Please follow our new boat – ‘Lucy’.

If you’ve enjoyed following the travels of Zephyr for the last few years, you’ll be delighted to hear that she’s found new owners in Ireland, and has already spent a weekend afloat on Lough Corrib.

As for us, we’ve just acquired a Cornish Yawl and named her after our first cat, Lucy.

We’ll be telling it all about ‘Lucy’ on our new blog at

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 11.04.49

Please subscribe to the new blog and find out her history, about a busy month getting her ready for launch, and then to keep up to date as we sail her around the South West, from Brixham to the Isles of Scilly – and everywhere in between.

Zephyr heads off to her new home

Zephyr has been sold, and is now in Ireland as of today. [7/9/13] She’ll be out and about with her new owners in and around Galway Bay. They are in for a real treat. She’s a beautiful boat, and will be sadly missed by us.

The search for a replacement for her, with standing room and a toilet, continues.

This blog will be updated one more time when a replacement has been acquired and a new blog started.

Thanks for your interest in our three year Cape Cutter 19 adventure.

Zephyr is for sale


One of our last trips. Tolcarne Creek, River Fal. Picture by Charles Erb.

[2.9.13 – Now sold]

It’s with very mixed emotions that I have quite suddenly decided to offer Zephyr for sale.

It’s been a long held wish of mine that, in time, my wife would grow to enjoy sailing with me. I can’t say I’m there yet, but we recently spent a number of days living aboard in Falmouth. She enjoyed the pottering, the anchoring in the sun, wearing stripey tops and feeling all nautical. But, and this is a big ‘but’, out of nowhere she made a statement which I must act upon before she changes her mind. Zephyr has managed to win her over enough for her to suggest that we could do more sailing together – but it would need to be in a boat she can stand up in. It’s a woman thing.

She despised the first boat I owned, and has been very cautious with others since. Zephyr, too, was a cautious purchase; she was what I could afford and has enabled me to go forth and have my own adventures for a week at a time, as often as I wanted to. She was a step in the direction of where I wanted to get to. She has been perfect for that, whilst at the same time allowing me to take my wife on short trips ‘around the bay’ and the odd night in a marina. She has made my recent illness easy to recover from.

Zephyr has always performed admirably in the time she’s been my trusty sailing companion. She has always performed above and beyond what I expected. She has always been the centre of attention wherever we’ve been together, to the point that I actually had cards printed with her details on to hand out to people enquiring about her. I’ve invested a huge amount of time and quite a bit of money getting Zephyr how I wanted her to be for me for the next ten years, so with this sudden change someone can benefit from all that. Zephyr has changed my life for the better, but soon it’s her turn to do the same again for someone else, or another family.

Zephyr is going to be very difficult to replace, as I need a boat which is traditional, desirable, secure, with tan sails, lots of rope and masses of charm. It’s a big ask. In moving on I know I’m going to lose the flexibility of trailer sailing, but over the past few years I’ve pretty much decided that I want to sail extensively in the South West, and that’s where my wife wants to sail with me. The Solent is nice, but a bit too busy with mobo’s. Wales is nice, but harbours and marinas are few and very far between – and the Bristol Channel is brown water and too tidal. The Firth of Clyde is stunning, but just too far away, and the East Coast is lovely, but I’ve no past there. The South West is where I will keep a new boat, and I’ll be wearing out the M5 in due course I’m sure.

I’ll leave this blog in place as it contains so many very happy memories for me, and it’s a very useful resource for Cape Cutter and trailer sailer owners.

Now sold.

Log 28/7/13 – Sheltering up the Helford

The Voose provided a safe anchorage, but it was too rolly the morning after, so we set off to find a better option. The wind was still very strong from the SW so we motored to and beyond Helford village, weaving through the huge array of moored boats.

At one point Skip thought of going to Gweek, but it was already high water and we didn’t want to be stuck aground. Instead we hung around Tremayne Quay, built for a visit of Queen Victoria, but she didn’t bother to go because it was raining. Or so the story goes. It’s a nice place though, and a family were camping there, their boat moored alongside.

We moved back towards Helford a little and found a lovely little spot with nice cover from the S and SW winds which were forecast. The anchor was laid, and there we sat.

Dylan Winter would have been proud. We sat and watched the shoreline change and the tide fell away. Curlews probed the freshly exposed mud, and a heron gave a masterclass in fishing – and all just 30 metres from where we sat by a distinguished tree.

At low water there must have been an inch to spare under the hull, and then the views changed again as the new flood realigned the hull to give us a new view. Then it was dark , and time for a calm night, all bar the odd heavy shower.

Log 27/7/13 – Over to Helford

The Skipper’s family went home, and the holiday format turned more towards living aboard. The weather was also due to change with rain and strong winds for the next few days coming in from the SW. Supplies were loaded and we left Mylor looking for Aurora. We sailed to Falmouth. No sign. We left Falmouth amidst the Falmouth working boat race fleet, where we held position very well for some time much to their consternation.

We found Aurora anchored off Molunan beach, so rafted alongside for an hour or so, before deciding to head over to Helford for a couple of days sheltering from the weather. We had a fantastic sail across the bay, skimming the bow of one of a number of ships which had come in for protection too.

Once inside Helford we anchored in The Voose, along with a fleet of seven others with the same idea. It was a stunning evening.

Log 26/7/13 – Pandora Inn, and racing

It was another dodging looking day on the forecasts, but it turned into a stunner. Unusually, for the Skipper, we motored somewhere instead of sailing. Well, it was only around the corner to Restronguet to the legendary Pandora Inn. There’s a pontoon which doubles as a floating patio – so we tied up and the crew enjoyed coffees.

Coffees finished and we did even more motoring; probably a sop on the Skipper’s part as the First Mate doesn’t like “the flappy bits”. We pottered along the coastline heading past Feock, giving marks out of ten to each of the properties. Quite a few got 20 out of 10! One got a thumbs up for location, but a massive thumbs down for appeal, even though it had its own lifeboat slipway.

After further pottering the Skipper had had enough. The sails were raised and we made best course to windward in search for a lunch stop. We made it as far as St Just on the East side of the Carrick Roads. We dropped anchor close in for maximum shelter from the breeze, and sat there for some time, and the crew finished the last tin of salmon left onboard by Dodgy Knees Tony. Then it was lounging time.

As it was Friday it was race night, and we’d been invited to join in the Shrimpers and Gaffers class. We crossed back to Mylor to prepare.

The First Mate was replaced by Ian and Lyn from Mylor SC, and we made for the start line. With pages of instructions Ian was kept busy, and we eventually worked out the start sequence. Being last start helped, and we made a reasonable start in mid fleet. Much tacking took place, and it ultimately transpired that the right side of the course was shallowest and had the least tide against us. The Shrimper which went that way stole quite a lead, and we stole a solid second place when a group of Shrimpers completely spooned the rounding of the windward mark. We held position to the wing mark and the downwind leg, where the race ended. It had been fun, and Ian and Lyn had enjoyed themselves – as had the Skipper.

Log 25/7/13 – Meeting Nettie

Another stunning day dawned; clear blue sky and a rock solid F4 from the south. We set sail with Nettie’s owner, Richard, for a blast out into Falmouth Bay. It was a brilliant sail and we had the rail dipped quite often – something which is banned when the Skipper’s wife is on board. She was on Gyllingvase beach though, and could see us racing past on our way back in.

We played out until around 2pm, then headed back to moor alongside Nettie for a late lunch, and to measure the depth of water at low tide. The berthing officer wanted to know the actual depth of the Spring low. Richard had all the kit so it didn’t take too long.

Once completed Richard was dropped at the pontoon, and since it was still a fabulous day we set off again for another foray out into Falmouth Bay. This time the breeze seemed to have picked up a notch, so we turned and headed back to Mylor, having poked our nose into St Mawes first.

Log 24/7/13 – Percuil for lunch

It was a fairly cloudy day with F3 to 4 Southeries, so we set off for Percuil. We left a little late so had to contend with quite a but of spray caused by wind over tide. However, once round the Lugo cardinal the surface became much smoother, and we carried sail through the moorings, past Place House and in into the river.

It was now much calmer, and we dropped sails and motored into the narrows at Percuil and picked up a free mooring. A couple of swans were very quick to visit – and scare First Mate Nicky.

The tide continued to ebb and adjacent boats started to hit bottom in this Spring low. We made a sharp exit, motoring to St Mawes, raising full sail and heading directly for Mylor. It was a lovely sail back on the now rising tide.

Log 23/7/13 – Falmouth lunch stop

Not too much to report today, other than the fact that the best sailing time of the day was wasted strolling around St Mawes looking at hotels and eating cream teas. The sun was out, it was warm, and it was blowing up to 20kts. I was tied to a pontoon. By the time we were ready to sail it was overcast and cooler.

Nevertheless, at least we went out. We sailed on staysail and reefed main to Falmouth and dropped anchor just off Trago Mills. It was getting on for high water, and another meter and it would have topped the walls of the port. A buffet lunch was laid out on deck for the skipper, First Mate and Buoy Racer (well that’s what was written on his cap).

After lunch we blasted back with full sail with the Buoy Racer at the helm. He did very well, and even got the hang of surfing down the swell as we approached Mylor. Well done Max! We passed Aurora on the way back too – she’d had a marvellous sail back from Helford in the morning, and was now looking for somewhere to stay for the night.


Log 22/7/13 – Mylor to Helford and back

Screen Shot 2013-07-22 at 23.03.03

20 miles all told

We arrived in Mylor on Saturday, but Force 6 and 7 from the east kept us ashore. Today was the first chance we had to go anywhere, so we though we should do some catching up. Aurora was in Falmouth, so we headed there first to meet up. We anchored just off the first and second marina’s in Falmouth as instructed, but it transpired that Aurora was in the third, so they were able to sneak out without us seeing them.

We set off after them and we crossed close to Black Rock, just after we’d had a very close encounter with a very large seal which popped its head up for us, then swam after us for a while.


A rather large seal came to see us

From this point we made good progress to windward, passing Ghylly, Swanpool and Maenporth beaches before making a few short tacks to get us into the Helford. Aurora had loads of kids onboard, and their aim wasn’t quite a true as it might have been, so they were a long way behind. They would be staying in Helford so had few time concerns, but we needed to get back so pulled into a lovely little cove where there were a number of small boats anchored. We dropped our hook too, and enjoyed a picnic lunch.

We were leaving Helford as Aurora was making her way in. We motored for a while before the wind filled the sails and we made 4kts OTG back to Lugo Rock off St Mawes, where we gybed and made Mylor Yacht harbour in one. This was supposed to have been the hottest day in the UK since 2006, but not in Cornwall it wasn’t. Never mind, it was a good day, and even the skipper’s mate enjoyed it.