Sunday 9th April

WP_20170409_09_38_45_ProSunday 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.

Friday 7th April

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.

Sunday 2nd April

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.

Winter waiting mooring until April comes

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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!

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Salcombe to Gillan Hr on the Helford River

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On the town pontoon in Salcombe

Tuesday 14th March

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.

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This is where we anchored in Gillan at the end of our delivery passage

Monday 13th

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.

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On the town pontoon in Salcombe after a 16.25hr passage from Poole

Poole to Salcombe

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This is the Twin Sails Bridge closing behind us after leaving Cobbs Quay

Sunday 12th and Monday 13th March 2017

After Saturday being fog bound in Cobbs Quay, Sunday was clear and we headed out for the bridges, lucky for us another yacht radioed the bridge before us asking for it to be opened at 0930hrs and we tagged along.

There was little or no wind so we motored out towards Poole Harbour entrance down the small boats channel, we then decovered the engine was overheating, as luck would have it the Poole ILB was out training and came over to help, they towed us back to the Town Quay which allowed us to find the problem. There was a blockage in the engine intake, we checked the impeller but it was ok, having cleared the blockage we started the engine again and all was ok.

At 1115hrs we departed for the second time, back down the small boats channel and out to sea, Bryan contacted the CG with our passage plan to Helford. Off Handfast Pt (Old Harry) we raised the mainsail and motorsailed from there, just before Portland Bill we gave way to a ship coming our of Weymouth, Bryan and I in the cockpit had been enjoying looking at the log at times will over 9kts! By 1510hrs having already logged 32nm over ground we then passed 4-5nm south of Portland Bill and headed across Lyme Bay for our waypoint off Prawle Point.

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Still motor sailing the wind had picked up from the northwest but we wanted to clear Portland Bill before the tide changed, at 1630hrs just before dark the engine died, it had been running so well up to then! With the wind picking up to north-westerly force4-5 we sailed on putting a reef in the main and all the genoa. This was our first proper sail and “Elektra” just flew along in full moon light. But it was her slamming that worried us, nether Bryan or me had experienced the slamming of bilge keel yachts before that sail! At one point I had to go and check thinking the keels were falling off, I pulled all the bunk apart to look at the keel bolts but I could tell by doing so the slamming was between the keels and not lose keels!

It was a fantastic sail across Lime Bay, 44nm in 8.75hrs against the tide in full moonlight but very very cold. Arriving at Prawle Pt WP at 0110hrs Monday the 13th, the wind then turn onto the nose and we tacked towards Salcombe, we were not sure what was wrong with the engine and did not want to start it, in the dark it is difficult to tell how far away from the cliffs we were, Bryan our delivery skipper knew Salcombe very well indeed and decided to sail Elektra over the bar and up the river with great skill, he pointed out to me the lights and transits as we went. All went well until the wind died where the moorings started, I had been up on the bow getting a loop of mooring line ready to drop over a buoy as we passed but Bryan shouted that he had no steerage, I quickly dropped the anchor before we got washed into the fishing fleet by the tide, the anchor held and we headed for our bunks at 0430hrs. We logged 95nm in 16.25hrs.

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On the town pontoon in Salcombe after a 16.25hr passage from Poole

Delivery Passage, Poole to Helford

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Bryan our friend and delivery skipper has a week off his work from Friday 10th, I am going to hire a car one way from Truro and pick up Bryan from Plymouth on the way to Poole. We are still watching the weather but it looks like the wind is going to be from the NW, Sunday Monday, so depending on how strong will depend when we leave Poole.

In the end we picked up the hire car and Bryan from Plymouth on Friday as planned, Saturday turn out to be a foggy day and for some reason we couldn’t get either the radar or the tiller pilot to work so stayed and left Poole on Sunday.

Buying Bigger

We bought Elektra in November 2016

This is our new adventure having owned and sailed a Hurley 22 over 5000nm during the last eleven seasons, my wife Vicki and I (Bruce) decided to look for a bigger yacht back in August 2016 having spent a nice evening on a Sadler 34.

Then we began the search for our new yacht soon after, we put our H22 on the market in September. We looked at Hurley 27s first before moving on to Hurley 30s but it soon became clear we were not going to find a good one. we liked the size of the H30 but we needed to be able to over winter any yacht we bought up a creek. So in the end we searched the internet looking for bilge keel Westerly Konsort,s  and Sadler 29s. We looked at lots but it was when we got to Poole to see a S29 we knew we had found her, I made a silly low offer subject to survey thinking it might take all the winter to come to an agreement on price but to our suprise the offer was excepted three days later.

After three months of free storage ashore was offered by the broker we decided to leave Elektra in Poole and do the delivery passage in March have got all the winter jobs plus new standing rigging done before she goes in the water.

It was a five hour drive one way to Cobbs Quay in Poole from our home in Cornwall, we looked at Elektra in October and made an offer subject to survey, we visited her again in November for a week after the paperwork and payment had been made to arrange jobs. Again between Christmas and New Year for three days and again in February for final jobs and launch. For our last visit we hired a car one way picking up Bryan our friend and delivery skipper from Plymouth on the way in March 2017. In some ways it would have been far easier to have done the delivery passage at the end of 2016 but while she was in Cobbs Quay, Poole we had new standing rigging, new cabin heater and got Elektra ready for the passage home.

On the way to the sea