We love Scilly

After arrival in Scilly on Saturday evening we had sunshine but we knew the forecast for Sunday was poor so we put up Elektra’s cockpit enclosure. The forecast l had seen was for force 4 gusting 6 with rain but  l gathered later that the met Office increased the the wind forecast last minute.

We had anchored close into the shore in East Porth south of Tean island. The wind and rain came in after darkness decended. Then followed a spell of wet and windy weather for the next 24hrs, the wind died away Sunday evening but the rain continued until midday Monday.

Wet and windy outside

I hadn’t ventured out except to lower the dinghy off it’s davits on Sunday morning for which l only put on a coat over pants and T-shirt as the dinghy was now a paddling pool.

On Monday afternoon we were both getting a real need to get our feet back on dry land for a walk. Having put on warm clothes and wellies we both got down into the dinghy/paddling pool, l used Elektra’s gunnal and then her anchor chain to pull us ashore. Once ashore l could tip the rain water out of the dinghy. Vicki isn’t able to walk far so l left her sitting on the beach while l climbed to the top of the Tean island, 30 meters!

I like to survey the islands and take photos, looking for good anchorages for the future. In fact Tean island was our first time, we like and well come back. From the top of the hill l had a good view.

Yachts anchored in East Porth

On Monday evening after the tide had floated Elektra again we motored her out of East Porth northwest though St Helen’s Pool out around the north of Tresco into New Grimsby Sound. The sea north of Tresco was still quite big and confused but once we made the turn into New Grimsby the sea soon settled down. We passed the moored and anchored yachts in the Sound and turned into Green Bay off Bryher. Still on a rising tide we gingerly moved in watching the depth sounder. 2.6m quickly changed to 1.6m at which point l did a U turn and went forward to drop anchor. As per normal Vicki had problem in reverse, l suggested just let her lie back in the wind, when Elektra straightens up, l will dig the anchor in.

Green Bay, Bryher

We stayed in Green Bay a Monday and Tuesday nights, doing some shopping and getting our first pub lunch since January 2020 on Tuesday.

On Wednesday morning we moved to the Neck of the Pool, St Martin’s, Wednesday turned out to be a lovely summer day, l walked around St Martin’s which we last visited in 2010 seeing some of the north facing coast this time.

St Martin’s north coast
Neck of the Pool  St Martin’s

The forecast was settled until Friday evening, from there it was going to deteriorate with gales coming in on Monday. We decided we would head back home on Friday. But being Thursday we were going to stay as long as we could and plan to move to Watermill Cove on St Mary’s in the  evening for an early start Friday.

Wednesday evening Justin Harley arrived from the mainland in his Sadler 29 “Daedalus” for his first visit to Scilly, we invited him aboard for cold bites and beer. There followed a lovely evening of chatting about boats, sailing and places we had visited. Justin making his exit just before dark.

Elektra on left from the Seven Stones Inn

Thursday was a lazy start after sleeping like a log l turned out about 0730hrs making coffee for both of us as normal, the morning seemed to slip by and it was time for a walk to the Seven Stones lnn for a pint and lunch which all went down very nicely.

View of Tean Sound from St Martin’s

A lazy walk back to the punt, we sat there for a while enjoying the view. Then l pulled the punt back to the water and we motored out to Elektra. She still had over 1m under the keel so we then decided to move Elektra to Watermill Cove before the tide went out. We decided not to remove her cockpit enclosure and gently motored her west then south to the cove.

Watermill Cove

In real holiday mode we then lay, read and slept in the lovely sunshine.

Enjoying the sunshine

On Friday we motorsailed back to the mainland, the calm before the storm. A short but lovely holiday.

Sunrise after leaving Scilly at 0430hrs

Scilly!

Every year we plan to get out to Scilly but with my job restrictions and finding the weather to go we only manage it one year in three. I don’t like to say we are going until on passage. Over the years of our cruising since 2006 we have managed to get to  Scilly 2009, 2010, 2013, 2017 and 2018. We would have gone in June last year but Covid restrictions stopped us.

Anchored in Flushing Cove

Saturday 26th June

Running up to our holiday the forecast was looking good to go but l wasn’t saying anything to soon. Friday  was north-westerly then going north and east on Saturday, l was getting more hopeful.

On Thursday evening we moved Elektra from her Carne mooring to her seasonal mooring in Gillan Harbour, topped up the water and diesel.

On Friday after 1430hrs we drove down to St Anthony with a pick up full of stores and started to ferry out to Elektra on her mooring, by 1700hrs all was stowed and l lifted the dinghy onto her davits ready for passage. We dropped mooring and motored Elektra into Flushing Cove for a more quiet night at anchor.

On Saturday the wind had died away. The tidal stream wasn’t with us until 1100hrs so we were in no hurry to leave, it was 0830hrs when l pulled up the anchor and Vicki turned Elektra and we headed for the sea. Flat calm as we motored out past the Nare Point and turned towards Manacles buoy, l came up with the tiller pilot and set going.  We rounded Manacles buoy at 0905hrs and headed for Black Head, now pushing quite a lot of tide we slowed but l was surprised to see the tide was going our way when we got to Black Head at 0945hrs

Now heading for the Lizard Point with the tide or was it an eddy? We turned for Scilly off the Lizard at 1030hrs with the charge on we were now making over 9kts SOG so not slack water as l expected! Very lumpy sea off the Lizard but no breaking overfalls.

Visibility was very good

The sea calmed down again once clear of the Lizard but no real wind to speak of, so we continued to motor west, passing Wolf Rock lighthouse at 1400hrs having logged 37nm. We couldn’t believe how fast this passage was going but of course speed slowed and we arrived at Hats way point, Scilly at 1730hrs having logged 57nm.

We then made our way slowly north west towards Tean island where we thought we would find good shelter for the coming blow on Sunday. Weather was forecasted to improve from Tuesday. So once we had dropped anchor we started to get Elektra ready for the coming blow, cockpit enclosure up, sail covers on,

Anchored south of Tean island

Over worked

The next weekend we had planed to go and see our family but with three days of rain in the week and loads more work in a new garden, I had to stay home. Vicki went by herself leaving me to working on until late Saturday evening.

On Sunday I went out to Elektra at 0800hrs to remove the old teak slats, possibly the most uncomfortble seats I have ever sat on! These had been on my to do list ever since buying Elektra in 2016. We had set our minds on new “Flexiteek” panals when funds would allow, back in May I had finaly ordered them and the fitting had been arranged for the 17th June. I thought I would be able to finish before the tide went out at 1200hrs but it wasn’t to be and it was 1400hrs when I left Elektra to come back ashore. With the tide being out I had to lower the punts wheels and pull from the LW mark back up the beach, I must be getting old as I had to rest twice!

On the Wedensday evening after work Vicki and I bought Elektra into St Anthony beach ready for the fitter to fit the Flexiteek the following afternoon.

Still with loads of work on, I never met Lee the fitter only text info to each other, Lee had come down from the factory in Wincherster to fit panals on three yachts in the area. In the evening just before the tide came in again I went to have a look at the finished job. I was very pleased.

On Friday at HW Vicki and I moved Elektra back to her swing mooring, the flexiteek needs 24hrs for the glue to set properly and the advice is to keep off it for three days, this left us unable to use her over the weekend. The advise was to place plywood on top to walk on for the three days.

We are now hoping next weekend we can go sailing again!

Weekend 4-6th June

Elektra on gale proof mooring

After a good week at work Vicki and I were keen to get back aboard and enjoy the great weather. With home jobs needing doing on Friday the earliest we could get aboard was 2hrs after high water by which time Elektra was grounded and the tide was falling fast. With just enough water to get to her by dinghy we motored out from St Anthony and arrived at Elektra’s gale proof mooring with just enough depth for the outboard, Vicki climbed aboard and I pasted up the stores.

At standerd pressure (1016mb) Elektra needs a 4m tide hight to float. Our problem was the next days high water was only predicted as 4.1m and with the high pressure Elektra might not! The next high water at 0230hrs was 4.3m, I decided it would be a good idea to lay her bow anchor in the channel and her keg anchor in line astern, once she was floating I could pull her out over the channel allowing us to be able to leave at high water Saturday afternoon. So I spent Friday evening setting this up. I needed to use all the cable, 40m of 8mm chain and 20m of warp and had to add another 30m of line to the keg anchor. All the length wasn’t for the depth but to get Elektra over the channel.

Anchored in channel

Once done we settled down to evening meal and a game of Scrabble, getting out at 0230hrs wasnt much fun but seemed to work ok, I was glad to get back in the bunk.

Mooring with Elektra anchored in channel

In the morning Elektra was sitting right in the middle of the channel, success! I got out and picked up the keg anchor and placed in dinghy. I had a new job to look at in Gillan, so with the tide out I walked up to take a look before breakfast. While I was gone it started to rain but I hadn’t taken a coat, Back at Elektra I could dry of and have breakfast. The tide was starting to run in while I did the washing up and Elektra was starting to lift off, I had to get into the dinghy to clear weed which had fouled the prop and the rudder as the tide ran in. Leaving a 1/2hr after Elektra started to float before starting the engine and pulling in the anchor. Vicki motored Elektra down the channel out of Carne Creek with only 0.5m under the keel while I cleaned the deck of all the weed which had been brought aboard with the anchor chain. We picked up our mooring in Gillan Harbour and attached our dinghy. Then headed out for a sail, we never got far before the heavens opened so we turned about and headed back to Flushing Cove inside Gillan Harbour and dropped anchor! Quickly getting out the cockpit encloser and putting up as fast as possible, there we stayed for the remainder of the weekend, with the rain on Saturday and the Sun dried the encloser on Sunday before we moved Elektra back onto her mooring having only logged 2.5nm over the weekend.

Anchored in Flushing Cove

Fowey to Carne Creek

Fowey rally
17 yachts to the rally

After a great day on Saturday with the rally, bar-b-que and live music in the evening. New friends had been made by members including us.

Sunday 30th May

On Sunday the forecast was redued from easterly force 4 gusting 6 to easterly force 4 gusting 5. Lots of Sadler’s left early to head back to Plymouth area, the tide wasn’t going our way until 1230hrs but we needed a tide hight of 4m to get Elektra into Carne Creek and on to her gale proof mooring since we were heading for a lea shore with strong easterlies forecasted for the coming week. So we delayed our departue until 1430hrs as the tide would only be over 4m after 1900hrs.

Vicki motored Elektra out of Fowey while I stowed the fenders and lines, once out of the entrance I set just the genoa as this sail is 3/4 of her sail area and her power. To start with we sailed off at about 5kts but then after Cannis the wind died away and we had to motor, then a few miles short of Yaw buoy the wind picked up again. It was a nasty 3/4 following sea of 3-4ft and the wind started to pick up as we reached the Dodman Point, now doing over 7kts SOG. Once past the Dodman the wind seemed to pick up a bit more and the sea with it to 4-5ft, Vicki dosen’t like this sort of sea so I stayed on the helm for the whole passage. We had a few near broch’s and in the end a real one but all was well with no damage I got Elektra back in line. Off the Roseland just before we started to cross Falmouth Bay the wind died away so we had to motor, the swell was just as big but the white horses were gone. After a uncomfortable passage across Falmouth Bay we motored into Gillan Harbour at 1900hrs having logged 24nm.

Motoring on into the setting sun made my visional hights for going into Carne Creek dificult to see, I had a feeling we were still early because of the fast passage and high pressure but with an incoming tide we gingerly motored on in keeping to the channel. Then turning out of the channel towards the mooring Elektra went aground about 20ft short. 10-15mins later we motored onto the the mooring. Being late back we stayed aboard that night. The GPS showed max speed was 8.6kts. But I like to look at the adverage, 24nm in 4.5hrs is 5.33kts on just the genoa.

In Carne creek

Gillan to Fowey for SSOA Rally

Friday 28th May

The forecast was for light winds but we were hoping to sail a little bit even if we had to motor later. We cast off mooring and headed out into Falmouth Bay at 1145hrs setting all the sail and sutting down the engine. Sailing we were but at only 1.5-1.8kts, after 3/4hr we had only logged just over a mile. At which point I started the engine again, turning and motoring towards the Dodman Point, I went into the cabin and got the tiller pilot.

I set up the tiller pilot, motoring is about the only time we use it as both Vicki and I love to helm when sailing. Passing the Dodman at 1500hrs there seemed a little wind but it was short lived as St Austell Bay was like a mill pond. We motored in and rafted on a pontoon in Fowey at 1700hrs. Everyone else had motored as will, just to little wind for sailing.

A few jobs up the mast

Friday 14th May

With one stormy wet weekend following another May was drifting on by without any possible sailing. But I had a few jobs to do up the mast so I arranged with Sailaway to use their waiting mooring and dry Elektra out in the shelter of St Anthony.

Vicki and I moved Elektra into St Anthony on Thursday evening ready for mast work on Friday while dried out. I dont like climbing the mast afloat as other boat users dont care and just a wash while up the mast can fling the climber around a lot.

I was down in the morning early getting things ready to climb the mast (we have a mast ladder which allows me to climb with Vicki taking up the slack on the safety line) and also filled water tank and a few other jobs. Vicki arrived at 1100hrs just as Elektra was taking ground. Once aboard I got the harness on and a nail bag to carry some tools and headed up the mast. Climbing a upright ladder isnt the easiest thing to do but it’s quite quick and one at the the mast head the safety harness and line allows to work hands free. First job was to get the wind speed working, I had to unplug and used silicone spray to get it spinning well again. Plugged back in again it was spinning like a new one! The wind indicator was a easy fix, just ajusting it a little. On the way back down the mast I decided to go all the way and get a bucket of hot soppy water to clean the under side of the spreaders and the radar reflector. Once this was done I could come down again and relax. Then it was time to put all the gear away again.

With the mast work done, we had a bit lunch and relaxed in the cockpit, it was 1700hrs before Elektra floated again and 1/2hr later we motored Elektra back out to her mooring.

Elektra just before she refloated

Channels creek to Gillan

What a wonderful morning, l paddled around in the dinghy to get a few photos.

After a late fry up we picked up Elektra’s anchor and started motoring south. One of the alarms started going off and l had a problem on the fore deck, needing a tool l went back to the cabin to turn the alarm off.

My problem sorted l could then look to see what the alarm was about, l think l got the tail end of a VHF dfc life boat call out. Next minute the AIS alarm is going off, l when into the cabin and turned the alarm off! Good bit of kit but l don’t need alarms going off all the time especially in crowded waters during clear visibility!

With no wind we continued to motor south and out into Falmouth Bay thinking we would be able to sail from there but it wasn’t to be. The wind did pick up halfway across the bay but by that time we just continued to motor sail arriving in Gillan Harbour 1.75hrs later having logged 8nm.

Last sail of April

Friday 30th April

After thinking we had had our last sail the weather looked good for a nice weekend. In the morning l had been to Helston to the dentist and for a hair cut. Arriving home late morning l said to Vicki l think we will regret not going sailing this weekend, Vicki’s reply was we are! We needed to leave St Anthony by 1230 at the latest due to a falling tide. So we quickly packed up and were on the road with in an hour.

At St Anthony we loaded the dinghy and just as we left the beach it started raining! Now being in dinghy when it’s raining is about the worse place to be without water proofs. Arriving out at Elektra Vicki quickly climbed aboard and passed up the stores before getting aboard also. With a hot Cornish Pastries to eat for lunch that was what we did next until the rain stopped.

Elektra on her seasonal mooring

After the rain stopped we got busy getting Elektra ready to leave the mooring. Vicki stowing the gear and stores and me lifting off the outboard and pulling the dinghy onto it’s davits. Zipping back the sail cover and attaching the halyard before getting the mooring ready to drop. Switching on the electrics and starting the engine.

Once ready l dropped the mooring and Vicki motored Elektra out of Gillan Harbour into the wind as l pulled up the mainsail. Once turned and heading for Falmouth l stopped the engine and set the genoa. Sailing was slow but we weren’t in any hurry so we sailed on at 2-3kts. Into Carrick Roads we needed to use the deep channel because it was just after low water. Most of the way across Falmouth Bay the wind had been behind us then when we wanted to sail up the channel we had a head wind! We started the engine and motored, arriving at Channels creek 3hrs after leaving Gillan having only logged 9.5nm.

Anchored in Channels creek

Nice weather but chilly wind

Saturday was a rest day, late getting out followed by a fry up and washing up. I was sitting in the cockpit enclosure looking around and spotted a Sadler heading our way. It was Robert and Mandy in their Sadler 34. They dropped anchor beside us and l rowed over for a chat. Invited aboard for a cup of tea and a lovely long chat before l said l must go to let them go up river to anchor.