Sunday 12th and Monday 13th March 2017
After Saturday being fog bound in Cobbs Quay, Sunday was clear and we headed out for the bridges, lucky for us another yacht radioed the bridge before us asking for it to be opened at 0930hrs and we tagged along.
There was little or no wind so we motored out towards Poole Harbour entrance down the small boats channel, we then decovered the engine was overheating, as luck would have it the Poole ILB was out training and came over to help, they towed us back to the Town Quay which allowed us to find the problem. There was a blockage in the engine intake, we checked the impeller but it was ok, having cleared the blockage we started the engine again and all was ok.
At 1115hrs we departed for the second time, back down the small boats channel and out to sea, Bryan contacted the CG with our passage plan to Helford. Off Handfast Pt (Old Harry) we raised the mainsail and motorsailed from there, just before Portland Bill we gave way to a ship coming our of Weymouth, Bryan and I in the cockpit had been enjoying looking at the log at times will over 9kts! By 1510hrs having already logged 32nm over ground we then passed 4-5nm south of Portland Bill and headed across Lyme Bay for our waypoint off Prawle Point.
Still motor sailing the wind had picked up from the northwest but we wanted to clear Portland Bill before the tide changed, at 1630hrs just before dark the engine died, it had been running so well up to then! With the wind picking up to north-westerly force4-5 we sailed on putting a reef in the main and all the genoa. This was our first proper sail and “Elektra” just flew along in full moon light. But it was her slamming that worried us, nether Bryan or me had experienced the slamming of bilge keel yachts before that sail! At one point I had to go and check thinking the keels were falling off, I pulled all the bunk apart to look at the keel bolts but I could tell by doing so the slamming was between the keels and not lose keels!
It was a fantastic sail across Lime Bay, 44nm in 8.75hrs against the tide in full moonlight but very very cold. Arriving at Prawle Pt WP at 0110hrs Monday the 13th, the wind then turn onto the nose and we tacked towards Salcombe, we were not sure what was wrong with the engine and did not want to start it, in the dark it is difficult to tell how far away from the cliffs we were, Bryan our delivery skipper knew Salcombe very well indeed and decided to sail Elektra over the bar and up the river with great skill, he pointed out to me the lights and transits as we went. All went well until the wind died where the moorings started, I had been up on the bow getting a loop of mooring line ready to drop over a buoy as we passed but Bryan shouted that he had no steerage, I quickly dropped the anchor before we got washed into the fishing fleet by the tide, the anchor held and we headed for our bunks at 0430hrs. We logged 95nm in 16.25hrs.