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Findochty Water sports Club
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What we do 2010
Boxing day dawned bright and sunny. It was a rare day for winter, bright sunshine, little wind and about a foot of frozen snow. A good day to be on the water. I made a phone call to Ron Billing and arranged to meet him at 13.00, half an hour after low water. I followed this with another call saying to meet me at 13.30 as my car got stuck in the snow. I arrived at Findochty right on time to find not a trace of Snow. I opened the hatch and was met with a strange smell from below. The source was traced to a tin of Easy Start with a pin hole leak, which was spraying into a locker. My Bukh engine is original to the boat and is pre-glow plugs. It has an ether tube in which you spray ether (Easy start) to start the engine from cold. I gave it a couple of minutes for the ether to vent from the boat and used the tin to start the engine. I then disposed of the tin ashore. The engine was running but, as it was so cold, I didn't want to stop the engine as it may not restart without ether assistance, so it was decided to motor down to Portknockie. Once underway we toasted Christmas with suitable beverages and chatted about this and that. It was about half way to Portknockie when we noticed the waterfalls. In three places we saw waterfalls going over the cliffs. Ron said that it was the first time in over 50 years that he had seen them on that stretch of coast. It wasn't raining and the snow had melted here days before, so why they were flowing that day I have no idea. We were soon at Portknockie and motored in to see if anyone was about. There were two walkers at the pier head and we exchange Christmas greetings as we passed, but apart from them the harbour was deserted. We then took photo's as evidence of Destino's grand Boxing Day voyage to a foreign port before pointing the bows seaward and back towards Findochty.The sun was shining and we enjoyed the return journey. As we arrived, the sun was level with memorial behind the Admirals and there was a nip in the air. We hadn't been out for more than an hour, we hadn't even hoisted a sail, but it had been thoroughly enjoyable. It is for days like this that I keep Destino afloat over winter and I can recommend it to you all. Bob Chapman Destino
Fair Isle 09 On wir trip to an fae Shetland in June we twice visited North Haven on Fair Isle. I hid fished roon the island in the sixties bit hid nivver been in there. The hairber/basin wisna as safe then as it is noo that the space atween the rock in the middle o the entrance an the shore has been filled in wi boulders. I mine bein anchored hale close ti the wast shore in a sou'easter for siven days in 1969, the same breeze that got the Longhope lifeboat, an fancied takin the chance ti see the neuk we lay in wi the storm howlin ower wir heids aff the top o the cliffs. We ran oot a maist o wir grub an lived on fitens(whitings). We left Stronsay at 10am on 11th a June an headed for the sooth end a Fair Isle. The win at first wis very light bit wisna lang an ticklin up ti a force 5 fae the norwast wi hivvy rain shooers an aince clear a Start Pint it got a bit lumpy wi tide inti win. As it wis real fresh in the squalls we hid 2 reefs in the main an 10 rolls in the jib. Mo did weel in the very twisty motion a' the wye across. Vis wis poor bit halfwye across it cleard an we cwid see the high cliffs on the wast side o the island. It wis chavie richt ti aboot three mile fae the lichthoose bit then the win eased an the sun came oot so we shook oot the reefs hid a fine sail close up the East side. As yi wid expect, there are some tide eddies roon the island bit nithin ti worry aboot in settled wither. We entered the weel marked hairber aroon 6pm an tied up ti the pier, a good ane, ahin the island ferry Good Shephard an a Dutch yacht. Tatties on an a dram. Two Norwegians arrived an oor later. Tidal range is only 4/5 feet so the Scandies are comfi wi that!! Jimmy Stout,the previous skipper and noo relief skipper o the ferry came doon ti the pier for a yarn an filled us in wi some info aboot the island. The Observatory which included a sma bar an café wis bein demolished(bad luck there)and a new ane built on the same site using prefabricated units.(As of mid September, they are havin problems gittin the big barge in so rethinkin the transport). We hid a short walk up the hill overlookin the hairber,sat a few feet fae some fulmars an took some photies a Lotus doon in the hairber. An affa bonny nicht. We wannert back ti the boat, hid a nightcap an happet the heid. Up early kine, hid a good breakfast an set aff for a trek ti the sooth end far the spread oot village is. There is a sma airfield far they git twa flights a day fae Sumbrugh wi an 8 seater in summer. Fair Isle is only 3 miles lang bit as yi can imagine the road ti the sooth end is bit langer!! A gentle walk up fae the pier took us past the part-demolished Observatory wi bonny views doon on Sooth Haven. Thirs jist a narra road atween North an Sooth Havens wi a beach at either side an yir amon birds richt awa, some strangers ti me so the book wis oot a lot. We hid heather moor on the right an rough grass on the left wi the high face a Sheep Rock prominent a' the wye doon the road. As we walked doon the single track road toward the road that goes af ti the richt up ti the airfield, we met twa lads commin oor wye an they wirna gan ti speak until we said aye,aye. Thir accents soondet sooth kine.Fit a worl' wir in!!! Thirs very little habitation at the north pairt o the island wi jist an antrin hoose bit as we went doon the road we started ti see a hoose or twa an some parks wi a curn coos an some we hay an tatties growin. There wis a lot a traps,fit for I dinna ken, a' the wye doon the roadside. We were seein skua's, maistly great, bit a few arctics asweel on the moors alongside the road.The greats niver came near us bit one arctic did a good stuka job on us till we were presumably clear o it's nest. We startet ti pass mare hooses noo an evin tho it wis a hale bonny sunny day, wirna seein mony fowk. There are aboot 70 fowk on the island. As we got closer ti the shoppie we wir gittin thirstier, yi ken hoo it is, bit fin we got there it wis closed for denner so we cairriet on the haf mile ti the sooth lichthoose, Skadan, passin a scatterin a hooses on the wye an also the island fire station, the size o' a sma gairden shed. Thir is a six hole pitch an putt roon the lichthoose bit naebody wis playin that day. Plainty sheep an toldies on it. Sooth Hairber is jist ti the east o' the licht an tho it has a jeety is got an affa rocky approach. Thir were a few al' rowin boats hault up on grass an they were sittin in hallas in the turf. There were quite a lot a hallas a' roon the top o' the beach so it looks like there wis a fair fleet workin fae there a ae time. The walled cemetery is doon at that end asweel so we had a look in an as yi can imagine it wis affa interesting. The graves there go back a lang time an three families were prominent including Jimmy Stout's ane. The road skirted roon ti the east passin the rest o' the hooses so we took the detour on wir wye back ti the shoppie an looked in ti twa kirks, an affa bonny they were. Thir wis a museum ahin the Methodist ane that wisna open an the Church a Scotland ane also housed the self service library!! A man in changing his books telt us ti cut across the parks ti the shop an save twa three hunner yards so we did. It still wisna open so I left Mo sittin outside it an headed across ti the west side ti hae a look for wir anchorage of '69. Efter crossin twa parks it wis easy wakkin on short grass up ti the cliffs,maybe a mile.I wis seein a lot a birds noo, fae sma pipits ti great skua's an even twa kine a terns nestin on the grass.The skua's wir hale active noo an sometimes the first I kent wis the swoosh o' ane scuffin ma heid. I recognised the third bay north as the ane we were anchored at an cid see the rock that we swung alongside for a week. I sat for a file lookin doon an then headed back ti meet Mo at the shop. Be'in high kine, I cid look doon on the airstrip ti the north o' ma, nestled in a flat bit a grun on the moor. Efter we got wir refreshments,thir wisna an affa lot there, we headed back north ti the boat,arriving aboot 4 a'clock.The Dutch boat had sailed. We had an oor lyin in the sun an then Mo thocht it wid be a good idea ti clean the teak cockpit seatin. It came up bonny. Efter wir mince an tatties I walked up the hill ti the west o' the hairber and ower the moor ti a bay on the nw side o' the island ti watch the puffins commin in ti feed thir young afore dark. Crossin the moor wis something else!! Skua's, great an arctic were a'wye.I found a great wi twa eggs an an arctic wi one.I sat doon on the grassy bank wi hunners a burra's, abeen the cliff an it wisna lang afore the puffins startet ti come in in droves. Fit a show.I sat for half an oor an wannert back ti the boat an commin ower the hill cid see Lotus lyin cosy in the hairber ahead o' the Good Shepherd. Mo hid the kettle bilin so hid a toddy or twa an happet the heid. It hid been a gran day. On the go early on the Saturday ti see Jimmy as he wis takin Good Shepherd across ti Sumburgh wi a curn fowk for a funeral. We said wir cheerios an it wis aricht heist yi back. It wis a privilege ti spen a couple a days in sic a bonny, friendly place. There's nae charges, there's plenty spare fenders if yi want them an they even supply bottled water if yi dinna want the piped spring water. Cases o' it on the pier. I hope to go back next year around the same time or maybe a week or two earlier. Onybody keen on a cruise there? John Smith Lotus.
Harmony's Maiden Voyage After a couple of trial sails from Buckie after launching on April 3rd Harmony finally left Buckie on Friday evening about 6 pm for an overnight passage to Inverness and the Caledonian Canal. The wind was on the nose as usual but only about 10 to 12 knots from the northwest. Robert Morrice accompanied John and I for this part of the trip, with Fred Murray joining us at Inverness in the morning. The night was quite cold but we fortified ourselves with a l"leaving" dram off Port Gordon and a wee glass of port a bit later during the night. The Eperspacher central heating was switched on and the saloon was nice and toasty in contrast to the cockpit. The genoa was set as we cleared Lossiemouth and this steadied the boat a good deal as the wind was now about 20 degrees off our starboard bow. The daylight failed as we cleared Burghead and we each took a nap for about an hour during the night with all of us on watch as we approached the Fort George narrows. The wind fell lighter at this point and came from our stern. The run from Fort George to Inverness was in calm water and we tied up against the pilings outside the Caledonian Canal at about 2am. We left the heating running, put in the washboards and slept soundly to 7.30am. Breakfast of orange juice, toast and muesili woke us up. We entered the canal at 8.30am paid our dues (gulp!) but had to wait in the Muirtown Basin until about 10am whilst a large barge and yacht came down the flight. Fred joined us in the basin and we went up the Muirtown locks in the rain with no hold up. The rain continued all the way down Loch Ness but a large brunch of bacon, sausage, beans and toast with freshly brewed coffee cheered us up. Much to our surprise when we arrived at Fort Augustus at about 4 .30pm the staff took us up the flight. Their finishing time is 5.30pm and they are usually very reluctant to service the locks for passage within an hour and a half of knocking off time. So full credit to them for that. We stayed overnight at the top of Fort Augustus locks, making use of the hot showers there. A goodly proportion of whisky, beer and wine was consumed whilst the chilli con carne was heating in the oven and we got out of our wet oilies. After a large hot meal some more alcohol and a great deal of storytelling we hit our beds at about 10.30pm. Next morning (Saturday) was dull and overcast and remained so until Gairlochy. Another big brunch was consumed whilst sailing down a breezy Loch Lochy. Once we reached Banavie at the top of Neptunes Staircase the sun was out and so was Robert's bagpipes which he played all the way to the sea lock at Corpach to the delight of the canal staff and tourists. We took on water at Corpach and bade farewell to Mairaidht the head lock keeper, a long time member of the staff who was leaving her job next week. Robert piped "we're nae awa to bide awa" as we sailed out into salt water. It was 4pm and a beautiful evening as we left the canal, toasting the return to salt water with a dram each as we deflated the big bow fenders and stowed them below until our return to the canal in September. There was little wind to speak of and we motored all the way to Loch Aline fortified with a big farmers casserole supplied by Robert's wife, Kathleen. The light was fading as we entered Loch Aline and dropped anchor close to our mooring marker buoy. Total time spent under way about 23 hours, with about 145 miles covered. Sunday morning was rainy again so a large cooked breakfast was the order as we set about raising our mooring chain from the seabed and shackling on our mooring buoy and junk - a very messy business with the foredeck and ourselves covered in Loch Aline's smelly mud. At last it was finished and we went out for 3 or 4 hours sailing in the Sound of Mull in mixed weather ranging from about 5 knots to 20 knots of wind from all different directions - typical Sound of Mull sailing! The boat sailed beautifully - easily reaching 7 knots hard on the wind with only 15 degrees of heel. We all had a shottie on the wheel still in the pouring rain until it was time to put on the pasta bolognaise and head back to Loch Aline for my wife Ann to pick us up in the car. Back home for 9.30pm after a great weekend. The boat gave no problems except for a small leak from the gland of the engine sea cock, easily sorted with a nip up with a spanner and the new wind instrument was faulty out of the box and is to be replaced. Now hopefully we can enjoy the fruits of our labour for the rest of the season. Phil Brown Harmony
Over the May holiday weekend John and I travelled over to the boat on the Friday evening. The plan was to change the riser on the mooring with new one-inch chain. We had arranged for a diver friend of Bob Calder's to do this and he arrive at 9am on Saturday morning. He first inspected the mooring and stated that it was approximately half worn on the riser, the worst bit being the area where the riser joins the ground chain and moves around on the seabed as the boat moves to wind and tide. He reckoned it was good for another year or two, but as we had brought a fresh length of one-inch diameter chain in the trailer it was decided to use it. The four and a half inch diameter "destroyer" chain that acts as a ground chain was stated to be perfect although we had quite a struggle to lift the end from the seabed mud with our deck winches. The ground weight at the end of the chain could not be lifted or in fact seen as it had long since disappeared into the mud. John and I struggled to lift the ten metres of riser chain into our battered but trusty aluminium dinghy we use as a tender to go out to our mooring as it weighed somewhere in the region of 100+ kilograms. We attached a large plastic buoy on one end and a long rope on the bottom end, we then fed the chain over the stern of the dinghy approximately over the site of the mooring. John and I took the weight of the bottom end of the rope to a cleat on Harmony whilst the diver shackled on the riser to the ground chain using large plastic tie wraps as is now the practice instead of wire to ensure it does not come undone. After it was all complete after about 3 hours John and I reattached our mooring buoy and "junk" (the rope and/or chain attaching boat to mooring buoy) and cleaned up the deck of mud, rope and other junk. As it was raining by now and because we had also met a couple we knew who had anchored nearby and who we had invited over later for a few drinks, John and I had a celebratory drink, an early dinner of chicken curry and a wee snooze before our friends rowed over in their dinghy in the early evening. This couple live in Annan, Dumfrieshire and keep their boat at Kimelfort near Croabh Haven, Loch Melfort. They are retired teachers who had lived in Portgordon a number of years ago and knew Fred Murray well and in fact had bought a painting from him. After a good evening of sailing yarns John and I were asleep by 11pm. We woke on Sunday to an overcast day with the usual Met Office forecast of North Westerly 4 to 5, 6 later. However my clever mobile phone connected with the internet and a look at GB Windmap indicated only 12 knots of wind at Tiree, so off we set up the Sound of Mull to Tobermory using the theory that if the wind got up as high as that we would have a good down wind run back to Lochaline the next day. We motored out into a calm Sound of Mull about 10am until we found a light northerly breeze after about 4 miles. Up went full sail and soon Harmony was tacking up the Sound at 6 knots. Tobermory was very quiet for a bank holiday weekend, lots of empty moorings still and a distinct lack of charter yachts. We motored slowly through the moorings then as Tobermory Bay is open to Northerly winds and can become very uncomfortable we sailed down to the south end of Calve Island to a favourite sheltered anchorage called the Dorlinn and anchored in 7 metres and flat calm. After lunch aboard we rowed accross the Dorlinn (Gaelic for narrows) in the inflatable and walked the 3 miles into Tobermory over the beautiful scenic path. We enjoyed a pint in the Macdonald Arms and enjoyed listening to a young man play the bagpipes in an impromptu session. The walk back to the Dorlinn was just as enjoyable and we had a few drinks in the cockpit before going below as the wind remained from the cold North to enjoy our bolognaise with a bottle of wine. And so to bed early. Up at 7am next day, sunny clear morning but still with a cold north wind. When we came to raise the anchor we found it stuck fast, however after about 20 minutes of effort by John on the windlass and some to-ing and fro-wing by the boat it suddenly broke free. Our theory is that the chain had wrapped around something - we will need to make inquiries from local divers as to what it was we snagged as we have anchored here dozens of times without incident. As we began to motor out of the north entrance of Tobermory bay the wind blew up to 25 knots right on our nose and with the wind against the tide it produced a steep chop that knocked our speed down from 6 knots to 3 at times. However as soon as we cleared the bay and set off down the Sound to Lochaline the fresh breeze was over our port quarter and we set a third of the headsail before creaming off at 6 to 7 knots downwind. Typically Sound of Mull, after about 2 hours the wind died away and we hoisted full sails and then the wind headed us with about 15 to 20 knots from the east northeast, keeping us on our toes in the gusts until reaching Lochaline and picking up our mooring. The "new" Harmony, a Jeanneau Sun Fizz 40, has proved to be a delight to sail, consistently sailing to windward at 6 to 7 knots with little or no attention to the wheel, often sailing herself for minutes at a time with no input from us. Down wind she fairly flies, again requiring very little input from the wheel. She is a very stiff and dry boat that carries her way well through the tacks, which is just as well as the inner forestay which is about 6 foot from the stem makes tacking the genoa a slow process. The big mainsail however helps to drive the boat forward once tacked whilst the genoa is sheeted in on the new tack. The large clear cockpit with no boom overhead is a delight and our concerns about handling the mainsheet from beneath the spray hood due to the mainsail being sheeted forward of the spray hood have proved to be unnecessary. The 40hp Perkins engine has behaved faultlessly, starting almost instantly on the key whether hot or cold and driving this big heavy boat at an effortless 6 knots at 1500rpm. The accomodation is very good with 3 double berths plus the saloon and two heads, which means there is plenty of room for everyone. It seems that all the time, effort and money has been well spent and the hope is we can enjoy lots of years with her as we did for the last 19 years with the Sigma our old" Harmony. Phil Brown Harmony
Sailing In The Greek Islands in May 2010 with Sailing Holidays Ltd (flotilla) The story begins on the fist of May when we arrived at Corfu and were taken by mini bus to Gouvia Marina to collect our yachts for the first cruise of the summer season 2010. Neil and myself hired a Beneteau Oceanis 323, named, Pirgos, for a week and Bob and Jackie Lawton hired a Gib Sea, named, Alcudi, for a fortnight. After we unpacked and bought some provisions we were invited to meet the youngsters on the" Lead crew" who would be our mentors for the week, their job was to co-ordinate the sailing destinations, arrange the social events and assist with any issues such as breakdowns, etc. Well, of course they are youngsters when you are my age. On departing Gouvia Marina on 2nd May we were sailing and motor sailing in very light airs, bound for Iggy Creek anchorage and we had a pod of dolphins with us for a while, then we had a change of plan and decided to head for the final destination of the day which was the village of "Mourtou" which you probably guessed means "dead". 39 degrees 24'66 n by 20 degrees 13'82 E. The surrounding Sivota Islands are high, bold islands, visible from the north and south. Nisos Ay Nicolaos, Nisos Sivota and Nisos Marvos Notos. The rugged islands close to a steep-to coast have apparently always been popular with yachties. It really was an enchanting village. Day one 25 miles. The following day we departed Mourtou bound for the Island of Paxos, steering 207 deg. Lakka, our final destination, was situated in a large bay on the north end of Paxos, much inhabited by day-tripper boats. We decided to anchor Pirgos and Alcudi side by side and went diving in and swimming in the crystal clear waters before having lunch, after which we headed for our final destination of the day, "Gaios". The main harbour on the island is tucked in and completely hidden behind the islet of Ay Nikoloas. Gaios gives good shelter for prevailing summer westerlies. The harbour became pretty crowded as several flotillas arrived for the night. We moored stern to using our bow anchor and two stern lines ashore and then went swimming once again. See photo of Findochty Water Sports Club Olympic Synchronised Swimming Team. Day two 16 miles Then came a really long passage through more open, lumpy sea from Gaios down to the mouth of the Levkas canal, which was a 33-mile stint. These distances seem insignificant when the conditions are warm and sunny and we did manage to sail for a fair bit of the day. A large turtle swam past the boat today about 20 feet away so we got a good look at him but he did not like the taste of my cheese pie. He obviously was not of the teenage, mutant variety. There's no pleasing some animals. The north entrance to the Levkas Canal lies at 38degrees 50'.9N by 20degrees 43'.3E. The canal separates Levkas island from the mainland of Greece and is a vital waterway for Ionian cruises as it saves yachts having to sail around the outside of Levkas Island. The island is steep and rugged except in the canal where it is low and swampy. The castle of Santa Maura remains visible at the North entrance to the canal. See photo. The canal Herber Mester was "one moody *****" He had even less patience than me and that's not a good sign at all. Once through the canal we entered what is known as the Inland Sea where we sailed a further 11 miles to O. Vathi on the island of Nison Meganisi where we moored stern to once again on a jetty by a restaurant. Day three 44 miles On Wednesday, Pirgos set sail clockwise around Meganisi Island and the wind freshened to over 20 knots, southerly. We made for an anchorage at Ruda Bay near Poros on the island of Levkas, by the south end of the Stenon Meganisiou channel. 38degrees 36'.87N by 20degrees 42'.52E. Levkas meaning, "white" refers to the white cliffs. It is the largest wine producer of all the Ionaian islands (Neil, turn this boat around, I want to stay). We anchored in 8 meters of water, only to be invaded by a fleet of Sunnyholidays yachts. We had lunch, swam and then continued on our clockwise route to our final destination of Spartakhori for the Punch Party. Spartakhori, in my opinion, is the most beautiful place we visited on our holiday. At the head of the bay is a taverna with 2 pontoons where we moored stern to. The village at the top of the hill was stunningly beautiful, like something that time forgot and the views from the hill viewpoint were just amazing. Day four 19 miles Next day we found "Sam", one of our lead crew, lying on the beach sleeping, where he had presumably been all night, I think the punch party was a bit much for him and he didn't quite make it back to the lead boat "Christine". On a cloudy but hot day, we departed Spartakhori and steered 039 degrees for a circle around the private island of Skorpios, once the home of Jackie Onassis/Kennedy, where we took some photos and then headed up round the island of Skorpidhi, then we turned and headed due south into the Steno Meganisiou strait bound for our final destination, Sivota on Levkas island. Our journey was, however, interrupted by an emergency shout on our working channel "69" from one of our fellow flotilla yachts. Yacht Kastraki reported that he was beside a yacht which had caught fire and that two men had escaped in their inflatable dingy but were suffering from smoke inhalation and serious burns. The boys were understandably distressed and when they gave their position and we turned around, we could see immediately the plume of black smoke billowing into the sky. Several of our flotilla yachts, including Pirgos and Arkoudi, responded to the shout for help and headed at full speed to the scene. By the time we reached the scene the anchored, private yacht was well ablaze and we were advised by the rescued crew that the gas was still on inside the boat. The coastguard then showed up and took care of the injured crew and then the stricken yacht's mast eventually came down and she sank. The end of somebody's dream! It was a quite a moving experience and I hope you will all take care in future to isolate your gas bottles when they are not in use, I certainly will………We carried on to a bay at Ormos Vasilaki, on Lefkas, 38degrees 37'. 7N by 20 degrees 36'.15E. A large bay where the sailboards were everywhere then we saw the Neilson Holidays flags (sporty action holidays). They were operating from the beach and at the head of the bay. We anchored Pirgos in 2.9m of water and lay in the sun. Apparently Vasilaki is one of the top 10 places for windsurfing in the Med/Ionian. We departed for Sivota Bay for another stern to anchorage and an excellent dinner of moussaka and wine. Day Five 8 miles Our last full day of sailing was upon us and it turned out to be the best sailing day of all. We departed Sivota Bay bound for Fiskardo on the northern tip of Kefalonia (the island on which Captain Correlli's Mandolin was filmed). We had an absolute belter of a sail for 10 miles, all the way across on the same tack and we continued south to an anchorage where we anchored Pirgos and Alcudi side by side and threw a rope across to pull the two boats together, creating a mini "Churchill Barrier"!!! We had great fun there, swimming and blaring out the CDs then we headed for our final destination of the holiday, Fiskardo. The wind kicked up, as it does, just as we were anchoring, using the kedge for the first time. I said to Neil, "Do I just chuck this whole thing in the water?" He said, "Aye, and I hope it's tied on". The lead crew threw their anchor in on day one of the holiday and it sank to the bottom of the harbour (by itself with no chain attached). Oops a daisy. We had a team supper, which was excellent. The food in Greece is really good and it's reasonably priced, in fact we had superb meals with house wine every night. On the final evening the lead crew decided to hand out a handful of awards and guess who won an award? They decided to award Pirgos and Arcudi "The Sibling Rivalry Award" as they reckoned that our boats often showed up about the same time and made a good job of anchoring etc. so they decided that there was a wee bit of "anything you can do I can do better", going on between us. Of course there was!!! Most people on the cruise had long since decided that Bob was Scottish for some reason so he got tarred with the same brush as us and was "related" to us. Final day 12 miles Grand total for week 124 miles We all enjoyed the "sunny" flotilla sailing holiday and Neil, Mairi, Bob and Jackie plan to hire a yacht in October 2010, be it a flotilla cruise or a bareboat charter in the Greek islands. Check your diaries boys and girls and give me a shout if you are planning on joining us.….. I can lend you the sailing holidays brochure, alternatively, log on to sailingholidays.com and have a look for yourselves. The Company and crews are a great bunch of people who are fun to be with, flexible, well organised, relaxed and they take great care to ensure that you get what you want from your sailing holiday, regardless of your sailing abilities. In my opinion they are an extremely well run outfit, which I would highly recommend you to book with. (Unfortunately, I am not on commission and I probably do not get a discount). Mairi