Sunday, August 13, 2023

2023 10th August Day 4 To Cawsand Bay, Plymouth

The gate through the Portland inshore route opened at 05:34 but some daylight is needed for the approach as there is usually a lot of pot buoys to avoid, civil twilight started at  05:12 so 06:00 at the Bill was more realistic. As is often the case I was awake before the alarm so had some coffee whilst waiting for the planed start of 04:30, in the event it being a dark night I waited a bit longer for the light to improve enough to see unlit boats and markers, with a nice clean hull I caught up the time, even against a 12 knot wind and a light chop.

Turning to go round at 05:58


A rather rocky video, it was a little bumpy and I was paying more attention to where I was going than taking the video. Rocks, almost awash at HW neaps extend out from the obelisk on the left.  

Leaving the Bill at 06:01
With the benign conditions I had the sails up within a few minutes of rounding, the next decision was which way to head, the wind was easterly as apposed to the forecast of south or south-east making the normal route close to a dead run. The forecast also said that the wind would veer to the South or South West, the shipping forecast did not give a time for that but the 20:00 download the previous night showed that happening shortly after lunch, to head directly to Start Point could leave me down wind and down tide of it. I therefore headed further south and eventually ended up 5 miles south of the "normal" route.

I started off on a broad reach under all plain sail; most of the time I could have used the cruising chute but the wind was 11 - 12 knots and on a reach 14 knots is the limit and it had been gusting that earlier. Finally I gave in and put the chute up at 9 o'clock and made very quick progress for a couple of hours when I sensed the wind increasing and I got it down just before 16 knots of wind arrived. It didn't last long and stayed a steady easterly at 11 knots until 12:00 when it dropped a little and started veering to southerly by 12:30 and 200 degrees by 16:00. I started to alter course for Start Point at 12:00 and was hard on the wind by 13:00.

My actual track (red) and predicted track at 4 knots with a course to Steer
of 246 degrees allowing for tide (dotted line) and rhumb line (Blue)
It was tight but I made it to my waypoint off  "The Start" without tacking; boats that had tried to go direct were now in trouble way to leeward and with a very adverse tide to get to and past Start Point, a 45 foot boat that was behind me at "The Bill" was now even further behind, VERY satisfying πŸ˜€

After a very pleasant sail, much with a warm sun, there was still a challenge to be faced, fog. From about 6 mile short of Start Point the visibility quickly reduced.

Fog off The Start
The above was taken just after entering the fog, by the time I was south of Start Point visibility was down to 50 - 100 yards and, with a number of boats about without Automatic Identification System (AIS) things were a little tense, even with Radar - I may have a rant later about boats without radar reflectors!

A close encounter with a fishing boat, never seen. As I approached
Salcombe VHF became busy as people checked in with boats in the
vicinity, some of which were not on AIS. At least one boat without an
AIS receiver was using to track those with a
transceiver but would probably have lost that at some point as I have
always lost mobile signals at some point along this coast (O2, Vodafone
and Smarty).
I did not see any land until the fog started to lift when past Bolt Head, unfortunately it then started to rain and it was a miserable trip on to Cawsands Bay and a difficult approach on a dark night with some remaining fog and light rain. With several old gaffers in the anchorage I went well to the north where there was lots of space but moved south next day for better shelter.

Having got below just after 22:00 for very delayed sundowners, I was not happy when HMS Protector, anchored a few hundred yards away started sounding her very loud fog horn, why that was not sounding in worse visibility when I was struggling to see her as I came in I don't know. Fortunately the noise stopped at about midnight and I could get some much needed sleep.

2023 2 To Plymouth

83 nautical miles over the ground in a little under 18 hours.

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