Sea Fever Poem

I was reminded by Nick’s mum that 9 months ago I’d promised to put the reworked Sea Fever poem on the blog. So here it is! It’s from the Assarain II Tall Ships Race in 2008 (effectively a round Britain sail, on a Sigma 38 at full capacity), but still rings true for many a sailing adventure:

I must go down to the seas again, on a sigma thirty-eight,

And all I ask is a GPS and a helm that can steer straight,

And the deck’s leak and the head’s pong and the host of muscles aching,

And a green look on the crew’s face, and a rig that won’t stop breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the VHF

Is a quiet call and a muffled call that was never at its best,

And all I ask is a windless day with the white sails dying,

And a strong tide and a rocky coast and a depth sounder that’s lying.

I must go down to the pubs again, to the sailors’ party life,

To the drinkers’ way and the dancers’ way where the land’s full of lovers’ strife,

And all I ask is another rum from a Captains Daughters rover,

And a long sleep, and a funny dream, in the hope that its not over.

Andy K

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The Elinca Baftas

Elinca is currently motoring off the welsh coast. There is fog and mist so thick that we didn’t see the lighthouse off the Pembrokeshire coast until we were two miles off it. The sea is flat and although we are disappointed not to be sailing we have seen puffins and dolphins on our way and the calm has given us a chance to pack up most of the boat. We have a lot of pasta left over and an over 40 kg of rice. When we were leaving Rio James impressed upon me the importance of having two or three extra weeks food. He talked about losing the mast and drifting for days and so I responded by buying rice and pasta to last about three years. We had a brief discussion over lunch about heading north and overwintering in the Arctic with it. A better idea seems to be to find a food bank in Holyhead and feed the poor of Wales with our left overs.

There are gaps all over the boat today where familiar things used to be. The pockets are down from the cabins and the foam that once covered Phuket is now stripped off. Raffe and Andy have both hit their heads on the sharp metal edges already reminding us why we put the foam there in the first place.

There was a request yesterday for a run down of prizes and nominations for anyone who wasn’t able to be there at our coming home party:

1) The Atlantic Swim award:
Nominees: James, Ali, Juliet, Andy R, Lynda, Ian, Cliggy, Nick, Gemma, Sarah.
Winner: Andy R – for swimming 30 m to the ice cliff and back to fetch ice for his gin and tonic. He did this with one dodgy leg and with only one arm as he was holding the ice in the other.

2) The ‘Tinder’ award: for romance on Elinca:
Nominees: Sarah and Dan, Jon and Alice
Winner: Sarah and Dan for longest lasting Elinca romance (both are still going).

3) The ‘Southern Cross’ award for furthest south romance:
Nominees: Cliggy and Jordan (skipper of Commitment), Zoe and Dave (Skipper of Pelagic), Gemma and Dicky (Base Commander of King Edward Point), Kirsty and Base Commander of  Vernadsky Base, James and Clare, Juliet and Ali, Fanny and Stafford,
Winner: it was necessary to point out that not all of these were actual genuine couples and the winner was Kirsty and Base Commander of Vernadsky Base. Base commander was an extremely drunk Urkranian seismologist who took a shine to Kirsty and declared that she could wear his hat and run his base for him.

4) The ‘Foghorn’ award for the loudest person on the boat:
Nominees: Rachel, Katrina, Nick and Jess
Winner: Rachel (though we have to add that we appreciate her enthusiasm and energy 🙂

5) The Music award:
Nominees: Andrea on guitar, Bill and Richard on vocals, Jonny on guitar and Di on ukulele (is that spelled right?)
Winner: this was an audience participation award and the loudest clap decided the winner… luckily the winner was Di and her ukulele because that is who I had already written on the certificate.

6) Photography award:
Nominees: almost everyone
Winner: John Theakston and his enormous lens

7) Nick Higson was awarded the ‘outstanding contribution’ award for being on almost all of the trip. For catching the only fish caught on the voyage and for progressing from crew to skipper over the 9 months.

8) The ‘Lancalot award’ for bravery was awarded to Katrina for resisting and shouting off a mugger in Rio. We recommend this is not attempted in every situation but it worked for her!

9) The ‘Great British Bake Off’ award:
Nominees: Sari, Richy, Nick, Sarah and Cliggy
Winner: Richy, for that curry on South Georgia that nobody can forget. Possibly the winner of the ‘come dine with me lamb’ competition we held there.

10) Lynda Groocock was awarded a prize for tolerance and for the most miles travelled without complaining. She is getting back onto the boat in Holyhead so we hope she keeps it up 🙂

11) The ‘Sam Vimes’ award for best watch leader:
Nominees: Cliggy, Clare, Jon, Andy R, Andy K, Jim and Nick
This went to Jim for his efforts in keeping his watch entertained. He once talked solidly for the whole four hours when his watch were too seasick to answer him.

12) The 40 mile watch award:
Although Elinca went fast for a lot of the trip there was only one 40 miles watch! This happened at the end of a Drake Crossing around the infamous Cape Horn. We had known the weather was coming and planned for it such that we were on a broad reach when it hit. Still we surfed in around the horn at surprising speed between 9 and 13 giving us an average of 10 knots over the four hour period.

13) The ‘Crimes against Neptune’ award:
Nominees: Jim, Clare, Jon, James, Cliggy, Chris, Nick, Jess, Andrea, Zoe, Andy R, Andy K, Heather, Norman, Sari, Bob, Emma, Raffe, Andy T, Sarah, Rachel, Alice and Lynda
Winner: Jess for having the most crimes submitted against her by her fellow crewmembers during the equator crossing ceremony and protesting her innocence when accused.

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Welcome Home Party….the review is in!

For months every time we have discussed the Elinca ‘return home’ party we haven’t been able to stop myself referring to it as the ‘leaving party’. For us onboard we are leaving the boat that has become our home and the way of life that has been so all consuming for the last 9 months. As we sighted Pendennis Castle on Friday there were cheers of excitement but more than one crew member had tears in their eyes. We saw Nicks parents and James mum waving from the top of the cliff (even though it was 7am) and my parents were  just around the corner in a Cornish Crabber that they had hired for the weekend to see us in. I’m finding it very hard to write about this incredible weekend in a way that does it justice. There were so many reunions of old crew members, of families that had not seen each other since September or in some cases much longer, so many stories and thoughts that I can’t fit them all into a book let alone this blog.

We tied up at Port Pendennis Marina in nearly the exact same spot we left last September. At the wheel was Nick, the longest serving member of the crew who had just skippered us across the channel from Brittany whilst James and I hovered in the background putting things into boxes and trying to sort our nine months worth of lost property. We knew the moment that we touched land that we wouldn’t have a moment to ourselves and sure enough they began to arrive. First came crew members from previous legs. They collected belongings that had been leant to or abandoned on Elinca leaving gaps in the familiar scenery. The barograph and barometer are now gone, the guitar is back with Andrea, the books are gone from the bookshelf (with the exception of a few paperbacks so terrible  that no one is confessing to owning them). Next came Peter Flutter who’s was smiling as he took our broken forehatch away to be fixed leaving us stress free to enjoy the Falmouth sunshine and the steady stream of people that had begun to arrive. Richard and Jane Thorpe (my mum and dad) tied their little boat up to the side of Elinca and presented us with some ‘Wordles’ … more on these later as they are better seen than described. As we were not due in officially until the Saturday, Fridays celebrations took place unofficially in the bear garden of the Chain Locker where 30 or 40 people sat until closing time with a view of the river swapping hugs and stories. With a few exceptions we saved our energy for the Saturday evening.

Zoe, Andrea, Andy Taylor and Andy Kitching  must take credit for Saturday.

Andy T:

Elinca’s triumphant return to Great Britain was celebrated on Saturday with a very special garden party, video screening and evening dinner. It was glorious day and a lot of fun!

From 2pm Friends, family and crew packed the boat to feat on a selection of picnic delights and have a final look around, performing  an impromptu buoyancy test . Guests left feeling refreshed, and in high spirits!

From 5.30 Adventure 2013 trip highlights were shown in the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club. There was high praise for the immense effort by Clare, Zoe, Linda and Andy K in the preparation of these videos. If “Cliggy Potter” ever sees the light of day you’ll understand just how professional their work was. The results were outstanding and with so  much of the footage breath-taking, you really do see why this trip was worth the full-on  2 years of planning and 8 months at sea.

At 8pm we sat down for Dinner with speeches, awards and an even a sing song. There are so many people who have provided time and support to this project, in-fact we think that everyone in the room had contributed!,  that they couldn’t all be thanked but special recognition was made to Colette, Jon and Clare who each received engraved sailing knives. James our skipper received a hip flask and there were flowers and photos for other contributors. After being so nice we then played dirty, with Clare making a series of special recognition awards. These included the “Foghorn” award for vocal volume and the “Tinder” award. Enquire discretely for further details! We wanted to give a special award to StormGeo for their help in forecasting but forecaster Wouter had retired early. We will post our thankyou to the office and thankyou to Wouter for making the effort to come down, it was nice to meet you and put a face to a name. Rounding up proceedings Dick Patterson led  us all in a rendition of a fitting sea song celebrating Elinca’s safe return and we played piñata with a giant cardboard penguin!

Maybe one day we’ll bash a giant cardboard something else..?


This morning we are motor sailing up a suspiciously calm Irish Sea. The mood on board is subdued but quietly happy. We are doing a rolling watch system that allows for three hours on and nine hours off to help us catch up on sleep with just two people on deck at a time. This is giving us rare opportunity to talk one to one. I’ve spent an hour or two at the wheel chatting to Raffe and recounting many of my favourite moments from the trip and from the weekend. I was worried that I would be struck with depression on leaving Falmouth and leaving Nick on the dock as we sailed away with a skeleton crew of 8 was certainly hard. This trip is different though, it’s a gentle wind down to the end. We have Clare, James, Raffe, Andy T, Alice, Jon and Cliggy (all of the unemployed crew). We also have Pete Lamb to add some enthusiasm and remind us that even a trip up the Irish Sea is still an exciting sea voyage. We are heading for Holyhead where we are looking forward to seeing my Grandparents and being joined by Jane Thorpe (mum) and Lynda. We will keep writing the blog a while longer, whilst the boat is still sailing… and then maybe we’ll log back on at some point in the future to let you know how sailors returning from Antarctica adjust to the real world. Hopefully at some point in the not too distant future this page will be alive again with details of the next adventure…

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The Journey North…by car!

Well, the welcome home weekend is over….and i’m sure there’ll be a review of this weekends festivities, but for now, here is an accurate log of the journeys home from the end of the world (Falmouth) for some of the party…

The Journey North

Falmouth to Manchester

Log book entry
Car 1 Jess and the Ridgway’s

Car 2 Jenn, Suzi, Ian and Adele


Car 1 Hour 1: car is making funny noises.
Ian’s friend rang but Ian couldn’t hear him. so, assuming that his friends phone rang in his pocket we all yelled abuse down it, only to find that his friend was listening. Friend apologises profusely without knowing why.
Ian and Tom are constantly saying everything is fine. When, as a person who says ‘fine’ a lot, I know it’s complete rubbish.
I’ve cracked open a bottle of beer with a key i was that desperate.
Stopped after half an hour of driving as Tom got hungry. When stopped Ian broke his liquid deodorant over himself so I’m glad one of us smells nice. Ian also went to the toilet and came out with his hands bleeding and when receiving his change from the cashier, he put the change down his top.
Tom has also breached the panda chat ban. Mentally, I’m doing okay 🙂
Position: just leaving Truro
Car 2 Blog No.1 position Falmouth, course north, speed 30mph, cloud cover 2/8 m2. Spent the morning having coffees in the cafe and then beers on the boat. Approximately 30 minutes given for goodbyes, again! Fuel collected for vessel and crew! Mood relatively high!


Car 1 Hour 2: location- lost.
Ian and Tom are disputing the definition of a tractor.
Tom took wrong turn, so we are in process of getting back on track.
Discussion of 3 man driving has commenced.
Standby for hour 3 report
Car 2 Blog No. 2 position dartmoor, course continuing north, speed 40mph, Altitude ear popping. No stops require in this vessel. On the look out for a swerving punto. Discussions generally surrounding weddings, hen party’s and the faces we finally put famous names to. Mood remains good.


Car 1 Hour 3:
Tom didn’t want to helm anymore So we stopped at a servo. Jess has resorted to buying Tom and Ian ice cream and coffee so they stay awake. It’s a strategy for operation IWMM (I Want My Mummy).
Ian is briefing us on his hate if bushes and I fear that that he’s going to make a new lane on this motorway by demolishing the bushes along the side
Mental state: deteriorating.
Car 2 Blog No.3 position m5 jct 23, course still north, speed 70mph, no cloud. All calm on board, some of the crew are preparing for the afternoon nap. However a pit stop may be required soon for refueling. Mood, anxious as approaching Bristol! Black mini spotted.


Car 1 Hour 4. Location: M5 Jess perspective:Jess needs a wee. Tom and Ian have decided to test Jess in how long she can hold it for. They have given me a target of 16miles.
Due to lack of aircon, it’s pretty hot in here. Jess has taken her tights off and Tom has taken his too off and then handed his top to Jess. Jess isn’t quite sure what to do with it.
Ian has been given the finger by a fellow driver. We stopped at a servo so Jess could pee. Jess got stuck in a cubicle and radioed for support. We have removed Ian out of the driving seat.
Ian Perspective: Designated naked hour. Team Baked beans have gone down a storm after taking advantage of the natural car oven. No hope from for passing greenery as lost nipple in the butter. Operation Iwmm has been abandoned after car park angels. Stockholm syndrome near perfection


Car 2 Blog No. 4 position just north of Bristol, average speed slower due to blinking Bristol traffic, it’s no wonder it has a stool chart named after it! The crew were right to be anxious. Following a quick pitstop to change the helm this crew are back on track, passing the mr and mrs Thorpe car. The crew seem to have woken up again just in time for taste test, where each team had to analyse the ingredients they could taste in the crisps.


Car 1 Hour 5: stopped at another servo for sugar reload and we also lay on the ground and did angels. The fact that I am onto my third beer makes me blend in a lot more with the ridgeway species. Mental state: Stockholm syndrome.


Car 2 Blog No. 5 location spaghetti junction, speed damn average speed checks, course are we nearly north yet. Cloud cover 5/8, L2. The cards are out and so far Suzi has stripped jack naked twice, whilst a lot of rum-my has been happening! 3 further black mini’s have been spotted, and at the last minute a red BMW made an appearance.
Car 1: Day 7: I asked Ian what time operation IWMM will be completed. He told me that I’m going to a new home now.
Car 2 Blog No.6 location The North 15miles from home, speed made very good time in comparison the the journey south, course east? A little swell on the last leg making cards a little more difficult, however there was time for a little tat shopping online ensuring souvenirs to commemorate the journey back to the mother land, the beloved north! Goodbye and goodnight! Hope a pleasant journey was had by all.


Car 1 Day 28 in the ridgeway car. Tom asked me if I like walking. I think fear they are going to dump me on the side of the road soon.
1 mile from home!!
500m from home and toms I tears and Ian’s having an emotional breakdown. I was close.

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Final landfall…

And so we’re back.

Falmouth – La Coruna – Lisbon – Las Palmas – Sao Vicente – Rio de Janeiro –

Mar del Plata – Ushuaia – Puerto Williams – Antarctica – Ushuaia – Puerto

Williams – Antarctica – Ushuaia – Stanley – South Georgia – Piriapolis –

Isla Grande – Rio de Janeiro – Ponta Delgada – La Coruna – Falmouth

21500 nautical miles, 235 days, MWF10, 1200 night hours


It seems like ages ago and like yesterday that we left here, and it was strange and brilliant to see my mum and Nick’s parents for a glass of bubbly as we arrived. I had to walk away for a minute as it was a bit overwhelming being surrounded by people! We owe a huge thanks to all you guys who helped make this possible, and for looking after us whilst we were gone. Now back to real life and plotting. Thank you. James


Feelings are mixed. There were a few tears when I saw the land for the first time and a few more when we saw Nick and James’ parents waving from the cliff top. I’m still waiting for mine to turn up… apparently they are sailing here. I guess this will be our last official blog as the adventure ends tomorrow although we’ll keep on posting until the last of us leave Elinca in Stornoway next Saturday. I’m planning to spend today sitting on the deck with a gin and tonic waiting for people to arrive and watching the world go by.  Clare

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They’re home…

Elinca’s in Falmouth, and crew are, as ever, eating – this time a full English!


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Scampering home

48.46N 04.82E 028 degrees 6.8 kn, half way up the Chenal du Four.

Today’s blog – sorry, “slog”  has a slight air of the demob-happy about it.  Somewhat more informal, slightly less precise , but it paints a wonderful picture of how motley our motley crew has become 🙂

The Slog

Today’s blog is coming to you in the form of a slog, or a song blog.  Over the last few months, during my time onboard Elinca, some of my favourite moments have been shared through the medium of song and lyrical genius, often in moments of utter madness.  Today we would like to share with you some of these songs which have been created by various crew members of Adventure2013.

The Oaty Goat Song

This short blues riff/song was inspired by Clifford who sailed from the Azores to La Coruna.  He was a demon on the guitar and encouraged a daily “ging gang gouly” in the cockpit.  This song was an improvisation created in one of these special moments.

I’m on a boat,

There is a goat,

He has oats,

In his throat.

The Torpedo Disco Dolphin

This song is a personal favourite of mine.  It was inspired by the frequent pods of dolphins riding our bow wave at night, through the impressive phosphorescence across the Atlantic.  It goes like this:

Torpedo disco dolphin, how wonderful you are,

You ride the flumie lumies like a mega moviestar.

Torpedo disco dolphin, the first time I saw you,

I thought you were a torpedo, but then I saw you move.

Torpedo disco dolphin, so sparkly in the sea,

So wonderful and beautiful, you make me so happy.

Torpedo disco dolphin, I’m glad you’re here tonight,

Coz crossing the Atlantic without you wouldn’t be right.

Unfortunately I have forgotten the 3rd verse, invented at 4am, apologies.

Cotton-Eyed St Hernot

Following our crossing of the Bay of Biscay, we spent some time in the tranquil fishing village of Camaret-sur-mer.  This recent creation was inspired by crew member Emily on a foray into the French countryside, to the sleepy village of St Hernot:

A ding-a-dang-a-dang-gang-dang-ohhhh,

I’ve been married long time ago,

Where did you come from, where did you go,

Where did you come from… ST HERNOT!

(Cue crazy dancing)

La Bamba/Twist and Shout MASH UP

Whilst winding our way along the scenic French coastal path, keeping ourselves entertained with song, a magical moment occurred when we realised the following two songs blend beautifully into audible harmony.  We’d like to share them with you.

Sha-la-la-la-la-la-bamba, doo doo doo doo,

Twist and shout, twist and shout,

Sha-la-la-la-la-la-bamba, doo doo doo doo,

Twist and shout.

You know you look so gooooood, look so good,

You know you look so fiiiiiiiiiiiiiine, look so fine,

Sha-la-la-la-la-la-bamba, doo doo doo doo,

Twist and shout….

All song and jokes aside, I have had a wonderful time on Elinca over the last few months and am incredibly grateful to have been a part of Adventure2013.  I also thank you all for reading my blogging drivel.  Until next time… Rachel xx

Having booked to come on this trip 2 years ago, knowing that it was the last and shortest leg (and the only one I knew wouldn’t clash with work exams, 2 years in advance), I couldn’t be more thrilled to be on board.  I have been in desperate need of escaping from the office for 5 months and I had not imagined how much we have been able to squeeze into the week.  My first victory was finding the boat in La Coruna without getting lost, despite trying to find the wrong marina, and not having to call James to say I was lost.  My Spanish is embarrassingly poor.  Sailing across Biscay in ‘watchleader watch’ with Nick, Jon and Cliggy has been fantastic.  Exploring Camaret and the coastal paths in the blazing sunshine (after failing to find the man to hire a bike from) with spectacular views was astounding. Next stop – Falmouth! Thanks to all who have made this trip possible.  I am so grateful for being part of it, even if only for a week! Emily x

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