Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Polbream & Logos II

For the second half of our week with "Polbream" in Falmouth we teamed up with "Logos II", the successor to "Logos" the mission ship which was my home for 10 years in the seventies. Dave Thomas, who was third engineer when I was third mate, was on the ship again as Chief Engineer with his wife Joy. They now life in Germany at the ship's head office but were on board for a while, relieving others on leave.

Dave arranged for us to take out 25 members of the Deck and Engine departments for some team building. On the Wednesday we took 5 for the whole day. The team consisted of Nick the Captain from the USA, Tong Yu the 3rd Officer from S Korea, Timen from Holland, Eddie from Germany and Paul from England. These last three are all in the Engine department.

We sailed to St. Mawes and then out to sea, putting into the Helford river and mooring there for lunch. Then we returned to the Carrick Roads for some 'man overboard' practice under sail. This was great fun as a competition and team building exercise. When we do 'man overboard' we just chuck a fender tied to a bucket over the side, not one of the crew!

That evening we ate on board the ship whilst the yacht was tied alongside. Esther was on board with friends from her Christian Union for an art competition on the theme of Hope.

On Thursday morning we came alongside again to pick up a new crew. This time we had Dave the Chief Engineer from England, Philemon from Germany, Octavio from Mexico, Arem Jan from Holland and Jonas from Switzerland. It was great to see Dave steering the ship under sail with the engine silent!

At lunchtime the fuel barge was alongside Logos II so I had the challenge of bringing the yacht onto a ponton under the bows of the ship. We made it with inches to spare!

Our afternoon crew were Gary from Trinidad, Vicky from Germany, Christian from Austria, Pete from the UK and Christoph from Germany. It was such a privilege to meet all these young people who were so open to learn and all got on so well together.

On Thursday evening our sailing wasn't over as we took Esther and her friends Johnny, James and Andy for an evening sail. It was the evening for St. Mawes yacht racing and so we had great fun following the race between Black Rock and St. Anthony's light. Again we saw the Falmouth Working boats and the Sunbeams sailing up close.

Friday morning dawned with some grey clouds and rain. When we picked up the first crew it did not look hopeful but after briefing down below whilst moored to a buoy off Flushing, we emerged to find the skies clearing and we had a great sail. Our crew were Barush from Israel, James from England, Sam from Ghana, Nick from Australia and Justin from Bermuda.

Our final crew on Friday Afternoon had some of the best sailing. One of the other crews had set a target of 6.1 knots to beat. This crew acheived 6.4 reefed and 7 with full sail! We headed out to sea until we could see the Lizard and Dodman at the same timne and then we had to heave too to reef, much to Lois' relief! Our crew were John from the USA, Matthew from Australia, Tobias from Germany, Kelon from Grenada and Andre from Brazil.

Apart from the fun of meeting up with old friends from Logos, it was great to work with so many different nationalities. We learnt a lot about how to use the yachts for team building and we also developed ways of getting the most out of having a 'scratch' crew for just 4 hours.

After handing the boat back to Cornish Cruising we went back on board Logos II for a reunion before heading home on Saturday evening at the end of a very busy week having taken 33 people from 14 Countries sailing, many for the first time.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Polbream and the Pilot Cutters

From the 9th to the 16th June Lois and I chartered "Polbream", a Jenneau Sun Odyssey 37, from Cornish Cruising in Falmouth. For the first half of the week we had a crew from Nailsea, namely Diana Jones, Anthea Fleming, John Hayter and John's son Jim.

On the first evening we motored up the Fal to the pontoons at Tregothnan for a quiet night rafted alongside an old Lifeboat. On Sunday morning we had a slow start and eventually headed back down past the King Harry Ferry to the Carrick Roads for an introduction to sailing.

We knew our daughter Esther was due to sail in the Pilot Cutter World Chapionships at St Mawes aboard "Agnes" a Scillies Pilot Cutter, owned and built by Luke Powell. Esther has been documenting his latest build "Tallulah" at Gweek - you can view Luke's website at and some of Esther's photos at

Several of the boats built by Luke were taking part in the Regatta including Hesper, Lizzie May, Agnes and Eve. We sailed in and out of St. Maws taking photographs of them all. It was great fun and a real treat. The we headed out beyond Black Rock with a couple of them, they turned back and we continued on all the way to the Manacles, a notorious rocky headland on the way to the Lizard. The sea was a bit 'lumpy' so we turned and headed back to Falmouth.

As we approached the entrance to the estuary we came across the pilot cutters again. This time they were racing and we were able to take loads of pictures. Quite something to have a grandstand seat at the World Championships! Where were the other spectators? We spent the evening in Falmouth Yacht Haven where Esther joined us after catching a lift back from the prizegiving in St. Mawes on Lizzie May.

On Monday we set sail for Fowey and had a very pleasant sail
along the coast arriving mid afternoon. Before mooring at Albert
Quay we motored up stream to view Daphne du Mauriers house, the China Clay docks and the moorings beyond the docks. We had a very pleasant evening at Albert Quay, shopping, showers and an evening meal at an Italian restaurant. Then we moved to the pontoons at Pont Pill for the night.

On Tuesday we sailed west visiting the Helford river and Frenchman's Creek (to complete the du Maurier theme!) before sailing back up to the Marina. As we entered Falmouth the Tuesday evening races had just started so we had another grandstand view, this time of the Falmouth Working Boats sailing with thei topsails flying. All this plus some tugs towing a massive rig out of the harbour!

John and Jim had to leave fairly promptly but Anthea and Diana stayed another night on board. We had had an excellent three days fitting in a lot of sailing and some great events.

The Highlight of the week for Lois was succesfully mooring our 37ft yacht with inches to spare at each end in full view of our instructors!