Maiden Voyage


After several outings on the river Mersey it was time for our first voyage. We were ready to venture forth. The living aboard had started years earlier. It was now time to consider infinity and beyond. Well a week in Conway North Wales. It would have been two weeks but the weather was that bad we could not get out of the marina. It was only an hour away in the car but took us all day to get there. The first time away it was a momentous event at the time but one becomes blasé about such things with the passage of time.

  The reason for choosing Conway for the maiden voyage was because I had crewed there in the past and knew the area. I had been lucky enough to be chosen to crew on Sail Free a Super Seal owned by Mr. Harold Taylor an experienced and respected sailor. Who at the age of seventy was doing more sailing than anybody else I knew. He kept the boat on a mooring in the River Conway for the sailing season. We travelled there by car to race and sail the area. We raced in the Conway regatta a three day event run by the North Wales Cruising Club. I am grateful to him for all I learned whilst sailing with him. He has had a positive and lasting influence on my sailing. He provided a good example of how a cruising yacht should be run. There is a place for everything and everything is in its place. 

  Meticulous planning and organization went into the trip. There was very little wind on the day so we motored most of way. The chicken in the oven was well done before we reached Great Ormes Head and was consumed between thick rounds of homemade bread. This epic journey took us ten hours. The pace of life is different on a boat. Travelling at about five knots means we were looking at Great Ormes head for hours before we rounded it. Eventually we entered the channel into the River Conway. Motored downstream and picked up a buoy outside the marina. We had arrived.

  First thing next morning we were interrupted halfway through breakfast by a man with a yacht requesting that we leave his mooring buoy post haste. We complied and picked up the next empty one a hundred metres away. First day out and we have been moved on. It has developed into a trend over the years. Often if an empty buoy presents itself at the end of a day’s travel I would prefer to pick it up rather than anchor. You all can always vacate it should the owner arrive. Fishermen are most likely to arrive early in the morning after a hard night of toil.




    Sailing Prospero

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  by Alan Gillam

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