After 15 months of planning I finally get to see Infinity, and she is beautiful.
Her commissioning was in Fox’s marina, Ipswich UK 100 miles northeast of London.The next 3 days are filled with a through introduction to all the systems onboard and a day sea trial where in light winds we run through her sail inventory including twin headsails, asymmetric and staysail which reefs to a storm jib if needed. It was a mind numbing few days . Given the complexity of her systems : sails, hydrolics, Davits, swim platform, passerel , electronics ( this alone took half a day), water maker, heaters, AC, pumps, engine , generator etc I was very thankful to have Fabian and his partner Daniela on board to help remember a fraction of what the Oyster team reviewed in our orientation. Fabian will captain Infinity to Antigua. He has many years of crewing a variety of Oysters . I plan to learn much from him.
Flying the Asymmetric
The next week was spent on the boat familiarizing ourselves with Infinity ,sorting , cataloging and storing all the spares and gear and provisioning. Daniella’s organizational talents were a great help, as I am challenged in this area .
One critical and fun day involved Infinity’s christening . Gail ,my girlfriend , did a first rate job breaking the bottle and kicking off the festivities that followed.
Sunday Oct 17 Gail had a flight back to the states which she missed . Always trying to find the best of a bad situation we spent the night in London ,had a fantastic Indian dinner at Trishna’s and finished the night off with a nightcap at top of the Shard , enjoying London’s nightlights. A perfect sendoff for Gail.
One more task before setting sail to Guernsey: visit the factory in Wroxham. Most Oyster owners visit first and then order and build. Due to Covid I did the opposite ordering my Oyster 565 having never been to the factory or seen her until she was in the water . The factory tour by Andy Armshaw only confirmed that I had made the right choice in choosing Oyster . Pure ,very high level of pride and professionalism by everyone I met in the build process from Lee Williams, who has built several americas cup hulls and is in charge of Oyster molds to joinery etc left me very confident in my choice. Later confirmed with our first day at sea.😂
October 22 2021 0400hrs Depart for Guernsey:
Up early for the trip to Guernsey with Will Bawley Oyster commissioning manager, to leave Will and avoid England’s VAT ; a meaningful sum even for this pocket-yacht. It was a great 30 hours filled with great sites of windmill farms ,Dover’s white clifts and busy night time freighter traffic; and lively sailing including a stretch of wind on tide 30 kns ;water over the sprayhood force 6-7 that revealed a very capable yacht and a small leak in the forward head… Will found and abely fixed the leak when we got to Guernsey.
Entering Guernsey’s St Peters port.
St Peters Port Guernsey Arv 10/23/2021 16:50
A welcome site after a long night . They have a delightful custom of sending out a dingy to lead you to your berth over here. Very friendly fellow guided us to our slip for the night. All checked in and a with relaxed Covid policy we found a nice restaurant and called it a night.
Next morning Will tacked a few punch list items including the leak and a faulty port bow light .We then sent Will off in the morning with his newspaper and receipts in hand to meet VAT exemption regulations. We were on our own at this point.
A special thanks to Will for all his help, guidance and shared knowledge on the crossing.