So where was I all summer?

July 3, 2022 2148 (BST) – in the Bay of Biscay

I spent most of July and a week in August helping my friend Peter take his new yacht ‘Minerva of Liverpool’ from Plymouth to the south of Spain. This was about 1500 nautical miles in total.

Peter (left) and I were joined by John until Santander, (not shown) and Martyn (centre).

July 18, 2022 1830 (GMT+2) – off Tarifa – the Atlantic/Mediterranean border!

V32 – West to Milford Haven

This was planned to be our main voyage this year, west in Wales as far as Conwy. But sadly Jo’s mum Betty died suddenly while we were away, so we cut the trip short at Milford Haven. We stayed at Neyland (up the estuary from Milford) for a couple of days before returning home in one leg.

Day 1 – Portishead to Cardiff, 18 May 2022

It was a great pleasure to welcome Chris Reynolds onboard. We sped down tide to Cardiff, reaching Penarth in the early afternoon. We towed another yacht out of the barrage lock halfway to Cardiff Yacht Club – then he got his outboard working again.

Moored in pole position for ‘The Deck’ restaurant! Chris went off to Tesco to buy a pillow.

Day 2 – Cardiff to Swansea, 19 May 2022

A fine day’s sailing. We got to Swansea early and had to wait for the tide to come in before the lock opened.

Day 3 – Swansea to Neyland, 20 May 2022

A longer sail – we started in the first lock at Swansea (about 0700) and got to Neyland at around 1800. A beam reach most of the way. We fixed the ensign back on after this video!

Neyland is a wonderful sheltered inlet off the Milford estuary; and there is a popular restaurant and a good café at the marina.

Neyland marina, 20/05/2022

Days 4 & 5 – Stay in Neyland, 21-22 May 2022

We had breakfast at the café, and a lazy day on Saturday in Neyland and went to the excellent Alumchine Restaurant for dinner. On Sunday we visited Pembroke castle.

Day 6 – Return to Portishead, 23 May 2022

We returned to Portishead in one leg – 110NM in 20 hours! We left Neyland at first light, and had a fair wind behind us all the way.

A memory of Betty onboard

AIS Installation

Installing the AIS and its new SeaTalkng network was not a quick job. The AIS has connections for the VHF aerial, a splitter output back to the ship’s VHS, a dedicated GPS aerial and the SeaTalkng network. In addition, both the AIS and the SeaTalkng network have a power cable connection.

See also – AIS and New Network

GPS Aerial

We attached the AIS GPS aerial on the starboard stern rail, alongside the existing old chart plotter’s aerial (which we may remove in a future upgrade).

Network to Helm Chartplotter

We managed to thread a network spur cable from the chart plotter pod through the rail, down the helm pedestal, and into the aft cabin ceiling. From there it joined the new SeaTalkng network backbone cable which is threaded around the stern space on Molia and down the cable pipe on the starboard side to the instrument panels at the navigation station in the cabin.

AIS VHF Aerial

We were able to take the existing VHF aerial cable directly to the AIS as there was enough slack. We then made a new hole in the floor of the instrument locker so that the splitter cable could reach the VHF.

Completed wiring (behind the removable panel).

Switch on – and Molia shows on the AIS app! https://www.vesselfinder.com

And now Tim can track us wherever we go (well almost). Thanks to Tim for the screengrab from our trip to Milford Haven (Day 3 20/05/2022).

V30 – Shakedown to Severn Bridge

With the sails on we headed out to check everything was rigged correctly. A light southerly breeze meant the water was flat, and the crew happy.

Going along nicely!

Thanks to Wendy for the biscuits, and to Tim for helping and taking the photos and video.

AIS and New Network

We are fitting AIS to Molia for we can see and be seen by other vessels.

We chose the Raymarine AIS700 Class B Transceiver. This incorporates an aerial splitter, and has a NMEA2000 network connection that is SeaTalkng compatible.

New Network

SeaTalkng is the Raymarine version of NMEA2000. We will be adding a new SeaTalkng network to Molia. This will connect the helm chartplotter to the AIS to keep us informed about other vessels while we steer.

The existing instruments are on a separate SeaTalk network – this is the Raymarine version of NMEA0183. They can stay on this for now.

Continued – AIS Installation