Yachting Monthly reader Helen Mortimer owns up and confesses her sailing sins. Submit yours at yachtingmonthly.com for a chance to win a new VHF radio
My first proper solo sail was something I had been looking forward to for a long time.
After kissing my wife goodbye and reassuring the dog that he would be okay without me for a while, I slipped the lines and headed out of my berth in La Rochelle at 0500.
The sail was going well, with 12 knots of wind on the beam.
I had rested in Belle-Île and was heading for Camaret where I would rest again; I had to get the tides right to go through the Raz de Sein.
I had been setting my alarm for 20-minute periods and was catching some sleep in the cockpit of Vino, our 35ft Taling sloop.
I got through the Raz, rested in Camaret and caught the right tide through the Chenal du Four, and was now heading out across the Channel to Dartmouth.
A new collection of sailors’ brilliantly funny, real-life blunders, will be launched at the 2022 Southampton Boat Show, with the…
Yachting Monthly reader Graham Cownie owns up and confesses his sailing sins. Submit yours at yachtingmonthly.com for a chance to…
Toby Heppell looks at the art of singlehanded sailing and considers what constitutes good seamanship when it’s only you on…
Sailing the English Channel for the first time can be a daunting prospect, especially if your sailing experience so far…
The wind had died a bit and I was behind schedule to cross the shipping lanes in the light.
Feeling tired now, I decided to motor sail. The huge cargo ships seemed endless and night was descending.
I really needed a bit of sleep but knew there was no chance for a while.
I finally cleared the last of the potentially dangerous ships at 0230 and the AIS said I was clear for a while.
I turned off the engine, set the Hydrovane windvane steering and let the light breeze send me towards Dartmouth.
My alarm was set for 25 minutes and I laid down for some much needed shut eye.
However, what I hadn’t thought about was wind shift and the Hydrovane following the wind.
I woke up not to my alarm but the AIS alarm screaming at me, to find myself right in the middle of the shipping lane.
Submit your sailing confession for a chance to win a floating handheld VHF
UK residents only
The Standard Horizon HX210E waterproof VHF radio is worth £134.95.
It boasts a water activated strobe, 6W transmissions, largest-in-class screen an FM radio and more.
Enjoyed reading A rude awakening: one sailor confesses all?
A subscription to Yachting Monthly magazine costs around 40% less than the cover price.
Print and digital editions are available through Magazines Direct – where you can also find the latest deals.
YM is packed with information to help you get the most from your time on the water.
- Take your seamanship to the next level with tips, advice and skills from our experts
- Impartial in-depth reviews of the latest yachts and equipment
- Cruising guides to help you reach those dream destinations