North Wales: Navigating the Menai Strait

Once you sail north from Fishguard in Pembrokeshire, you will find little reliable shelter for a 43-ft yacht like N’Tiana until you reach Anglesey – the mythic island separated from north Wales by a narrow fiercely tidal channel called the Menai Strait. Even there, the principal marina in Holyhead had been all but destroyed by…

South Wales: Sheltering from gales in Fishguard

Wales is a country of myth and magic. It is the Narnia of nations, outwardly tiny but viewed from inside it is huge, expansive, a wilderness where you could lose yourself for many years.  If dragons exist, they do so in Wales, the last stronghold of the Druids, still peppered with medieval castles and forts…

Meeting the puffins on Skomer

We sailed out of Milford Haven with hints of sunshine and a gentle breeze from the south west which was just enough to ease us along the coast to Skomer. A name that evokes the Viking marauders who plundered these shores throughout the first millennium. This rocky island sitting less than a mile off the Pembrokeshire…

Goodbye England

Falmouth is a great town. A quirky artsy place with colourful bars, restaurants and cafes at every turn. It’s like a miniature Brighton with less pretension and a lot more boats. Its high street is lined with eclectic independent shops, selling art, antiques and a strange blend of hippy rags and yachting regalia. The people…

Tasting luxury in the River Fal

The Fal estuary in Cornwall is the third largest natural harbour in the world, fed by six main tributaries and 28 smaller streams and rivers. Its deep channel makes it navigable for big commercial vessels several miles upriver as far as Tolverne’s famous Smuggler’s Cottage and it has long been used as a safe haven…