Thursday, 11 October 2007

Last Sail of the Season

For the last week of September we chartered two boats from Cornish Cruising - Polbream and Chantan II.

I skippered Polbream and was accompanied by Lois, David Bagwell, Tim Horten Smith, David Heathcote and Gary Wilkins. Duncan Freeman skippered Chantan with Zoe, Roger Bradbury, David Walker and Nick Carter.

We had high hopes of sailing to the Scillies or Brittany but the weather defeated us as it was blowing hard from the west for the first few days of the week. So we sailed west!

Chantan got as far as Plymouth where they went into Mayflower Marina for Sunday night. On Polbream we only got as far as Fowey as several were feeling seasick due to the very lumpy sea.

In Fowey we went up to Mixtow Pill where the visitor's pontoon is now helpfully attached to the shore where there are showers.

On Monday we headed on to meet the others at Plymouth and they kindly sailed out to meet us in a very fresh breeze so we enjoyed running into Plymouth with several of Her Majesty's finest watching on. We went into Queen Ann's Battery Marina as the Sutton Harbour Lock was closed for repairs. We all enjoyed a great run ashore to Aribas mexican restaurant in the Barbican.

On Tuesday Polbreram needed repairs to her Genoa so we had a quiet day with some shore-leave for the crew. Chantan left earlier to see how far they could get along the coast, Dartmouth as it happened. Lois and Zoe decided to leave us in Plymouth as Zoe needed to get ready for Uni.

Polbream sailed in the evening for Salcombe, a really pleasant sail along the coast in the lovely September evening light. We arrived in the dark which was a new experience for everyone to have a taste of night navigation over the Salcombe bar.
On the following day after some boat handling training up river, Chantan joined us from Dartmouth.
On Thursday we sailed back to Fowey stopping en route at the entrance to the Yealm where we anchored for lunch. Then we sailed on in light airs to Polperro where we visited this quaint little harbour for a late afternoon cup of tea. We sailed on to Fowey where we went ashore for a evening meal all together.
Our Friday sail took us to the Helford river with aquick visit to the entrance to Frenchman's Creek. Then we had a very pleasant evening drink ashore before dinner back on board. Then Chantan set off for Falmouth and the Polbream crew went back to the pub to watch the England v Tonga rugby match! This was followed by a very late sail, or rather motor against extremely strong spring tides back to Falmouth Marina.
We thought we had finally arrived after refuelling after midnight only to go aground in the middle of the marina just metres short of our berth.
And that was the last sail of the season!