August the 22nd this year marked the ten-year anniversary of the purchase of my then, 8-year-old Southerly 135 in Holland. Since then, she has been progressively updated and refurbished, building on what was perceived to be, a good solid hull. Unfortunately, my experiences have exposed a good deal of shoddy workmanship carried out by Northshore, the builders, during a dark and tumultuous period when the company was changing hands and the workforce were disgruntled.
The current refit programme, now halfway (or so I thought) through, has stripped Hejira back to her very foundations and will rectify the last of any residual issues. She will be in a considerably better condition than when she was new and this will re-enforce my confidence in her as I plan my next adventures.
Details of the refit are covered in this website’s ‘Technical’ section, scroll right down to the end of the ‘Modifications and improvements’ entry. There are accompanying photographs and detail which will, inevitably, make most readers ‘glaze over’…
I am hoping that the refit programme will conclude in time for some early spring ‘shakedown’ cruises before heading off on a new adventure. (subsequent posts will, unfortunately, explain that this was an overly optimistic target)
My daughter, Rebecca, lives with her husband and two daughters in Blackrock, south Dublin near Dun Loaghaire. You can actually see the sea from the upstairs windows of her home! There is clearly merit in moving Hejira to Dun Loaghaire for a time as I visit my daughter regularly and the marina has confirmed that there is a berth for Hejira.
Having sailed south to the Cape Verde Islands, west to the Caribbean and east to the Greek Islands, I feel that there is a need to venture north, not least because it is ‘off the beaten track’. Dublin would be a good place to depart from.
Inevitably, the further north one sails, the more capricious the weather can become so any plans will naturally carry caveat ‘weather dependent’, but there is no harm in pouring over the pilot books and charts in these dark winter evenings.
So, with exploring ashore along the way, I am looking at pauses at Plymouth, Dublin, Belfast, Stornoway (Hebrides), Reykjavik (Iceland), Vagur (Faroes), Lerwick (Shetland), Kirkwall (Orkney) then who knows where on the passage back to Hayling Island.
PS. The ‘round the World’ adventure continues to elude me…