Sail home before the blow

Saturday 14th August

After a lovely quiet night at anchor, we would have to leave before the tide dropped to low. Lots of other yachts had arrived during the evening before and the morning as this would be a great anchorage for the coming blow on Sunday.

With just 1m under the keel we lifted our anchor and headed out into St Mawes Harbour to set sail. The wind seemed fairly strong so l reefed the main and genoa, our first port tack took us across just south of Pendennis Point and on into Maenporth before we tacked and headed out SSE into Falmouth Bay. The sailing was good after all the motoring we had done this summer we were glad and enjoying it. Leaving the next tack late as local knowledge tells us SW wind turns into W wind off the Helford River. Having tacked late we could ease the sails a little and speed up quite a lot! We sailed into Gillan and picked up our mooring just 1.25hrs later having logged 8nm.

Weekend away

Friday 13th August

Having had to work on mum’s house getting it ready to sell. It was late on Friday before we could get away.

Dropped the mooring at 1445hrs we were sailing away down wind we had only set the genoa but we covered the 6nm in 1.5hrs. We dropped anchor in Place Manor where we would dry out overnight. Far enough to get away but not to far for a hard bash back to windward to get home.

Looking at the forecast, the wind was due to get up on Sunday from the Southwest so we planned to go back Saturday.

Channels Creek to Gillan

Sunday August 1st

There wasn’t any any hurry to get back but we needed to get off Elektra before 1600hrs because of the falling tide.

After a lazy cooked brunch and washing up, I pulled the anchor back aboard at 1350hrs. Setting just the genoa again, there seemed a little bit more wind today. The forecast was only NW4 but the passage was fast back to Gillan, we sailed right in and onto the mooring , picking it up at 1525hrs having logged 9nm.

We didn’t waist any time getting ashore.

Sailing at last!

The weather looked good for the weekend but I had some work to do for Mum on Friday.

Saturday July 31st

With the high tide being just before 11am, there wasn’t any hurry to leave and we went aboard about 1030hrs, stowed the gear and stores and got Elektra ready to leave.

We cast off at 1205hrs and set just the genoa, the forcast being W4-5, we soon realised more sail would have been better. But with the wind being more like SW4, we thought the mainsail would take the genoas wind so just continued as we were. We sailed NNE across Falmouth Bay and north up the Carrick Roads and dropped anchor in Channels Creek at 1420hrs having logged 9nm.

Looking like rain we quickly put up the cockpit encloser and settled down with a hot drink, it wasn’t long before I was fast asleep! Being aboard helps me relax and sleep seems so easy.

Heat wave

Friday 16th July

Early in the morning l went up to our local garage for diesel to refill Elektra’s tank after we motored to and from Scilly. On my return l also filled 2 25lts cans of water and set off down to Elektra to fill her tanks.

On my return from Elektra around 1030hrs l showered, changed and went off to get a takeaway.

Around midday we were ready, we needed to leave St Anthony beach before 1400hrs. Out at Elektra again the temperature was rising, we stowed the gear and stores and then sat in the cockpit eating the takeaway looking out at Falmouth Bay like a mill pond. It looked like we would have to motor and after motoring to and from Scilly we didn’t fancy it. So we stayed on the mooring and enjoyed the surroundings. In the evening we motored into Flushing Cove for a quieter night

As it turned out, not as quite as expected partly due to visitors moving around in RIBs at 2330hrs and also around low water 0600hrs the next morning Elektra bounced around on the bottom in the slight east swells.

On Saturday at high water we motored Elektra up into Carne Creek and onto her gale proof mooring and a better night. There is a forecast of strong east winds from Wednesday and l would be too busy at work to move her then. Before the tide started going out we went via dinghy out to the cove just west of Nare Point exploring and a little more around the Dennis Head, before enjoying an ice cream from Sailaway on our way back. Elektra was already aground when we arrived back to enjoy the rest of the afternoon, evening.

In some ways Carne Creek is a lovely quiet spot to get away from the madding crowd, to ourselves when the tide is out (6hrs) and interesting as the tide floods back which brings the paddle boarders, kayakers and odd small boat. Here it is tranquil at low water watching the wadding birds and away from the visitors RIBS wash in Gillan Harbour.

On Sunday we enjoyed the weather some more until 1500hrs when we had to leave Elektra on the falling tide. Elektra had been more caravan like this weekend than ever before but boats and yachts are about enjoyment and we had!

Chance of more time aboard

Saturday 10th July

Having come back from Scilly last Friday and then worked 7 days to catch up with my jobs, l felt it was time to get back aboard. The HW tide time was early but l had stuff to pick up at 1000hrs, by the time we got to St Anthony the water was going fast, we loaded the dinghy, Vicki walked down to the point and l rowed the dinghy out to her in about 18ins of water.

I picked up Vicki at the point where it was deep enough to use the outboard and we motored out to Elektra. Vicki climbed aboard and l passed up the stores and kit. Vicki opened the cabin and stowed everything while l lifted the outboard onto the rail and got the dinghy onto her davits. I set about getting Elektra ready to leave.

I dropped the mooring and Vicki motored Elektra out of Gillan, l set all the sail and we speàd off at 2kts! I would have continued to sail if it hadn’t started to rain with the GPS telling us it was going to take 1.5hours to cross the 3nm of Falmouth Bay. So on went the engine and we motored again.

Arriving in the Precuil River at 1300hrs having logged 6.5nm, dropped anchor and put up the cockpit enclosure before sitting down to have lunch.

After lunch l went to sleep, must have for 4hrs or so because it was nearing HW when I awoke.

An evening playing scrabble followed listening to music and a good 10hrs of night time sleep. I always sleep well aboard.

In the morning it was tipping down with rain, then followed a lazy day of reading and catching up with Facebook on Sunday with the rain continuing into another game on Scrabble and music in the evening to avoid the football.

On Monday we awoke to blue skies and sunshine, after brunch l rowed the dinghy to the shore and tipped out the rainwater, arrived back l refitted the outboard and we headed off to St Mawes for a few bits of shopping and a ice cream. It was only as we were heading into the beach at St Mawes when Vicki said she had left the Covid masks on Elektra! Another pack of masks and some shopping and a short walk for ice creams. We sat on the steps watching the goings on in the harbour eating ice cream until we were ready to leave.

Back at Elektra, we had a few chores to do before we could enjoy the weather. It clouded up a bit in the afternoon but we could still enjoy the kids learning to sail from the local sailing school. With work on Wednesday planned for this was our last day for just enjoying being aboard, we needed to sail home tomorrow.

On Tuesday there wasn’t any hurry to get back so after a lazy cooked brunch we weighted at 1300hrs. We were unsure how much sail we needed so motored Elektra down to St Mawes. We decided full main would be OK so set full sail and turned for Gillan, in the NW force 4 we were soon logging 6.7-6.9kts SOG. It was a great sail but over so quickly, we sailed right on to Elektra’s swing mooring. We did the 6.5nm in 1.25hrs.

Fast passage home

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


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