Welcome to my blog. Here you will find the journeys of Ti Gtu and information that I have researched and found useful for maintaining and servicing yachts and motorboats.

I post full information that I find on the Fay Marine information site, accessed through www.faymarine.com/ and I can be emailed at paul@faymarine.com.

At the bottom of the blogs is a 'subscribe' link. After subscribing your web browser will automatically check for any updates that have been posted.

Happy sailing,

Paul Fay

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Across the Channel to Bruges

Monday the 10th April saw us leave Dover and first head due East then turn South East to cross the shipping lanes before the last leg to Dunkirque. The wind was light but good and we averaged 5 knots all the way.
Sunrise at sea.
One night was spent in Dunkirque before heading along to Zebrugge. Ti Gitu passed through the outer harbour and entered the enormous lock with two car transporters which made us feel like an ant next to them. One burst from one of their propellers would have had us crashed into the lock wall. However the lock keepers and tug operators were great and moved the front ship first and then let us go before the second.
In the lock with the 'Big Guys'.
We went up the canal to the small marina at Bruges and had a great day out looking at the town. The central square is amazing only slightly spoilt on our visit as there was a fair occupying the centre which stopped us standing there and looking around the whole in one go.
There was a Salvadore Dahli exhibition which Mo and Mike wanted to see so they went and I walked around the town soaking up the real art unlike what they were viewing. (being such a politically correct person Mo and Mike didn't really want me in there with them).
Part of Bruges square.
We only stayed the two nights and in reality it was not worth the effort of going up the canal. It would have been much easier to stay in the marina at Zebrugge and take a bus up to Bruges.
We left Bruges intending to spend a night in Zebrugge but as the wind was fair and we were through the lock (on our own) decided to sail the 15 miles along and entered the canal system in Holland at Vlissingen.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

We dried Ti Gitu out on the sand at East Head and gave the bottom a scrub. It was just slimy with some weed and came off easily but still wears you out doing it. 
On the beach at Chichester
It was Wednesday when we left Chichester harbour sailing in light winds and flat seas. Best way to start the summers sailing.

We had looked at going into Brighton and then Easbourne marinas but the obscene charges of £40.00 to park a boat for a few hours stopped us. We decided on Shoreham which is a commercial port and much more reasonably priced and then went and anchored off the beach at Eastbourne for the next night.

The problem with sailing this coast is the strong tides and general lack of anchorages. However with the light winds anchoring off the beach was fine.

Friday saw us arrive at Dover where our friend Mike is going to join us for a while going over to Dunkerque and then along the European coast towards the Keil canal and the Baltic for the summer.

A few hours after arriving in Dover we had a visit from two very nice officers of the UK Border Force. They obviously wanted to know where we had come from and how many people on board and once they were happy that we weren't trafficking people they then gave us lots of information about how to avoid any problems while in Europe and especially when returning. 

The wind looks good for crossing the channel on Monday so here's hoping.


Saturday, 1 April 2017

Leaving Emsworth.

It's 2017 and we are both reasonably well, no recent hospital visits so we have been getting ready for the summer.

It is time to leave Emsworth. We have had a tremendous winter in Emsworth. The marina has been great and I have spent many afternoons and evenings playing table tennis in the community centre. Thanks to all the organisers and players who all work hard to make it a success, especially Brian who spends lots of time supporting the centre.

The plan for the summer is to sail to Gdansk in Poland. This will be by sailing along the South coast to Dover then along the coast of France, Belgium, Holland and Germany before going through the Keil Canal into the Baltic.

But first we have to dry Ti Gitu out and clean the bottom checking all the anodes and things we can't see.

Most of the other maintenance has been done including managing to pour a load of dirty engine oil over the cabin floor whilst changing it. It took ages to clean it all up. Will I ever learn???

Friday, 30 September 2016


We left Yarmouth on Tuesday 27th and had a good sail all the way to Chichester. We had to leave a little late because of the tides but arrived and anchored in Thorney Channel long before dark.

This is a good anchorage with excellent holding in thick gloopy mud, which it needs to be as the whole area is flat with no shelter from the wind and it blew a 7 for one night. Did mean that the wind genny kept the batteries charged.

Saturday is the first of the month and so we will be going into the marina for the winter.

After our time in Falmouth we are both looking forward to cycling on flat roads, not pushing the bike up a hill and free-wheeling down the other side!!

Also looking forward to meeting up with old friends from the Emsworth sailing club.


Monday, 26 September 2016

Onto the isle of Wight

We left Poole after a couple of nights and with a forecast of light winds were thankful that we had cleaned Ti Gitu's bottom. Well the forecast was wrong. We had a 'fast n frilling' creaming along at an average of 7 knots to the needles but once in the channel the seas calmed and we headed for the Newtown River.

This is a very tight anchorage and we decided to pick up a mooring for the night. The area is a nature reserve run by The national Trust. A few decades ago many yachtsmen helped the National Trust to purchase the area when a power station was threatened.

Now the National Trust charged us £21.50 for a night on a mooring. Obviously we scarpered to Yarmouth where we could lay alongside a pontoon for £16.50 a night but a bit more on Friday and Saturday nights.

Will I be supporting the National Trust in the future???

Yarmouth has been great. We met up with an old Fire Brigade friend - Martin - who now supplies fire engines for the film industry - http://www.cinifiretech.co.uk/  - Martin and wife Sue took us on a wonderful tour of the island for which we thank them profusely.

Ti Gitu will be heading for Chichester very soon although the tides are slightly wrong for an easy sail being against us until 2pm in the afternoon but we should be able to reach Chichester if we leave about 1pm on Tuesday. We'll plug the tide for the first hour and then hope things work out OK with the wind for a reasonable passage to arrive before it gets dark.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Dartmouth and East.

While in Plymouth a quick look at 'Bogey Knights' site on EBay showed that he was selling some epoxy exactly right to re paint the bottom of Ti Gitu so we went alongside the little quay near the store and it was delivered to us.

The only problem then was where to store two 20 litre drums and associated tins of hardener. It 'shoe horned' under the forward cabin berth.

The next day we left Plymouth for Dartmouth and had light winds which meant motor sailing all the way.

Dartmouth is like many of the South coast harbours and charges exorbitant amounts for visiting yachts. Amazing that just across the channel the prices are about half or less than what British harbours and marinas charge. Rip off Britain again.

We had a nice visit with Tom and Lorraine who are building a perfect motor boat. We take out hats off to them.

Spent just two nights in Dartmouth and then headed for Portland. Light winds but sailed most of the way. We anchored in the North of the harbour and as Ti Gitu's speed had been about 20% down started to look for somewhere to dry out and scrub the bottom.

We noticed there is a sand bar which totally dries out at the North end and on my birthday we put Ti Gitu on the sand and had an unpleasant time scrubbing. As it was my birthday I'd got a bottle of amber nectar which helped with the aches over the next couple of days.

Took the bus into Weymouth on the Monday but still think that it isn't somewhere we would want to stay. Much too 'kiss me quick' in the summer and dead in the winter.

A few days later made the move along to Poole harbour in light winds but Ti Gitu slipped along as designed with her freshly scrubbed bottom.

We anchored East of Brownsea Island. With the marinas wanting enormous amounts anchoring is a good option and we re found a hole in the mud flats where we could stay afloat.

We noticed some strange noises from the engine when we had motor sailed and traced them to the engine mounts. These were changed about seven years ago after the originals had done about seven years, so as soon as we are in for the winter these will be changed. For now we are just trying to be gentle with the engine.

Ti Gitu is nearly 15 years old and I have changed all the other plastic and rubber parts on the engine but didn't give the mountings or the flexible coupling a thought. This sort of thing, like the camshaft belt, need writing in the maintenance log, highlighting in advance when they need changing. This can save many problems when sailing.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Along towards Chichester.

We left Falmouth at the beginning of September after an exciting year health wise. The management and staff at Falmouth Marina have been fantastic to us and we want to thank them all profusely.

We decided to make the short trip along to Mevagissy and had a near perfect sail. We knew that an Easterly was coming but didn't want to go to Fowey so sat out the swell in the harbour. The harbour staff were great to us and after two nights we left bound for Plymouth.

The wind was West and our course was 085 degrees. A few miles out a 30 footish dark blue yacht began to overhaul us probably on a course of about 070 degrees. Instead of keeping clear of Ti Gitu he decided to hold his course and was cutting across our course from starboard forcing us to take avoiding action. We still came within about 10 feet of hitting him. PRAT!!!!

But he was flying the biggest WHITE ENSIGN I have ever seen except on a warship.

Just explains exactly why many of us avoid yachts flying one of those ensigns designed to prove just how competent the skippers are!!!

Anchored in Dandy Hole up the St Germans river the next day a blue yacht came up to anchor and I promise I didn't laugh as I watched it go aground!! (I keep telling you there is a god.)

Anyway, the trip from Mevagissy was definitely 'fast an frillin' with a strong breeze from the West and we anchored in Cawsand for a couple of hours waiting for the tide to take us up to Dandy Hole. Spending a few days here before heading for Dartmouth to visit old friends who are building a new yacht.