The blog will now be devoted not to boat building but to my 82-year-old Vertue, Sally II, now undergoing a well needed refit at Johnson & Loftus in Ullapool (and gliding...)

Wednesday, 22 June 2011


Some are born brave, and intrepid; some are, well, a little wimpy. As Thembi (see below) and Sumara, a Vertue class sloop, head for Jan Mayen, my own Vertue lies at her mooring dreaming of an owner with greater cruising aspirations than a gentle circumnavigation of the Summer Isles (about 20 miles, more or less).

I have an excuse though: Sally II has no mast. Well she has a mast, but they are separated by a mile or so of Loch Broom, boat being at her buoy in Loggie Bay; mast in the rafters of my shed at Leckmelm. The two are however due to be united for an August cruise, the mast having been stripped and varnished, Sally's topsides likewise.

I can't help thinking though that the best place for the mast is where it is, gathering dust, perhaps, but not deteriorating in the harsh Highland climate. And absolutely the best excuse for not heading for Jan Mayen. "No mast, mate. Sorry."

That's a photo of her taken last year at fitting out, dried out in Loggie on a perfect spring day - the kind of day when you would not want to be anywhere but up here.

Today, the day after mid summer, it's blowing a bitter north easterly and as my punt project is more or less finished, have been trolling the internet, which was where I came across the latest news of Sumara of Weymouth, en route to Jan Mayen where her crew, and that of her companion Thembi, will climb the Beerenberg volcano. Which makes me feel even wimpier...

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