Members´ stories

What’s Vicky up to now?


For those CBYA members who don’t know me, I left the Costa Blanca in January 2015 to follow my dream and sail the world as crew on a variety of boats.  Hugh has asked me to share my latest adventure with you.

Captain Chris, a retired pilot, and his dear wife Pam, invited me to join them for this four-month adventure aboard their very comfortable motor cruiser, a 62ft Tollycraft. We will sail the entire inside passage from Olympia Washington to Skagway Alaska, and back (a journey of about 3000 nautical miles).

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Sunny Spray Rides Again!


After their intrepid cruise around the Atlantic during 2015 – 2017, Helma & Bob Hermans have now started to think about doing a bit of sailing again! They have now completed the mast repair on their yacht S/Y Sunny Spray, which was damaged during their Atlantic cruise, and she is almost ready to go to sea once more.

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Royal Clipper – the world’s largest fully rigged sailing ship!



Imagine this: gentle waves lapping rhythmically against a wind-driven hull, the scent of the salty sea spray on the freshening breeze, taut sails towering majestically overhead, a pod of young dolphins dancing in the bow wave of the azure waters– all against a backdrop of some of Europe’s most breath-taking coastlines. This was the lure of what was promised to be the voyage of a lifetime for Paul and Helen Nicholls.

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CBYA Visit to the Isle of Wight 27th June – 1st July 2019


Julie Benneworth mooted the idea of this excursion and, together with CBYA Vice-Chairman Neil Robertson, and partner, Vicki Dryden-Wyatt, organised a super four-night CBYA trip to the Isle of Wight for the Round the Island Race. Eleven of us lodged at the Royal London Yacht Club, thanks to Neil/Vicki’s membership there.

On the first day we had lunch at the RORC, and in the evening Neil/Vicki invited us to their lovely house for cocktails, together with some of their local friends, prior to all going for fish and chip dinner at the Island Sailing Club.

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Water Under The Keel!


CBYA members may be interested in this book, “Water Under The Keel” – written by Jenny’s deceased husband, John.

The book is available in print, and is also on Kindle.

It covers his two years’ single-handing his 31ft yacht from the UK, via the Mediterranean, to the Caribbean, – where he first met Jenny in Martinique in 1981!

Should be a good read!

The Adventures of Sunny Spray


Helma and Bob Hermans completed a two and a half year cruise around the Atlantic during 2017 in S/Y Sunny Spray, the yacht that they built themselves. Their route took them from Oliva, Spain, through the Strait of Gibraltar, via the Bay of Cadiz and the Guadalquivir; and to all but one of the Canary Islands. Then down south to Dakar, and further south to the Sine Saloum (a delta just north of Gambia), and across the Atlantic from the Saloum to French Guyana. They then cruised along the Central American coast, the Caribbean, the Windward Islands, and then recrossed the Atlantic to sail back home to Spain.

You can read all of their interesting regular reports by clicking on the links below:

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Copa del Canal; Great Result – 09.10.2017


Copa del Canal – Great Result – 09 October 2017 read more →

Izzy & Piers – Sicilian Cruise Blog


Izzy & Piers Armstrong enjoyed a cruise in Sicilian waters in June/July 2017.

Click HERE to read their amusing report.


A Cruise to Isla Cabrera


A Cruise to Isla Cabrera


We departed Marina de Denia early on Wednesday 7 Sept on Tony and Julie Benneworth’s 60’ ketch, S/Y Royal Atenea, for a week’s cruise to Cabrera Island (south of Mallorca) and Ibiza. The rest of the crew comprised their UK-based friends, Jackie Carter and Iain Lorraine, Gillian and myself.

On our departure, the wind was light, and on the nose, so we motor-sailed most of the way to Ibiza, arriving just before sunset at Cala Lunga, on the west side of the island. We spotted two pilot whales on the surface on the way over.

    92-captain-tony      21-safely-in-cabrera33-castillo-from-yacht

             Captain Tony                                       Happy crew                                              Cabrera Castle

 The next day the wind was still light and easterly, so we again motor-sailed – the trip from Ibiza to Cabrera Island taking most of the day. We joined around 30 other yachts in Cabrera harbour just before sunset. Cabrera is a nature reserve and a special permit is required to stay overnight – which we obtained for three nights as we planned to do some scuba diving.

The next day Tony, Gillian and I prepared our scuba diving equipment, partially geared up and lowered the dinghy to transfer from the yacht to the harbour jetty to meet the Aventura IB dive boat as it arrived from Mallorca at 1100 hours. We met a young German couple on board who were also diving with us. After gearing up, the dive guide, Adrien, gave us a dive briefing on our first dive at Cabo Llebeig, about a 10-minute boat ride from the port. After sorting out a few buoyancy problems, we enjoyed a pleasant dive seeing barracuda, fusiliers, wrasse, garoupas, etc. We returned to the port for a surface interval and lunch on board Royal Atenea, before heading out for our second dive at Cala Galieta, slightly further from the port. This dive was less interesting than the first as we spent quite a long time looking for a large school of barracuda in the deep blue (which we did not find due to poor vis). However, later Gillian made friends with a large garoupa which was fascinated by her white gloves – tried to bite a finger – and followed her around closely for the rest of the dive. Unfortunately didn’t take the Go-Pro!

Since none of the rest of the crew were feeling very energetic, I took the dinghy ashore early the next morning and climbed to the top of Cabrera castle where I enjoyed a great view of the harbour. The rest of the day was spent chilling before going ashore for drinks and tapas at the sole (expensive) hostelry on the island. Jackie and Gillian climbed to the castle.


                            Cabrera Harbour

We left early the next morning for a glassy, windless crossing back to Cala Portinatx on the north side of Ibiza, seeing five pods with around 20 dolphins on the way over, including babies. Having to dispose of the rubbish justified another trip ashore by the fellas and the obligatory drink or two on arrival!


Dolphins                                             Under sail                                       Hostess del día   

On the sixth day we finally found a decent breeze and enjoyed a great sail down the east side of Ibiza to our final anchorage at Cala Torrent, stopping briefly at Marina Ibiza on the way to refuel.  On arrival at Cala Torrent, we went ashore for a few sundowners and to book our (very expensive) lunch for the next day, at Restaurante Es Torrent.  Our last day at Ibiza was spent snorkeling before returning to the restaurant for a great lunch, followed by a much-needed siesta back on board.


                      Post-lunch                                               Royal Atenea                                        Comfy forward cabin

Weather forecasts predicted worsening conditions that night so we moved to a more protected anchorage next door at Cala Roig before hitting the sack. However we still experienced strong winds all night and dragged our anchor once before putting down more chain. Tony slept in the wheel house on anchor watch. The rest of us had a pretty sleepless night due to the wind, anchor and wave noise!

We departed before sunrise for our final leg back to Denia in 25 – 30 knots of wind, looking forward to an exciting sail home. However on rounding the final point of the island we were hit by a large swell and wind right on the nose again! We attempted to sail in very lumpy seas for 4 – 5 hours before realising that we were not making much headway. So, with half of the crew feeling seasick, and one messing up the deck!, we decided to furl the genoa and motor-sail back home. After a somewhat unpleasant (understatement: Gillian) 12+ hour crossing, we finally arrived back at Marina de Denia just before 2000 hours where we had some trouble tying up at our temporary mooring alongside the fuel jetty, due to the strong wind. We decided to leave all post-cruise yacht cleaning and tidying work until the next morning and headed home, exhausted but happy!

Thanks Tony and Julie for a great trip!

Hugh Epsom




A Big warm, special hello from TRICKY ‘D’ my crew and myself, to all my many friends in the CBYA and around the globe.

 20160603_183059 The first crew.

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