Another sail??

Saturday 25th September

After a drizzly start to the day, Vicki and I didn’t fancy going out for the weekend but I had a few things to pick up from Elektra so went out to her on my own after the weather had dried up in the afternoon.

There was almost no wind but I thought I would go out anyway, thinking it was about SE wind about 4-5kts I pulled up all the mainsail before dropping the mooring, motoring slowly out between The Dennis Head and Car Crock, I pulled out all the genoa and stopped the engine. Elektra was only making 2-2.5kts SOG but it was nice to sit back and enjoy being out on the water again. The wind seemed to get less the further out into Falmouth Bay we went until Elektra was only making 0.8-1kts at which point I rolled up the genoa and started the engine again and turned into wind to lower the mainsail before motoring slowly back to Gillan. I picked up the mooring again in Gillan after logging 3.5nm in 1.25hrs.

Sailing alone

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.

The sailing was great

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!

Going home

Wednesday 5th September

We planned to go home as weather was due to deteriorate but it beat us to it with heavy rain in the morning so we stayed a little longer.

Another day of rain

We had news from my sister to say my mum was poorly so we still planned to leave but didn’t want to get wet so waited out the rain until evening. So it was 1640hrs when we picked up Elektra’s anchor and headed out of the Precuil River, there wasn’t much wind so we decided just to motor across Falmouth Bay to Gillan. It was foggy and only about 1/2mile visibly which got down to 60-80ft in the middle of the bay, l was beginning to wish l hadn’t gone out there! But with the aids of AIS, Chartplotter and Compass all was well and the fog cleared again to 1/2mile as we crossed Helford River into Gillan, picking up Elektra’s mooring at 1755hrs having logged 7nm.

Holiday time

Though the rest of Saturday and Sunday the weather was drab and drizzle so we stayed put and read mags and books sheltered in our cockpit enclosure.

Drab and drizzle
Glass like calm

On Monday 6th of September the sun came out and we awoke to a glass like calm. Enjoying a little more cockpit time in the morning before taking the dinghy down river to St Mawes for shopping from the co-op and a pub lunch in the “Rising Sun” our 3rd pub lunch since February 2020!

Precuil River

After lunch we had showers at St Mawes Sailing Club and returned to Elektra for a lazy afternoon.

On Tuesday 4th was the same good weather but the wind was forecasted to strong and gusting from the East. We planned to stay another day and then go sailing on Wednesday.

Gusting force 6 but shelter in the Precuil River

To Fowey??

Saturday 4th September

The plan had always been to go to the SSOA rally in Fowey for Saturday evening but we knew with big easterly swells and blowing force 4 gusting 5 it was going to be a bumpy ride.

We had agreed to leave at 0900hrs against the tide and the wind, hoping for a less bouncy passage. Picking up the anchor and heading out into St Mawes where we turned into wind to pull the mainsail up with one reef before turning back towards the entrance. I coiled the lines and setting half of the genoa as we turned south. It seemed plenty of sail as we headed out into the swells of Falmouth Bay.

Then followed an extremely uncomfortable push to windward, best heading over ground was 170 degrees, logging 5.5kts, this tack which we stuck to until east of Helford River Entrance when turned onto a starboard tack, visibly was barely 2nm. Healing hard and crashing though the swells, Elektra was handling it well. It was at this point Vicki asked did we really want to put up with this for another 6hrs? The answer was no! In hind sight it might have been better to reef the genoa more but we decided to turn back.

Now on a broad reach Elektra picked up speed, now logging over 7kts and times just under 8kts, one of the best sails in a long time!

Good sailing right into St Mawes moorings, where l started the engine and rolled in the genoa. It was nice to be in quieter waters. As Vicki turned into wind l let the main down and packed it away. Motoring in slowly as it was now low water, we dropped anchor in our favour part of the Precuil River after just an hour and half in which Elektra had logged 10nm. The fastest speed recorded by the GPS was 7.8kts!

With the misty weather we put up Elektra’s cockpit enclosure

First day of holiday

Friday 3rd September

With a few jobs to do in the morning including checking Elektra on her mooring after a friend had phoned to say her aft mooring line was around her rudder. Checking her in the morning the line had sorted itself

Elektra on her gale proof mooring.

Being neap tides Elektra would only float around high water 1550hrs, we planned to leave home about 1330hrs, driving along the creek road Elektra wasn’t far away from floating, by the time we had launched the dinghy and loaded the stores, motored the dinghy out to Elektra she was. We needed to stow everything before heading out into the easterly swells, it was going to get very bouncy! Vicki got on with work in the cabin while l did jobs on deck. At 1515hrs we dropped the mooring and motored Elektra slowly out of Carne Creek. Turning into wind l pulled up the main with one reef.

We then motored out into the easterly swells and set a reefed genoa for sail to the shelter of St Mawes, we were logging well over 5kts at times but the wind seemed to ease the closer we got to St Mawes. We dropped anchor off  Place Manor at 1650hrs having logged 6nm.

Lively sailing!

The plan was to sail to Fowey tomorrow for a Sadler Rally into the same easterly swells and force 4 gusting 5. In the meantime a quiet night at anchor.

Place Manor anchorage to left and St Mawes center top.

Back to Carne Creek

Sunday 29th August

With the HW being 1010hrs and the need to put Elektra back on her gale proof mooring due to forecasted strong easterly winds in the weed.

We picked up Elektra’s anchor at 0810hrs and motored out to St Mawes, there l set all het sail to cross Falmouth Bay, was very good sailing.

Crossing Falmouth Bay

We arrived at Gillan early and motored Elektra into Carne Creek slowly picking up her gale proof mooring at 0930hrs, not in any hurry we then had brunch before washing up and leaving her around 1330hrs as the tide was falling away.

Sailing friends

Thursday 26th August

With news of a sailing friend anchored in the Precuil River we planed to meet up. We needed to move Elektra out of Carne Creek on the high water of Thursday evening, we were going to anchor of Flushing Cove but in the end decided to go on her seasonal mooring because of the easterly swell.

Our seasonal mooring is open to the full length of the English Channel from the East

Friday 27th August

The forecast was NE3-4 but I awoke to thick fog no wind and a slight easterly swell. The fog cleared slowly and the wind filled in, we decided to sail first and eat later. We dropped the mooring at 0930hrs, set all the sail our first tack took us north to August Rock before tacking SE out into Falmouth Bay. Other yachts were all motoring into wind. Out in the bay having sailed 3.5nm we tacked again, this tack was good all the way into St Mawes. We dropped anchor in the Precuil River at 1130hrs having logged 9nm.

It seems we are always in the Precuil River but we love being here.
Chats with Kevin on his yacht
And then more chatting on ours

Precuil River to Carne Creek

Sunday 22nd August

There was no hurry to get back, the forecast for the coming week was easterly so we needed to moor Elektra on her gale proof mooring in Carne Creek, we need the a tide height of over 4m to get her in and out of there. The tide would be high enough by 1630hrs. Another brunch and washing up followed by a few hours reading in the cockpit.

We lifted Elektra’s anchor at 1500hrs and motored out of the river. setting all sail in St Mawes Harbour at 1515hrs, it was a fast sail and we picked up Elektra’s gale proof mooring at 1635hrs having logged 7nm.

Carne Creek