My wife was taken ill a fortnight ago, spending a week in hospital and another in bed at home, Vicki was feeling a lot better but not able to go sailing, she was happy for me to go out for the day on my own.
Never having sailed on my own other than in dinghies when I was much younger, this was a bit of a first for me, it was clear I would have to be much more ready to drop the mooring than I might have been with crew. I got the hand held VHF in the cockpit and the tiller pilot set up and ready for use. Going though the jobs which need to do before setting off to sea, at last the time had come to let go the mooring (my last thought was as I let go was will I be able to pick it up later on my own?).
Motoring slowly out of the creek I set sail across Helford River, there was not much wind, the forecast had given a Var1-2 but she was logging 2.5kts SOG, it was nice to be out sailing again. Using the tiller pilot I thought I would try a tack, this didn’t go very well, with very little wind the genoa didn’t go across very well but I wasn’t in a hurry and got sorted out in the end. Back across the river again, another tack which went much better, as we got to the centre of the river for the second time the wind died. I decided to motor into the Helford River (always wind in the river) and pick up some wind before sailing out again. This ploy worked and I was soon sailing again, tacking out of the river into an easterly 1-2, slow but sore, once out again to August Rock the wind had picked up a little to a south-easterly 2-3 and we were making 3.3kts SOG. I thought I would turn back before the wind died again and slowly made my way back to Gillan.
Nearing the creek I rolled the genoa turned into wind and let the main down before motoring slowly back into Gillan. It was now over an hour after low water but with spring tides I knew it was going to be shallow, we have had problems with the engine not coming out of gear this season, I was going to take this really slowly. I could see some boats aground in Gillan and decided to turn earlier than I might other wise do with only 0.5m under the keel. I made the turn and moved the gear lever out of gear with three boats lengths still to go into tide, Elektra glided up to the mooring and I ran up to the bow to grab the mooring (all worked fine, what was I worried about?).
Back on the mooring now, we had logged 8.5nm in 3.75hrs, not fast sailing but I had enjoyed it non the less. Time to pack up again and head home to see Vicki and cook tea.