!

 

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Wren at the Start of the Sailing Season

Conway Cruise 2010 – Rohan Pickard

After months of preparation largely with the mooring rather than the boat and having followed an intensive training regime I had been entrusted by Jim Brown with the keys to Wren the Westerly Pageant we co owned and provided with detailed instructions on the boat’s procedures.

Mooring and baby duties had prevented me from getting much sailing action this season apart from a very enjoyable trip to the Albert Dock.

However my ambitions were not satisfied and I yearned for the distant shores of Wales, Conwy to be specific, the only place other than the Albert Dock I know the way to.

Finding the opportunity to do a Conwy mission looked bleak but a random girl’s weekend away for my wife and my friend Leigh’s wife provided the narrow window we needed for the voyage to take place.

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Just after Burbo Bank