Sailing my Paradox and country living

Visiting in Milbrook Creek


After my quiet night in the shelter of Jennicliff Bay I set off across the Sound towards Cremyll Narrows and on to Milbrook Creek

The wind was strong once away from the shelter of the high cliffs and I made fast progress until arriving at the Bridge.where the adverse tide almost stopped me..

Slow through the narrows at Cremyll too. Although I had a commanding wind and sailing at top speed, the foul tide rushes through here and at times I was whizzing through the water but  almost stopped alongside the same place.

Eventually crept around the corner into Milbrook Creek, where  the tide runs slower and made good speed until  I ran out of water. I just had to sit for a few hours until the tide returned to this drying creek and I could sail on a little way to my meeting with  Nick Skeats ..

Nick’s boat, Wylo 11


Nick has been in Milbrook Creek, dried out on legs on the beach since returning from the Caribbean in June., engaged in a major refit job. He’s lived aboard since building his steel boat  36 years ago and has been dealing with some major corrosion problems.for the last few months.

Some rusting must be expected after all those years – twice around the world and loads of Atlantic crossings. He’s had to remove all the interior – bit -by- bit, to get to the hull plating for chipping and painting. Had to weld in a few patches where the metal was perforated here and there.  He’s no mains electricity where he is and uses old car batteries in series to provide welding current. Then has to wait for a long time while his solar panels recharge the batteries.. That’s really showing patience and a laid back attitude.

Nick’s an amazing bloke. He even built the the propeller himself from mild steel. as is all the rest of the boat and it’s been OK since.. The engine, –  yes he has one ., was taken from his 1948 Bradford van which he was using while building the boat in New Zealand.

Try telling that to the members of the Scuttlebutt forum. They all reckon that an engine over 10 years old is only good for a mooring weight. He’s found the knack of living well on pennies = something like 3 thousand quid a year is his average..astonishing.


In the cabin of Wylo 11. The aft end is all chaos because that’s where Nick’s working at the moment.





The forward part is work shop. Also has a bigger than usual fore-hatch so that he can get his old motorbike in there too. Which naturally is a 1950’s shaft drive Sunbeam

Nick took me to see a new boat nearby. It’s a replica of the Bounty’s launch. Lug rigged, no engine. even has proper wooden barrels for the water supply

. Really is a lovely thing and must have cost loads to build. Capt Bligh sailed the original after the mutiny.






A deep transom, don’t you think. The box aft is for the shipwright’s tools.

After my visit which Nick, and back aboard my boat, I sculled out into the middle of the creek to anchor again for the night. Very strange weather. It was a cold evening, so I lit the paraffin lamp to give a bit of warmth


Made a sandwich for supper and the butter was still hard to spread.


Yet, during the night it became very hot and humid and I woke up in a hot flush at 1 am and took one layer of bedding off. Still couldn’t get back to sleep and sat up for ages eating nuts and drinking coffee. When I eventually drifted off again I didn’t awake until after eight.

I( made a big cock-up when getting under way again this morning. Somehow, I lost control of the sail while hoisting, so it jammed with the yard the wrong side of the mast half up and half down. There I was careering about with the boat totally out of control in the strongish wind. Not my best ever performance. To add to my embarrassment Nick Skeats was watching and gave a loud cheer after all was under control.

The east wind has become strong now  and after sailing up stream beyond Saltash with too many exciting vicious gusts and struggling  to get through the bridges against the tide I’ve anchored in the shallows North of Saltash to await developments…


2 thoughts on “Visiting in Milbrook Creek

  1. Hi Jim
    Lovely series of posts, looks like a great cruise and very social, I’m jealous!!
    By bizarre coincidence I have been aboard a Wylo also this week moored in marina de ragusa Sicily. It too is a work in progress and was constructed by its owner in Plymouth. It is having a major refit by his owner a young English but whose many job is assisting owners of Oyster yachts moored in this marina. I was impressed with the standing headroom throughout but too big for my current purposes.


    • Hi Michael,, You get about don’t you. Yes the Wylo is a big boat with a lot of upkeep needed. I asked Nick if he ever got fed-up with all the chipping and painting and would he have preferred a fibre glass boat. Then he showed me the dent in the bow caused by when he hit a whale.
      Thanks for your comment Michael.


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