Yacht Delivery of Lagoon 620 from Olbia, Sardinia to Perpignan, France
When Ancasta Yacht Sales asked yacht delivery skipper Ed Broadbent to move the Lagoon 620 “LION AROUND” from the SNO Yard at Olbia in Sardinia to Perpignan, France we envisaged we would be one of the largest yachts at their facility there. However when we arrived, it was clear that we were actually a minnow compared with some of the yachts they handled. I suppose the 400 ton travel hoist they have should have been a clue!
We had been advised in advance that there are one or two paperwork issues to be resolved before we could leave so the crew had a day or two to familiarise themselves and prepare her for sea.
Thursday 19th October
After returning the hire car, we left with a good forecast of easterly winds all the way but with an acceleration zone to the immediate west of the Straits of Bonifacio. We had decided to go through the islands of the Archipelago del Maddalena in the south of the Straits of Bonifacio and having motored from our berth out to sea, we had a lovely broad reach up to these islands, after which the wind turned behind us and blew us through genteelly through what must be one of best yachting areas in the Mediterranean Sea.
The Straits of Bonifacio often create a wind acceleration zone and the GRIB forecast was such that had decided to run North West into the lee of Corsica before gybing onto our rhumb line course. In anticipation of this increase in wind and our policy to always reef down at night we used the shelter of the islands to reef right down. A decision that was fully justified as the wind later reached 35 knots before we had regained the shelter of Corsica.
Friday 20th October
Shortly after midnight, in the lee of the island and the winds had backed to the NE and eased to less than 10 knots and we had the engines on. Nevertheless we continued with two reefs in the main and by daybreak the wind had eased to even further and remained so throughout the day and following night and the reefs were shaken out at day break.
We spent the rest of day motoring in glorious sunshine until dusk when the visibility started to deteriorate. By midnight we were in thick fog with less than 50m and one crew member on constant radar watch throughout the rest of the night.
Saturday 21st October
As dawn broke, the fog cleared and the wind finally tuned to the South as we approached the French coast and we were able to enjoy a pleasant sail into Canet-en-Roussillon before finding our berth at the SAS facility there. Having established that there was an afternoon flight back to the UK, after a through clean down we decided to launch the tender and had an excellent lunch ashore.
We had brought the Beneteau 47.7 “PRETTY POLLY” over from Ireland earlier this year in May 2017 to Hamble Yacht Services in order to have a new teak deck fitted and were pleased to be asked to take her back when the job was completed.
Saturday 22nd July 2017
The crew, consisting of Tony Agar (Skipper), Mark Jeffery & Warren Haylock all arrived around lunchtime. The original plan was to leave on the evening tide catching the ebb through the Needles. However, Saturday’s forecast still showed relatively strong SW headwinds overnight. As it happened, the sails and stackpac had not been rigged which meant the crew scaling the mast and a lot of lifting and preparation work in heavy rain. The crew then prepared the boat for sea, provisioned with food and water and made plans to leave first thing in the morning.
Sunday 23rd July 2017
Pretty Polly departed at 09:00hrs, refuelling on the way out of the Hamble River. The wind forecast had eased but it was still going to be effectively on the nose for most of the trip. The decision was to motor until an apparent wind angle allowed us to hoist the main.
Good progress was made passing Portland Bill early evening and Start Point just before the sun was rising on Monday morning. All in all a quiet night.
Monday 24th July 2017
The main was raised during the early hours of Monday, which aided progress, but we had by then either motored or motor sailed continually for 24hrs.
The skies changed to blue with a 15knt SW wind, enabling Pretty Polly and its crew to enjoy a wonderful sail. As we were pointing towards Falmouth we decided to enter Falmouth harbour and refuel ready for the Irish Sea crossing. The forecast winds were for a quiet crossing and may require more motoring. As the tide was low and we would have to wait a number of hours for enough water depth at the fuelling pontoon, Pretty Polly took on fuel from the fuelling barge in the middle of the harbour, very expensive as no allowance for heating purposes is allowed! With the tank full, we left immediately and continued round The Lizard late afternoon. As we rounded the Lizard the wind also went further west and we had to drop the main and motored head to wind.
The next challenge was the Scilly Isle shipping lanes. These were very busy, particularly southbound, but we crossed without incident. We had a waypoint between the Seven Stones and St Martin’s where we changed direction and pointed straight towards Kinsale.
Unfortunately, the wind direction also came with us and again, it was another motor through the night!!!
Tuesday 25th July 2017
We motor sailed towards Kinsale in a flat sea, occasional drizzle, low cloud and variable visibility. Just the odd commercial shipping and fishing boat to watch out for.
The Irish coast appeared at about 16:00hrs with a forecast for the winds to substantially increase later that evening. Our progress showed us arriving before that and hopefully we would be enjoying a traditional Irish Bar when that front arrived.
Pretty Polly entered Kinsale Harbour and moored up at 19:40hrs all safe and sound. Once the boat was tied up and cleaned, the crew made their way into town for a fabulous Irish welcome. We enjoyed good Irish beer and music whilst the rain poured outside. Of course, there was special thanks to the very drunk American tourist who provided much entertainment before disappearing into the darkness of Kinsale…..
Wednesday 26th July
Due to the lack of flights from Cork to Southampton we all had a lay over day to enjoy Kinsale’s hospitality which is unusal for ayacht delivery crew. The crew HIGHLY recommend the Fishy Fishy Restaurant. All fish is caught locally and each dish is named after the fisherman that caught it. Of course, pictures and a few words about each of the fisherman are on the walls for all to see. Lovely touch.
Thursday 27th July
A mid-morning flight from Cork Airport to Southampton brought our short adventure to a close.