Log 24/7/13 – Percuil for lunch

It was a fairly cloudy day with F3 to 4 Southeries, so we set off for Percuil. We left a little late so had to contend with quite a but of spray caused by wind over tide. However, once round the Lugo cardinal the surface became much smoother, and we carried sail through the moorings, past Place House and in into the river.

It was now much calmer, and we dropped sails and motored into the narrows at Percuil and picked up a free mooring. A couple of swans were very quick to visit – and scare First Mate Nicky.

The tide continued to ebb and adjacent boats started to hit bottom in this Spring low. We made a sharp exit, motoring to St Mawes, raising full sail and heading directly for Mylor. It was a lovely sail back on the now rising tide.

Log 23/7/13 – Falmouth lunch stop

Not too much to report today, other than the fact that the best sailing time of the day was wasted strolling around St Mawes looking at hotels and eating cream teas. The sun was out, it was warm, and it was blowing up to 20kts. I was tied to a pontoon. By the time we were ready to sail it was overcast and cooler.

Nevertheless, at least we went out. We sailed on staysail and reefed main to Falmouth and dropped anchor just off Trago Mills. It was getting on for high water, and another meter and it would have topped the walls of the port. A buffet lunch was laid out on deck for the skipper, First Mate and Buoy Racer (well that’s what was written on his cap).

After lunch we blasted back with full sail with the Buoy Racer at the helm. He did very well, and even got the hang of surfing down the swell as we approached Mylor. Well done Max! We passed Aurora on the way back too – she’d had a marvellous sail back from Helford in the morning, and was now looking for somewhere to stay for the night.


Log 22/7/13 – Mylor to Helford and back

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20 miles all told

We arrived in Mylor on Saturday, but Force 6 and 7 from the east kept us ashore. Today was the first chance we had to go anywhere, so we though we should do some catching up. Aurora was in Falmouth, so we headed there first to meet up. We anchored just off the first and second marina’s in Falmouth as instructed, but it transpired that Aurora was in the third, so they were able to sneak out without us seeing them.

We set off after them and we crossed close to Black Rock, just after we’d had a very close encounter with a very large seal which popped its head up for us, then swam after us for a while.


A rather large seal came to see us

From this point we made good progress to windward, passing Ghylly, Swanpool and Maenporth beaches before making a few short tacks to get us into the Helford. Aurora had loads of kids onboard, and their aim wasn’t quite a true as it might have been, so they were a long way behind. They would be staying in Helford so had few time concerns, but we needed to get back so pulled into a lovely little cove where there were a number of small boats anchored. We dropped our hook too, and enjoyed a picnic lunch.

We were leaving Helford as Aurora was making her way in. We motored for a while before the wind filled the sails and we made 4kts OTG back to Lugo Rock off St Mawes, where we gybed and made Mylor Yacht harbour in one. This was supposed to have been the hottest day in the UK since 2006, but not in Cornwall it wasn’t. Never mind, it was a good day, and even the skipper’s mate enjoyed it.


Fenderboards are go!

Did you see what we did there? Fenderboards – Thunderbirds?

Having punctured a fender when we were tied up to the wall in Saundersfoot we needed something to protect them next time. With this arrangement the board lays against the concrete, stone or steelwork, and spreads any point load. A simple, tried and tested solution to an age old problem.

This time tomorrow we’ll be in Falmouth, and may try these out over in St Mawes one day.

Log 30/6/13 – Day sail from Tenby

So we weren’t at Lundy Island, but in Tenby harbour instead, and this place is devoid of water for most of the day. The harbour dries out completely and needs about 5m of tide to get the boats to float. The done thing is to maximise this by leaving just as there is enough water to float as the tide comes in, and get back just as there’s enough water to float as it goes out. On this day we had about 5 hours. As tides change with planetary phases this means that on the 5th July that period is about an hour.

As is the norm, we always get people wanting to talk to us about Cape Cutter 19’s. The previous evening we had been approached by a couple down from Merthyr. They owned a 22′ boat and a Wayfarer – but fell in love with the Cape Cutter 19 lines. The skipper invited Morian to join us today for a sail.

Morian arrived just in time, and had to paddle through a foot of water before climbing aboard. There was a short safety briefing and then the lines were removed and the skipper made a real hash of reversing out of the berth. There wasn’t enough water to go forward, so the boat hook was used to good effect to prevent us from crashing into too many boats. The gusts didn’t help matters.

We were barely out from behind the harbour wall and we were sailing with full main, staysail and yankee. There were people about, so the skipper likes to do a bit of show boating.

We had a great few hours, blasting through quite a sea as far as Giltar Point, before turning and heading out to the east and south east of Caldey Island. It was a blast, and great fun. After a few hours we returned to Jone’s Bay and dropped anchor in what was probably the most tranquil place for miles. Just us and 5 seals. And seal watching day trippers on ribs.

We were running out of time and tide, so we upped anchor, raised sails and headed back to the harbour. Had we left it another 20 minutes we wouldn’t have made it back to our berth! I think Morian enjoyed himself. I wonder if we did enough to convince him to buy one?


Log 29/6/13 – Caldey Island, but not Lundy


After a few relocations of the anchor in the early hours dawn came and the day looked promising. We needed the forecasted NW 3 to 4, occasional 5, to push us the 34 miles south to Lundy. We called in to the Coastguard, then were underway at 06:30.

Not a lot of wind around

We just drifted with the incoming tide for quite a while. Where was the wind? Sails flapped more often than not, and when we did get some breeze the maximum speed was a pathetic 2kts OTG – and that was probably sideways. After nearly an hour the best we could do was try not to drift on the tide to Swansea – so we headed best course to windward. At least the sun was out.

It was a lovely day

And we did receive a fleeting visit from a pod of dolphins – so fleeting that they escaped without being pictured. Then our fate was sealed: the broadcast weather forecast said that the wind would build and would get up to F6 in the Bristol Channel. That was it then, and we turned back – or trie to. We were about three miles south of Caldey and initial attempt to head west and then round into Caldey Sound, but we’d never push against the tide, so we turned and motor sailed back past the anchorage and enjoyed some superb sailing between Tenby south beach and Caldey, which we sailed very close to.

Priory Bay on Caldey Island

There was much reminiscing on the Skipper’s part having taken holidays here many times as a boy. Visits were made to selected beaches, and dreams fulfilled when we anchored overnight in Tenby harbour. It turned out to be a totally different day, but a fantastic one too.

Tenby hotels and appartments

A brief stop near Tenby

Tenby Harbour beach

Tenby Harbour

Log 28/6/13 – Saundersfoot and Caldey Island

Buoy in Saundersfoot bay

We launched on a great ramp in Saundersfoot harbour and left almost immediately before the water beat us to it. With preparations for sea still to do we picked up a very ropey looking buoy in the bay. Shortly afterwards and we were sailing south towards Tenby.

Jone’s Bay

The breeze made it too difficult to pass very close to Tenby, so we skimmed St Catherine’s Island and then blasted over the Sound to Caldey. We nestled in close to the rocks in Jone’s Bay. That’s how it’s spelt on the chart, so I don’t think it’s Jones.

As we settled down for the night the wind took an unexpected swing north, and where we were became untenable – so we moved around the corner to another cove directly below the lighthouse. It was us, two seals and any number of gulls.

Through the night we moved to deeper water as the tide fell. The sights were incredible. This one is supposed to be the moon.

The moon.