Trip on a Moody 36 DS starting 2009-05-01 in BSAMay09

Long weekend from Plymouth May 1 – 4. Report byJock Playle

Tony Halland I with two others crewed on a friend’s Moody 36 DS from Plymouth Yacht Haven Mapon the long Bank Holiday weekend. Leaving Bristol early on Friday morning I arrived in Plymouth at 9.00 and we slipped the mooring just before ten. We had hoped to make for Falmouth, but with a SW wind, forecast to freshen, we decided to aim for Fowey and carry on to Falmouth the next day. We motored into a light SW breeze until past Rame Head, when we were able to lay a course hard on the wind on port tack for Fowey, which we reached at 3 pm in what was by now a F 4-5 s’westerly. We moored to the Pont Pill pontoon, and used the water taxi to go ashore for the evening, eating at The Ship, and returning to a very cold night on board.

Next morning our departure was delayed by thick mist – you couldn’t see the shore on either side let alone the entrance. By 10.00 the sun began to burn it off, helped by a light SW breeze, and we motored out cautiously. Visibility varied from less than ¼ mile to about 2 miles as we motor/sailed to Dodman Point, the radar helping to avoid fishing boats. Past Dodman at 1230 the wind freshened to a moderate SSWesterly and we sailed to Falmouth, mooring at the Visitors’ Yacht Haven just before 4 pm. Boats in a race from Plymouth began to arrive, and rafted four deep outside us – we warned them we wanted to leave at 7 am next day. Our pub meal ashore provided a sort of Key Stage 2 maths test. Some menu items were advertised as “two meals for £10”. There were five of us, so obviously we ordered six meals and shared out the extra one.

On Sunday morning we managed to leave at 07.10 after complicated de-rafting, and by 8 we were sailing on a close reach in 15K of NNW wind towards the Yealm. The wind strengthened as the day went on, reaching up to 30 K at times, and we rolled away some of the genoa. Although it was sunny the wind was cold, and sailing on port tack NE from Falmouth means the sun doesn’t reach the cockpit until after midday. We moored at the Parish Steps pontoon at Noss Mayo at 3.20. The water taxi wouldn’t respond to radio calls but we were able to hail it when passing to ask how long it would be running. Another 20 minutes was the unhelpful reply. Be warned, if you go up the Yealm this year the water taxi runs only until 4 pm – not much use for going ashore in the evening. In one of the brief moments of mobile phone reception we were able to book at the Ship, and rowed ashore for a good meal in the evening. It was another cold night.

Next day we left the Yealm at 1000, an hour after LW, and once clear of Wembury Bay we tacked to the E entrance of Plymouth Sound in 15 K of W wind – for the first time the wind was actually a westerly, as had been forecast all weekend. We berthed at PYH at 1220, finished all the remaining food on board, cleaned the boat, then joined the Bank Holiday M5 crawl back to Bristol.

Plymouth Yacht Haven  50.3586,-4.1215
Weather at EGDB   13 kts from SSW 13C, 1026mb Mostly Cloudy