Thursday, August 31, 2023

2023 30th August, Days 24 - 25 Portmellon to Fowey.

 With little or no wind I motored to Fowey.

A short diversion to check out Pentewan that looks very different
to when we holidayed there in our caravan over 50 years ago.
Just after I called in to get a mooring, a call came in from another
"Sancerre" wanting to pay before leaving, not a common name.

Wednesday evening racing at Fowey.
31st August:

Darn weather (forecasts)! Having given up on Ireland due to a week or more of NW winds and moving east with an eye on the Channel Islands the forecast is now for a lot of E or NE winds, quite brisk at times and NE is not a good direction to be over there. 

At least it’s meant to be sunny for a good while after the current rain moves away, also every thing could change depending on the track of the Hurricane currently in the Atlantic - not the one over the USA and a good example of why you don’t sail to the US in August or September as someone on the Achilles site was recently saying they wanted to do in an Achilles 24!.

The ECMWF chart for the North Atlantic, 31st August.

2023 2 Portmellon to Fowey

Just 8 miles in 2 hours.

Click here for Cawsand and Hope Cove

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

2023 29th August, Day 23 St Mawes to Goran Haven & Portmellon

A nice sailing wind but damp with Drizzle as I headed for GoranHaven.

The cruising chute as a spinnaker - I didn't want to
get the big spinnaker out and wet, also the forecast
was F3 - 5, the latter would have been well over the top.
Anchored off Goran Haven
Goran Haven, taken a few years ago on a brighter day.
At the tide turned and the wind increased a little the boat started roll,  not bad but rather than risk a bad night I moved a couple of miles further on to Portmellon which Chaple point protects a bit better where I had a quite night, except in the evening when tripper boats from Mevagissey were coming very close. 

From the Portmellon anchorage
2023 2 St Mawes to Portmellon

16 miles in total mainly against the tide in five and a quarter hours.

Click here for the leg to Fowey.

Sunday, August 27, 2023

2023 24th August, Days 18 - 21 Hugh Town to Coverack, the Truro River and St Mawes

An excellent first day although it was damp and cold and I was forever putting reefs in and taking them out again. Making excellent progress I decided to get east of the Lizard well ahead of approaching windy weather and chose to go into the good anchorage at Coverack rather than plug the foul tide to the Fal.

It was rather busy going round The Lizard, a lot of us trying
and failing to get round before the tide set west and loads more
rather early for their rounding (AIS boats only!)

Heading NE up the Lizard Peninsular.
Coverack from the anchorage.

After a quite night at Coverack I headed for the Fal and up to the Truro River to shelter from the approaching strongish winds and to again meet up with Roger and Ron in Rogers "Blue Magic".
14 miles in three and a half hours, about 50:50 motoring and under sail.

2023 2 Hugh Town to The Truro River

Truro River

Blue Magic ahead of Sancerre on the pontoon, the best anchorage
being taken.
The strong winds arrived along with rain so I was there fore 3 days. On the last night it became rather crowded as boats arrived for an Ocean Cruising Club rally, sadly rain put a litteral dampener on the pontoon party although I did meet up John, another Jester Sailor last seen in Baltimore and had a quick tour of Samsara.

To St Mawes

On Sunday morning we left for St Mawes, Blue Magic to continue later in the day to The Helford and me ready to head on early next morning.

Mylor Marina and moorings.
St Just in Roseland.
Castle Point, St Mawes.

Click here for Goran Haven

2023 22nd August Days 15 - 17 St Martins to Hugh Town IoS.

It was a quick trip down to Hugh Town thanks to just catching the favourable tide down the east coast of St Marys.

The harbour at low water.
There was a minor disturbance on Tuesday night:

The weather models indicated north westerly winds for a week or more, not good for getting to Ireland or cruising so I gave up on Ireland and after a couple of nights on a buoy I loaded 40 litres of diesel, not an easy task getting them down the high harbour wall at close to low tide, then moved to the anchorage ready for an early start back to the mainland.

2023 2 St Martins to Hugh Town IoS

Click here for the trip to the Truro River.

2023 20th August, Day 14 Newlyn to St Mary's and St Martins IoS

An excellent albeit chilly sail over once clear of some dense fog banks south of Newlyn.

Newlyn to Watermill Cove.
When I was close to the Wolf Rock, a very serious sounding Mayday call was received by Falmouth Coastguard (the second Mayday I had heard on this trip in addition to several Pan Pan urgency calls) who were coping well with difficult VHF communications, because they were talking to someone in the water and fairly close in to cliffs. But they managed it, the following explains:

I went to the anchorage at Watermill Cove on the North side of St Mary's which is a recommended anchorage for S or SW winds. Unfortunately it was quite crowded and initially I was anchored well out where it was quite uncomfortable with the boat lying broadside to small waves refracting round St Mary's. I was considering a move to St Helen's Pool or Old Grimsby but that could not be done until mid evening when the tide had risen sufficiently.

My spot on arrival.
Before that a boat further in left so instead I went to where he had been, although further in I was still further east than ideal and it was still a little uncomfortable but I stayed the night.

34 nautical miles over the ground in 9 hours.


Next morning I motored round to St Martin's bay which has much better protection where I anchored behind the boat that had left Watermill Cove the previous evening. Just after I arrived I lost the O2 phone signal and it didn't return so needing to attend to problems with the home broadband I did not stay long and headed for Hugh Town.

Saturday, August 19, 2023

2023, 17th August, Days 11 - 13 Weather bound in Newlyn

I arrived in Newlyn on Wednesday the 16th with strong winds forecast to arrive on Friday. Facebook posts by the Met Office (click for animation) and myself, reproduced below, cover the weather situation. Stuck there for 3 or 4 days I took the opportunity to go to the Laundrette in Penzance and to store the boat, except for fuel which is only available to commercial users.

Met Office animation and info about Storm Betty.

Facebook Posts:

16th August:
I think I’ll stay in Newlyn for a while.
The Uk Met Office model is now saying gusts to 60 knots, the AROME and GFS models are a bit behind at 40 - 50 knots, the ECMWF is showing “only” 30 knots, I think the ECMWF is out voted although it is my default model. Watch out for mayhem in the Isles of Scilly if the worst projections (gusts to 54 knots) come to pass on Friday evening. 

Update: The worst did not materialise but St Mary's lifeboat launched twice to 3 boats dragging anchors one of which ended up on shore and is likely to stay there until the next spring tide:

It looks like at least a 4th night in Newlyn harbour that is getting crowded, mainly with French boats. Only one berth left (small boat only) and only 1 space for a large boat to raft up on a yacht unless they raft 3 deep on the hammerhead which would be very problematic given space (blocking access to a large part of the small boat harbour) and a French 2 masted gaffer already rafted out side of a much smaller modern boat. Lots are going to be rafting on fishing boats or lying against a wall tomorrow.

Latest inshore forecast: 19:00 Lyme - Scilly

24 hour forecast: Easterly 3 to 5, occasionally 6 at first in east, veering south-easterly 5 to 7, perhaps gale 8 later in west. Slight or moderate, occasionally rough later near the Isles of Scilly. Mainly fair then thundery showers, rain later. Moderate or good, occasionally poor.

Outlook for the following 24 hours: South-easterly 5 to 7, occasionally gale 8 at first in west, veering south-westerly 6 to gale 8, perhaps severe gale 9 later. Slight at first in east, otherwise moderate or rough, occasionally very rough. Thundery rain and showers at first. Moderate or poor becoming good.

All models now showing gusts to 40 knots by mid afternoon and 50 - 60 knots this evening. And a modern French boat just left for the Scillies.

18th August

Quite bumpy in Newlyn and the wind is forecast to peak
 in a couple of hours. Latest fc is for “high” (6 - 9 m) waves
west of the Lizard.

19th August

The worst has past but it is still a bit lumpy, staying another night, I'll then either move out to anchor or, hopefully, head for Scilly. Éire is looking unlikely with north westerly winds setting in later in the week for a week or more, which is not conducive to cruising the SW coast of Ireland.

Click here for my passage to Scilly.

2023 16th August, Day 10 Portscatho to Newlyn

A pleasant trip to Newlyn albeit with light winds under the cruising chute until just short of The Lizard when I motored for an hour before sailing on a reach to Newlyn.

Rounding the Lizard, in calm conditions at the turn of the tide 
I went close in.


The NE wind died approaching The Lizard and the sea was dead calm (see still pic above) then a SW set in at 8 knots and in minutes the wind against tide made the going quite bumpy for a while (watch to the end).

34 miles in 10.5 hours.

Click here for weather bound in Newlyn.

Friday, August 18, 2023

2023 15th August, Day 9 Sand Acre Bay to Portscatho

I left just before six in a dead calm and made quick progress down the Hamoaze on the first of the ebb side.

Leaving the Hamoaze heading west of Drakes Island.
"The Gate", a narrow short cut to the west of Drake's Island.
Plymouth Sound
I ran into fog just past Drake's Island, fortunately it was isolated banks.
 Plymouth breakwater just after dawn.
I had hoped to anchor for the night on the east side of the Lizard peninsula, somewhere between The Helford and Coverack but with a moderate and rather variable head wind that proved too far so I went to Portscathow, a good fair weather anchorage, not as protected from swell as St Mawes but much closer and only a couple of miles more to the Lizard the next morning when I would have lots of time  before the tide turned favourable,

Looking east from the anchorage, The Dodman on the right,
the Portscatho National Coast Watch lookout on the left.
Portscatho is a popular destination for boats day sailing
from the Fal, only two of us stayed overnight.
2023 2 Sand Acre Bay to Portscathow
44 miles over the ground in nine and a half hours.

Sunday, August 13, 2023

2023 11th August, Days 5 - 8 Cawsand to Sand Acre Bay, St Germans.

Friday the 11th was spent recovering from the early starts of the previous few days and waiting for Roger to arrive in his Dehler 41 "Blue Magic" with Ron as Crew (but driving in the video), they arrived just before seven in the evening after a very quick passage from The Helford.

Blue Magic

I went aboard for a chin wag after they had eaten dinner and to decide what to do next day when some strong winds were expected. Roger, who knows the area well decided on Sand Acre Bay, so on Saturday we set off at 10:00 on the flood tide.

Sancerre off Cawsand, pic by Ron Dustow.
Roger hoisted a jib shortly after weighing but I stayed under motor not wanting to short tack single handed on the turn past drakes Island.

Drakes Island from the North.
In the blustery wind that reached 30 knots as we anchored, I set the double reefed head sail passing to the North of Drakes Island but kept the engine engaged to clear the West Vanguard buoy, then started to sail but kept the engine running but out of gear "just in case" until I was past South Yard when I shook out one reef for the reach up the Harmoaze.

Sailing away from the 41 footer which on this occasion
was handicapped by her small jib.
One of Brunel's finest as we turned into the Saint Germans or
Lynher River to anchor at Sand Acre Bay on the north shore.
We could be here for a while, at the time of writing (Sunday a.m.) the forecast is for southerly winds F5 - 7 (Gusting F8 in places) lasting into tomorrow.  

Tides and wind had the boat all over the place but in calm water
and excellent holding for the anchor it was not a problem.
Lighter winds arrive Tuesday but on the nose making the Fal a very long trip, Fowey is out as its Regatta week and even with the poor weather is likely to be packed, so the only likely option is to anchor in St Austal Bay or off  Goran Haven but both may be very uncomfortable, even untenable if as is likely there is a heavy sea still running. From Wednesday on winds are likely to be light and variable before becoming strong from the East at the end of the week. We shall see.

2023 2 Cawsand to Sand Acre Bay

8 miles in 2 hours.