Seeing dolphins is something special. It’s especially amazing when a pod follows your sailing boat and plays and jumps and is quite obviously saying hello.
We’ve had this experience a few times, but one place in particular has never failed to bring about our favourite team of dolphins. The stretch of coast between Berry Head and Dartmouth is great for dolphins. I’ve circled in pink on the map below.
I managed to get this film, showing one doing a jump just off the stern of our boat. Other times I either haven’t had my phone or not been quick enough. But most of the time I just don’t want to take my eyes off them whilst getting my phone out. This time I was lucky, I was taking some photos and they just popped up.
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Once you own a boat, you start to make a mental list of the features and the cleaver bits of design that would make life aboard better – sometimes just a little better and sometimes a lot. I thought I’d turn my own personal list into a series of posts here. This is part one of that list.
1. Forepeak Locker
My first wish for any cruising boat is illustrated in the picture below and it’s one that makes life a lot better –
Hello, come have a look around our 30 foot (9.12 metres) sailing boat, Lady Jo. She’s a Hunter Legend 306 twin keeled, single rudder monohull with a large roached mainsail on a backstayless B&R rig, she is steered by a wheel and has a max speed of around 7 knots (I think we got 7.5 out of her once).
Sailing boat interior
Here’s a few photos of the inside. I’ve spruced her up by adding in a few pictures on the walls, a throw and cushions.
Sailing boat exterior
On the outside my favourite bit is the cockpit with the dolphins seats – the best place to sit when cruising along.
Eight months ago I’d never been sailing. I had been on a sailing boat once (on a holiday in Greece, where I mainly read my book and waited for the swimming opportunities), but I’d never pulled a rope, studied a chart or opened a seacock.
I really didn’t think we’d get a boat this quickly. But a bit of luck, combined with us throwing caution to the wind (ha!) meant on the day of our wedding we had our offer accepted on a 30 foot sailing yacht. For our honeymoon we went on a sailing course and ended up completing the sale on the boat a month after getting married.
When choosing Lady Jo as mine and Claire’s first boat last summer, we weren’t sure exactly what we wanted, but one particular thing we were unsure of was size – how big did we need her to be so that she could work well for us and what were the compromises that came along with going for a boat of a certain size?
We knew there were couple of things that we didn’t need her to be which helped –
- We had no desire to race our boat, so absolute performance, a size, layout and/or features suited to this didn’t come into our decision.
- We weren’t going to cross oceans in this, our first boat together – this boat was going to help us learn about sailing and explore the South Devon coast, maybe a little beyond, but no Atlantic crossings for us (just yet).
Hello, thanks for stopping by this new blog all about sailing our 30 foot boat from Torquay and making tea, lunch, dinner – just about anything – in our very teeny kitchen abroad.
I’m Claire, I just started sailing. A year ago I’d never pulled a rope, put out the fenders, or made an entry into a log book. That changed when I meet Ollie. He’s very into sailing boats. So much so, that for our honeymoon we somehow ended up going on a week’s sailing course, with me getting Competent Crew and he Day Skipper.