Circumcising French Island.

A day on the water with my partners Dad. It’s blowing 25 knots. Solid.

“Shall we reef?”. “Nar. Reefing is for Pansies”.

Did he say, ‘Pansies’?

Not sure… but whatever he said, we didn’t reef.

All the sails up.

So, there we were, Ray at the tiller in a homemade 24 foot Trimaran beating from Hastings to Tortoise Head in 25 knots against a strong tide.

Wet. Crazy. Fun.

Think ‘Capt Dan up the rigging’ in that scene in Forest Gump.

“Is that the best you you can do, God?!”

We round Tortoise Head and crack off toward Rhyll.


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Fast fun. There are times when the boat is almost out of control, but not quite. We push it and push it. Ray locks his jaw on the tiller. I keep the mainsheet in my hand…

Rhyll. We leave Surfarosa at the dock and go in search of an early lunch/coffee.

The Rhyll Cafe is crowded with tourists and locals, we spare them our wet, salty, smelly, wild haired selves and walk to the General Store. Ah, ya gotta love a General Store that smells like the 1950s but serves passable coffee.

A thought drifts between us… “Er, we could go right around french Island, ya know”, “What? Tides? Wind?”. “Yep. Strangely, all good. Never occured to me until now…”

Ray gets a tad steely (which quite frankly scared me a little…)

“OK. Lets go”

We sail off the pier with a crunch and find ourselves surfing downwind, wing on wing, at 10 knots. Charts and compass on our laps. The Eastern side of French Island is beautiful. Gumtrees grow to the waters edge. Off the Grid farms. Sandbars and deep water.

We anchor at the NE corner for a brew.


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Lines are imagined on the chart and we are off across the Northern Shore of French Island in 25knots of offshore wind over very flat water.

The boat sits on 15 knots for about an hour.

Amazing sailing. It is way windy. We have too much sail up.

A scary kind of Joy. The best kind.


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2 thoughts on “Circumcising French Island.

  1. This is all kinds of awesome! I got such a rush watching those videos. 15 knots! No reefs! Hooning!! What a sail!

  2. I’d love to say the obvious but cannot, not in such a public forum….but what does French Island look like after it’s been circumcised Mr Adams? :) Great sailing, by the way, more especially with your f-i-l on board!

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