Posted by: williekp | October 13, 2016

Things are busy even when you are back at home

Got back yesterday and it is lovely to see friends and family after a 6 week absence. Great to visit the squash club and the golf club and loving the fact that I have actually managed to lose weight. Sailing is great for that. I tend to eat less, drink less beer and put out a few more calories just through the movement of the boat. Long may it continue as I have a way to go yet. Today was all about liaising with the new crew members and ordering bits that I need to take back with me to keep things running smoothly. We chlorinate all the water we take on in marinas and we also pass it through domestic water filters before it gets out of the taps on board. I ordered three new filter cartridges today. I am also hoping that my guide to cruising Maderia and the Canaries ( plus the Azores and Bermuda) will arrive in time before I head back next Wednesday. I will give it a day or two before I start checking up with the technicians that I have booked work in with on the engine, wind vane steering and some internal door handles. There is always a long list of little jobs to be done to keep things ship shape. My crew John flies back tonight so I am hoping that the leaving the boat checklist I left him with gets done and there are no surprises when I get back next week.

We have 5 people on board including myself for the next legs. I plan to do a shakedown day and move Lila back down to Cascais. Everyone should get a familiarisation with raising and lowering the sails and bowsprit and reefing with a dose of tacking and jibing so that when we get our weather window to leave for Maderia we have some level of confidence on each watch with me available to help out and supervise where necessary. Five on board will also be interesting to see how space and comfort and general crew dynamics works out. The next crew look to have a good level of sailing ability and I am optimistic that we can run a safe and happy ship. Joyce will be joining the crew for the first time and I am looking forward to that because it is really she and I who are committed to getting across the Pacific. The Atlantic is something Joyce has done in the past but we are both excited about the possibility of visiting all the Pacific islands we can in the time available.


Committed Pacific crew mate Joyce


More on the rest of the crew next time.

I have been having trouble getting my tiller pilot to work properly. Having spent a four figure sum on acquiring it and having it fitted it turns out that it doesn’t like metal boats because they confuse its internal compass. I am sure I could spend as much again trying to get it sorted out properly but on the way down to Lisbon we motored a fair way and I rigged up a tiller lashing way of steering which worked pretty well.



So I am postponing spending money on the tiller pilot and buying a Jordan Series Drogue instead. This is a bit of kit that keeps you and the boat safe if you really get unlucky and encounter s very severe storm.


Jordan Series Drogue

I would hope never to need to use it but with a 20 plus day Atlantic crossing and a 25 day plus Pacific crossing and the changing weather patterns we are encountering everywhere it is a good thing to have on board. Trevor Robertson who owns and sails his Wylo singlehandedly and who has been to Antarctica and the Arctic in his, has just acquired one and comments that he should have had one years ago. That is good enough for me. No one who has ever used one has had their boat damaged or lost even in a hurricane ( it says here). More next time when we have a new crew and are heading for Maderia.


  1. Good luck! I saw Mae yesterday and she sends her best for your trip. We are also in the Canaries in November …. but courtesy of Easyjet!

  2. Good luck Billy . Uncle George is ill at the moment . He is content and comfortable in a nursing home in Coleraine. Marie xx

    • Thanks for letting me know Marie and pass on my best wishes to him. Billy

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