The idea today was to sail to Fowey so a SSOA Rally which I had arranged for the bank holiday weekend, weather was a bit iffy, the forecast was ESE 4-6 easing later and forecast to blow from the W on Saturday. We thought it would be possible to get to Fowey on Friday as long as long as it wasn’t to strong.
In Gillan Harbour there was a fresh easterly, we motored out into a 4ft swell but found no wind to sail by and the engine continued as we headed across the bay to St Mawes, we again headed for Manor Place and this time anchored in the shallows drying out for 4hrs overnight.
Early to bed because it would be an early start tomorrow to catch the tide to Fowey.
We have found Elektra to be a great sailing yacht in all kind of conditions, the down side of this is we rarely use the engine for going anywhere and as we like the being aboard as much as the sailing its self we are finding we need some way to generate power. With our last yacht we used to motor a lot more because she needed a lot of wind to make her sail well. We think we will fit a good sola panel next winter.
Having been anchored all weekend I used the windless to pull up the anchor, weed! I am not sure I have ever seen so much seaweed before, must have taken me 1/2hr to clear it all, as soon as the anchor was up we were sailing on the reefed main, I cleaned the anchor and stowed it as we went. Decks cleared, back to the cockpit to unroll the genoa, out past St Mawes, it soon became clear a reef in the genoa was also needed. We would be close on the wind across the bay but would be able to do without tacking. That’s a Rassay 32 and we are going faster! Wow! Now between 5-6kts with a little slamming, I thought maybe a little less genoa which slowed up down so I let it out again. She behaved wonderfully and ploughed on though the waves, just a great sail from start to finish, as we neared Gillan I rolled away the genoa and we sailed in on the main and picked up our mooring, 6.5nm in 1.25hrs.
The end of week forecast was saying east wind again so we moved her back up Carne Creek on her anchor again.
After three weekends had passed us by with gales and work getting in the way of sailing, this weekend looked good, Elektra had been anchored up Carne Creek for the past three weeks, so we had to get to her about 1.5hrs before HW and pick up her anchors. This we did with ease but the sounder was showing no water under the keel as we headed out of the creek, it was nice to see 0.2 showing as we headed for deeper water.
Once out of the creek we were able to moor up on our own mooring for the first time this season as it had not been serviced before. There we noticed the owners of the other Sadler 29 where aboard, we agreed we would sail together for photos, they would follow us out. I decided a reef in the main would be good, it took me a while to sort it out but got there, so we headed out of Gillan, then come a phone call to say they had a problem with their engine, no worries we said we will sail back and forth until you are ready, it was lovely sailing. Another call, they say they are going to have something to eat first and they will catch us up! OK we said and turned for Falmouth.
We goose winged across the bay until we could get on a broad reach into Pendennis Point, this was a great sail between 5-6kts, there were lots of showers around but they all mist us, not long after entering the Carrack Roads, another phone call, they said they had just had a white out hail storm, we said we had not had any rain and they couldn’t believe us, anyway they had decided to go home but they would sail over tomorrow. On hearing this we changed our direction and headed in St Mawes. We dropped anchor off Manor Place for the weekend with boat jobs to do having logged 10nm in 2hrs.
We awoke to wall to wall blue sky and sunshine, I had to inflate the roll-up dinghy to go and have a look at a RIB which I had see for sale on ebay. With our punt engine broken I rowed down the river to look and back again for cooked breckfast, just like bikes its your backside which hurts not your arms!
Vicki had been watching out for my return and when she thought I was close enough she put the eggs in the pan, so was ready when I arrived back. After we had eaten we sat in the sunshine for a while and then I got on to the washing up, more sitting in the sunshine before the time (1430) came when we needed to leave. We motored down the river and out past St Mawes and set sail for Gillan, a nice slow sail followed 3-3.5kts across Falmouth Bay, we were gently passed by three racing yacht all with carbon fibber sails but the Bavaria 36 could not get away from us, the wind died, off August rock buoy so we all started motoring home.
We had only logged 13nm over the weekend but who cares about miles when you have time to sit in the sunshine.
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.