Trip on Liver Bird starting 2010-09-17 in BSANov10

Sept 17 –19 – report by Sharon Scurlock

After a frantic dash to escape workplaces, Rob, Xavier and I joined Alan, Ellie and Naomi at QAB on Friday evening. The other two crews enjoyed a relaxing meal in Plymouth but we headed off intrepidly into the gloom (I'd tried making excuses to avoid the gloomy bit, but none of them worked).

We left QABMap at about 20:30 with a light Northerly wind and sailed on flat water to just past Mevagissey when the wind died and we motored to Falmouth. The first watch was uneventful, although slightly chilly for those of us not used to such things!

The second watch had two moments of excitement. My experience of the first one was being awoken by the sound of a bang, some swearing, and someone saying 'it's a good thing we hadn't started the engine'. Not wishing to get in the way of whatever those far more knowledgeable were fixing I went back to sleep. It transpired the full story was that we had hit a lobster pot marker, which was being very helpfully marked with a highly visible black flag..... just prior to hitting it a discussion had taken place over whether to start the engine as the wind was dropping. The winner of that discussion must have been rather pleased! The pot marker was cleared by some vigorous wiggling of the rudder. Shortly afterwards I think they did have to start the engine as even the most optimistic sailor was struggling to make any progress.

The other point of note was, I'm told, the most amazing sky after the moon had set. Again a very good decision was made not to wake everyone up to show them.

Falmouth Yacht Haven .... told us not to mention their rates, but they were very hospitable and had lovely warm showers.

Ellie & I went for a wander around Falmouth in the morning, and managed to resist buying anything for breakfast, given Alan's reputation for ample provisioning. Another sensible choice as we had very good bacon sandwiches on our return.

A nice breeze enabled us to sail off the pontoon and for a short hop over to HelfordMap.

Helford to Fowey was initially downwind and the wind being fairly light we had to motor at first though it headed us a bit and strengthened enabling us to sail the last hour or so. The harbourmaster directed us to a fore and aft mooringMap fairly close to the other two crews who were swinging on the same buoy. Fowey was fairly full due to a rally by Saltash Sailing Club. They looked like they were having a good time but we decided against attempting to gatecrash.

We'd spoken to one of the other crews on VHF earlier; whilst I'm sure my procedure was correct I seem to have missed the communication aspect of the call - either that or they were aiming to avoid us! We went ashore in Polruan and realised they must have gone to Fowey.

The following day provided excellent sailing with a brisk SSW which raised surprisingly little sea. A fast sail, and everyone had a fair go on the helm which was enjoyable. Some people decided to start a race with some crews from Saltash - we seemed to be doing reasonably well but I can't pretend to have any understanding of the black art of racing, so don't really know. We anchored for lunch in Cawsand.Map The girls considered swimming (the boys were too busy considering beer) but the air temperature for afterwards meant we decided against it.

We returned to QAB at a reasonable hour and were home in time for dinner. A good weekend, thanks Alan for looking after us!'

Queen Anne's Battery Marina  50.3646,-4.1324
Helford River  50.0972,-5.1332
Fowey  50.3349,-4.6323
Cawsand  50.3314,-4.1881