The Story of charts

Hello September. There are 41 days to go to the start of the mini transat and I cannot believe that this month is going to hang around long.


I spent the weekend sailing the mini; it is not long now until she goes for her little refit and so I need to get the job list up to date. I need to do a bit of work to the pole and I have ongoing problems with my wind instruments but happily nothing else came up this weekend and I was able to take in theBournemouthairshow with friends as well.


Another job on my list for the weekend was to get my charts in order for the transat. The race committee give us a list of charts, pilots and books that we must have onboard to compete in the transat; and pretty sure I had most of these and do not need to buy I headed up to the loft to dig out and dust off my charts.


This turned out to be a rather lengthy and pleasant trip down memory lane. I have a large chart collection and they are rather like a photo album or postcards from the past. Each chart still carries the pencil marks of position fixes plotted on adventures or during races, back through a history of boats.


Leafing through looking for charts for this race I was reminded of found charts stretching from Muckle Flugga, the tip of Shetland, over to the Grand banks and then all the way down to Patagonia, with some Mediterranean sun thrown in for good measure.


I found marks of my slow progress with broken sails that I hand stitched back together every morning coming back single handed from Uruguay; the mark I had to make on a chart to record the position where my lowers broke and I was forced to abandon leading my class in the OSTAR and I picked up with a quiet giggle the pristine chart of Lerwick Harbour in the Shetlands, which I could not find anywhere on the boat as Phil and I arrived there on our winning Two Handed Britain and Ireland Race. We were forced to follow the track of a boat in the class ahead of us into the harbour, slightly stressed in the building gale and losing time, only for me to find the chart half a year later pristine and under a mattress for safe keeping.


I tracked down most of the charts I need for this race, being a hoarder does have it’s benefits. The only ones I am missing are of theCaribbeanand this is not because it is a new place to me. I worked there on charter boats for two seasons when I was not long out of school, but then I was travelling the world with a back pack. My love of charts came with boat ownership and forging my own adventures.


Perhaps that job took a little longer than it should have done but it was enjoyable and a great reminder of why I love sailing, boats and the freedom it gives me.


I need to say a massive thank you for the donations that have come into my website. Thank you for believing in me and what I am doing, I promise you all I will put everything I have into this race.


I now only have £3450 to raise which is amazing news.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *