Paimpol was parfait!

Golden Vanity the classic boat owned by First Class Sailing set out on its maiden voyage to Paimpol Sea Shanty festival. With five clients, a first mate and myself, Ross Brady, as Skipper it from Day One proved to be a very memorable voyage.

Setting off from Shamrock Quay we knew we had our Channel Island stop off in mind, ideally Guernsey but the bolt hole was Alderney.

With a hearty crew and a cracking first few hours we set off on stage one. With a shakedown and some observation, I was able to understand the capabilities of our crew and work to each one’s strength.

With the added wonder of a magical destination there was nothing but joy on this vessel. As our first night sail came around it became quickly apparent how this team would pull together. The night watches rolled through as did the offer of belly timber and tea and coffee!

As the sun rose the wind picked up. I knew this was going to be the case but wanted to monitor to what extent. As the wave height grew so did the wet and cold but despite this morale did not dip!

My bolt hole plan now became the plan of action, Alderney it was. Tides, Increasingly strong winds meant as Skipper I needed to take our good ship and crew to a safe haven.

As we arrived and took up a visitor mooring the waves and sea state were a beautiful sight buy growing ever more dramatic.

With the wonder and kindness of the Alderney Harbour team and their water taxi we were ashore showered and watching over a beer the storm roll in.

As a Skipper it is imperative as a Skipper to know the limits of your crew, your vessel and yourself – we had met those, and I felt I had made a wide choice.

With a rest day in Alderney and the storm passing through we set out towards Paimpol. Reaching speeds of 12 knots this gaff rig felt like she knew she was festival bound! A cracking sail was an understatement!

As the nautical miles drifted by our crew’s excitement grew.

As we reached the lock at Paimpol you could feel the beat of the music, the magic of the festival and the brilliance of so many wonderful boats in one place! We had arrived!

Friendships, yarns, dancing, fine food and happy times were very much the note of this Sea Shanty festival. Golden Vanity herself felt like she enjoyed her voyage and she could herself party with her boating chums!

Bring on Paimpol 2025!

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