Yacht Pipit



This is mainly old news, as all our current activities are covered in the individual log entries accessed via the links on the left.

11th February 2011

Welcome to our new website. You may be thinking it looks very similar to the old one, which it does! We thought there was nothing much wrong with the general layout and navigation, and think that a framed page layout works well for a 'blog' type website, where there is an ever increasing number of pages, each of which spreads over a number of screens and so it is handy not to have the menu disappear from view! So we have just 'freshened up' the appearance a bit, and we've learnt how to make photos oval... However, behind the scenes, it has been substantially re-written. For those who know about such things, old technology of now widely derided framed pages has been replaced with a combination of PHP and CSS, plus a bit of JavaScript. This has a number of benefits, including improved visibility to search engines, the ability to send links to individual pages (like this one) rather than just the home page, more consistency across the site and easier maintenance. Oh, and it gets two new things on my CV - well you never know... We have tested it with IE6, IE8, Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Opera browsers, so hopefully it should be displaying correctly for you - please let me know if you have any problems (with the website...), and if you want one yourself my offshore rates are very reasonable...

27th April 2010

Today we became liveaboards! You can follow our progress from now on via the links to individual log entries on the left.

2nd March 2010

Just a month to go before we're liveaboards!

After nearly two years of planning, gaining more experience, selling houses, finishing renovations to rent out another, arranging or doing upgrades to the boat (and all this done whilst working full time and living nearly 200 miles apart with the boat half way between, so travelling between all three locations), it is now just a month before we begin to move aboard and become liveaboards.

Are we excited? Yes! Are we anxious? Yes! Have we finished everything on the numerous "to do" lists? No. Are all these normal for new liveaboards? Yes, from what we've heard from and read about other couples doing the same, so we're trying not to worry about it too much.

It will probably take a couple of weeks to move aboard, settle in, finish the critical "to do" jobs, then the flexible plan is to sail the South West coastline for a while to ease ourselves into the lifestyle whilst in familiar waters, practice using some of the new kit (e.g. AIS) and enjoying really exploring those places we have only been able to spend short periods of time in previously. After that, across the Channel and a summer of the delights of Brittany, perhaps over-wintering there (sans storms hopefully), then Spain and Portugal (and Spain again!) before entering the Med.

Postscript: Since writing the above, we have had many good wishes and words of encouragement from friends we've met and/or keep in contact with via the YBW forum (and some we've never met!), leaving us feeling a bit emotional, but in absolutely no doubt that we are doing the Right Thing... Even though we realise it won't be G&T and olives ALL the time, we feel very lucky to be joining the 1% club and the fortunate minority who have chosen to break free into the cruising lifestyle.

19th December 2009

At long last most of the upgrades have been completed! The relentless rain and wind during November conspired against us - Lap 2 Stainless couldn't complete the arch, which meant that the wind generator, solar panel and some other bits & bobs couldn't be finished either. However, it was worth the wait - we are really pleased with the arch, and it has turned out exactly how we wanted it. Lap 2 has already had an enquiry from someone who has seen it...

After much deliberation we are also really pleased with how moving the existing instruments and mounting the new plotter has worked out - Lap 2 and Waypoint 1 between them have done a great job.

Meanwhile QAB is being dredged - not just because we'll be sitting lower in the water with all our extra kit...

And here's scenic evidence of a recent walking weekend near, erm, Hook Norton...

We took the sails off today, and of course half way through that job it started snowing... So now we have a few brief weeks off until Pipit is lifted out, when we shall be busy with antifouling and polishing, and preparations for moving aboard in the Spring...

2nd October 2009

Today I spilled the beans to my current client regarding our plans for next year, and their immediate reaction was "You'll be needing a longer network cable then...".  Nothing signed yet, but it looks like maybe I'll continue to do at least some work as we make our way (perhaps slightly more slowly) towards the Mediterranean.  Well I've never been one to look a gift horse in the bush...

Meanwhile, we had a successful visit to the Southampton Boat Show, where we spent a small fortune but secured some bargains too!  It was also good to have a chat (and some beers) with some friends and acquaintances who, even if they don't realise it, have had an influence in getting Ann & I to where we are now with our plans...

The stainless steel fabricator is now lined up to start work on the stern arch, together with the canvas maker to do the bimini, new sprayhood etc. Once the arch is in place, work can begin on the electronics upgrades so hopefully, there should be quite a bit of activity in the coming weeks!

6th June 2009

Another busy few months!  The annual maintenance, anti-fouling and polishing were completed in early February and Pipit was re-launched prior to Andy going to Kolkata on business (well actually on a new A380).  On his return during some unseasonably nice weekends all canvas was cleaned and reinstalled, the sails put back on and other sundry fettling carried out in readiness for the season ahead.

A few more sunny if cool weekends meant we enjoyed Easter in Fowey, with gourmet barbeques on three consecutive evenings, and another pleasant weekend in Salcombe.

Next followed another business trip to Abu Dhabi for Andy, during the second week of which Ann completed her Day Skipper practical course, coincidentally with the same excellent instructor that Andy had for a number of land based courses over 5 years ago, 200 miles away!

Work on Ann's house has continued, albeit at a slightly slower pace than hoped for due to reasons beyond our control, but the end is at last now in sight.

In the last week of May we had a lovely holiday in Scotland, travelling 1900 miles visiting Mull, Skye and the Highlands.

And as of yesterday, after her Citizenship Ceremony in Truro, Ann is now British, so we did the traditional British thing and went out for a celebratory curry!

Now it's June already and frustratingly, after a week of glorious weather whilst at work, we are typing this aboard Pipit hoping that the rain will stop...

2nd January 2009

Well it's been a hectic 3 months! Having put Vayre Close on the market in September, completion finally happened on the 19th of December, and I moved to a beautiful barn conversion in Luckington, ironically the kind of property I spent many years trying to buy, but never quite managed to find the perfect place! This was achieved only after 1 filled skip, 7 car loads to the charity shop, the collection of many no longer needed items by friends (thank you), 5 Transit loads of furniture and 'stuff' to my new temporary home, much organisation and only 2 days off work!

I also started a new contract in early December, returning to a previous client just 25 minutes away, after 5 years of contracts elsewhere.

So Ann and I spent a lazy and lovely Christmas recovering from all the upheaval and enjoying the idyllic atmosphere of the cottage and the surrounding countryside, views of which are to the horizon from every window.  Oh, and did I mention that there is a pub a 2 minute stroll down the lane that sells Cornish beer (as well as the obligatory Devizes 6X) and Rum & Shrub?...

But there is no rest for the wicked!  We now have to get Pipit ready for liftout, and our thoughts are turning to the winter maintenance to be done in the coming weeks, and the upgrades we will start making during 2009. 

Finishing the refurbishment of Ann's cottage is also a priority, so we have a busy few months ahead prior to the new sailing season.

Luckington will be a lovely place to live for the next year or so, as the next stage of the adventure.  And I'm out of the 2009 UK housing market - Happy New Year!

Andy & Ann

"The Plan"
15th September 2008

It's official - Project Tethys is underway!  In fact it has been for several months now.  We are planning to sail Pipit to the Mediterranean, where we intend to spend a number of years living the cruising lifestyle.  We don't know if we are going for 2 years, 5 years, 10 years or 20, but we will continue exploring the Med for as long as we enjoy it! We feel incredibly fortunate to find ourselves in the position where we are able to embark on such an adventure, with no bridges burnt and all options open.  We may (or may not!) periodically come out of retirement for a few months, perhaps if we find ourselves over-wintering somewhere where the climate is less than clement...

Our intended departure date is Spring 2010, which sounds a long way off but really isn't - there is much to do between now and then!

Accordingly, having already divested of one property, Vayre Close is now on the market here, as is the Spider here - please spread the word!

Later on, there will also be a bijou cottage in Cornwall for sale or rent!

Why Tethys?

Andy & Ann

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