By rachelle.turk - 15 Feb 2021
Brexit is clarified, lockdown continues, we have upset the EU by our effective acquisition of
vaccinations, France is upsetting us by being so demanding over our joint borders. What can possibly
go wrong this summer? Barbara and I are about to have our first vaccinations, so with the warm days
of Spring and Summer beckoning what better time can there be to ponder on sailing activities for the
I am seeking crew for the various legs returning Sky Hunter from Turkey to the UK: see below. For
delivery trips the likely maximum number on board will be five. If the RTYC rallies are open, then the
more relaxed plan will come into play. However, if the pandemic continues to lock down countries
around southern Europe, then the Dash for Home will come into play.
Sky Hunter is a J42 from 1995. I have owned her since 2005. Under my ownership she has sailed two
Atlantic crossings, including time in the Caribbean and the east coast of the USA. She has been based
in Turkey for the last twelve years, and we have had great fun, excursions to Greece and beyond, and
Based in Turkey, and therefore outside the UK and the EU, the spectre of Brexit applies to Sky Hunter,
in that she should return to the UK before the end of 2021 in order to rectify any possible deficiency
in her UK VAT status.
The current, interchangeable and elastic plan:
The plan is based on an average boat speed on passage of 5 knots, with engine use taking 2.5litres per
hour. With additional containers the diesel capacity is increased from 120 litres to 220 litres, allowing
for 88 hours or 450NM range by engine.
7/4/21 to 21/4/21
GTE, BE and Guests on Sky Hunter to include electrical work, engine service, new life raft, rigging check,
antifouling and other preparation for the year ahead as well as local sailing.
6/5/21 to 20/5/21
Delivery to Naples in time for RTYC Rally. This is a leg of about 800NM, so around 7 sailing days,
heading past mainland Greece to the south of the Peloponnese, through the straits of Messina and on
to Naples. The leg can be lengthened to over 1,000NM by going around Sicily, around 8 sailing days.
If possible we will bypass Greece to delay paying the local boat tax and to avoid any refusal by the
Greeks to allow a boat from Turkey to land in Greece.
22/5/21 to 5/6/21
RTYC Naples Rally
20/6/21 to 8/7/21
Delivery to Levkas in the Ionian in time for RTYC Family Rally. This is a leg of about 450NM, so around
4 sailing days. This will be a more relaxed trip, with some overnight stops on the way.
10/7/21 to 24/7/21
RTYC Family Rally
Ionian to Gibraltar. This leg totals around 1,300NM with around 12 sailing days in total. Depending
on crew time and preference it can be broken down to Ionian – Sicily (355NM; 3 days), Sicily – Sardinia
(355NM; 3 days), Sardinia – Minorca (250NM; 2 days), Minorca – Gibraltar (526NM, 4 days).
Timing has not yet been decided, but will be during August.
Gibraltar to Hamble. The final, and most interesting leg, can be achieved by coast hopping up the
Spain and Portugal against a northerly current and possible northerly winds, or heading further west
into the Atlantic to aim for earlier contact with the southwesterlies to ease the entry into the English
The direct route is around 1,250 NM, with both direction and time increased by headwinds. The likely
timescale will be 12 to 14 days.
If there is demand for a more leisurely route visiting Cascais and the Spanish Rias before crossing
Biscay, this could be accommodated with two separate legs.
Dash for Home
If the above timing is not possible, then the journey can be concertinaed into three legs:
Turkey to Malta
Malta to Gibraltar
Gibraltar to UK
Timing for these legs will be over July to September.
Each of these legs is over 1,000NM, therefore a qualifying length for membership of the OCC. I am
advertising my intentions to: Royal Thames Yacht Club, Royal Cruising Club and Ocean Cruising Club.
Travel, Health and Brexit
The UK is no longer part of the EU. After all, it is fallout from this that is the purpose of returning Sky
Hunter to the UK before 31/12/21. We will have to abide by restrictions imposed by the EU in respect
of the 90 day out of 180 days presence within the EU. To minimise our presence in the EU it is my
current intention to log out of each country when a leg takes us to a new country, so that sailing days
are not included within the 90 day allowance.
We cannot know at this stage the impact of COVID-19 on the expedition. We will certainly wish to
avoid any lock downs and enforced isolation. Hopefully we will all have been vaccinated before we
Please ensure that your passport has at least six months to run from the expected return date.
Please have appropriate travel health and repatriation insurance. If you have one bring with you your
European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Alternatively, by the time we travel the new UK Global Health
Insurance Card (GHIC) will be available.
Sky Hunter has a reasonable medical kit, but crew members should ensure that they bring a more than
adequate supply of any medication required.
Much of the route is well covered for emergency diversions, but these might include diversion to non-EU countries (Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco). Consider updating vaccinations against local illnesses.
Sky Hunter is well set up for bedding and towels. However, if crew members can bring a sleeping bag
it would be helpful; light waterproofs would also be useful, but there is a limit of one bag per crew
Crew members are responsible for their own travel costs to and from the boat and are responsible for
travel related costs such as visas and vaccinations.
Costs will be shared by crew members for food and drink, mooring and pontoon fees, fuel, and other
voyage related expenditure.
If you would like to be involved in all or part of this venture please let me know, so that we can discuss
and perhaps meet over a Zoom call: