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.

Safe for a few days due to east wind.

Elektra on her gale proof mooring

Elektra had been in the water since the end of March but we had only used her seasonal mooring for 4 days due to easterly winds. We had been away for a few days but needed to get back in order to get her onto her gale proof mooring before the next blow. The easterly lasted until the end of Monday and it was Thursday before l had time to move her out onto her seasonal mooring again.

With rain and south westerly strong winds forecasted for the following week Elektra would be safer on her seasonal mooring. We could have gone sailing over the weekend but still forecasted cold weather so we thought we might just day sail on Saturday and get home by the wood burner in the evening.

Elektra back on her seasonal mooring

New wheels!

Year old wheels

Having set up the davits last season l had bought some folding wheels for the dinghy but we had found on our beach the wheels were to small to roll over the big pebbles.

I had bought smaller thinking l was saving money but like some money saving ideas this one doesn’t work.

So new bigger followed dinghy wheels

New wheels

A few days of boat jobs and making list of things forgotten.

On Saturday and Sunday having found a quiet anchorage there were a few jobs which needed doing just to get Elektra ready for the cruising season.

We do this every year, a few days away close to home to check things are working as they should and also find out what has been forgotten!…… On the list this season were T-towels, CDs, mats, bottled drinking water for soft drinks. Vicki said the water was tasting funny, l had changed the filter and tea and coffee tasted fine. The FM radio wasn’t working, thinking of getting a 12 volt smart speaker.

One year we arrived in an anchorage to find we had no way to light up the stove to cook dinner because the gas clicker had gone wrong. I rowed over to another anchored yacht to borrow a box of matches. Next day l managed to fix the clicker but we never sailed again without matches.

On Sunday we went down to St Mawes for some shopping in the dinghy and had our first ice cream. The weather was bright and sunny but there was still a chill in the air.

St Mawes Harbour

On Monday having looked at the weather forecast and the tides for the coming week, we decided to head back to Gillan and up into Carne creek before the neep tides stopped us. The forecast was for strong easterly winds from mid day on Wednesday but the tides were going to be to low to get Elektra onto her storm proof mooring. As it happened just as well we did before we could pick up the mooring in Carne creek Elektra grounded and then followed 20-30mins of attaching and pulling on lines to get her onto the mooring.

On the good side we did have a wonderful sail across Falmouth Bay logged 5.5-6kts most of the way, the GPS said max speed was 6.8kts.

Crossing Falmouth Bay