Category Archives: The 2016 Sailing Season

Cuchulainn Ashore for the Winter

The boat is now chocked and propped at the Yacht Haven Quay for the winter. Unlike last year, there is not much to do, thankfully, but we did remove two car loads of “Stuff”!

This is Half of one Carload of "Stuff"!

This is Half of one Carload of “Stuff”!

Anything that shouldn’t get wet or damp is back home … The house is now full, the store will be full and we haven’t even removed the cushions; they are remaining on the boat and will be kept dry with a dehumidifier.

When the boat was lifted out, the Boss noticed a raised bit of fibreglass on the skeg (about 2cm long). I thought that the metalwork inside the skeg was corroding – either aluminium or stainless. Sadlers used alot of aluminium  ‘cos it was cheaper but almost the worst material possible in an underwater saltwater environment.

Will, the bossman of the Quay recommended Nathan Bone as a good, on-site shipwright, who came over to have a look and removed the lifted material and found this:

Poorly built Skeg

Poorly built Skeg

The hole was full of uncured resin – still soft and crumbly! Nathan will be grinding back to good fibreglass on both sides and up the skeg until he gets to solid glass and rebuilding as new. Probably twice the exposed area we can see here.

We’ve decided to drop the idea of installing a heater this year, but have spent twice as much on a new suit of sails instead. We’ll go faster, stay more upright for longer in stronger winds and the reefs will be much better. The Skipper willl now have more time to rebuild the kitchen at home.

In the spring, we’ll decide where we are going in 2017 ….


Final Few Sails of Year

Following our trip to Falmouth and back, we have managed a couple of short trips before the boat comes out in October. Between this post and lift-out, we only have a few days clear! The weather has already started to deteriorate!

Last year, we agreed to give a day sailing trip as a silent auction lot for some good friends M & J who were raising money for the Nepalese Earthquake Disaster in 2015. It was a bit late but as P said at the time, “It was worth the wait!.”

We picked them up from the Club and set off down the river, with A on the tiller, who rarely let it go for the rest of the day! The sun shone, the wind blew enough for the Skipper to put a reef in the sail for an hour or so. We expected to have a rest while we anchored for lunch, not a bit of it, A & P wanted to keep going, so we did. A first for us, we rounded the fort by the breakwater, but the Boss missed the fun which consisted of “Is there enough room?” and “What about the depth?” We ended up sailing 28 miles in 7 hours, including down and up the river (sightseeing the Navy), and sailing to about 6 miles South of the Breakwater. They are still telling their friends about it, particularily at the golf club where it all started!

Rounding the Fort in Plymouth Sound Just North of the Breakwater

Rounding the Fort in Plymouth Sound Just North of the Breakwater

A week or so later, we had a couple of weeks for sailing during which we hoped to get East to Dartmouth and Teignmouth. We had a trouble-free trip down the river and an interesting sail to the River Yealm.

Next to Salcombe:

Sunset in Salcombe Harbour looking South

Sunset in Salcombe Harbour looking South


Looking East in Salcombe towards Town

Looking East in Salcombe towards Town

We set off the next morning towards Dartmouth to spend a couple of days there before the weather deteriorated fora day or so. We were sailing close-hauled, with the engine on a fast tick-over, making reasonable progress against the tide. About to turn towards Dartmouth by Start Point,  when the Skipper went below and heard the water pump running continously and clearly pumping nothing. He found unexplained fresh-water forward in the shower tray. WE HAD A LEAK! The water tank was empty and about 75litres of freshwater was inside the boat. After hunting around, we discovered the leak was a hose that had become disconnected, but it was behind the hot water tank – now very hot! Rightly or wrongly, we decided to turn back for home to fix it. Now we were down-wind and made quick progress home.

The following day, the Skipper fixed the leak behind the calorifier, which meant removing the enclosure, all the insulation and removing the tube completely so that it could re-fix it to the Y connector clear of the calorifier and re-fixing the other end near the galley easily.

By the time we left again, the wind and tide made returning to Dartmouth very silly, so we went to Fowey. There was no wind, so we motored the whole way there. We claimed our free night (buy 6, get the 7th free loyality card). We’ve recently done all the reasonable walks around Fowey, so we went to Polkerris overland and returned via the SW coastpath with lunch by the Gribben Head day mark

View towards Gribben Head

View towards Gribbin Head

Our sail back should be on a broad-reach in SW winds around Force 4, however, we got SE winds around F3, close-hauled and slower. Bouncy bouncy as the Boss put in the log; we had plenty of time as we had to wait for the tide to get back up to Cargreen. Once a squall had gone through after the Skipper had put a reef in, we got the forecast wind and our speed really picked up.

We ended going up the river just after low water (0.9m), but managed it with about 0.4m under the keel at the shallowest point. The next morning at high tide, the Skipper made 4 trips with stuff to unload the boat as this is almost certainly our last outing this season.

The next entries will be all about fitting a heater to the boat, inproving the insulation for the fridge, finishing the Starboard lockers with a couple of drawers, making some lockers on the port side of the saloon, tidying up some electrical stuff, installing some additional battery charging with either solar panels and/or wind generator and, last but not least, sort out the galley storage.


River Fal in a Storm and Going Back Home

We were stuck in Falmouth Haven for a week, sitting out the storms, along with loadsa other people. The Berthing master was juggling boats to get them all in! Despite the winds of SW Force 6, 7, 8, we were very sheltered and enjoyed our time. There were 3 other boats from Cargreen doing the same as us!

We walked around the coast to Pendennis, along the bathing beach to Swanpool and back through the town. The beach was almost deserted in the F6 – 7 winds but at least it was dry. The last time we were stuck here about 20 years ago in our Westerly Centaur, we went on the bus to Truro, so we did the same this time and visited the cathedral and listened to a lunchtime organ recital; the Boss went shopping in M & S (!); we had lunch in a lovely café and enjoyed the day out with the circuitous bus ride around the countryside via the new Falmouth (Exeter) University campus.

One afternoon was spent watching the new Swallows and Amazons film. The Boss watched ALL the credits ‘cos she knew most of the locations! The Maritime museum was holding a special exhibition on the Vikings was very interesting, even mentioned Lydford. However, it was full of kids, doing what kids do!

After the wind and seas had diminished, we set off towards Fowey, sailing all the way downwind despite the rolly swell; we had to gybe several times but managed to sail most of the way. Whilst in Fowey, we walked part of the Saints Way and had our 1st cream tea of the trip at the Garden House, probably the best cream teas in Fowey.

We thought we could sail to Salcombe next but the tides would be very much against us near Bolt Head, unless we got us very early, we don’t do that! So we sailed to Newton Ferrers for a couple of nights before catching the morning tide back to Cargreen. This was the best sail of the trip averaging over 5.5 knots on a beam or broad reach (fastest point of sailing) all the way. A small school of dolphins joined us for a few minutes; we think they were Bottlenose Dolphins. We also saw a different dolphin, much darker grey with a different dorsal fin; it might have been a Porpoise.

During this trip, the battery runs down very quickly, presumably with the fridge, however the Skipper discovered in this foam filled boat, there is virtually no insulation on one side of the fridge – another winter job is to install 2in plus of insulation. Last year in France, we connected to mains power in every marina, as it is part of the deal over there, unlike the UK.

A Fine Sunset on the River Yealm

A Fine Sunset on the River Yealm at Newton Ferrers

We walked to Wembury to get some bread before the Skipper ran out!

The Coast Looking Towards Wembury with Recent Rockfalls (one of many)

The Coast Looking Towards Wembury with Recent Rockfalls (one of many)

A motor in the morning back to Cargreen and off-load all our stuff

2016 Sailing Holiday Starts

At last! We have set off on our sailing trip for 2016, about 4 months late. The delay started with the extended time upgrading the deck; then came waiting for an operation, which did happen and now the Skipper is much better but still unfit; family events got in the way. Finally, after both of us getting over the nasty cough virus that’s been doing the rounds, we set off on Tue 9 Aug towards Fowey.
We motored-sailed down the river from Cargreen to the Bridge by Drake’s Island and sailed, close-hauled most of the way to Fowey but motored for the last hour.
We have now convinced ourselves that we really do need new sails because the current suit are really stretched meaning that we could not get them flat enough in the 15 – 22 knots of wind. (A purchase for this winter.)

We Walked to Gribben Head from Fowey

We Walked to Gribben Head from Fowey

Fowey is probably our favourite port, so we stayed here for 4 nights (now over half-way to getting our 7th night free on our loyalty card!) As we are both unfit after several months of inactivity, we went on fairly gentle walks, first to Gribben Head and then to Lantic Bay on the 2nd day.
On Sat 13 Aug, we set off fairly early towards Falmouth, hoping to sail some of the way in more gentle breezes. Instead we got wet from drizzle and some rain, motor-sailing in the head-winds until after lunch, when the sun came out and the wind veered and we had a great sail that suited our baggy sails! Plenty of boats, including a fleet of Falmouth classic boats under full sail came past on their way to Fowey Regatta. We’ve escaped the madness!
We moored up the River Fal on a pontoon up from King Harry’s ferry and all is very quiet, in bright sunshine and supper on deck.The Smugglers Inn has closed and appears to be a private house.

Moored in Lovely Surroundings up the River Fal

Moored in Lovely Surroundings up the River Fal

The following morning we motored up the river to Malpas and back down to anchor off Trellisick House at the North end of the harbour. The house is now partially open and the gardens are as good as ever. The hydrangeas were lovely, however, not surprisingly we missed the rhododendrons!
On Monday morning, the winds were forecast to increase to Easterly F5-6, so we sort-of sailed down to Falmouth Yacht Haven for a few days. We were on the inside and only pitched during the gusts or when boats went past, so at night it was quiet. After 3 days, we’re still here!

Sailing! We’ve been SAILING

At last, we’ve gone for a sail, even if it was for only one night, it was definitely worth it. Cargreen to Newton Ferriers and back via the Eddystone light.

We caught the morning tide down the river (we had to get up early as well!) to meet up with Neil Glenhill of Hemisphere Rigging to have our rigging checked. Just as well, as he found a few faults and  adjusted the rigging to a better tension. We were away from Plymouth Yacht Haven by 12:00. A very large number of yotties sail out of the Plymouth marinas, have lunch whilst anchored in Cawsand Bay and return back to their berth. Well, we had to do that for old times sake. We anchored near Yunita and exchanged news with H & S also from Cargreen.

We sailed for an hour out of the Sound on a beam reach (fastest point of sailing) South (ish) and then headed towards Newton Ferriers to go in on the flood tide. The sail was great, if only for a half day. We really enjoyed being on the boat with no TV, hardly had the radio on and quiet. We both slept very well on our new berth cushions. We did our usual, had tea in bed and got up late. We did see and hear quite a few boats go out while we were in bed!

Our plan for the Wednesday sail was to check that the Eddystone light was still OK. The wind was West Force 2 – 3. We were close hauled all the way from the River Yealm to Eddystone, however, the wind backed about 10º which meant that at around 1:00pm, we had to tack to get to the Eddystone. We didn’t get too close because there were at least 12 fishing boats of various sizes all around it.

The sail back was even better, the sun was out (yes, we got sunburnt!), the sea was fairly calm, and the wind was very favourable for us to sail all the way back up the River. Although we had to work quite hard to get around the Hamoaze and clear of the MoD dock. We took the sails down before we got to Saltash as the wind was getting very flooky, just as well, because the wind died going under the bridges.

We had a lovely sail, probably the best first sail for quite some time and after many, many delays. we got going in our boat that is looking very good, at last!

PS. Sorry, no photos, my phone died and I didn’t bring my proper camera on this short trip.

Another PS. We clearly had the best few days of the week all week!