Crossing the English channel

After the setbacks in Hamble we were very pleased to have Interlude back in the water, fuelled up and ready to go. As we’ve registered the boat as Australian (more on this another time) we had to visit somewhere outside of the EU to take official ownership. Until this point we’d been basically crewing for the dealers.

Pete Green, the owner of the delivery company Jamie and Peter worked for, was kind enough to skipper the day hop from Hamble over to Guernsey. We’d done a passage plan for this complex route which Pete had checked over so in order to catch the favourable tide out of the UK we needed to set off at 6am. I’m not known for being a morning person but after all the morning watches coming over from Germany I knew the routine well. At least it was warmer on this leg, well to start with…

Pete had mentioned to us the weather might turn a little nasty and in turn create lumpy seas during the day. We got a large taste of both. The sea was pretty rocky and soon enough a cold rain was hammering down on us. This kept on during the morning so by lunch both Helen and I were feeling pretty rotten. Feeling sea sick is horrible. I hate it. You just feel useless. It’s like being on a ride you can’t get off three hours after it was fun.

Hamble Rain

We’d both taken seasickness tablets but that just made us both feel very drowsy.
Without going into too many details it was a pretty crappy day in terms of how we felt. Pete really helped though by keeping the mood fun and sharing some of his vast experience. One of the best things I love about the guys from Halcyon yachts is that they all seem keen to share and help wherever possible. You can see they take great pride in this and I think it flows from Pete the owner. I wish more companies showed the passion he does and to anyone reading this who needs a delivery company, you won’t find better.

After a late afternoon sail through the ‘Alderley Race’ where we reached over 12knots SOG and were heeled so far over I felt like I was sitting on top of Petes head, we approached Guernsey.

Pete wanted us to effectively bring Interlude in as if he wasn’t there so we got our passage plan sorted for entering St. Peter’s Port, got the sails away and started picking up the lights as darkness set in. Navigating at night can be very confusing, lights everywhere, some of which are moving straight for you (other yachts leaving), some of which are cars on land, etc. It took a lot of concentration, and I probably relied on the plotter too much but we got into port just as the tidal stream was really pushing against us around 10:30pm.

6:00am to 10:30pm is a LONG day in the conditions we faced so we all crashed out for a very well earned sleep.


After our epic seven day crossing from Germany to the Uk it was great to have a few days recharging and taking stock of what we’d just accomplished. We both fell in love with Hamble village and it’s cozy English pub scene. One in particular became a firm fav during our stay and we’ll miss the people we befriended there. We also caught up with some old school friends who just so happened to have moved to Hamble.

The main reason (apart from all the eating and drinking) we were in Hamble was to tick off all the small issues we’d found with Interlude during her passage over. This ‘snag list’ wasn’t particularly big thankfully and again Inspiration Marine were amazing with the support offered. Phil, Mick, and Tim really did pull out all the stops to get everything fixed up.

Everything was going great in fact until our Volvo engine service. This first service was required as part of the warranty and needed to be done around the 50-100 hour mark. We’d noticed a little oil under the engine coming over from Germany, which we were told was probably some nut that needed tightening. Turns out we weren’t so lucky. As soon as the engineer looked at the leak and started talking we knew we were in trouble. Calls were made, to Volvo and back to the Hanse factory, then we were told poor Interlude would need to be taken out of the water.

This really threw out our plans. We had banked on just seven days in Hamble to get all the snags sorted + add our additional items (such as solar panels, etc). We were suddenly looking at ‘weeks’ of work needing to be done.

Luckily one of the head guys at Inspiration was able to pull some strings and get our case prioritised. Interlude came out of the water and we ended up spending the night living aboard a fancy treehouse.



We decided to head back to our families homes for a few days while everything was resolved which turned out to be the right call as we had no water, electric, etc, onboard + would have just been in everyones way.

So what was the issue? Turns out a tiny o-ring seal was forgotten back in Germany on the sail-drive. This allowed a small amount of water to leak into the engine during her trip back to the Uk. In the end they replaced the whole sail-drive so we basically got a new engine, and without it costing us a penny. It’s at times like these we were both very pleased about our decision to get a new boat with a solid warranty. I hate to think how much that $1 o-ring seal ended up costing someone else.

I have to say though everyone was amazing throughout the process. Sure it cost us a few days but knowing we have a fully working boat with everything double checked before heading out gives us a lot of confidence and everyone helping us couldn’t have been nicer so I don’t look back on the situation negatively at all. At the very least it allowed us a few more nights in those pubs I mentioned. 😉