Author: Camilla & Duncan

Update: Going Dutch, Christmas & What’s next

It has been a busy, tiring and expensive year but we can finally announce that Seraphina’s refit is complete. She has new sails, rigging, pumps, electronics and everything that moves…

It has been a busy, tiring and expensive year but we can finally announce that Seraphina’s refit is complete.

She has new sails, rigging, pumps, electronics and everything that moves or is mechanical has been serviced or repaired. It has been a pretty massive undertaking but we’re glad she’s finally ready to leave the UK.

Going dutch

It’s official, we’re going dutch. Seraphina should be reflagged this month to the Netherlands. We decided that we wanted to keep the boat within the EU for various reasons and as Camilla is Dutch the Netherlands was the most obvious option.

After sailing across the North Sea with Hurricane Lorenzo chasing us we made it to Rotterdam.

Probably one of the toughest crossings yet due to the ‘confused’ seas we managed to make it after around 36 hours non-stop sailing.

Winter in London

Assuming we find a break in the weather we’ll be bringing the boat back over to the UK and she’ll spend the Christmas months in UK.

As with previous years, we’ll be getting friends, family and some people from the London tech community down for whiskey and mince pies.

What’s next

The plan is to leave the UK at some point next year around April and August. That depends on a couple of factors around work, projects, and finances but we’re pretty excited to get moving.

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First weekend days racing at Burnham week

While speaking to a nice chap in the Royal Corinthians sailing club he reliably informed me that East coast sailors are some of the best in the UK. I now…

While speaking to a nice chap in the Royal Corinthians sailing club he reliably informed me that East coast sailors are some of the best in the UK.

I now know why..

We moved the boat to Burnham-on-Crouch a couple of weeks ago and were looking for a good way to get involved with the local sailing clubs.

Burnham week looked like an great opportunity to meet some new people as well as race Seraphina for the first time. So we got signed up and cracked on!

Prep

There was quite a bit of prep…we don’t race very often and given Seraphina didn’t even have a sail number we’re assuming she has never been raced in her life.

We had to…
– Sail number application (RYA)
– New insurance
– Repair foresail
– Repair forward hatch
– Get and put on sail numbers
– Crew kit (failed to materialise)
– Event sign-up

All in each piece wasn’t too hard, other than the hatch, but altogether quite a lot of work for a couple of weeks. Luckily a friend (Steve) who’s got quite a bit of experience racing onshore/offshore joined us.

Saturday 25th Aug, Day 1 – Relative calm

Perfect first day for everyone. We had good winds on the start and a patch of wind so light that we had to anchor to stop going backwards. We came 3rd out of 4 boats in our class, one retired.

We were a long way behind the pos 1 & 2 from a time perspective but to be honest were happy that we completed before the time limit!

Luckily some clouds came in and pushed us forwards…we managed to avoid the rains… good escape!

Sunday 26th Aug, Day 2 – Serious racing

From talking to other sailors we know that some clubs cancelled racing if the forecast was over 20kts. The east coast sailors don’t give up that easily.

With a forecast of 16-20kts gusting 20kts and building through the afternoon with a good dose of rain, the race was started an hour early to reduce race time in the worse conditions.


The clip above is a quick sample of the return let beating up wind. In retrospect it looks quite calm but it didn’t feel it at the time!

Update – 27/8

Day 3 of racing had so much promise…a lovely full breakfast onboard, a nice lie in.

However, it didn’t last.

Just off the start we noticed that there were a few stitches coming out on the foresail. We tried to repair while sailing but taking the sail down led to more rips.

So we retired and spent the afternoon servicing the sail and reinforcing seams.

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What does Chasing Mermaids even mean?

The idea of chasing mermaids has been around for a long time. Mermaids have origins in many cultures some as dangerous femme fatales who seduce you, steal your treasure and…

The idea of chasing mermaids has been around for a long time. Mermaids have origins in many cultures some as dangerous femme fatales who seduce you, steal your treasure and take you to the bottom of the sea. Others who will aid passing sailors assuming they have the right passphrase.

Whichever you choose to believe in they are rare and elusive.

For us the idea of sailing the world and doing what we love is a dream that we’ve had for some time. So to us chasing mermaids is the search for the elusive, the dreams the joys and rarities of life.

We’re planning on doing this on our sailing yacht Seraphina of London. The name of the boat was not given by us but rather by the previous owner. From our (light) research, a seraphin is one of the highest ranking angels. The Italian philosopher Pico della Mirandola had this to say in his book  Oration on the Dignity of Man”  (1487).

Pico took the fiery Seraphim—”they burn with the fire of charity”—as the highest models of human aspiration…

For us that aspiration is move a few steps away from convention and into a cadence of life that’s a little more in tune with how we want to live our lives.

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