AchillesHeeled 5:08pm, 2 October 2013
Hello all

I was made redundant last year and thought I'd take the opportunity to spend five months sailing around Britain in "Cejenika", leaving in April and returning home a couple of weeks ago. And what a summer I had! Cejenika confirmed what a great little sea boat the Achilles is - she was never fazed, even though there were times when I was pleading for mercy... The British coast is beautiful, full of lovely places to visit, friendly people and great food.

I think I've managed to add some photos to my photo stream, although I wasn't clever enough to get them in order. Hope they're of interest!

Andrew Curry 5 years ago
Class Rob and well done.
PhilJazz 5 years ago
That is a really good way to make the most of some bad luck. You are right about the A24. It's a fantastic little boat. Well done. I like the pictures too.
NormanKlipspringer 5 years ago
Lovely photos and great trip - well done. I will be telling Chris Butler of your exploits when I see him tomorrow.
spearhead_027 5 years ago
I like the randomised photo order - have a little bet on whereabouts the next one will be!

Congratulations on completing a proper circuit (and choosing a good year to do it in).

To answer the question, I think about 15 days per annum.....
pjbharrison 5 years ago
Sounds like a fantastic experience.
Great photos.
Any good stories?

Best regards to Chris when you see him, Norman
Vidwatts 5 years ago
How fantastic. I'd love to do that one summer. It'd be great to hear more about it, especially how you managed in such a small space for the whole summer.
AchillesHeeled 5 years ago
I've got lots of stories!

Cejenika and I had a Jeeves and Wooster-style relationship, with me forever getting into scrapes and the boat patiently getting me out of them...  Day 2 was a classic: left late from Chichester towards Brighton because of fog (which promptly descended again), missed the tide around Selsey Bill, the wind died and had to motor in a lumpy sea, got a big plastic sack around the prop, was seasick getting the sack off, gave up and headed back to Bembridge, tide gauge suggested I could sneak across the bar with a foot to spare but ran aground (on a falling tide), hung off the shrouds and she floated free, spent hideous rolly night at anchor outside Bembridge before retreating exhausted to the Solent the next morning.

Other lowlights include thick fog from Eastbourne to Dover ("fog patches" according to the Met Office), overfalls off Flamborough Head, a hideous eight-hour beat from Whitby to Hartlepool against a F6/7 (it wasn't forecast to be quite so bad) which virtually had me in tears, engine failure off Aberdeen (sailed on to Peterhead and managed to cadge a tow into the marina), being becalmed en route to Wick and arriving at 1am in thick fog, and various remarkable wind-against-tide experiences down the Irish Sea, culminating in two abortive attempts to get round Carnsore Point (eventually I gave up and sailed to Milford Haven instead).

Apart from that  was pretty much plain sailing.  We motored across the Pentland Firth in a flat calm (praying the engine wouldn't conk out), arriving at 10pm just as the sun came out.  I spent two weeks in the NW of Scotland basking in mediterranean sunshine and light winds.  I was motoring into Port Ellen in Islay, minding my own business, when there was an almighty "whoosh" and a great big dolphin shot out of the water two feet from the boat. Sailed overnight from Milford Haven to Scilly, accompanied by huge schools of dolphins and with the wake of the boat glowing green with phosphorescence.

I was single-handed most of the time, although my loyal crew Kerris managed to do about a third of it.  I didn't find living on board a problem, although the back does get a bit stiff in the mornings.  Slept in the V berth, usually with my head hanging over the edge.  Kept the rubber dinghy in one quarter berth and clothes in the other.  I used a bucket for a loo (thanks to Roger Taylor for some top tips) but most of the time stayed in marinas, so it was usually pretty civilised.  Single burner gas cooker and a cool box as a fridge (managed to get ice in most places). I ate lots of fish and chips.

I heartily recommend the experience.  The only real disadvantage of the Achilles (apart from the accommodation) is the much-discussed outboard in the well, which as we all know gets unbearable if you're motoring for any length of time.  Apart from that she's amazingly sea-kindly, you sail at 5kts when everyone else has to motor, she's easy to handle in marinas, and everywhere you go people come up and say "What a pretty boat, what is she?" or "Hurrah, an Achilles, I used to have one - great little boat!"
blueachilles 5 years ago
Many congratulations, what a great experience! More photos please!

We too get lots of the "great boat, I used to have one" comments.
PhilJazz 5 years ago
BlueAchilles: I'll add to the list... Yes, great boat: I used to have one... And it was blue ;-)
rothwell_neil Posted 5 years ago. Edited by rothwell_neil (member) 5 years ago
Great little boat, I used to have one. Aim to do the trip year after next, looking forward to it. Great photos seems it was always sunny.
NormanKlipspringer 5 years ago
When I spoke to Chris today he was very pleased to hear of your trip and delighted by your comments on the performance of the boat.
AchillesHeeled 5 years ago
Thank you Norman, I'm dead chuffed! Rob
hotfoot_24 5 years ago
Well done !

Last time I did that it took us 8.5 days - mind you - not on a A24 :-)

We topped out at 31 knots.
Amrum 9171Y 5 years ago
Great video, Hotfoot! What was the boat, and which one was you? A little more sedate on an A24, although they can have their moments.....
Skykomish1 5 years ago
Love the pictures and great to see that you actually did it a lot of us, me included spend our lives on "Someday Isle" ... Well done
hotfoot_24 5 years ago
@ Amrum

Boat was Formidable3 - 56 ft. water ballasted Carbon machine - I'm nbr 2 helming at 1:10 & 3:00. 2006 Round Britain & Ireland.
NormanKlipspringer 5 years ago
Fantastic video!!!
AchillesHeeled 5 years ago
Fabulous! Am I right in thinking Chris Butler competed in the Round Britain and Ireland in an Achilles? Wonder how long that took..!
spearhead_027 5 years ago
I don't think so - it's not a course suitable for singlehanders!
Groups Beta