There seemed to be very little wind, having tried to sail 1-1.5kts we decided to motor and charge the batteries across the bay towards Falmouth. We had to detour around the stern of a ship which was coming into Falmouth Bay for bunkering (taking on fuel oil) after the ship and the pilot boat came the bunkering tanker out of Falmouth head on, move to starboard again, all adds interest to the day.
We had planned to go to Channels Creek at the top end of the Carrick Roads but knowing we would have to motor all the way we headed for the Precuil River instead, we found a nice spot out or the wind that had seemed to pick up in the river and dropped anchor.
Not late yet but we both fell fast asleep in the evening sunshine.
We cast off at 1200hrs, the tide stream was with us between 1300-1900hrs, the forecast was NNW3-4, we thought we would be able to sail on just our genoa but having motored the 3.5nm to Cannis buoy we could see we needed the mainsail.
Elektra was still new to Vicki and I, we found her big and powerful compared to our last yacht, we were loving to sail on her.
We set all the sails to cross St Austell Bay to the Dodman to the SW with a NW 5-7kts of breeze we were soon logging just over 5kts SOG, it was a lovely sail the wind picked up gently though the passage and before long we were doing a steady 6kts, we rounded the Dodman just 2hrs after dropping the mooring, by the time we got to Falmouth Bay we should had reefed the main but it never got done and the SOG had gone up to 6-7kts, we sailing into Gillan and picked up our mooring at 1630hrs, 25nm in 4.5hrs.
The tide was out so we stayed aboard and enjoyed the sunshine until there was enough water to get our punt up to St Anthony beach.
After a peaceful night at anchor and a lazy morning with a cooked breckfast we decided to take a closer look at the coast of St Austell Bay.
I used our windless for the first time to lift the anchor and we motored out of the cove at 1350hrs and north towards Charlestown (old Cornish harbour, quite often used in films) we were looking for other sheltered coves to anchor for another time. Having motored north to Charlestown we then unrolled the genoa and sailed along the coast towards Polkerris in the northerly 4-5, being low water we couldn’t have a good look at Polkerris which looked like a drying anchorage with would be useful in winds from the east. We then turned south and sped up to 5kts with the wind behind, rounding Gribbin Head we headed for Cannis cardinal buoy and then cut thought the gap between the buoy and the Cannis Rock just in front of a Contessa 32 under full sail which had crossed St Austell Bay from the Dodman Point, we were logging between 5-6kts just on our genoa and we managed to keep the Contessa behind us all the way into Fowey.
Once into Fowey we rolled the genoa and motored up to the town pontoon to get some shopping and some dinner.
After we arrived back on the pontoon to find the harbour master waiting, we had been a bit longer than the 2hrs allowed, we said we were going up to Wisemans and pick up a mooring. Fowey dues once paid an email is sent, so no paperwork any more, we paid £36 for two nights, we cast off and motored up to Wisemans and moored up at 1930hrs having logged 11nm for the day.
Having sailed Elektra a few times now Vicki and I decided to go on a longer passage.
The tide stream would be against us for six hours but we decided to head in the direction of Fowey, the forecasters were giving W2-3 increasing W4-5 later, so Fowey would be a tail wind from Gillan. We set off at 1115hrs and we were making only about 2kts over ground, after an hour or so we decided to motor a bit, this we did for about 1/2hr before the wind filled in a bit and we could make 3kts over ground goose winged. Later the wind filled in a bit more, still goose winged we were making 5kts over ground just before we rounded the Dodman Point.
We sailed inside the Yaw Rock heading for Mevagissey Bay now on a port tack we were making 6kts over ground.
We decided to anchor overnight in a cove we know called Polgwyn Cove just north of Mevagissey, going north crossing Mevagissey Bay in a westerly 5 we had a little to much sail up so we had to spill the main sail a little and we were still making between 6 and 7kts over ground, having crossed the bay we sailed into the shelter of the cove and dropped anchor at 1645hrs having logged 20nm.
Sunday is a day of rest and that’s what we did, started with a late cooked breckfast with our friend Aden joining us for a cuppa afterwards and to inspect our new to us yacht, as it dose the talk of sailing to Scilly came up, Aden was going to try to go at the beginning of May for three months, with me only being able to get a week at a time off my work we are planning to go sometime in June, so agreed to meet up with Aden when we get over there.
At 1430 we lifted the anchor and headed for home, motored out of the river against the incoming tide and set just the genoa from St Mawes to cross Falmouth Bay back to Gillan, the forecasters had given W-NW4 and we wanted to try “Elektra” on just her genoa to see how well she sailed. The wind was WNW 8-14kts and this was giving us 5-6kts SOG against the tide, she handled very well and we shot thought the gap on the inside of Car Crock into Gillan Harbour in a hour and 20mins having covered 7nm.
The Precuil River had always been the place to go over a weekend on our last boat but now having sailed “Elektra” a few times now with her being so quick we are going to have to go miles more to get the enjoyment we use to get over shorter passages on our Hurley 22.
Because Friday is poets day (push or piss of early tomorrows Saturday) That is what we did, down on the boat and out to sea by 1500hr.
This time we were off for the weekend the check out all the equipment, find out what we have forgotten and clean the decks after the muddy creek.
I left Vicki on the helm, with a nice SE 6kts of wind we heady towards St Mawes to the NNE with full sail at 4-5kts SOG, a very nice sail in the sunshine, an hour and half later we dropped anchor half way up the Precuil River having logged 7nm.
The next day we set about the work we needed to do to get “Elektra” ready for the season. After our work was done we headed down in our blow-up dinghy with outboard to St Mawes partly to check the outboard but also for some shopping and a ice cream. The outboard worked well there and back but having stopped off to see a sailing friend and have a glass of wine, on the way back the motor started playing up. The following morning I tried it again, it seemed to be ok but then no the gear box/leg had stopped working, so back to the workshop with the engine.
Our first sail on our own without the help of Bryan our delivery skipper. Being a all new yacht to us had me running all over the place working out how best to do things and which lines to pull on first! I got there in the end and we headed off across Falmouth Bay towards Falmouth, following 2 other yachts which were out.
We went past the first as if they were standing still, must be doing something right then, the 2nd one took a little more catching up, the skipper wasn’t happy as we glided by at 2.2-2.5kts with 4kts of wind.
We like this we thought, this was new to us as we used to be the ones watching other yachts passing us! We were not going anywhere, just where the wind blows us so to speak, we soon found that heading NE towards Fowey we could add another 1-1.5kts to the SOG, it was nice to be out on the water again sailing on this sunny day.
Time went on and we decided to turn around and head back, now close on the wind and 8-9kts of wind showing our SOG had increased to 5.5kts, Vicki was at the helm and was really enjoying the sail, with the extra speed we got back to our mooring in half the time, we had logged 11nm in 2.5hrs.
We are both looking forward to our next sail but I expect we will go somewhere and drop a hook for the night.
With east wind forecast for the coming week we decided to take her back up to her winter mooring, this we managed to do just before dark.
In the morning Bryan was amazed by the beauty of the place when he got out into the cockpit.
Just after HW we motored “Elektra” to a winter trot mooring in Carne Creek safe from all winds and only floating 2hrs ether side of HW, here she will stay until we can use her sailing seasons mooring from the 1st of April.
We inflated the roll-up dinghy and put the engine on and motored into St Anthony where we had left our car before driving to Poole, we went back home and Vicki cooked breakfast before I drove Bryan to Truro for him to catch a train back to Plymouth.
In the afternoon we went back to “Elektra” now high and dry and removed sailing stuff from our passage home. “Elektra” now awaits the sailing season and I need to do some work, watch this space for more adventures.
Once home I could read the invoice the ex owner had from the engineer about the fuel, it said “fill tank with 20lts of fresh fuel” which I now know is just less than a 1/4 tank. It was the “fill tank” that made me think it was full, along with the unreadable fuel level pipe!
Before first light 0600hrs we cast off Elektra from the town pontoon and reversed her out into the channel and headed for the sea. Having crossed the bar we set sail with a reef in the main and all the genoa, out track was due south but after an hour when we tacked we hopped to gain some ground but this was not to be as the track showed due north, to much tide against.
As this was a delivery passage we decided to motor west instead, two hours later over the radio came a message from the “Donald Cooke” a USA destroyer on a NATO exercise which said they were going to start live firing in 45mins time. Us not knowing who was who (lots of NATO ships around!) Bryan got on the radio and said we were in the area and were heading for Helford at about 4kts and could they tell which way to head to get out of their way? After a moment of quite the “Donald Cooke” replied asking us to turn north and return to our coarse once we were north of their position, what they didn’t tell us was their position! We past north between what we thought was the “Donald Cooke” another USA destroyer and the target being towed by a tug, once we were happy we were north of them we headed west again only to motor bow on to the “Donald Cooke” which was out of sight at the time of the radio contact, with 10mins to go to the live firing we headed north again! Once we were clear of the area we turned back to the west again.
Only being able to get 20lts of fuel in Salcombe we knew we needed to check the fuel level as we went, now was the time, this meant removing all the gear out of the cockpit locker and placing a light under the fuel level tube so we could read the level, it looked like we had used half of the 20lts and we were only just south of the Eddystone Lt, it didn’t look like we wouldn’t have enough to get us back to Helford. At this point we decided to sail on a port tack into Fowey for fuel. At least we could sail and switch off the engine for a while.
Five hours later arriving at Fowey at 1530hrs we radioed the HM asking for fuel, he replied saying it was a 24hr self service payment by card. We motored in moored up and filled the tank, easy! We were motoring out of Fowey within 1/2hr of arriving, the wind had died so we motored the rest of the way to Helford. Just before dark we were lucky to have the company of about 4-6 Dolphins who played and dived around our bow.
Then came the dark (black as your hat!) just before we reached the Roseland, I was rested and now on the helm, I first saw the St Antony Lt at 1945hrs, we continued across Falmouth Bay watching a ship going into Falmouth and another coming out. About 2nm away I could just see August Buoy green light, once we were past a tug anchored in the bay so covered in light it was taking our night sight away, I turned then for Gillan, I could just make out the east cardinal flashing, which we seemed to come up to very quick. As we rounded the cardinal Bryan went up onto the bow with a torch to spot the mooring buoys before we hit them. We made our way in and dropped anchor at 2030hrs. We had logged 71nm in 14.5hrs including a stop in Fowey for fuel. Vicki had cooked tea on the end of the passage which was ready and gratefully received by both Bryan and mtself, we got the rum out to toast our completed delivery passage.
This is where we anchored in Gillan at the end of our delivery passage
In the morning the harbour master soon came over because we were anchored in the moorings! We explained about the engine, they said we will do the rounds and come back and tow us onto the town pontoon. We placed our fenders down the port side and got our lines ready, after about 20mins they came back rafted to our starboard aft and motored us over to the pontoon.
There Vicki went ashore for shopping and Bryan and myself stripped down the fuel filter which looked clean. The fuel tank had pipe level like a home oil tank but it was impossible to read but with the aid of a light we found very little (about 3″) fuel in the tank. I knew the ex owner had had the tank filled. We used the lift pump to refill the fuel filter and the engine starter. The HM came back after a while, we asked about fuel, he said the fuel barge had just come back after a winter refit and was empty. They said we will see if we can sell you some fuel from our yard, after lunch they came back with 20lts bought from the local garage.
Bryan contacted the CG saying we had stopped off in Salcombe and were planning to leave for Helford on Tuesday.
We decided to stay the night and leave at first light on Tuesday, I went up to pay the mooring fees, I was quite expecting it to be £20 with our bigger S29 but was happy to pay the £13.60 asked for. We had a nice supper made by Vicki and went early to bed.