Writer, designer, and artist, Jayne is the member of the family with the most battered passport. Having already explored a lot of the world by land - including a year driving down through Africa in a Land Rover - she’s ready to take the next chapter by sea.
In 2019, Jayne crewed on a crossing of the Atlantic in the Clipper 60 Starling. Maybe next time it’ll be in Scout?
Recent posts by Jayne
Scout’s arrival to the west side of Puerto Rico via the ominous Mona Passage could not have been more contrary to its reputation. We had a comfortable motor sail in becalmed water. A magical full moon and breaching humpback whales guided us in to the town of Puerto Real, just north of Boqueron.
Going south east from The Exumas Islands in The Bahamas is considered a big, transitional step for many sailor cruisers. Beyond the relative safety of The Exumas lie the Out Islands of The Bahamas, and this also means some true, bluewater Atlantic sailing.
Apart from the painfully early, pre-dawn start, the sail from Little Harbour in the southern Abacos to the north of Eleuthera was perfect with a broad reach all of the way. We realized early on that Scout was part of a flotilla of sailboats also making the most of the early start to Eleuthera.
We spent a few days in Plymouth reprovisioning, and being what most visitors are - a tourist. A tour of the reconstructed Mayflower mark II gave visitors a flavor of what it must have been like for the first pilgrims to sail from England to the New World in 1620. With 132 passengers and crew on board, plus various domestic animals and cattle, it must have made those 10 weeks at sea fly by!
There’s a storm approaching! Our PredictWind app was forecasting gusts of 35 knots in the Penobscot Bay area of Maine. With this info, we decided this would be a good time to seek out a protective hurricane hole and sit it out for a few days. The place we had in mind was beautiful - yet remote - Seal Bay, which was accessed via a meandering channel on the east side of Vinalhaven Island.
Farewell Boston! It was fun while it lasted, but we were itching to spread our sail wings and ultimately head down to Maine as locals say, meaning downwind sailing. Our plan was to hop along the coast for reasonably short day sails from 12 to 25 miles a time. This stretch of the coastline from Boston, Massachusetts to Portsmouth, New Hampshire would have us stopping off for the night at Salem, Gloucester and Rockport.
Now that Scout was safely docked in Boston, the only thing missing from her interior was us. Once jobs, graduations and homes were dealt with, we promptly took the red-eye from the west to east coast of the US. In what we hope will be the last of the large luggage for a while, we found not one but three of those over-rated inflatable travel neck pillows. I already have a purge pile as I practice living minimally.
Since the sea trials back in late September and early October, Scout has been hauled-out by Garcia and winterized for the season. While she has been sat on the hard in the French shipyard, one of the final tasks before we set sail in the Spring has been to confirm her name and port of registry - and then have it all marked on her transom.
Warning - this post starts heavy on the sail-speak, but finishes light with a local, celebratory brew. As part of the handover of Scout, team Garcia is expected to test Scout’s sailing performance with the many different sailing manoeuvres. On day three of our handover we tagged along with Garcia for the sea trial and combined it with our own test sail in the sailing playground outside of Cherbourg.
I had a chance to settle into, and savour, the French lifestyle for a couple of days before the ultimate joie de vivre, namely the splashing of Scout. The symbolism of this was significant in that, what had initially been merely a dream-like vision some years ago, had — after careful planning — now become a reality. Scout will no doubt be hauled out and splashed many, many times throughout her life, but the first time is full of extra excitement and a little trepidation (a.k.a. any leaks…?).
In anticipation of our future boat Scout, and, as a recent birthday gift, James surprised me with a first edition collection of poems from John Masefield called Salt Water Ballads (1902). The first book of the future British poet laureate was one of only 500 copies printed, and included the poem Sea-Fever. For many who have an affinity with the sea or a thirst for poetry, the line “all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by” is probably the most well known. I think it is because it casts an endearing, simple need to be at one with the water.
Scout is now more than just a name! This week the French welding factory started the construction of Scout’s super-sturdy aluminium hull. There are various stages to the metalwork welding phase, from plasma cutting, forming, assembly, plating, turning over, finishing and finally sanding - who knew! Once all the stages within the metalwork phase are complete, the hull will then be transferred to the Garcia shipyard in Cherbourg, France, to start on the follow-up phases of construction. We expect the metalwork phase to take about two months or so.