Superstar Mog

This summer, our ship’s cat caused a minor media stir when he decided to abscond for a few days and take some unauthorised shore leave in Scotland.

He was lost for six days in total, and we were naturally very worried that we might never see him again. To help find him we did everything possible to raise awareness of his disappearance, contacting newspapers, radio stations and posting notices on Facebook and Twitter. Eventually it was the posters we stuck to the lamp posts in the town that aided his return. In the meantime though, our pleas were noticed by more mainstream media. What follows is a selection of the articles that we know about, if you know of any more then please let us know.

Metro, the free daily newspaper in London, ran this article (click on the articles to read them):

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Rather bizarrely, some Russian friends then pointed out that the Russian newspaper “Lenta” had picked up on the story:

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We subsequently found this article published by the Scottish Express:


And Yachting Monthly ran this in the news section of their October issue:


We were then contacted by Real People magazine who offered to make a donation to our fund raising page in return for an interview. They ran the article on their cover page (see the banner at the top) and wrote it in the first person from Helena’s perspective.

I love the way they’ve used a little creative license and have phrased her voice to suit their readership. I’ve never hear her call him “Bux” in real life!



Today, while lamenting the end of the summer and wondering if we’ll manage to get out for a sail on the weekend, this arrived in the post:





The Western Isles – Part II

Well I guess in the inevitable has happened and we’ve finally seen some true Highlands’ weather!

On the night of the 29th we had a quiet evening with good weather at anchor on the Isle of Ornsay. The next morning we had a great sail to Malaig, even Buxton enjoyed it – listen out for him purring in this video clip:

Our friends Brian and Jayne travelled up from Kent to meet up with us in Malaig, and we all set off the following morning, to head back out to the small isles.

While en-route, a quick re-check of the forecast showed that it had changed significantly and that a low pressure system was now headed our way, bringing with it gale force winds and rain. The anchorage we were headed to would have been too exposed so we changed course and headed south to picturesque Tobermory on Mull where we knew we could spend some time ashore. We ended up spending three days there, giving us plenty of time to visit all the attractions and to try (two bottles of) the local distillery’s whiskey.

Here’s a great photo I managed to snap of a double rainbow during a downpour yesterday afternoon:


In case you’ve never seen it before, check out this YouTube clip of the guy getting very excited over a double rainbow. “What does it mean?”

This afternoon we left the shelter of the anchorage at Tobermory and set course for either Loch Spelve (if the wind did as predicted and dropped) or Oban (if it didn’t). This was our eventual track:

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As you can see from this, we decided not to go to Loch Spelve and headed across to Oban; here’s the reason why:

The video above was shot using my phone after we’d reduced both sails to the size of handkerchiefs, and started to head across the bottom of Loch Linnhe to Oban. This area was more exposed to the wind and swell coming in from the Atlantic and we had a consistent F7 for most of the way. The waves look quite harmless in this video but just after we stopped filming one caught the side of the boat and crashed over into the cockpit drenching me.

Rather than dropping as we reached Oban, the wind peaked to a F9 reaching 45 knots across the decks. Finally, just to add a little more spice to the mix, the local ferry started to follow us in but after a short VHF conversation with Brian, he very graciously agreed to slow down and give us time to get in well ahead of him.

Thankfully both Brian and Jane are very experienced sailors, and they’ve taken this week comfortably in their stride. They are great people and it’s been a pleasure having them on board and listening to their sailing stories from the years of living aboard their boat in the Caribbean.

Lost cat

We had a terrible surprise on Friday morning. We awoke at 5am, to an alarm that I should have cancelled on my phone, and Buxton was not there. We searched the boat, and then the marina for him but he was nowhere to be found.

The only clue we have is from a boat that arrived at 2330 on Thursday night (after we’d gone to bed) who said that they had seen him sat on top of the boat next to ours when they arrived, and again shortly after midnight walking along the pontoons just before they went to bed. Apart from this no one has seen or heard a thing.

We’ve put posters up on lamp posts and in shop windows all over town and are now being recognised as ‘the couple who’ve lost the cat’ when we approach people in the street. We’ve given our number to dog walkers, postmen and window cleaners and are hoping that someone will spot him.


The local veterinary surgeons, the police and the Cat Protection League, who have started a  thread on their Facebook page, are all aware that he’s lost. I’ve posted the Cat Protection League’s thread onto other local organisation pages on Facebook too.

We had a false alarm on Friday that gave us some hope but only left us chasing the local church minister’s grey cat.  The girl who spotted him later said that it wasn’t Buxton when she saw a photo of him.

We’ve now searched for two days and have been regularly walking the streets of Lossiemouth calling for him and rattling a packet of his favourite treats. This morning, given the futility of our search, we made the tough decision to leave Lossiemouth and head on with our journey.

The people of Lossie are an amazingly friendly and accommodating bunch and I’m sure if Buxton is there he’ll turn up and we’ll get to hear about it. He has been microchipped so we should  hear from a vet if he turns up too. The owner of the next boat to us has offered to drive him to us if he appears in the next few days, and we have a friend of a friend who lives nearby that will take him in temporarily if needs be so that we can rent a car to drive back and collect him.

We’ve got everything crossed and are hoping dearly that it won’t be long before we hear some good news. He is a part of our family and we hope so much that we’ll see him again soon. Please wish us luck!

Contact us on our Facebook page if you have any suggestions or news of his whereabouts.

Out for a sail on a windless weekend


Helena and I went out for a sail with the cat this weekend. We really need to get him feeling at home on the boat. If you look closely you can see him in this photo.

There was very little wind but this gave us a change to fly our low-wind “Code-Zero” sail for the first time.

For such a big sail, it was surprisingly easy to handle. It runs on a continual furling line and is hoisted off the bowsprit on the spinnaker halyard. The material is very light-weight and this meant that I could easily furl and deploy it from the foredeck on my own. Looks pretty too right?