Every other year, I stretch the legs of Bagheera with something a bit more demanding than a trip to Brittany. While thinking about what to do in 2017, it occurred to me that I had covered the entire coastline of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland (well, excluding Orkney and Shetland) except for the stretch from Ramsgate to Inverness. It seemed as though the time had come to close the loop; the small problem was that to do this, we had to either leave Bagheera somewhere in Scotland or alternatively complete a circumnavigation in one throw. After some thought, I decided on the latter, with all the challenges entailed.
As I thought about it, more intermediate objectives presented themselves:
• Going up the Thames to London and mooring in St. Katharine Docks;
• Making a pilgrimage to Arthur Ransome's Secret Water territory on the East coast;
• Taking Bagheera to Whitby, her original port of registration;
• Going up the Tyne to Newcastle, my home town;
• Calling on my Best Man who lives near Amble;
• Visiting Peterhead, where I spent 5 years building a major power station;
• Going up the Mersey to Liverpool (only because I had never spoken to anybody who had done it!);
Planning started before Christmas 2016 and the journey was divided into 4 main legs - Dartmouth to London, London to Inverness, the transit of the Caledonian Canal and Fort William to Dartmouth. With enough crew coming forward to cover the whole trip, it was game on! It then became a scramble to assemble all the charts and pilot books necessary (many thanks to Tim and Anne Bizzey for the loan of their collection) and to get Bagheera ready for the trip.
Click on the PDF link above to read David's story.