Solent Sailing on Jalapeno and Karic

A lovely weekend of Solent sailing with Jalapeno and Karic both out working. We rafted both boats together at anchor in Osborne Bay on the Saturday evening for a swim around the boats, followed by a joint dinner. Lovely moonrise/sunset and a chance to identify the navigational marks in the Solent light up during dusk, a great way to apply learning from our navigational theory courses.  

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Regular readers may have noticed a Star Wars theme to the titles of the last two blogs. I was wondering how to twist “Episode 6 – Return of the Jedi” to fit our marathon trip to Guernsey and could only come up with “Return of the Jaded”, but this doesn’t accurately reflect our feelings at the end of an exhilarating run back to Itchenor (of which more later). Yes, we were tired, very tired, but definitely upbeat. Maintaining the science fiction theme, perhaps “Sleep – the final frontier” might be more appropriate? Anyway, here we go – The Morgan Cup weekend. The…



De Gigo … er, Da Gringa … Gringo?  Gringo Bowl?  That doesn’t sound right.  Ah, De Guingand Bowl.  That’s easy to remember (!).  And probably why some sailors simply call it the Ging-Gang! Yes indeed, the RORC De Guingand Bowl race.  Designed to last 24-36 hours, the Ging-Gang starts and finishes in the Solent and its course changes each year depending on the tides and weather.  We had been expecting to set off south towards Cherbourg but the forecast was south-westerly backing southerly, leaving the prospect of a lot of tacking for boats that didn’t reach Cherbourg fast enough, so this year…

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Fastnet 2017 – Blog Episode 4 (A New Hope?) – First Training Sail!

Chichester Harbour, Itchenor Reach, just before noon.  There’s a south westerly force 3, the sun is shining on a beautiful spring morning and the Sail Boat Project Fastnet 2017 crew are together on our boat, Jalapeño, for the first time.  We’re tacking down the channel to the harbour entrance trying to avoid the Saturday morning dinghy racers as they zip around with spinnakers flying. “Hmm, it’s not that wide, this channel”, I muse as I take the helm from Trevor for the first time.  I glance at the depth meter – 6m, OK.  I have a look around and notice we’re approaching…

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Fastnet 2017 – Blog Episode 3 – Meeting the Crew & Sea Survival Training

"FIRE FIRE FIRE!!!" WHAT?!?! I spin round and catch sight of the flames starting to blaze in the corner just a few feet away from me.  Everyone’s shouting; alarms are blaring.  It all melts into a single disorientating racket.  I can’t think straight.  It’s getting hotter.  What do I do now?  Who’s doing what?  Where’s the fire extinguisher?  Is it the right type?  How does it work?  It’s getting really hot now.  "JOHN!  HAVE YOU SHUT OFF THE ENGINE?!"  Er … "PREPARE TO ABANDON SHIP!!" Ross from Vortec Training takes pity on us and opens the door, allowing us to escape into…

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Fastnet 2017 – Blog Episode 2 – Jalapeno Refurb

Shiver me timbers it's been cold this month ! John here from the Sail Boat Project with the latest update on our preparation for this year's Fastnet Race. January has been Jalapeño-ary for many of the Sail Boat Project crew including the Fastnet team.  Lots of TLC this month, from creature comforts such as the upholstery to a new mast and rigging, a full mechanical and electrical service and a slippery new go-faster bottom! After taking Jalapeño's mast out in Chichester, Dhara, Krister and Paul motored her to Sussex Yacht Club (SYC) in Shoreham at the start of January when the weather was…

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The UK’s only veggie/vegan sailing school

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This past January you might have been taking part in 'Veganuary' - if not, may well have seen it mentioned on social media or the news. If you haven't heard of it, it was a commitment made by tens of thousands of people to cut out meat and animal products from their diet for a month. At Sail Boat Project, we're committed to lowering our carbon footprint and protecting the environment. That is why we are the UK's only veggie/vegan sailing school. Animal agriculture has well-documented destructive effects on the environment and habitats, including marine wildlife, as well as by being the…

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Fastnet 2017 – Blog No. 1 – Introduction!

Ahoy sailors! John here from the Sail Boat Project with the first in a series of blogs about our journey over the next 8 months towards one of the most famous offshore races - the Fastnet! In this first blog I'll be telling you a little about me, our crew, Sail Boat Project, the Fastnet, our training and, of course - Jalapeño, our boat. I've been sailing nearly all my life (I'm 50 now), mostly in dinghies, catamarans and small keelboats, and then 4 years ago had the chance to cross the Atlantic and do a bit of cruising in the Caribbean. …

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Sailing Forward recovery sails qualifications

Really good to catch up with the crew from Sands (Stonepillow) today who have been out on a couple of our half day Sailing Forward recovery sails. Skipper Jacquie Dowding awarded RYA Sailability entry level certificates (see photo) and we planned an overnight trip next in Chichester habrour in early November. Feedback interviews found the sailing sessions had a positive impact on people and there was plenty of enthusiasm to do more. We'd really like to do some 2-3 day sails in 2017, with staff members, so if there are any local businesses or individuals who would like to support this please…

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First aid course Brighton

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£75 First Aid course Brighton 2 sessions Mondays 31st October and 28th November, 1800-2100 £75 per person, with £5 going to the RNLI. [lollum_button text="Book Now" url="" size="big"] This Emergency First Aid at Work course runs over two evenings at Brighton Marina Yacht Club. You need to be able to attend both sessions to complete the course. The course is a 6 hour award designed to equip you with the skills to manage an emergency situation until further help arrives. The award covers CPR and basic first aid and is the perfect introduction to first aid or for those who have some…

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