Put some donk on it / Peter Mathias

I’ll come to the title later.

This blog is intended only to highlight the interesting, humourous or otherwise noteworthy happenings of our travels in Filibuster.

Our the last trip of some 4 weeks was, well, average. The weather was,well, average, we didn’t hit anything, nothing hit us (apart from the mysterious yellow mark now on our life raft). All the places visited have been written about… no cars fell in the water etc…

Something Remarkable….

But before I distil that , that recent, average, trip, let me tell you about something remarkable that happened today, down here in Pembrokeshire:

Peter Mathias walked up the hill to the chalet, in between rain storms and with a smile said “hello”  and:

  • It was my birthday yesterday
  • I’ve just got engaged
  • Can I introduce you?

WOW. Peter’s wife Anne passed away in 2013 after a battle with cancer. We had lost touch a bit.

And now a new love enters his life. Cath is a delightful lady, Irish, shares a common love of golf with Peter and enjoys travel.


Peter and Cath.

Peter holds a dear place in our life and early sailing career: we raced with and against each other, did delivery trips together, we bought our chalet from him and more recently he hosted James for a week of work experience at a real architects practice.

We wish Peter and Cath the best for the future.

A neat manoevre

Read this: About getting Filibuster into a tricky mooring.

So, if you find yourself having got yourself in to a similar position :

  • alongside a pontoon
  • 3 boats fore, 3 boat aft, no more than 2 ft either end to play with.
  • no wind to help you out
  • no bow thruster to turn the nose?

And the 3 boats aft being worth more than £1m, skippers hovering, all watching and wondering how you are going to get out without damaging their prized possessions….

We saw this in Piriac, just a few weeks earlier, when a student in a bateau ecole (training boat) got their command stuck and the teacher had to show them how to get out:

  1. create a pivot point on the bow by taking a line from outermost cleat to the pontoon.
  2. remove all other lines
  3. put the boat into reverse.

The boat can’t go forward, can’t go backward, can only pivot around the one line – and it will do so to 90 degrees or more.

Slowly she does it. Slip the line and reverse out. Works on a bateau ecole, worked on Filibuster.

All watchers smile, think “neat”. A Facebook equivalent of a super like if they have one…..


How to get out of a tight spot (I’m a better sailor than an artist!)

The donk

not yet…

Frank Singleton

We bought Filibuster in 2007. Mobile internet was not there. For those of us needing up to date weather info there was one source: Frank Singleton and his collection of nascent weather info delivery services that could be acquired using the painfully slow, but all we had at the time, GPRS on mobile.

Well I’m pleased to report that Frank and his wife Jennifer came alongside us in St Martin for a few days.

Both over 80 they are a remarkable example of “continuing to use it” as they have campaigned their Halberg Rassy for many years and continue to do so.


Frank and (recently showered) Jennifer Singleton aboard their HR34 Anhinga in St Martin, Ile de Re

Demi Donk

Explained later (sorry: I’m struggling to pad this one out)

Photos from a plane

See this:groix from the air

Well we’ve all taken photos from a plane. Note how clear this one is? It comes from the driver’s seat. Cap’n Laurie Stimpson flying an Easyjet Airbus south-ish to Lisbon. The island is Ile de Groix, L’Orient and Port Louis to the left. Mid picture is the Quiberon Peninsula. In the far distance would be Piriac Sur Mer, where I write from.


And finally: donk

our new found friends: John and Julia Strudwick on board their Nauticat Wyldwind. Now Nauticats are built for comfort,pleasure and not hi-performance. they come with appropriately sized engines (ie the donk) that, when sailing isn’t the right option , the donk does it.

And so into our vocabulary comes:

  • put some donk on it: give it some welly
  • demi donk day: motor until the wind pipes up
  • donk it: better put the engine on to avoid whatever needs donking

The next instalment

Starts August 16th. Let’s hope something more interesting happens. Let me know if you would like to join us.