Greenwich Mean Time – What is it?

Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) – What is it, and it’s importance to navigation.

How did the international standard of time keeping, based on Greenwich Mean Time, come into being?

Time is relative, as any student of the famous Einstein equation knows; but once, time was relative in a very practical sense. In ancient times, while there were means of measuring time such as water clocks, candle clocks and sundials, the majority of people lived their lives by sun, moon and the seasons. Time was a local matter that varied according to location on the planet – and that applied even when people believed the world was flat, or the sun went round the earth.

The history of time begins in the 14th century when mechanical clocks became replacement timekeepers in religious houses previously regulated by bells. By the 16th century, the principles of knowing the time by clock and even wristwatch (keeping time) were well-established.

This was also the period when European powers were setting out on voyages of global exploration. It’s at this point that the history of the international standardisation of time really begins, with the synchronisation of global journeys and time. Greenwich Mean Time, or GMT, is closely linked to the development and supremacy of the English, and later British Navy, and the need for sailors to know their precise location at any time while at sea.

Without accurate clocks, it had always been difficult to find a precise location based on finding a geographic east-west co-ordinate, on the longitudinal lines running from pole to pole known as meridians. Latitudinal co-ordinates, running parallel to the equator, had been measurable for centuries using quadrants and astrolabes and the positions of the sun and Pole Star. Complex artefacts similar to the Greek Antikythera mechanism for measuring the movement of the planets and mapping the year had existed since ancient times.

Identifying the longitudinal location of the vessel, however, remained problematic right into the 18th century, when the British government offered a large sum of money to anyone who could come up with a solution to the issue of finding longitude, which had previously mostly been identified by lunar eclipses. John Harrison was awarded some of the prize in 1773 for his marine chronometer, the culmination of decades of research.

By this point, Greenwich was established both as the maritime and astronomical centre of Britain. Charles II had founded the Royal Observatory at Greenwich with the intention of resolving the issue of longitudinal accuracy for mariners. Astronomer Royal Nevil Maskelyne, developer of the lunar-distance method of discovering longitude, died in Greenwich in 1811.

Greenwich thus became a point through which one of the longitudinal meridians (the 360 north-south divisions from pole to pole, 180 east, 180 west) was located. It was not a certainty that it would be the location of the Prime Meridian at 0 degrees though. That was only established by a Washington conference in 1884, after strong competition from Paris, making mean solar time at Greenwich the location of global time.

greenwich mean time
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Boat Jumble Dates 2019

 Boat Jumble Dates 2019

Here are the Boat Jumble Dates for 2019.  This page is updated regularly.  If you would like your boat jumble added to the list please contact us at and we will include it.  This includes sailing clubs and local RNLI branches that may be running one.  All the boat jumble will start at 10:00 unless otherwise stated.

February 2019

Sunday 10 GOSPORT, Haslar Marina, Haslar Road, Gosport, Hampshire, PO12 1NU.

March 2019

Sunday 3 KENT, The Hop Farm, Maidstone Road, Paddock Wood, Kent, TN12 6PY. Junction 4 M20 or Junction 5 M25.

Sunday 17 SUFFOLK, Trinity Park Events Centre, (A1156) IPSWICH, Suffolk, IP3 8UH.

Saturday 23 CRAIGNISH, Craignish Village Hall, Ardfern, LOCHGILPHEAD, Argyll. PA31 8QN.

BEAULIEU BOAT JUMBLE – This will not run in 2019

April 2019

Sunday 7  IRISH, Carrickfergus Sailing Club, Rodger’s Quay, CARRICKFERGUS County Antrim, BT38 8BE

Sunday 7 ISLE OF WIGHT, Northwood House & Park, Ward Avenue, Cowes, Isle of Wight, PO31 8AZ

Sunday 14  NORFOLK, The Royal Norfolk Show Ground, Norwich, NR5 0TT. On the A47 Norwich southern by-pass. AA signs.

SUNDAY 28 CHESHIRE, Brookfield Farm, Sproston Green, Cheshire, CW4 7LN

May 2019

Sunday 5 May WEST OF SCOTLAND, Irvine Water Sports Club, 66 Harbour Street, IRVINE, Ayrshire, KA12 8PY

Sunday 12  SOLENT, The Royal Victoria Country Park, Netley, SOUTHAMPTON, Hampshire, SO31 5GA. Junction 8 M27.

Saturday 18 SHEPPERTON, Shepperton Marina, Filix Lane, SHEPPERTON, Middlesex, TW17 8NS

Saturday 25 DEVON, Newton Abbot Racecourse, NEWTON ABBOT, Devon, TQ12 3AF.

June 2019

Sunday 16 June SUFFOLK, Trinity Park Events Centre, (A1156) IPSWICH, Suffolk, IP3 8UH

July 2019

Sunday 7  TITCHFIELD, Hound Hill Farm, Segensworth Road, Titchfield, FAREHAM, Hampshire, PO15 5DY. Junction 9 M27.

August 2019

Sunday 18 PORTSMOUTH, Fort Purbrook, Portsdown Hill Road, Cosham, PORTSMOUTH, Hampshire, PO6 1BJ. Off B2177.

September 2019

Saturday 14 DEVON, Newton Abbot Racecourse, NEWTON ABBOT, Devon, TQ12 3AF.

October 2019

Sunday 6 SOLENT,  The Royal Victoria Country Park, Netley, SOUTHAMPTON, Hampshire, SO31 5GA. Junction 8 M27.

Sunday 13 KENT, The Hop Farm, Maidstone Road, Paddock Wood, Kent, TN12 6PY. Junction 4 M20 or Junction 5 M25.

Sunday 20 SUFFOLK, Trinity Park Events Centre, (A1156) IPSWICH, Suffolk, IP3 8UH

boat jumble dates 2019

sailing datingImage courtesy of Bob Jagendorf via Compfightcc 

Crewing Posts Autumn 2018

Crewing Posts Autumn 2018

Here are just some of the crewing posts that Lovesail members have posted for the Autumn.  If you are interested in the post just log into your Lovesail account and visit the Crewing Groups Section.  If you are not a member of Lovesail yet then why not take a look.


Sailing South – Maine to Bahamas

LeComte Fastnet 45′ yawl well outfitted for offshore sailing. Have 7,500+ miles experience. Looking 1 or 2 crew for passage(s). Likely sail from Maine to Beaufort, NC and then from Beaufort to Bahamas. Must be OK with cat as she is my First Mate.


Portugal-Madeira- GC – possible circumnavigation

Looking for crew member for my circumnavigation . Since I am seeking on female crew. You would like to / love to sail on my beautiful HR 38. But its important to feel good so why don’t try a shorter leg first. Leaving Algarve coast in Portugal about 18 October heading for Madeira. Send me a message and we can chat more about it. Skipper/owner is from Norway


Colombia and the San Blas Panama

I am currently looking for crew to sails from the Colon, Panama to Cartagena, Colombia, the San Blas Island in Panama and onward to the Bocas de Toro in Panama. Looking at leaving towards the end of October, 2018. Expected duration about 6 to 8 weeks. Possible option to continue sailing further north up to Belize and other points north.


Columbia River 1-5 day outings

Make new friends with other sailors in this area. Play in gentle waters around Portland/Vancouver and short trips out of Astoria.


San Diego to the Sea of Cortez

I own a beautiful Hunter 49, fully equipped sailing yacht (generator, sat phone, water maker, washer and dryer, etc). I am looking for crew members for a three month sail from San Diego to the Sea of Cortez mid October, 2018. I have dive tanks and two sets of scuba gear on board (large and medium size). Sailing experience is not a requirement but a plus. Ports of call: San Diego, Cabo San Lucas, La Paz, Loreto and Rocky Point. I’m looking forward to hear from you.


Alaska Inside Passage

I am wanting to sail the inside passage anywhere in there for several years over the spring, summer and autumn months. I have a 5 year visa for USA but live in Tasmania Australia. If you would love to have me on board as cook and handy person, general duties but good at fixing, mending and relaxation massage, photography and art of all kinds, please give me a cooeeeee! I woild love to return the pleasure to sail around Tasmania with you and /or land drive you to all important amazing places. Teach you to say, Goodah Mate! Aussie Aussie Aussie!

crewing posts autumn 2018

Picture Credit: SailorVolante

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Boat Cook Book Giveaway

The Boat Cook Book Giveaway

We have a copy of The Boat Cook Book by Fiona Sims to give away this week.  All you have to do is like our Facebook page (our actual page not a post).   We will then pick a winner randomly from the page likes.  You have until October 12th 2018 to like our page.  You don’t have to be a member of Lovesail to participate.

The Boat Cook Book, real food for hungry sailors – For anyone with a tiny galley kitchen, there’s good news: no more bland leftovers aboard. These delicious and easy recipes, all made with minimum fuss and maximum flavour, will allow you to spoil yourself in harbour and keep things simple at sea – not to mention rustle up a mean rum punch. With handy ideas on setting up the galley, a lazy guide to filleting mackerel and tips for hosting the perfect beach barbecue, this is the must-have guide for sailors and seaside-lovers alike.

the boat cook book

Terms and Conditions of the Giveaway


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Greenland Crewing Post

Greenland Crewing Post – September 2018

One of the Lovesail members “Sgiud” is a true sailing traveller.  He is looking for crew for a trip to the East Coast of Greenland.  If you are interested in this then log into your Lovesail account and visit either the Crewing Group section or Sguid’s profile for more details.  If you are not a member of Lovesail then do come and take a look at our friendly community.  We are a global dating and social networking site for sailing enthusiasts.

East Groenland Coast Exploration Sailing – Kangerdlussuak Area

The Green Land, as described by the Icelandic Vikings who reached the SW Coast around 1000 AC, is only fertile in this area.

​The East Coast we will explore is instead mostly covered by Ice, and the Icecap and its Glaciers reach the shore in between huge and deep fjords.

​The pack ice allows the ships to reach the shore only few months per year, making this part of the country one of the most remote area of the planet.

In July, we will leave Isafjordur and check if the drifting pack ice has cleared the way to the Blosseville coast, only 200 Nm away from Iceland.

If not, we will spend few days exploring the Vestfirdir area, and the Hornstrandir Peninsula, under the clear arctic summer and its permanent daylight.

In August, the days will be shortened by some night, but the pack and the fasten ice will have well moved away and it will be easier to sail into the fjords.

Leaving from Ammassalik, we will stay three weeks deepening our knowledge of the area, exploring furthermore the hidden gems of the fjords, going north as far as we can.

​Then we will return to Reykjavik, leaving this iced and pure universe to its original condition.

We will live two to three weeks in complete autonomy, enjoying the fabulous lanscapes, the drifting icebergs, surrounded by whales, seals.

​We will use our dingies to reach the shore, the more experienced will take the folding kayaks to approach smoothly the animals, and sail towards another fjord, leaving the iced peaks of the coast behing us in a goldy mirage.

​This is a place of total wilderness, kingdom of walruses, polar bear and many species or marine mammals, feeding into the rich waters, before the long winter.

There are no harbours, no roads, no villages, and we will experience the intimate feeling of being “into the wild”.

greenland crewing post

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Bristol Pilot Cutters

Bristol Pilot Cutters

The Bristol Channel is a notorious stretch of water. Boasting the second highest tidal range in the world, it requires great skill and detailed local knowledge to safely navigate the strong currents, sandbanks and frequent high winds. In years gone by, without the comfort and convenience of modern navigational aids, these qualities were even more in demand.

The city of Bristol has always been a vital trading port and the ongoing industrial revolution during the 19th century brought further opportunities to the area in terms of international trade. Ships sailed from around the globe to Bristol and relied on local pilots to steer their precious cargo to dry land. The pilots themselves needed reliable vessels to help them carry out this work and out of this need was born the Bristol Pilot Cutter. This vessel has often been referred to as the best designed sailing boat of all time and remains a benchmark for performance and design today.

The single-masted wooden cutter was designed for speed and specifically adapted for use in the difficult fast moving waters. Experienced pilots of the time were in great demand and the pickings were rich, so the design of these sailing boats constantly evolved as the self-employed pilots competed to win the most lucrative jobs. The cutters were relatively small in size (typically 30 to 50 feet long) with a deep hull. Their clever design made them easy to handle and steer, often requiring a crew of only two men, one of them an apprentice. They could sail out at great speed for hundreds of miles into the Atlantic Ocean to meet the large cargo laden ships and manoeuvre alongside them to allow the pilot to board safely.

The majority of the earlier pilots and vessels originated from a village called Pill, near Bristol, but by the end of the 19th century there was fierce competition from other ports, most notably along the South Wales coastline. The years between 1890 and the outbreak of WW1 were undoubtedly the pinnacle for these vessels, helping the British Empire to grow and develop vital international trade. Soon though, the emergence of steam and diesel engines would bring this golden era to an end.

By 1920 the faster and more efficient steam driven ships had all but replaced the sail cutters, although one or two remained in service for a short while. The final Bristol Pilot Cutter eventually retired in 1922. There are thought to be 18 of these fabulous sailing boats left in existence, out of the many hundreds that were built. These survivors are scattered across the globe, most of them privately owned. Some have been converted into yachts, while others are used as private hire vessels or displayed at maritime events.


Related Articles:  The Folk Boat

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The Folk Boat

The Folk Boat

One of the Lovesail members, Gandalpuss, has written this lovely story.   We always welcome articles from Lovesail members, so if you are a budding writer of fact or fiction and have a short piece to submit, contact us through the usual email address and we can arrange to publish it on the Lovesail Blog.


At twenty years of age, a friend gave me access to a fibreglass sloop built in the 1950’s.  Tired as the boat was – and of late neglected – her owner had not the time to enjoy the sailing of her due to the pressures of work.  The deal was that I should repair and restore the boat as much as possible in return for the free use of ‘Maggie May’.  The boat was moored in the Trieux River near the town of Lezardrieux in Brittany, France.  My friend had set sail on a round the world voyage single-handed from Portsmouth Harbour.  Arriving in France he had met a lady who was to become the love of his life, a much younger French woman from Lezardrieux. Except the lady was already on her way to Britain having secured a job as a teacher!   Balancing the desire to continue his dreams of circumnavigation with what he saw as the dream girl, the latter tipped the scales.  He settled into the routine of job, mortgage and family.

I began to stop the decline in the yacht’s condition by throwing out much of what would have been useful to a ‘live aboard’.   The only equipment of use from inside the yacht, apart from the tools, were six cartons of John Smiths ‘Extra Smooth’ beer.

With eight cans per carton, I began gradually working my way through this obviously vital source of energy.  Nodding relations soon changed to a wave of the arm as other users of the river became familiar with the improvement of the boat.  I considered it my boat, though in reality it was not.  These fellow sailors also assumed I was ‘Maggie May’s’ new owner. What really mattered to the French sailing community was that the sloop was being loved and was now beginning to look less like a skip and more like a yacht.

One day, I decided to go for a sail. It was high water on a spring tide.  Following some good sailing off the coast, I returned home under engine, sails stowed.  We traversed beyond the head land of a small peninsular, topped with a stone cross – known locally as Point de Trouquetet.  The light was failing and evening fog settled as night drew on. With Binic astern, ‘Maggie May’ headed towards St Quay Potreux on the way back to the mooring.  I heard the engines of another vessel, but could see nothing in the mist of the evening light.  I strained to see ahead.  Suddenly there it was, a large old rusty steel coasting vessel headed straight for my boat only yards away.  I slammed the tiller hard over to starboard. Inexplicably, he altered course to port.  Within seconds we collided.  My yacht bounced along a steel rubbing strake down the ship’s starboard side.  I cut my engine and waited.  I could hear the noise of his propellers disappearing into the gloom.

He was gone.

Having way on, I peered into the mist over the stern, refusing to believe he had hit and run.  I turned to face the way ‘Maggie May’ was going.  There, right in my path, was a steel pole atop a concrete pillar, jutting out of the sea. Instinctively, my hand threw the tiller over to port.  Too late, the sloop scraped down the side of the navigation marker (which was for isolated danger and was topped by two black balls called L’Ours Seur) with a sickening crunching sound from the portside as my boat slowed with the impact.

The following day, I inspected both sides of the boat.  A gauge mark had been left at the widest part of the tumble home on the port side stained by bits of old concrete.   A shallow groove had been left after the collision with the ship for about a length of three feet.

I felt entirely at fault, regardless of the other vessel’s failure to stop.  I felt I had to repair and make good the damage which stood out for everyone to see. It did not take me long to fill, fair and sand the gauge marks. On a warm day, I painted over the repaired strips in a band from stem to stern on both sides of the yacht in an off-white colour which nearly matched the original.

Then the idea occurred to me.  Why not put a rubbing strake centrally down each side of the yacht to protect the boat from future mishap.  Less than a month later, I returned from England with a heavy-duty brown plastic ‘D’ sectioned purpose-built rubbing strake.  After a day of effort, I was no further forward with the installation, having made a pig’s ear of every attempt to begin screwing the strake to the hull.  I went to my berth that night dispirited, dreading a repeat of the day’s failure.

The next day an ancient looking wooden gaff rigged vessel, sporting the flag of France, the Tricolour, sailed by.  It was not unlike a Bristol Pilot Cutter.  This old wooden craft towed what looked like an archaic flat-bottomed, double ended, wooden skiff with a blue painted hull.  At the helm of the vessel stood a grizzled looking old man with a dirty old woollen hat reminiscent of fishermen from those parts.

An hour later, as I struggled with the writhing brown plastic snake-like rubbing strake, the blue coloured skiff appeared.  The skiff’s approach took me by surprise as I normally expect to hear the noise of an outboard engine accompany a tender.  The skiff came upon me in silence.  It was powered by the old man, who stood facing the skiff’s stern.  He used a single wooden oar to scull the craft with the oar lodged over the skiff’s stern between two wooden pegs.  The skiff’s course made for my boat.  I attempted to secure the rubbing strake down my yacht’s side.  He came closer and I realised he had come to assist.  He stood barefoot, ankle-deep in water in the skiff.

The old man’s mouth uttered strange words, heavy with dialect in a slow French accent.  I understood nothing of what he said, attempting to politely introduce myself in my broken school boy French.  There was a glint in the old man’s eyes.  Looking past me, he manoeuvred the skiff between my inflatable dinghy and ‘Maggie May’. Gently but firmly he pushed me out-of-the-way. Taken aback, attempting to greet him politely, I gave ground allowing him full access to the rubbing strake.  Pulling fine twine from a bag the old man-made several loops hanging them from ‘Maggie May’s’ guard rails.  Next, he pointed to a choice of positions as his eyes caught mine in a miming sort of manner, awaiting my approval as to how high above the water the strake should go.  I nodded approval.  He threaded the entire length of the rubbing strake through the loops after adjusting them to the height I had indicated.  In this way the lengths of strake to be attached simply lay at repose, hanging down the side of the boat, while he progressively screwed the strake to the hull, removing the twine hangers as he secured it.

Unfamiliar though he clearly was with the sloop’s fibreglass sides, the old man soon got the measure of this, to him, unusual material.  Pulling an old well-worn hand brace and bit from a sack resting on the skiff’s thwart he drilled into the hull of my yacht.  Without the aid of any measuring device he would scan from time to time, by eye, along the boat’s length as, foot by foot, the rubbing strake was secured into position.  The only contribution I made, apart from handing him tools, was to run two lines of white Sykaflex mastic along the upper and lower bearing surfaces – and around each hole about to be secured – of the rubbing strake. Indeed, under the sunshine of those three days spent assisting my benefactor a casual observer would be forgiven for thinking I was the apprentice assisting a skilled master.  One day, in my haste not to hamper the old man’s progress, I put the mastic gun down without releasing the spring-loaded piston.  Mastic oozed out onto his skiff’s thwart near his tool bag leaving what looked like a white ‘tick’ where someone might sit. The mastic had set in the warmth of the sunshine before I became aware of my mistake, leaving the tick visible even after my efforts to remove it.

Often, I would bail the skiff like fury when the water level reached the middle of our calves.  Many times, perhaps because of the lack of spoken communication between us, the aged skilled artisan would stop to top up his pipe with tobacco.  The tobacco resembled browny black stringy bladder wrack seaweed with a distinct nauseas smell.  The few teeth he had were revealed when he smiled or exhaled smoke.  These teeth resembled brown stained pegs set in black gums.  I learned not to inhale too close to his face as his breath was even more foul than the evil exhalations from his pipe.  Aware of the state of his teeth, I prepared a stew from tinned ‘Irish Stew’ adding diced broccoli and haricot verts, green beans which I happened to have aboard.  I added more stew to the pan as each day passed.  He liked my offering very much as he washed it down with beer.  In this way, the third day saw the completion of the installation. I rowed a little distance from the yacht in my dinghy expecting to see the line of the rubbing strake wander unevenly down the vessel’s hull.  Yet it was as straight as if lined up with a modern laser level light!

A strange comb like object was taken from his tool bag, resembling the metal toothed curry comb used in grooming horses. This device had a handle of wood with a patina of sweat well-worn from years of use.  Unlike a curry comb this tool had many rust encrusted needles of steel bent at ninety degrees.  Each needle was razor sharp and stiff and twanged as it snagged the surface of the plastic.  The man dug it into the curved surface of the rubbing strake pulling the tool along under steady pressure.  With what looked like ease, he scratched each rubbing strake down its entire length with this tool.  The ease of his efforts belied the skill and experience and the power and control the old man brought to bear.  Not long after, the rubbing strakes’ plastic outer surfaces could not be distinguished from wood as these scratchings resembled the grain of wood.  I had over the previous days attempted to offer payment for this old man’s labours, but the look in his eyes and the set of his flabby chin made it clear that he would not accept any payment. Having washed down his stew with a glass of beer at the end of the third day he waved goodbye as he sculled the skiff away to his craft, anchored just out of sight around a bend in the river.

That was the last I saw of him.

A week later, I enquired of the old man and his traditional old wooden sail boat.  Later still, I visited boat yards, marinas and jetties and even private islands near to the river’s mouth.  Over several weeks, I cast my search further afield to fishing boats and even to the stone jetties of Le Legue.  No one had heard of, or seen, such a man or his craft. One day, months later, in Le Legue, I was browsing along the old stone jettied boulevard, adjacent to the lock gated section of the river, where many types of sailing boats nestled below the viaduct of the overhead motor road.  I came across a model boat workshop displaying in its dusty window models of traditional Breton sailing craft.  There in the window sat an exact replica of the blue skiff. The model was not for sale.  The label beside the model read, ‘Model of work boat as used in Napoleonic times’.  Beneath the dust could clearly be seen a small white tick in mastic on the model’s thwart!!


the folk boat

Copyright “Gandalpuss” (Member of

Related Articles: Bristol Pilot Cutters

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Southampton Boat Show 2018

Southampton Boat Show 2018 – Celebrating 50 Years on the Water

This year the Southampton Boat Show 2018 will celebrate 50 years of boating festivities.  The show runs from Friday 14th September until Sunday 23rd September and, as usual, will be located at the Mayflower Park venue as it has been for the last 50 years.

Show Marina

So what’s to see this year?  Well one of Europe’s largest show marinas with 2km of pontoons, with space for more than 330 sailing and motor craft.  Step aboard beautiful sailing yachts and tall ships, or book a free “Try a Boat” experience.

The Hairy Bikers

Si King and Dave Myers, the Hairy Bikers, will be opening the show and then attending the show on 22nd September demonstrating their culinary skills.


With around 700 exhibitors from the marine industry showing their wares over the 10 days, there is plenty to see in 3 purpose-built undercover halls, and outside stalls around the show site.

Discount Code

This year YachtingMonthly magazine are advertising a ticket offer of 2 standard any day tickets for £26, available until 13th September 2018.  The advanced purchase price of a standard any day ticket is normally £21 each.  Just use code YM26 when using the official Southampton Boat Show online ticketing facility.

How to Find the Show

The Southampton Boat Show 2018 is situated at Mayflower Park, Town Quay, Southampton, SO14 1AQ.  There is ample parking near the show if you are driving, but it can get very busy so arrive early.  Try and use the West Quay Multi Story Car Park, normally £5 for the whole day (check out Parkopedia).  Avoid the West Quay Podium Car Park (very expensive) and also any NCP car park as they tend to hike the price for the duration of the show.  Southampton Central Station is within 10 minutes walk of the show, as is the National Express Coach Station.

southampton boat show 2018

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Lovesail Crewing Posts July 2018

Lovesail Crewing Posts July 2018

Here are a few of the Lovesail Crewing Posts July 2018.  To contact the member just log into your account and go to the crewing section of the site.  If you are not a member yet then join our sailing community for dating, friendships and crewing opportunities all around the world.  We have different memberships to offer including a lifetime membership.


In the UK for the summer updating nursing in London … miss the sea … can sail up to 4 days at a time …UK or anywhere close flight wise. Thanks


Alaska Inside Passage

I am wanting to sail the inside passage…anywhere in there for several years over the spring, summer and autumn months. I have a 5 year visa for USA but live in Tasmania Australia. If you would love to have me on board as cook and handy person, general duties but good at fixing, mending and relaxation massage, photography and art of all kinds, please give me a cooeeeee! I would love to return the pleasure to sail around Tasmania with you and /or land drive you to all important amazing places. Teach you to say, Goodah Mate! Aussie Aussie Aussie!


Offshore passage RI > FL

Hi everyone, I’m looking for experienced crew to help me sail my 43′ Passport from Narragansett Bay to St. Augustine in October. I already have one crew but I have room for one more. As exact dates will be weather dependent, please don’t contact me if you need to sail to schedule.


Transatlantic Tenerife to Antigua via Cape Verde

Leg 1. Departing Tenerife 17 September, visit La Gomera & La Hierro

Depart La Hierro towards Sal Cap Verdes 1st October

Cruise cap Verdes Senegal and Gambia

Leg 2 Depart Cap Verdes 1st December towards Antigua

Seeking easy going , like minded folk who can fit in and enjoy the voyage and destinations.

Applicants should be ready to pitch in with all boating chores + cooking etc and take full advantage to practice boat handling and navigation.


All crew members should be able to stand watch, understand basic navigation and be involved in all aspects of boating life and looking after ourselves

Crews are welcome to leave/join in Cap Verdes but obviously this will depend on available paces

All applicants must provide 3 referees with contact details from previous skippers whom I may contact to confirm suitability

Re shared contributions, it is envisaged to be 25 Euros per day


lovesail crewing posts july 2018

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SS Varvassi

SS Varvassi

The SS Varvassi was a 3.874 ton Greek merchant steamship that became infamous for running aground off the Needles Lighthouse, Isle of Wight on January 5th 1947.

The SS Varvassi was travelling from Algiers to Southampton with a mixed cargo.  She was carrying 600 tons of iron ore, 200 tons of tangerines and 438 barrels of wine.  She suffered engine failure off the Needles and drifted onto the rocks where she became stuck.  The Yarmouth Lifeboat was called out several times to assist but the captain sent them away hoping to save the ship.  Several attempts were made to re-float her, but the strong South-Westerly winds and tides were not kind to her.  Eventually with waves breaking over the deck the captain abandoned ship, all crew were saved by the Yarmouth lifeboat.  Over the next few weeks attempts were made to recover the cargo but this proved very difficult.  The SS Varvassi was officially declared a wreck on 21st January 1947.  She was broken up as best as could be done at the time, but this was hampered by strong tides and bad weather.  The iron ore cargo spilled out onto the reaches, the tangerines could be seen floating around in the water for weeks and as for the wine?  Well I’m sure we can guess that one!  To this day parts of the hull still remains underneath the water.  On very low tides, close to chart datum, the boilers can be seen just breaking the surface of the water.

ss varvassi

The wreck of the SS Varvassi is marked on charts to warn ships and yachts of her location, but she still manages to catch some unwitting sailors.  The Round the Island Yacht Race runs every year and around 1200-1800 yachts take part in this popular circumnavigation of the Isle of Wight.  Yachts of different classes have to sail around the island in a day.  They start at Cowes head West to the Needles, go round the Needles down to St Catherine’s Point, then up the East side of the island and back to Cowes.  In 2016 the Commodore of the Island Sailing Club (the club that organises the race) Mark Wynter, lent his 1977 beautiful wooden Half Tonner Alchemist to friend and helmsman Andrew Talbot to participate in the race.  Mark Wynter was too busy to enter.  You can guess what happened.  Alchemist hit the submerged boilers of the SS Varvassi and started to take on water.  The Mudeford Lifeboat got to the scene and valiantly tried to tow the £30,000 yacht off the wreck but as it started to sink fast, this attempt was abandoned and the remaining crew were rescued.  Here is some footage taken by one of the RNLI crew showing the sinking:


If you should find yourself sailing around the Needles make sure you have a current chart.  As a guide to those without electronic or optical aids (are you mad?!), there is a simple way to tell if you are near to the wreck.  Make sure you can see (with a height of eye of 6ft above the water) the Old Coastguard Station at a level clear above the top of the lighthouse.  Here is a diagram to further explain:


ss varvassi


And another to highlight the location:


ss varvassi


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