I based her on my moorings in the Menai Straits in Anglesey and from there I made numerous trips to many places. We regularly sailed around North Wales, the Isle of Man and Ireland but my favourite cruising grounds were amongst the islands off the west coast of Scotland. When it stopped raining, they are, in my opinion, the best yacht cruising grounds in the world.
I also made several longer trips including; circumnavigating Ireland, a nine week exploration of Scandinavia as well as trips to France and Northern Spain. I also spent a winter out in the Med, exploring the many ports and generally adapting to a slower and hotter pace of life.
Eventually my wife tired of sailing. Understandable really. Although Lobo was a fine sea boat, she was relatively narrow in the beam and lacked the space to make the accommodation really comfortable for long term cruising.
Having retired from the canal in 1985, and after much deliberation, we decided to uproot and move to south west coast of Scotland. We bought a house called “Cluny” on the outskirts of Stranraer. It had magnificent views overlooking Loch Ryan and I never tired of watching the changing weather and the various boats and ferries plying up and down its grey waters.
It was close enough for family to come and visit for the weekend but most importantly, I could sail from there and be in my favourite cruising grounds in a day or so. Ireland was another favourite destination – you could see the coast from the headlands round the corner from our house.
I kept Lobo in Stranraer harbour for the princely sum of £1.20 a week and every winter I hauled her out so that I could work on her, doing all the jobs required after a season at sea.
I continued to sail Lobo until I was 76 years old but eventually I found maintaining her increasingly difficult. It was with great reluctance that I decided to sell her and after advertising her in the yachting press I sold her to a couple who lived in the NE of England.
They sailed her round to the east coast and completely refitted her, replacing her sloop rig with twin masted junk sails. They eventually headed off south to explore France and Spain and the last I heard they had coaxed the old lady across the Atlantic and were cruising amongst the Caribbean Islands.
I did very little sailing after that. I did accompany friends on day sails out of Stranraer but eventually we decided to move back to Cheshire to be nearer family. We sold up and moved to a small semi-detached cottage in Weaverham, Cheshire and so ended my life long association with the sea, boats and ships.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my adventures at sea as much as I did living them.
Note: One of the products of the Internet, was the ability for people like me (John's son) to access information. I have ben able to find out more information about the Fort Camosun and the Japanese submarine that attacked it. That information forms the final page of my Dad's story.