Tuesday, July 27, 2021

2021 Summer Cruise, Days 8 - 10.

This is the last post in a thread, to start at the beginning, click here

The less said about this leg the better! But I will have a good moan 😈 The forecast was reasonable for Saturday and the strong winds of Friday died in the late afternoon so I decided to head for Fowey on Sunday leaving at 06:15 to get a few hours of favourable tide. 

There was little wind over night and when I left so I thought the sea conditions would at worst be reasonable and I decided to tow the dinghy for use at Fowey. I was very wrong, the sea south off of St Anthony head was evil, fairly high, very short and steep coming from the east against the rising wind. There was a risk of the dinghy being swamped and then lost so I expended a lot of energy getting it on board, deflated and secured, with the motion that made me both weary and feeling sea sick which lasted a coupe of hours. 

I tried sailing, rather than motor sailing, as the wind increased to about 14 knots but instead of making 4 or 5 knots which would be normal, against the waves I could only make about 1.5 knots on port tack. That would take all day so I put the engine back on. Until the tide changed adverse off of Dodman Point, the sea remained difficult and progress slow. After that I made good progress and arrived at 12:30 when moorings were still available.

24 miles in 6.5 hours.

Achilles 9 metre "Sancerre" at Fowey
“Hebridean Princess” arrived Saturday evening using 2 anchors
to secure the bow and lines aft to a buoy to secure the stern to
stop her swinging.
Note that the two yachts on the left are sharing a buoy as all the
others were taken
“Hebridean Princess”  was a Scottish 2,000 tonne ferry converted to the luxury cruise ship for a max of 50 guests with goodness knows how many crew, I didn’t bother checking on how much they pay for their short cruises! You would not want to be in Fowey during high season it was incredibly busy on “change over day” when I briefly went ashore for supplies.
Achilles 9 metre "Sancerre" at Fowey
Why I don't like rafting on a mooring, particularly at Fowey.
And it got closer than this as the two boats swung to the tide
in opposite directions, if there had been two 40ft boats on that
buoy there would probably have been a collision.
On Saturday night the met office inshore forecast suggested quite a lot of wind coming on Tuesday and their model as well as that from the European Centre for Medium Range Forecasting at Bracknell, down loaded as a "GRIB" file showed lots more coming on Wednesday or Thursday (it actually arrived late Thursday as Storm Evert), there was therefore a high risk of getting weather bound for some days in expensive marinas so I set off early on Sunday.

The forecast changed every 6 hours and none of them were right! Expecting fairly strong winds I decided not to go into Plymouth to anchor for a nights sleep as I could get stuck there, a couple of hours later the forecast changed to moderate winds but Plymouth was now "up tide" so I pressed on. Stronger winds did not arrive but remained very light, I did get up the cruising chute a number of times, once just to get some piece and quite for dinner, but with only 4 - 8 knots of wind I had to use the engine to have any chance of getting home without getting stuck somewhere due to weather or missing tidal gates, also tides did not favour going into Portland.

With a strong spring tide and a forecast strong wind it is advisable
to give Portland Bill a wide berth, in this case 6 miles, on really rough
days up to 12 miles is advised, even then you would still feel the effects.
Anvil point was a trial, not rough but with 3 - 3.5 knots of adverse tide.
I made the tidal gate at Hurst narrows, arriving a couple of hours after the favourable tide started which gave me a chance of getting onto the mooring during the "early flood stand" between 09:00 & 10:30, but it was going to be tight. 
A close rounding of Hurst, I didn't actually go over land, πŸ˜€the
navigation software was recording the position every 3 minutes
and I was moving very quickly.
The transition from the North Channel with c4 knots of tide into Hurst narrows with more, was complicated by a dredger coming down the Needles Chanel so instead of taking the easier route between  "The Trap" and the NE Shingles Buoy, I had to go close in, fortunately I knew the way and how close you can go as I usually go close in, just not at this stage of a big spring tide! I had my hands full manually steering as course changes were needed quicker than I could achieve with the autopilot, so regrettably no pictures of the over-falls.

It was a big spring tide for the time of year and north of Yarmouth it was still running at over 4 knots, through Hurst narrows it was a lot more.
The navigation display N of Yarmouth, motoring at c5.5 knots
but making 10.1 over the ground.
The Solent was remarkably quite for a July day except for commercial traffic, after dodging round several ferries and two small tankers I made it into the Hamble river comfortably ahead of a large container ship coming down Southampton Water and was on the mooring at 10:20. 

15 minutes later I could not have got on the mooring single handed and I would have had to wait until 13:00-16:30 or for a few minutes at 19:50.

102 miles in 29.3 hours.

Summary of the Cruise

Day #


GPS Miles

Sat 17 Jul

To Portland




Sun 18 Jul

To Lyme Regis




Sun 18 Jul

To Beer




Mon 19 Jul

To Hallsand




Tue 20 Jul

To Polkeris via Fowey for fuel.




Wed 21 Jul

To St Mawes




Thu 22 Jul

St Mawes


Fri 23 Jul

St Mawes


Sat 24 Jul

To Fowey




Sun 25 Jul

To Hamble


Mon 26 Jul

To Hamble







Only one night on a mooring, the rest at anchor πŸ˜€.

Just 10 days out of the planned 2 - 3 weeks, I guess the late summer cruise will be a bit longer than planned πŸ˜‰

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