And so the sailing season has begun

After the Sadler Rally the weekend before, it was our turn to go and have a normal weekend of sailing, R&R, then more sailing. We find we don’t have to go far to enjoy Elektra. The Falmouth area is  full of places to go in all sorts of weather. One of our favourite anchorages is up the Precuil River. Which is only a 7nm passage from our mooring in Gillan.

With a forecast of SW 5 increasing to SW 7 over Friday night The Precuil River wouldn’t be ideal and further up the Fal River would be better.

I haven’t ever been into racing dinghies or yachts and tend to be under canvased not over. With the SW forecast l set only the genoa and we exited Gillan between the Dennis Head and Car Crock. It was only partway across Helford River that the wind picked us up and we were off, logging over 5kts. Elektra sails very well indeed on just her genoa, being mast head rigged her genoa is 2/3rds her sail power and running down wind as we where her main would only take the wind from the genoa.

Two Westerly’s where rounding August Rock Buoy about 1/2nm in front of us as we came out of Gillan, they also just sailing on genoas. Sailing the 4nm across Falmouth Bay we had passed both before we got to Pendennis Point. Pendennis sheltered us from the wind for a little while before Elektra sped away again, the tide was high enough to sail over the shallows north of St Just in Roseland and Elektra rounded Turnaware Bar Buoy 1.5hrs after dropping her mooring having logged 9nm.

Electra sheltered north of Turnaware bar

We decided to anchor east of Turnaware in the shelter of the entrance of a small drying creek, as close as possible. Elektra would touch bottom here at low water but the mud bottom would make for good holding.

The wind blew in the night as forecasted but we were fine in good shelter. Next day we motored Elektra across the river to Channels Creek as the wind was forecasted to veer west or northwest. Re anchoring for Saturday night, we like Channels Creek better as Turnaware was the first place our anchor ever dragged back in 2009.

Channels Creek

On Sunday after a lazy brunch we weighted anchor again for the passage back to Gillan. This time the wind was lighter from the west and l set all sail. After motoring Elektra out of Channels Creek and south past Turnaware, the sail took over and l stopped the engine. Elektra was logging 3-4kts as we sailed south. Across Falmouth Harbour entrance a little bit more wind helped Elektra get up to 5kts. Again in the shelter of Pendennis Point Elektra slowed. Then clearing Pendennis Elektra was off at 5-6kts, some gusts pushing the speed up to 6.8kts. We were very quickly back to Gillan having covered the 9nm in 1.5hrs.

3 thoughts on “And so the sailing season has begun

  1. Sounds like some great sailing and anchorages, too! Curious if often the anchorages in your area empty at low tide, enough so that boats rest on their bilge keels? Are bilge keels most common in you area? As I sail on an inland lake, most sailboats tend to be either fin keeled, have a swing/drop keel, or have a shoal draft keel; every now and then, a full keeled sailboat shows up on the lake (tho pretty unusual). Great to see your post and looking forward to the next one! Fair winds!

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    1. Type of keels around here depends on type of sailing you want to do and how much spare money you have.
      Fin keelers are better for racing because they sail better into the wind. But deeper moorings cost lots more money.
      Bilge keel yachts tend to cost a little more to buy but are cheaper to moor in shallow areas.
      Our last yacht was a fin keeler, l could see many advantages with a bilge keeler for cruising, having bought Elektra, l am never going back to a fin keeler unless I decide to cross an ocean.

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      1. Thanks for your reply! The boat I had growing up was a racer/cruiser Shipman/Accent 26, made in Sweden, and it had a fin keel which drew 5 ft, for a little over 26 ft LOA — it was tricky for us, at times, getting into certain areas. In the States, so far, I’ve only come across some Westerly models that have bilge keels. I’m wondering if they might be more common in New England, especially in Maine, as I’ve heard the tides in these regions can vary greatly. Thanks, again, for your reply and fair winds!

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