Around Brest…

So much of sailing is waiting. Waiting for the wind to come down from 35kts. Waiting for the swell to be less than 15 feet. Waiting for a part to come in from somewhere. Waiting for some paperwork to be finished.

And, the shame of it is, when we are waiting on that storm system to pass, the storm system is on top of us. So our “off days” are usually accompanied by howling winds and likely not a small bit of rain.

We would be remiss, though, if we just sat on our hands and did nothing. In some of the more remote, exotic locations in Western Europe, we can find some really fascinating, un-touristy places. When you’re arriving on a boat, you come in through the back door. Tourists, arriving by car or train or plane, arrive to the billboards and manicured shrubbery and freshly planted flowers out of season. The ports are usually in the old section of town that smells of fish or wet wooden decking or nothing at all. Anything that blooms comes up naturally through the cracks in the cobblestones. And, like these old paving stones – and unlike the glass and steel airport architecture – almost everything has rounded edges worn by time and proximity to the sea.

















A solar eclipse at sea…

“Be not afeared. The isle is full of noises,2015_03.20-5929
Sounds, and sweet airs that give delight and hurt not.
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices
That, if I then had waked after long sleep,
Will make me sleep again. And then, in dreaming,
The clouds methought would open and show riches
Ready to drop upon me, that when I waked
I cried to dream again.”
~Caliban to Stephano, (The Tempest: Act 3, Scene 2)

In the middle of St.Patrick’s…

By: Noah D.

Travel will teach you things. It will teach you marvelous things. But it will also teach you to fail. Or, rather, teach you that failing is not the end of the story… let alone something to be feared.

We attempted to cross the Celtic Sea on March 14. We made it around 25 miles before turning back: the sea was not having it. Massive swells pushed us farther and farther off course. Simply tacking would only send us back up the coast. Disappointed, we turned back.

And then St.Patrick’s Day came to pass.

What began as a simple call to get tickets at the Cork Opera House for an evening of Irish music somehow turned into various people calling us back. And then we had seats with our names on them in the grand stand for the parade, which turned into access to the parade itself… followed by a brisk walk through the city to a private room in a pub and sat down beside a famous radio personality… and then the Lord Mayor of Cork. They said, “Sit here.” …and there we sat, a constant stream of people greeting the personalities and us not knowing that we were really nothing special.

We experienced St.Patrick’s Day from the inside. We saw Cork with all its dressings on and from behind the curtain.


St. Patrick 14



St. Patrick 12

St. Patrick 29

St. Patrick 35

St. Patrick 31

St. Patrick 9

St. Patrick 21

St. Patrick 24

St. Patrick 16



It has occurred to me that my date stamps are wrong. It is 2015, after all…St. Patrick 1

St. Patrick 2










St. Patrick 39

If you seat yourself next to a king, anyone can ask you to get up and move. If a king seats you next to him, only a king can move you. The world is full of people trying to get themselves seated next to a king… or look like they have been seated there. We just got blown in by the sea.

Who knows what disappointment holds? Whatever happens, it is going to be good…

The first miles: Kilmore Quay to Crosshaven…

By: Noah D.

We’ve almost sailed 1,000 miles aboard Proteus. Most of that was coming from Ipswich. And we’ve sailed a little around the east coast of Ireland as far north as Greystones just a few miles outside Dublin.

But now we’re headed home.IMG_4479

Ah, but where is home? As we were driving a rental car from a day trip to downtown Cork the other day, Lynn said that she felt as if she is going back home every time we walk or drive or ride back to Proteus. It is as normal to walk or drive in obscure lands (even after a mere six months aboard) as others might drive through the same subdivision in which they grew up and now have families of their own. We might be in a random marina or boat yard, but those are just the changing scenery – like a scene from “Inception” in which the world is able to be folded back on itself or flicked through with each tumble down the rabbit hole. We land in a place and it immediately becomes “the street where we live” and the dock is the sidewalk to our front door. We step onto Proteus and down the companionway and we are suddenly home.

In a few short weeks, we will likely be in tropical climes and dealing with five or six layers of sunscreen instead of five or six layers of clothes to go out and watch for crab pots. And then that will be our home, all hot and sweaty, our beds draped with mosquito nets.

Without as much as a flutter of wind, we departed Kilmore Quay in the wee hours before dawn on 10 March. The earlier the better because a slight gale was forecasted for the northwest and we wanted to be in Cork before it got messy. There was about 2-3m swell coming from the Atlantic, so motoring was a little hurk-worthy until we got the sail up a few hours later. It doesn’t take much wind to get Proteus moving nicely, but 2-3kts is aggravating.

All in all it was a great first sail down to Crosshaven. We sailed into Cork harbour almost perfectly downwind just as a big rain cloud appeared on the horizon obscuring an otherwise great sunset.

IMG_4505Now, why Crosshaven? Why didn’t we just cross directly from Kilmore Quay down south to France? It is almost exactly the same distance from Cork to Sevenstones or Scilly as it is from Kilmore Quay. The difference is the motion of the ocean and the prevailing winds. Coming 70-80 miles farther west will put the (occasionally significant) Atlantic swell on our quarter rather than on our beam. Also, the winds, if directly from the south, would force us to tack back and forth into and out of the Bristol Channel… and all the crazy tidal currents that entails. Hopefully, from Cork the wind will be more favorable, and, even if it is directly on our nose, we will be able to tack less and/or simply let the wind be our guide and suck us across the English Channel to Brittany.

As always, the weather is extraordinary. I cannot believe how random it is! Just the other day, since we’ve been watching for this upcoming crossing, there was a huge weather system that was going to push 8m seas and 50kts wind into the Celtic Sea on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week… then, I checked it yesterday and it was completely gone, not a stitch of wind increase for the next week. It must be that time of year.

Ireland has been good to us, but, if all goes well, our next update will be from France. Stay tuned…

[UPDATE: We aborted our first attempt crossing to France after the sea state worsened to 3 and 4 meter swells on our beam and a crossing wind on our nose. Beating upwind and heeling into major swell is miserable, slow going: for every step forward, we were taking two steps sideways. We’re still in Crosshaven for another few days waiting on the conditions to improve… I’m okay with that!]







2015_02.16-1006665Of course, you know Lynn…

…but our new crew and travel companion is Philip. More on him at a later date. 😉