Trip on Anodyne starting 2011-09-19 in BSAOct11
Weekday trip from Plymouth on Anodyne, Sept 19-23 2011, subtitled The Voyage of the Irish Stew – report by Sue Fowle
We met at QAB on the Monday hoping for a prompt start but were delayed by Liberty having to fit a new gas alarm so it was 16.30 before we left the pontoon in a brisk wind with 2 reefs in the main. We had a pleasant evening’s sail outside the breakwater and made plans for a passage to Falmouth via Fowey. Don and John having victualed the boat confirmed our emergency rations as Irish stew. We hoped such an emergency would not arise.
All through Monday night the swell in QAB was very uncomfortable so next morning we were pessimistic about our passage plan. Outside the breakwater the waves began to build to 1.5m, the winds were gusting 30kts and Anodyne proved susceptible to broaching in these conditions despite 2 reefs in the sails. Very reluctantly, as it was ‘such a nice day’ we headed back to the calm waters of Cawsand Bay to reconsider our plans. We finally decided to go up the Tamar, sailing through The Bridge in 21kts wind, doing a practise mooring on the –plastic-buoys off Drake Island before our skipper nobly took the helm in the drenching rain and headed up to Saltash where we moored at the Sailing Club. We were warmly welcomed there and able to use the showers and moorings for a donation to the club’s cadet section. In sea boots we plodded our way through deep puddles to the pub ruminating on this being the night for Irish stew. However we continued on to the pub marvelling at Brunel’s engineering skills.
Wednesday dawned bright and clear so after motoring through the Bridge we set sail for Fowey, again well reefed in SW F5-6 – not what had been forecast. We tacked our way across the bay at over 5kts with the wave motion becoming increasingly uncomfortable so we were all glad to arrive in the calm waters of the estuary and revive with a cuppa , moored on the pontoon at Mixtow Pill, opposite the china clay boats. A rather pleasant spot. We had intended to spend the night on the lifeboat pontoon but our consciences caught up with us so we moved to the other side of the river after our meal .As we pulled in a yachtie who came to take our lines announced we were lucky not to get run over as our bow nav lights were showing reversed colours!
Note, no mention was made of emergency rations when faced with the culinary delights of Fowey Yacht Club
Thursday proved an uneventful sail back. After a gentle wind off Fowey we were soon bowling along with a following sea and made excellent time to the entrance of the Yealm . Liberty have has charterers reporting difficulty getting off the pontoon at Noss Mayo in strong tides. Our problem was strong winds so initially we moored on the windward side moving later as the wind eased to the leeward side – and consequently nearer the slipway! By this time rations were diminishing and we were moored in the river so was this the Irish stew moment? The question was answered by the dinghy being rapidly pumped up and we all headed off to The Ship for supper. We all appreciated the wonderful stars as we rowed back, accompanied by the calls of the owls in the woods. The pleasure of sailing is not always in howling winds and slapping halyards.
Our final day was a motor back to QAB for 1100 handover. We felt a bit cheated because of our late handover on Monday but despite the weather and not getting to Falmouth we had opportunities to helm, do some boat handling, navigation and pilotage. We proved a doughty crew given the lightness of the boat and the difficult conditions but were well led by our skipper, Gordon.
As we cleared the boat 4 tins appeared – beef stew not Irish stew had been our emergency rations so some of the delighted crew fell on the tins and took them home for supper to remind them of the Voyage of the Irish Stew.