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  • Topsail Adventures Ltd - Topmast Tales, Spring Sailing and Amelie gets Airbourne
    Lastly we managed to run up a spare radar cable to check whether this would fix a problem with Amelie s radar and were relieved to discover that it did There then followed a brief flurry of tidying up in order to be ready for sea the next morning and then we retired for the evening satisfied with our achievements Meeting up early the following day we were to reap the rewards for our efforts Sunshine blue skies and not a cloud to spoil the view is the recipe for a lovely day afloat regardless but a gentle F3 from the South made for a perfect run up to Portsmouth The wind came and went rather but gave us the chance to get all the canvas out of Amelie s sail locker and give it a good airing There s really nothing quite like rolling along at 5 knts on a breeze that can barely raise a single white horse let alone a herd Had it not been for the forest of weed that poor Amelie was towing along we d have surely made 6 kts but in the end we were all happy to be sailing again and didn t mind that her performance was far from stellar In the end judicious use of the engine saw us complete the 40 odd mile trip in a shade under 8 hours and once Amelie was nicely secured alongside Gosport Boat Yard s immense crane we headed off for a Sunday Roast and a cheeky cider or two at the nearby Castle Tavern before getting a cab home A short clip from our sail up to Portsmouth I returned on Wednesday with some slight trepidation I was there to meet up with Amelie s surveyor to complete her 5 yearly Coding Inspection and Survey The coding is essentially Amelie s license to operate as a charter vessel and it s fairly typical of these things to come away with a list of bits and pieces to fix or change or add to the boat The code itself is a massive 200 odd page document covering everything from the design of the boat herself to the gear that she must carry Many parts of it are rather vague which results in different surveyors having markedly different interpretations depending upon their own personal views Hence a new surveyor is always a bit of a lottery when it comes to the differences of his interpretation versus the previous one I e some element of Amelie Rose s construction that her original surveyor thought was fine could be objected to by the new guy leaving us with some expensive wood work to achieve before we can go sailing again As it was she passed with flying colours The resulting list if you ignore things that were on our maintenance schedule already consisting of add a second identification to the life rings buy a ship s bell and get an anemometer The whole thing was over

    Original URL path: http://www.topsail-adventures.co.uk/index.php/LatestNews/TopmastTalesSpringSailingandAmeliegetsAirbourne.html (2016-04-26)
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  • Topsail Adventures Ltd - Alex Q: Competant Crew!
    try mooring myself thought that was skipper stuff Then the Dayskips did some chart work down below with Nick whilst we crews were tasked with steering a compass course again under engine this time going across the tide to Lymington Even though he was below Nick seems to know exactly what s going on get more than a couple of degrees off and his voice booms up from below telling you to get back on course Seems that there s a lot of tide hereabouts whilst I was on the helm the nose of the boat was pointing nowhere near Lymington and yet sure enough we arrived just off the entrance much to the elation of Dayskip 1 Dayskip 2 then gave us a course back to Yarmouth that didn t seem to work so well but prompted an intersting conversation about all of the factors that might be the cause Amazingly it was the evening again by the time we got back to Yarmouth and tied up to the buoy once more Down below Nick got on with making some grub whilst we make a start on this evening s tasks Dayskips are doing Pilotage Plans and us Comp Crews are given some books and asked to prepare a joint lecture on Customs and Etiquette food eaten and lecture given to much laughter I head to bed Day 2 and I m knackered already Day 3 Up early again and a morning spent sailing onto the same mooring buoys where we spent the night then Day Skip 1took us up to Cowes and Day Skip 2 enacted their Pilotage plan to enter and proceed to East Cowes Marina where Nick demonstrated the process of coming alongside a pontoon mooring The afternoon saw us busy mooring up to various different pontoons which kept me and the other competant crews busy tying up singling lines and slipping them again along with much fender tying and retying After a couple of hours of this us crews even got a chance to have a go it was Day Skip 2 s chance to take the boat over to the Beaulieu River where Day Skip 1 had a go at pilotage up to Bucklers Hard We then had an early dinner and waited for it to get dark whilst playing a game of buoy and light recognition with some flash cards Sailing at night was amazing and chilly in equal parts All kitted up in lots of layers and with lifelines deployed and torches at the ready we set off down river and I just couldn t believe the difference that just a few hours can make We learned how to use the searchlight properly no shining it inside the boat and the importance of maintaining our night vision but it s like being in a completely different world Confusing enough as we motored down river but as we exited into the Solent it was just so disorienting there were lights everywhere As we

    Original URL path: http://www.topsail-adventures.co.uk/index.php/LatestNews/AlexQCompetantCrew.html (2016-04-26)
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  • Topsail Adventures Ltd - Blue Skies over Dorset
    Taster weekends heading East to the Solent or West along the Jurassic Coast to Weymouth This is a magical time of year for sailing Anchorages are quiet harbours are shaking off their Winter cobwebs but not yet groaning with sightseers the days are getting longer and the weather is settling down bliss We ve still got berths on both weekends so why not join us Click to find out more about our Traditional Taster Weekends Want to know a little more about what it s like to be aboard for a weekend Then check out Alex Guest s story here After our early season limbering up it ll be time to get down to some proper work as we set off on our first RYA course of the year This one s a mixed Competant Crew and Day Skipper course and as always we can t wait It s very exciting to be instrumental in someone else s journey towards the freedom of the sea Although they are tiring to deliver it s a big syllabus there is nothing quite like watching folks blossom right in front of you as they progress from What on earth to working as a team to bring the boat home If you ve been thinking about doing your RYA tickets or just want to be a little more useful about a boat then there s no better time to get on and do it We ve still got some spaces and Nick is positively bursting with enthusiasm to welcome you aboard Check out our RYA Course dates here With our first RYA course behind us it ll be time to set our sights on another key target for the year bringing home some more silverware The St Georges Trophy is our first chance this

    Original URL path: http://www.topsail-adventures.co.uk/index.php/LatestNews/BlueSkiesoverDorset.html (2016-04-26)
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  • Topsail Adventures Ltd - Time for Training?
    life changing experience which I will never forget Chris Everitt Thanks to you I have recovered self confidence in sailing Bruno Geevers The Skipper was good experienced in helping all aboard to gain the knowledge whilst feeling completely safe Brian Antrobus You gave me the confidence to spend 2 weeks in the Fal and then sail back to Emsworth Derrick Ardron one of the most memorable weeks of my life Mike Smart I want to thank you so much for a simply wonderful week Dick Holland We ve been running Day Skipper and Comp Crew courses on Amelie Rose since 2010 and since Nick qualified as an RYA Yachtmaster Instructor we can now run Coastal Skipper and Yachtmaster prep courses too So if you re keen to get out there and put your theory into practice then do please drop us a line Please note that there re no Coastal Skipper or Yachtmaster prep weeks on the schedule at this time but if we get the demand we ll sort out the dates We ve also got some great mile builders this year which are a great way to build up your sea miles and experience under the watchful eye of a qualified instructor If you re working your way towards your next qualification then there s the chance for you to take one of these longer legs as Skipper to count towards your mileage requirements too Check out our Destination Dash trips for more information on these And don t forget if it s traditional ship training that you re after we re running our unique Traditional Boat Skills courses again this year Perfect for anyone who s having trouble with topsails or getting in a flap with their flying jibs Back Pilot Cutter Charter Topsail Adventures offer skippered

    Original URL path: http://www.topsail-adventures.co.uk/index.php/LatestNews/TimeforTraining.html (2016-04-26)
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  • Topsail Adventures Ltd - What Amelie Rose did this Winter
    Automatic Identification System which plots big ship movements directly onto Amelie s chart plotter irrespective of whether the radar is picking them up and also an active radar reflector which reflects back a boosted response if we are pinged by another ship s radar Both of these systems will make me breathe a lot easier next time we are suddenly beset by fog in the middle of a shipping lane Luckily in all of this work I m not alone Occasional crew mates Bee and Lara have been busy helping out in amongst their other adventures in the Cape to Rio race and Antarctic Cruise respectively Topsail s stalwart shipwright Trev has also been hard at work in some fairly shocking conditions working through the boat and rig related items Without the efforts of this gang I or rather Amelie Rose would be well and truly scuppered so massive thanks go to them but they re not allowed to stop and take their bows there s work to be done One big rig item that we ve been working on is Amelie s topmast the extra mast that lives above her mainmast to allow us to fly extra sails in light winds Over the 5 seasons that I ve sailed her I ve become increasingly of the opinion that topmasts only belong in their raised position when you re going to be flying sails from them Otherwise they are a pain in the arse increasing windage putting weight aloft where you least need it and requiring constant attention to ensure that they are adequately supported From what I ve read of the guys that used to sail these boats back in the day this was exactly the way they were viewed then too There are many mentions of the topmast being sent aloft and then topsails set and I am resolved to follow the lead of these folks who were doing the job properly Unfortunately Amelie s builder Luke seemingly doesn t agree and so dropping and raising the 30 foot beast is rather harder than it should be Amelie s topmast first has to the steaming light cleared out of it s way and then has a habit of jamming halfway up or down and staying fast until some poor hand gets sent up the rig to work it loose Lastly the various stays and shrouds wires that hold it in place have no method of being shortened for the stowed position Of course to fix all of this and also to have a look at a mildly worrying split that has appeared we needed to drop the spar completely to the deck and this kept three of us entertained for a couple of hours earlier this week I m looking forward to the results and think it s going to be a revelation in winds of F5 and above but have to say that she really does look odd with all that gumpf gone from above Back to

    Original URL path: http://www.topsail-adventures.co.uk/index.php/LatestNews/WhatAmelieRosedidthisWinter.html (2016-04-26)
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  • Topsail Adventures Ltd - Skippers Log – What Amelie Rose did last summer pt 5: One man and his boat and a cracking sail too
    couple of hours of useful tide which is a shame as L aber Wrac h is even more picturesque than Morlaix but there you are In the end our change of itinerary probably worked in our favour as the forecast for the next day indicated that a low pressure was rolling in bringing with it one of the seaman s worst enemies fog The run from Roscoff to Salcombe is about 10 miles shorter than L Aber to Falmouth and with a Westerly F5 forecast we thought to have plenty of time to cross before we lost the visibility As so it proved We logged just over 90 miles on the crossing which we completed in just 13 5 hours at times touching 8 knots through the water What a great sail It was pretty lively mind with the guests laughing at my antics as I cooked up a chilli for our evening meal It s pretty tough working down below on Amelie Rose when she s doing her thing Imagine trying to cook on a Northern Line tube train at full speed and you get the picture One guest christened me Spiderman after watching for a while but the chilli tasted pretty good so I didn t mind Pretty much bang on forecast the fog came down but by that point we were as safe as houses just 5 miles off Salcombe and by 0100 in the morning we were abed tired but happy The next day was spent visiting Salcombe the guests and snoozing me and crew mate Bee and then the last two days of the trip we took in The Yealm a stunning little river near Plymouth and had a voyage out to see the Eddystone Lighthouse one of the guests was a fan of Victorian Lighthouses Then we were done tied up back in Plymouth with everyone disembarking The first 3 weeks of our summer schedule was in the bag and I had 6 days off What would I do with myself Well the first thing I had to do was get out of the expensive marina 40 per night and get Amelie Rose down to St Mawes in Falmouth Harbour where you can anchor for free This I did the next day Barely a zephyr to ruffle the mirror smooth surface of the sea meant that my dream of sailing down the coast lay ship wrecked on a windless coastline but I really didn t care It s the first time that I ve taken Amelie Rose out on my own and it really was quite the pleasure No distractions at all just one man and his boat I even stripped off and got in a bit of sunbathing on the way most decadent With the hook firmly buried in the St Mawes sand I still had a few days in hand but a sailors work is never done and so I set to dealing with the ever lengthening maintenance list I fixed what

    Original URL path: http://www.topsail-adventures.co.uk/index.php/LatestNews/SkippersLogWhatAmelieRosedidlastsummerpt5Onemanandhisboatandacrackingsailtoo.html (2016-04-26)
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  • Topsail Adventures Ltd - Skippers Log – What Amelie Rose did last Summer – Part 4: Mastering Morlaix
    view this makes for a great party as it means lots of Breton grub combined with plenty of traditional music and a wonderful welcome Amelie Rose was one of the biggest English boats to attend and thus after negotiating the winding channel up to Morlaix itself we found ourselves treated somewhat as a guest of honour berthed alongside the main quay with a great view of the stage and greeted with bags of local food and bottles of cidre check out the video link below As it turned out this food and booze laden greeting was to be a feature of our stay and sorted us for lunchtimes and aperitifs for the entire visit Video of the boats arriving in Morlaix including Nick speaking about the only French he knows For once the crossing over had been easy a decent breeze on Amelie s beam for the first third saw us roaring across channel chewing off a good 35 miles before the wind began to die and we had to resort to the engine not being keen on wallowing around in the middle of the shipping lanes On our first day with the new crew we d sailed along to Fowey to get them used to the boat and also to get a better angle for the main passage Fowey is stunning at the worst of times but coming from the East with the early evening sunshine bathing the land the reveal as you reach the entrance and the town suddenly appears within is one of life s little pleasures that I never get tired of showing to folks At Morlaix too the sailing was great fun The wind blew most days and although sea fog threatened to steal our transits a few times in general the sun would burn

    Original URL path: http://www.topsail-adventures.co.uk/index.php/LatestNews/SkippersLogWhatAmelieRosedidlastSummerPart4MasteringMorlaix.html (2016-04-26)
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  • Topsail Adventures Ltd - Douarnenez Double Discount aboard the Amelie Rose
    for 30 years We can t wait to go back next year Trevor Bullman The trip from Brest to Douarnenez was spectacular The time spent in port was lively fun and colourful enhanced by the perfect weather Every moment was a photo opportunity This was the best holiday I have ever had on so many levels and I would thoroughly recommend it as a wonderful experience not to be missed Andrea Lewis I remember commenting as we sat on deck in Douarnenez harbour watching the activity and beautiful boats around us and anticipating an afternoon sail on Amelie Rose This is my idea of a perfect holiday Had a great time and look forward to another trip Chris West The trip to and from Douarnenez is a fabulous adventure in itself The destinations and voyages are a roll call of magical Brittany sailing Cross channel from Falmouth to L Aber Wrac h down the Chenal du Four to Camaret or Brest then through the Tas de Pois to Douarnenez the coastline is stunning and the sailing always full of interest On our return we ve got time to visit L Aber Ildult and hopefully iLe d Ouessant Ushant before crossing back to the UK If you ve never tried it Brittany Pilotage is simply a blast There s no experience quite like that of following transits through a twisting channel mere feet from jagged granite teeth to the welcoming river mouth beyond We ll be piling on the miles too with over 300 passing under Amelie s keel before our return to Blighty So there we are Douarnenez 2014 the perfect blend of adventurous voyaging delightful destinations tall ships and small ships and a big Breton party to boot Come for just a part of it or do the job

    Original URL path: http://www.topsail-adventures.co.uk/index.php/LatestNews/DouarnenezDoubleDiscountaboardtheAmelieRose.html (2016-04-26)
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