Will Stirling and crew sail Integrity to the North of Iceland

Stirling & Son-built Victorian gentleman’s racing yacht Integrity sailing from Plymouth to the North of Iceland.

Will Stirling writes:

‘We have sailed Integrity from Plymouth to the North of Iceland.The videos show her:

  • on the W Coast of Ireland under full sail; topmast up, jack yard topsail, bowsprit at no. 1 fid position, no. 1 jib and flying jib.
  • rounding the most northerly point of Iceland under square sail. Topmast and bowsprit housed. She travels at a slower speed under square sail but it is comfortable and safe when it is downwind and windy.

Most interestingly, when we doubled this cape and had to harden up in order to meet the head marks for the ancient Viking anchorage of Leirhofn, we braced the square sail round, set the no. 2 jib and she sailed to windward.

When we decided that we would have to beat into the anchorage, we dipped the square sail onto the deck, left the no. 2 jib up and set the staysail and double reefed main (which gives an indication of the wind strength and how comfortably the square sail sets).’

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A replica of the ocean-crossing caique, Bom Successo

When a boatbuilder goes on a trip to the Algarve – a holiday, I’m guessing – what do they do? In my experience they usually find time to look at boats in among the other stuff.

Dorset boatbuilder Ian Baird (contact him here or here) has sent these pictures of the splendid replica of the Bom Sucesso, a caique reconstructed from a drawing of 1808 of a vessel that sailed the Atlantic Ocean from Olhão to Brazil.

‘The Portuguese were rebelling against the French Garrison.

‘Some and 17 men made the voyage on this boat to deliver the news that the French had been beaten and removed from the Algarve, to the King in exile, Dom João IV. They arrived at their destination in less than three months.

‘Cheers, Ian, your correspondent in Southern Europe… ‘