Sailing Yacht SEA BUNNY

Christmas 2018 and New Year 2019 newsletter

Our activities since the 2017 news letter

We are now settled into our house in Somerset and have carried out the bulk of modifications we planned. Consequently, while we still have Sea Bunny, sailing has been relegated in order of importance!

Click here to view a PDF version of the news letter as sent by post (fewer pictures).

Back as "dirt dwellers"

Blast from the East

Except for a couple of short periods camping in an unfurnished rented property, 2018 has been our first year back living in our own house since 2001 when we left to go sailing on Sea Bunny. To remind us that we are now back in higher latitudes, snow hit south Somerset in the “blast from the east” at the beginning of March. Something we’re only used to in ski resorts.

New beam

Drying the house out following the 2017 plumbing mishap took several months and some large equipment with octopus like tentacles that dried under floorboards. Meanwhile modifications to the downstairs layout commenced in January and rumbled on into April.

Assistant electrician

Richard became the inhouse “sparks” when the kitchen was gutted and remodelled. Under UK regulations most electrical work has to be tested and signed off by an authorised electrical technician. Fortunately our electrician was happy to do this for us. We had a jolly good bunch of workmen so the situation never became so dire that we had to retreat to the pub.

Decking base

Susan has grounded herself outside -having inherited an organic wildlife garden that had been neglected for eight months while Sea Bunny was brought back from Brazil- she has had her hands full. It is amazing how many large plant items can be fitted into Desmond, our small car. Now we look forward to the spring and the results of her labours and more plant loads.

The main decking has been replaced as well as the floor of the small summerhouse.

Sea Bunny's year

While we still have Sea Bunny she has not been able to receive the attention she is used to.


Although we regularly checked that all was well on Sea Bunny it was July before she was up to speed enough to leave the marina. Well - we had been in house beautiful not boat beautiful mode. Steve and Catharine’s children Archie and Max were with us for 10 days and this gave us the excuse to do inshore along the Dorset coast in glorious sunshine. On to Poole for a meetup with Nik and Lou, Jane and James, Josh, Jake and Mia. Then a fun day rafted up with Ampère (Nik’s boat) in South Deep – paddleboarding for the boys

Our holiday on Sea Bunny came in August. We are now committed fair weather sailors with a marked aversion to going to windward in temperate latitudes so did forgo a meet up in the Yealm River. Instead we headed for the Channel Islands and France.

Steep climb

Having spent years in places where one can largely ignore the effects of tide, leeway and even compass error it was a rude reminder that this is not the case when crossing the English Channel. Suffice it to say that we ended up in the charming small French port of Omonville having got downtide of Alderney! We spent a few days revisiting Guernsey, Sark, Lezardrieux and Treguier before re-crossing the Channel, accurately this time, to join the Ocean Cruising Club West Country meet in Falmouth – Sea Bunny’s port of registry.


The leisurely return trip involved exploring those long West Country rivers. A month’s sailing is good for the soul.


Max in freefall

As Sea Bunny is in Portland the Bill was an excellent area to explore with Archie & Max with coasteering being a firm favourite.

Archie in the rigging

Having already become enthralled by SS Great Britain in Bristol earlier in the year a return visit saw that Archie was tall enough to climb the rigging.

Our home is within easy reach of James and Jane and family in the New Forest and Nik and Lou’s retreat in Poole, so we have been able to see more of them. This is good as both Nik and James have been recruited to help remove things from Sea Bunny. James helped Richard remove the failed generator and Nik’s car roof bars took the weight of Susan’s Walker Bay dinghy. Now Sea Bunny is really rising higher in the water!

We will have a fishy Christmas day together, with the boys and families coming on boxing day. Those from Edinburgh will be with us in the New Year. Next year if all goes to plan we will celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary.

Vllage activities

Henstridge is a proper active village with a monthly quiz in the excellent village pub. We soon joined the local U3A and became involved with several groups. Bridge and walking we do together.

We send our love.

Susan & Richard

Some more pictures from the year

  • Family gathering - Boxing Day 2017
  • Ampèere renaming
  • Temperate latitude fouling
  • Helmsman Max
  • Approaching Salterns Marina - Poole
  • Ampère about to raft up to Sea Bunny
  • Knot practice
  • Durdle Door
  • Brunels innovative propeller - SS Great Britain
  • Belvoir Bay Herm - memories of 1980s on Abanna
  • jquery carousel
  • Inshore around Portland Bill
Family gathering - Boxing Day 20171 Ampère renaming2 Temperate latitude fouling3 Helmsman Max4 Approaching Salterns Marina - Poole5 Ampère about to raft up to Sea Bunny6 Knot practice7 Durdle Door8 Brinels innovative propeller - SS Great Britain9 Belvoir Bay Herm - memories of 1980s on Abanna10 Helford - not much changed since Richards first visit in 196611 Inshore around Portland Bill12
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14 December 2018, Henstridge, UK

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