For some strange reason, we got bit by the sailing bug. Mike set a New Year's resolution for 2005 to obtain his ICC (International Certificate of Competence) for sailing. The best way to do this in the UK is to take the RYA (Royal Yachting Association) Day Skipper Theory and Practical courses. Normally, a person needs to take a course before this called Competent Crew, which is a week long practical course in sailing. Mike was able to bypass this course because of his previous sailing experience in Florida growing up. We signed on to a school that would enable Mike to take the theory portion of the Day Skipper over the internet and allow both Mike and Gabi to take their respective practical week at sea together. The school was called Top Cat Sailing and we highly recommend the experience and the school. Jim Durden is the principal of the school and was our instructor.
We were joined on the boat by Eric and Orna from Israel. It was great to have a week together with such a nice couple. The nature of this excursion meant we had to work hard together. It would have been much less enjoyable if we didn't have such a nice couple to share it with. We usually got up each morning around 7am and didn't get to sleep until after midnight. If we weren't taking turns steering the boat, manning sheets, cooking, cleaning or navigating; we might have a chance for some relaxation, picture taking or conversation.
Cornwall is a beautiful (and warmer) part of England. The weather on our trip was clear, warm and beautiful. The only problem was a severe lack of wind due to all that nice weather! The original plan was to sail from Plymouth to France across the English Channel or to sail west toward the Isles of Scilly off the coast of England. We didn't have enough wind at the start to even attempt a channel crossing so we headed West and only made it as far as the Lizard Peninsula (the most southern point in the UK).The good news is that all four of us managed to complete our certifications! Gabi & I can now rent a sailboat and cruise wherever we want! Who knows where next, the Greek Isles, Turkey, the Med, the Seychelles?
The maps below show our original plan and the reality with points of call. Click on the links for photos.