A decade with Storm Petrel

Lots of work to make her sailing fit after I bought her in Bristol. Here she is ready to set out.
Storm Petrel is my Folkdancer 27. I have owned her eleven years and she is now sold to another sailor. Here is a photographic tribute to some of the best times I've had with her.

I sailed from Bristol to Pembrokeshire. A misty morning on the Cleddau estuary.


I didn't know if I would cross the Bristol Channel, or head towards Spain, but I was as ready as I would ever be.

Somehow I found myself heading straight out into the Atlantic Ocean utterly seduced by the deep waters and the dolphins.

This image became the cover of The Voyage of Storm Petrel - Britain to Senegal Alone in a Boat - Clarissa Vincent. Available as paperback and Kindle on Amazon.co.uk
The wind vane is simply thin plywood and the counter weight is scrap metal.
Trim tab on auxilliary rudder, controlled by fishing lines running in hydraulic tubing, from the wind vane. All materials readily available in local shops.

River Gambia with Buba Samateh. Smoked catfish on the plate.
Jamming while motoring up the River Gambia with Buba Samateh.

Storm Petrel anchored off a small town with pirogues on the River Gambia.
Buba Samateh sheltering from the sun anchored off Jan Jang Burrugh, River Gambia.

Mosquito coils, sun hat, three mangos and a transistor radio, the essence of tropical adventure.

Buba Samateh and I took two weeks to sail up from Dakar to the Canary Isles.

Buba Samateh is a fine sailor, a few days after leaving Dakar I remember telling him, 'Only 600 miles to go!' and him looking at me with utter incomprehension.
Gomera, Canary Isles, well washed after three weeks at sea
Approaching Sete, southern France, the entance to the French inland waterways.

The mighty River Rhone and an extremely rough mooring with the Mistral wind blowing white water right over Storm Petrel.

The largest lock I've ever seen, Bollene lock on the River Rhone.

Getting up towards Lyon, where I was looking forward to being on smaller rivers and canals without foul currents.

Ahh, that's more like it, utter tranquility in the middle of France, on the River Saone.
Bucolic wonder, day after day, deep inside France.

Storm Petrel had a little wood stove, which was so cosy after rain and occasional colder days.
Finally, after nearly five years adventure voyaging Storm Petrel arrived in Suffolk and spent the summer just resting on her laurels, out of the water.

Storm Petrel is one of those boats that invites an adventure, small enough to play with but big enough to take on an ocean.

I sold her in 2012 (best wishes and fair winds to the new owners Annabelle and James) after I realised she needed a new adventure and mine was done. I had settled down as a saxophone player, gigging with a jazz trio and teaching on a houseboat. To keep a sense of edge in my world I bought a motorcycle as my new adventure machine.

The Voyage of Storm Petrel - Britain to Senegal Alone in a Boat. Clarissa Vincent, is available as paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and .co.uk (also .de, .fr and .it).Click this link to go to amazon.co.uk
There are a few reader reviews on the uk Amazon site. The paperback and Kindle are available in Amazon.com but there are not yet any reader reviews there. Please if you buy from Amazon.com write a brief review on Amazon.com, it helps me the author to sell more.