After months of planning and preparation our adventure is finally underway. Leaving Port Solent lock, we responded to the lock keepers enquiry of ‘when are you back’ with a jaunty ‘in about two years’ which was quite satisfying !

For this first leg to Plymouth, I had the very best of crews in Dave Cooke. Dave is a racing sailor and retired Merchant Navy Captain. He is a delight to have on board as he has probably already thought of and actioned the next move before I even think of it.

We sailed west via Studland, Portland, Dartmouth and Salcombe in generally light airs and flat seas grabbing a short sail here and there with a period under the Parasailor which somehow justified using the term ‘sailing’ for the passage to Plymouth.

‘Hejira’ crossing Lyme Bay under Parasailor – picture taken from ‘Interlude’

The trip was notable for meeting Trefor and Tina Jones in Portland in their Southerly 115 ‘Interlude’ and we sailed together enjoying their company and hospitality in both Portland and Dartmouth.

With the crew change arranged for Plymouth and the prospect of continued light breezes for our 1000 mile passage to the Algarve coupled with the deadline imposed by flights booked back from Faro, we decided to take on extra fuel in Plymouth stowed in the containers recently concealed under the new ‘seats’ on the aft deck. So with 660 litres of fuel we should be able to motor all the way, non-stop, if required. Let’s hope it is not necessary !

Diesel containers under seat covers