Monday, 4 May 2009

Instructing for Cornish Cruising

I have just had a week on the water instructing for Cornish Cruising.

I had three chaps training with me who are all working towards their Yachtmaster qualification. Andy has been working as a Dive boat skipper in the Caribbean. He and his partner are planning to work commercially as Skipper and Hostess on big charter catamarans in the Caribbean. Jim is Andy's partners Dad and he and his wife plan to 'semi-retire' in a few years to do similar work. Andy and
Jim will be doing the Yachtmaster in about
5 weeks after more training and 'mileage building' sailing to Ireland and France. Richard is a keen surfer who has worked as a deckhand on the
R Tucker Thompson, sail training ship, in the Bay of Islands New Zealand. He is doing Cornish Cruisings Yachtmaster Development programme through to the Autumn when he takes
his exams.

My brief was to give them
'Familiarisation' covering the Competent Crew and Day Skipper Syllabus. We did lots of 'bumps and curcuits' visiting the Fal, Heford River,
St Mawes, Fowey, Mevagissey and Goran Haven.

We had mixed weather, which was good for training purposes but rather wet a couple of times. However we had some lovely weather for a whole afternoon practicing sailing onto a buoy in full view of budding armchair sailors in St Mawes.
Also a great sail back from Fowey ducking into Mevagissey and Goran Haven for sailing to anchorage skills.
We ended the course with a bowl of Helford Native Oysters prior to Night Pilotage in the Fal.

I am now ready for the next Serendipity Charter - sign up now!

Birthdays and Removals

On Saturday 25th April we celebrated Esther's birthday, and Zoe's 2 days early, by helping Esther and Andrew move into their new home, a flat in Penryn.

Several of Esther and Andrew's friends turned up to help along with Zoe and Matt. Matt had just bought a van which he is going to restore and kit out as a camper van.
Meanwhile in it's present state it makes a good removals van!

Aussie Visitors

It has been lovely to welcome David (Lois' brother), Rose, Edward and Ben to St Mawes for a few days.

They are over in the UK for Rose's parents anniversary bash in Shropshire. D&R and the boys are off to Australia again to joion the ranks of that nations homeless!
They are picking up their car in Perth and then driving overland to Sydney to settle on the East Coast.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Blessing a Pilot Cutter

Last week I was invited to bless a Pilot Cutter!

'Amelie Rose' is a wooden Scillies Pilot Cutter built by Luke Powell of 'Working Sail' at Gweek for Nick and Melisa, a young couple who are going to sail her as a 'skipper/charter' business based on the South Coast in Poole. You can see their plans and story at Topsail Adventures. 'Amelie Rose' is 44 feet long on deck and then she has a massive bowspirt sticking out the front! She has been constructed with sawn oak frames, oak topside planking, larch below, bronze and copper fastenings throughout. A real work of art!

We have known Luke for a few years now since Esther did one of her photography projects following the building of another cutter 'Tallulah'. You can see what he is up to at His first Pilot Cutter was 'Eve of St Mawes' and her owners live just up the hill from us here in St Mawes. Last year I sailed on 'Agnes', yet another of Luke's boats. He lives aboard her at Penryn just down the road from Esther and Andrew's new flat.

I have had a fascination for Pilot Cutters since I shared our vision for 'Serendipity Sailing' with Luke and he said the Pilot Cutter is the ideal vessel. Dream on!

The launch ecermony was great fun at Gweek, right up the top of the Helford River, where you have to have a Spring Tide to get into enough water. Seeing 'Amelie Rose' lifted high above the other boats was scary. She is not a light boat. It was very moving to see the shed in which she has come to life now empty apart from the new little tender 'Mary Rose'.

As the Cutter was lowered to within an inch of the water Nick, Melisa, Luke and I climbed on board and a bottle of wine was shared with her (tradional pouring of the boat's share onto the stem). Then after a few words from Nick and Luke I said a few prayers including these...
Thanksgiving for Working Sail and Gweek Quay Boatyard

We give thanks for the inspirational and creative work of Luke and his team and all who have brought this vessel into being. We ask God’s blessings on their lives as they let go of this new little ship as she ventures forth onto her life’s ocean. We pray for future builds and clear guidance for the days ahead. We give thanks also for this busy place where boats come and go and come into being and are restored to life on the sea again. Bless all who work here. Amen

Blessing for AMELIE ROSE

Jesus, you were present at creation and are with us in this boatyard where boats are built and dreams become reality. Bless this boat - Amelie Rose - and all who sail in her. Give her skippers and crews presence of mind in danger and guide them as they keep her in good repair. Grant them the wisdom of knowing when to put to sea and when to stay in safe harbour, so that they may always have a safe passage. May everyone who sails in her be renewed in spirit through their encounter with the beauty of creation. Amen

A couple of says later she was off down the river out into Falmouth Bay and she is now tied up by the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth. She will be sailing around here for a couple of weeks before heading for Poole. We hope to see her back in St Mawes for the Pilot Cutter Review in June.