Our last yacht wasn’t set for sailing alone, she never had a tiller pilot and any atempt to leave the helm would have her turning into wind very quickly. And because of this I never sailed her without Vicki.
When we bought Elektra in November 2016 she came with a tiller pilot but both Vicki and I love to helm when sailing so we thought we would never use the pilot. In June 2017 we sailed to the Yealm River to attend a SSOA Rally. On the way home with little or not wind we had to motor, I decided to try the tiller pilot out and set up for the passage back to Fowey, the pilot proved very useful for this and I thought it could helm better than myself! We used a few times after that durring the season when motoring.
When Vicki had a burst apendix in September that finshed her sailing for the season. Left me with the only option of sailing alone if I wanted to, this worried me as I hadn’t ever sailed a yacht on my own! Leaving the mooring the first time alone worried me, would I be able to pick up the mooring again when I returned? As it happend I shouldn’t have worried myself and I sailed 3 times alone that October with the aid of the tiller pilot before Elektra was laid up for the winter.
Saturday 18th September
So when Vicki was feeling a little under the weather and didn’t want to go sailing, I decided to try to go solo again. As I motored the punt out to Elektra I thought the clowds were a bit black looking but the forecast said dry. Once aboard I started getting Elektra ready to leave the mooring but then it started to rain, it got heavier and heavier so I stayed in the cabin! In a while it eased and I put on waterproofs and decided I was going to sail! Visablty was only about 2nm but I thought it would be ok so dropped the mooring at 1400hrs and motored slowly out of Gillan setting just the genoa, slow at first but faster and faster Elektra went.
Sailing around Falmouth Bay, it was lovely to be out there even if I did have to wipe my glassis to see AIS detail, was that ship moving or is it anchored?? As the weather started to clear and I could relax a bit I really started to enjoy myself. Turning back to Gillan was a slower sail down wind but I almost got back to the mooring before having to start the engine for the last 60-80ft and picking up the mooring was easy too, the time was 1615hrs and Elektra had logged 9nm.
With twice as many packing up jobs to do than normal, it took me a while before I was ready to leave but the sun had come out again!