Sailing with a land cat

It was a bit of a gamble taking Vesta on the boat. She’s been a landlubber for 7+ years and I really wasn’t sure how she would take to being marooned on a boat, surrounded by water, with little to do and no mice to chase.

I’m glad to say that on the whole, she has coped quite well, even when we were at sea and tacking around as we got used to the jib and how Pamela handles under canvas.

She did come up on deck after one particular day on the water looking a bit unhappy, as though she wanted off but couldn’t work out how she was going to get off, but that didn’t last and she went back down below and played with her toys and then slept.

Most of the time, she just finds somewhere that the sun has touched and sleeps there, be it on deck, or in the saloon under a hatch (window). She has food, she has toys, and she has scratching posts .. so on the whole, other than fields to go frolic in, she has most of the creature comforts from home.

Another day at sea!

September 20th, Jack again came on board with Gregg’s finest, suggesting that it was a nice day for a sail … to be honest, he had me at “hello” and I was raring to go (I’m not yet comfortable taking Pamela C out on my own, although getting closer and closer to feeling comfortable) and anyone offering to come and catch lines is more than welcome!

We went out into the bay with a plan of dropping anchor and having a cup of tea. Jack, leading me astray as always, suggested a trip to Lulworth Cove as a bit of a shakedown. I don’t know if he’s been reading my blog or not, but Lulworth Cove was literally the first place I wanted to go once I had the sails on the boat! So, with just the headsail and still no boom, at 3:30 pm, we set sail for Lulworth Cove.

The route taken
Captain Jack

We were on a starboard tack all the way there, wind in the sails and the sun on our backs. It was heavenly!

Arriving at Lulworth Cove just before 5:30 pm we decided to go around the corner to Mupe Bay where we found ourselves along with 2 other boats all getting ready to drop the hook. I looked at my watch and realised that it was going to be getting dark soon (7:30 pm) and if we didn’t head back fairly soon we would find ourselves returning in darkness. We turned and put the jib out again, but the wind had decided to pack up for the day, so we ended up motor sailing back at 6 knots, getting back to the outer breakwater at 7:30 pm and were tied up just before 8 pm (so in the dark). Warren and Bill (neighbours in the marina) very kindly turned on their deck lights so we could see where we were heading back to on J Pontoon, and they were there to catch lines and help us tie up, and then have a beer to celebrate our first proper sail out on Pamela C.

Lulworth Cove

Auto Helm

Yesterday the autohelm worked wonders, held a steady course with no issues. Today, it kept wandering, 30 odd degrees before I gave up and turned it off. Eventually, it settled down and was happy steering a course, but I need to get to the bottom of why it was randomly veering off course.

The Sunset

The sunset on the way home was divine, the camera seriously didn’t do the view justice, so many shades of colours

TikTok highlights of the return

Maiden Voyage

September 19th, 2021 we finally managed to take Pamela C out under canvas for the first time since taking ownership back in June! Well under the Genoa as we’re still waiting for the new boom to be delivered.

Marine Traffic monitoring seems to work
First excursion into the bay

It was just a short trip out into Weymouth Bay, primarily to raise the Genoa and attach the jib sheets. This was a success and we sailed around a bit before returning to base.


With the Genoa fully out we were seeing a speed overground of some 5 knots with almost 0.5kts of tide against us, pretty good going considering only 10-12 knots of wind!

Genoa giving 5 knots on its own!

I managed to implement makeshift jib sheets from an old halyard I found in one of the lockers, it was exactly the right length to use as a single sheet with a (rather badly tied) butterfly knot in the middle. The jib sheet was surprisingly large, which is why I guess we were getting such good speeds from it …. the furling system wound easily at the drum, although I found some issues with friction on the line as it leads back to the cockpit and I’m currently working on the best way of alleviating this.

All in all, a good day!

The Seven Stages of Buying a Boat

So, you’re thinking of buying a boat or you’ve just done the deal! Now prepare for the seven stages of grief boat buying!


  1. Acceptance and Hope
  2. Reconstruction and Working Through
  3. The Upward Turn
  4. Depression
  5. Anger and Bargaining
  6. Pain and Guilt
  7. Shock and Denial

Sold Stock Illustrations – 31,858 Sold Stock Illustrations, Vectors &  Clipart - Dreamstime
  1. Acceptance and Hope

You’ve bought the boat and everything seems full of promise!

  1. Reconstruction and Working Through
Boat Repair: How to repair cracks and scratches in 8 easy steps | Norton  Abrasives

You start the repairs and upgrades. You want to replace the old lights with energy-efficient LED lights, maybe the battery charger needs upgrading/replacing, solar panels or a wind turbine. Things are looking so promising!

  1. The Upward Turn
2009 Pixar film Up

You’ve installed a few upgrades and are so full of excitement. But then you realise that there are a few issues that didn’t get picked up in the survey. Maybe the rigging wasn’t quite as solid as you first thought or the boom has hidden corrosion and needs replacing, the new rigging is delayed due to supply shortages and two weeks turns into six.

  1. Depression

The delays continue, the costs keep on increasing and you now realise the £10k you budgeted for repairs and upgrades is closer to £20k

  1. Anger and Bargaining
Is Your Bargaining Perpetuating Your Anxiety? 5 Things to Try. — Eileen  Purdy LCSW Is Your Bargaining Perpetuating Your Anxiety? 5 Things to Try.

You’re now (rightly) annoyed at the continuing delays and costs. You start trying to negotiate discounts and cost savings, you may even begin to look to negotiate finance so that you can still afford the dream. You start to cut your cloth as you realise that it’s either rigging on the boat or food (well ok an extra bottle of wine) on the dinner table tonight.

  1. Pain and Guilt
How to save yourself another pointless guilt trip | Psyche Guides

You start to realise that maybe this wasn’t such a great idea after all. You’ve spent way more than you budgeted and you’re still no closer to actually being able to go sailing. You think about all the other things you could have done with the money, the good that could have come from it (the mortgage payments, starving children, credit card bills).

  1. Shock and Denial

The sailing season is now pretty much over, and you’ve still not actually made it out under canvas. Then the “final” bill arrives. You don’t believe for one second that it has really cost THAT MUCH! You wonder if you could maybe sell the boat, a lot of the work has already been done, she would be a bargain for someone who just wanted to start sailing when the season gets up and going again.