Trip on Gundulph starting 2009-10-30 in BSANov09

Training Trip II October / November (Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness) – report by Alan Howells

Skipper: Alan Howells

Crew: Rhian Phillips, Kath Liddiard and Dinah Hayward.

Again on GK29 “Gundulph” out of SaltashMap. Picked up at about 17:30 on Thursday ready to sail on Friday morn. Started with tight turns first under motor in wide open spaces in middle of river then between lines of anchored yachts. Motored down to Mayflower for ice (no fridge) and then onto a buoy North of Drake’s Island for bacon butties. Hoisted the sails the sails in the Sound and headed toward Falmouth in a South Easterly. Wanted to get a passage in early as weather forecast to deteriorate later over weekend. Visibility about 4 miles dropping to about 2 in rain.

Originally a North Westlerly gale had been forecast for Sunday which would have been OK as wind would be coming off the land, so not much sea, but forecast for following day on VHF suggested that the gale would come in earlier and would be from the South – a very different scenario and even worse of it backed further. Cut short and went into Fowey on sector lights and (yes I do use it as a back up sometimes) GPS waypoint. Dropped sails about half mile off and moored on lifeboat pontoon.

Following morning left and sailed towards Mevagissey anchoring for lunch in a sandy bay about a mile north. The forecast in the morning had suggested that the bad weather would come in overnight so a second night in Fowey was cancelled in favour of getting back to Plymouth. Motored about 2/3rds of way before sailing the rest for the very good reason of wanting to arrive in time for a meal at the Borringdon. Nice night entry to Plymouth on two reaches dropping sails in Cawsand Bay and motoring to Plymouth Yacht Haven. Very strong wind and heavy rain arrived overnight. Gusting to about 7 when we left the pontoon and motored up the very narrow passage to the fuel pontoon only to find it occupied with moored vessels - exclamations of joy! Turned around smartly and left marina motoring in winds gusting to gale towards the Narrows. A short discussion arrived at the fact that everyone fancied sailing practice so hoisted the sails (two reefs main lots of rolls in genny) for loads of tacking and gybing practice on flat water in winds about 6 gusting 8.

Popped into Mayflower, where the fuel pontoon was totally sheltered, for fuel and, as we were his only customer that day, sorted out the sails (rewound genny which had been overtightened and flaked main) and even had bacon butties. Motored back to Saltash in strong headwind and handed yacht over.

Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness? Well we had poor visibility on the way to Fowey and the wine was fruity and the company mellow I thought.

Saltash  50.4053,-4.2023
Weather at EGHD   11 kts from ESE 15.0C, 1019mb Scattered Clouds