Ireland to France- Our first crossing.

After almost a month of pottering around Baltimore, provisioning and making the boat ready for cruising we finally picked a gap in the weather and hit the high seas.

On June 12th we topped up our water and fuel tanks, tied our dingy to the deck and set course for France.

We sailed out the mouth of the harbour passed the beacon at about 2215h. Initially we tried to do 2 hour shifts on watch throughout the night, with one person in the wheel house and one person sleeping in the saloon where they could get up quickly if they were needed.

The first night we kept having trouble with our Aries, self steering (we later modified where the Aries was attached to the tiller to give it a bigger swing and better control the boat even when it went off course) As a result we had a very sporadic sleep pattern for the few nights during crossing from Ireland to France.

We had good wind leaving Ireland that lasted through the first night, first day and into the second day. However on the second day it ended up been flat calm. We dropped our sails and motored through to the 3rd night. As our final day came around we picked up a bit more wind and were able to start sailing again but we still had to keep the motor going to keep us moving at a reasonable 4 knots.

It then took us the most of your 3rd day to get from the shipping lanes off Ouessant to our anchorage in Camaret. Apart from running into a calm patch half way over we were pleased with our first crossing together, no choppy seas and nobody’s lunch was emptied over the side.

Looking forward to a few days of rest we hit our bunks for a full nights sleep.

Cape Clear- A rough night at sea

We wanted to spend a night at sea before we did our first crossing to France. One evening we decided to just sail out towards the Mizen Head. This was not our best idea as this particular night ended up being very rough with very steep choppy waves. We were out about 3 hours out when we decided that it wasn’t worth putting ourselves through a full night of horror. We changed our course and decided to make something out of the sail by sailing into the nearest harbour, Cape Clear North.

It’s a small harbour with steep rock cliffs on either side of the entrance. It was about 2am by the time we made our way into the harbour and tied up at the pier. We eat some lovely vegetarian chilli that Ciara had prepared before we headed off. We then collapsed into bed and fell straight asleep.

The following morning (maybe midday) we were greeted with sunshine and a much calmer day. We spent a few hours tidying up the boat as stuff had falled all over the place the night before. One of our friends paid us a visit in his rib and then we sailed back to Baltimore with a nice following wind.
The experience of the night before was a bit putting off at the time but looking back on it now I think it was good that we got stuck in some really crappy weather, if only for a few hours. it was a bit of a warning to make sure you are properly prepared and that you make sure that you have a good handle on the weather forecast.

Heir Island- A short cruise and a broken camera.

Since we have both finished up work and moved onto the boat we haven’t had very good weather. It has been very windy and quite wet. As a result we haven’t made it far from Baltimore on our shakedown cruises.

We spent a night anchored off heir island where we walked to the far end of the island to take some photos and see the sights. Unfortunately our good camera broke half way through the day so we only got and few nice shots to show you.

I was sad to see the old camera go as I had the camera almost 5 years and it went everywhere with me. We were going to be using the camera a lot we ordered and new body for it straight away. I had no hesitation in getting the same camera as the old one had survived so well and always produced great results. We got the new camera in the post in a few days.



New ships wheel

Our old wheel took up a lot of room and it was not the prettiest. I decided to make a new wheel out of plywood.
First I cut out 3 rough circles from 5mm plywood. Then I bolted each one to a jig I made for my router.

As I used the same bolt hole to mount each piece of ply there were all identical so they fit together perfectly. I then glued the 3 pieces together and clamped them in the vice overnight.

I marked out where I wanted to cut out material to make the spokes of the wheel.

I used a new hole in my “router table” to cut the 6 radius around the sides of the wheel. I used a drill to make the 6 holes close to the centre of the wheel. Then I used a jig-saw to join the radius to the hole leaving me with 6 triangles removed and 6 spokes for the wheel.

I then used a corner radius bit in the router to round all the edges inside and outside. A hole was drilled in the middle of the wheel to attach the centre piece from the old wheel. I also put a step in the middle that the compass cover would fit into.

It was then just a matter of sanding and varnishing.

Here are some photos of the wheel in the boat and how the mechanism works. since our boat has a tiller the wheel is not always connected, we use this chain to connect and disconnect the pulley system from the wheel.


Vent for our fridge

We didn’t have a fridge before so finding a place to put one was kind of hard. Eventually we decided to put it in one of the lockers in the bow cabin as it makes a bit of noise and it is an easy locker to get at. The only problem is that the fridge requires air to be circulated around it and when the locker is closed there is no room to circulate air. 

So one of the jobs today is to add vents to the side of this locker. We are adding two so that the warm air will create a draft and help bring in colder air.

I started by placing the vent in the location I wanted it and marking one of the holes.

Then after drilling the first hole we bolted the grill in place so that the rest of the holes would be drilled in the right places.

Once all fo the holes were drilled we marked out a rectangle of material we wanted to remove.

We drilled 4 holes big enough to insert the jigsaw. The hole also give the vent hole nice rounded corners.

As the grill was going over the vent hole we weren’t too woried about appearance’s. Here is a pic of the vent with the protective plastic removed and all the bolts inserted. On reflection the stainless steal bolts may have been an overkill.

Thanks for reading. Any questions you can email us at or message us on instagram @asailingadventure

New ASA Logo

We would like to thank Chris from Dog Day Media for sorting us out with our new logo. 

 Our boat is named ‘An Gobadán’. This is the Irish word for the Sandpiper; hence the bird in the logo! We like it and we hope ye like it too. 

Raspberry Pi Chart Ploter

Setting up Open CPN on a Raspberry Pi.

I started out thinking that it was going to be a matter of ordering all the parts plugging them together and installing some software. even though that is basically what I did, it ended up taking more time and research than I had initially expected.

I am working on adding an AIS receiver and GPS to this setup but as i don’t have them working yet I won’t cover them here.

Today I am going to cover;

  • The Hard Wear setup
  • Installing NOOBS
  • Installing Open CPN


I got all my parts on you can find them on other places.  You will need:


Raspberry Pi I got the Pi 3 as it was the newest when I placed the order. Pi 3 has a built in wifi and 4 USB ports.


A Micro SD Card nothing special here, just make sure you get a real name brand one.


Touch Screen  You don’t need a touch screen I just got this as I wanted to try it out. The raspberry pi is a little slow and the touch interface makes it a little frustrating to use at times. So I generally use the mouse most of the time.


Key Board and Mouse I got this keyboard Mouse combination as it was small wireless and had a track pad. It’s a little flimsy but is fine for working on the Raspberry pi.


DC/DC Converter I am powering the Raspberry Pi and Screen from a DC/DC converter tuned to 5 volts. To use this instead of a micro USB cable you will need to do some soldering. If you are going to power your setup like this you need to check the converter is set to 5v first, otherwise you might burn your Pi!!
Burnt Pi

I used my multi meter to check the voltage.


I then connected the Converter to the GPIO pin of the Raspberry pi to power it up.
Burnt Pi

I 3D printed the case to hold everything in one box and tidy the wires. I have up loaded all the files to MyMiniFactory page


I have also designed my own wall mounts and quick release plate for mounting everything.


Chart_plotter stl ZIP File


Once I had power to my setup then I installed NOOBS on the Micro SD Card. There is no point in repeating information. Here is a link to the Raspberry Pi website:

I had a problem when setting up my screen. The raspberry wasn’t automatically recognizing the screen. After lots of looking I found a simple solution:

  1. I inserted the Micro SD Card into my main computer and found the config.txt file.
  2. I opened the file in a text editor.
  3. I added the following lines to the bottom of the file. hdmi_force_hotplug=1
    hdmi_cvt=1024 600 60 3 0 0 0
  4. I saved the file and reinserted the SD Card into the Pi.

It worked fine after this.

Now that the Pi is booted up and setup its time to install Open CPN. Again here I’m not going to go into detail. There is a page on the Open CPN website that covers this and a link to a blog post that does a much better job of explaining the process than I could. The blog post also explains adding a GPS which I have not done yet.

There are a few other articles and videos that I came across and it either helped me or are related to running Open CPN



A Sinking Feeling – VLOG 006

In this video Irial patches our new rubber dinghy and we finish work in the heads, painting the walls, fitting the fresh water pump and putting in the surround for the sink.
The Time Lapse at the end of the video is taken from the top of the highest mountain in Ireland, where we went last weekend.

Enjoy the video!


CANON 600D –
CANON LENSE 18-135mm –
GOPRO Hero 4 Black