Trip on Enigma of Tamar starting 2008-07-23 in BSAAug08

PASAB July 23 – 29 – “Enigma of Tamar” – report by Sue Fowle

Crew: Clive Jenkyn (skipper), John Robinson, Steve Freestone, Graham Constable, Pat Douglas and Sue Fowle

Boat - Enigma of Tamar, a 36'Sigma which was less roomy than the Beneteau so this meant 2 people had to sleep in the saloon with the consequent pressure on space. Below she was adequately equipped and had very clean working heads; however there was no shore power but the light winds meant there was enough motoring time to charge the batteries. On deck the owner appeared to have made some adaptations so there were lines everywhere which drastically reduced the sitting area for long/ rough passages and made it very cramped for sailing activity. However apart from one reefing line they were all very clean and in good condition and there were plenty of spare mooring lines. One of the main disadvantages of the boat was the poor visibility due to the Navtec on the binnacle which was not working and obscured the compass for everybody except Sue but she was unable to see anything else or reach the throttle - what a good excuse not to helm! Generally Enigma was a steady boat to sail and handled the variety of seas well.

Winds over the 6 days varied wildly between frustratingly flat calm or too exciting for the faint-hearted helmers amongst us so preventers were used on several occasions, there were plenty of occasions for reefing practice and constant sail trimming under skipper Clive's watchful eye.

Sadly Enigma was enigmatic when it came to racing and only arrived ahead of Chantan when not in the race such as the two passages between FalmouthMap and PenzanceMap. On the Friday afternoon we were so keen to sort out the sails, given the weather forecast for the evening that the helmsman set off leaving one of the crew on the pontoon - an additional insult as Pat had offered to dump the rubbish ashore and felt like she had been similarly dumped! The helm felt suitably chastened but avoided a lashing by doing a quick pick-up from a nearby moored boat. At 9pm after edging across the line the wind died and the next few hours were spent in the doldrums off MouseholeMap. It was a good opportunity for star-gazing, counting numerous shooting stars, watching moonrise and sunrise as well as the resting watch getting a sound sleep. By 7am with Wolf Rock edging closer by the centimetre we decided to cut our losses and rang PASAB to admit defeat. Our reward was a welcome to the Scilly Isles by a seal and shark/dolphin followed by several sunny hours on St. AgnesMap with the opportunity for walks, ice cream, tea and cakes, beer and good food at the Turks Head. The friendliness of the Islands was borne out by Pat being recognised by the campsite owner after a gap of 10 years since her last visit. She had obviously made an impression last time!

Again we did not race on the Sunday but had a good sail to Tresco Mapwith Graham navigating, taking the long way round avoiding any hidden rocks - no short cuts as it was neaps. Sadly our stay in Tresco was cut short by a prior booking for dinner at the Scillonian Club which meant missing a dinner cooked by Jon. It would have been enjoyable to have relaxed with a drink and roast pork on the anchorage at New Grimsby. We spent the night in St Mary's rafted up against the infamous Cimaroon, out on a week's skippered charter.

We joined in the race back to PenzanceMap and Steve took the helm as we left St. Mary’s - he got the bit between his teeth and hung on until Wolf Rock - a longer sail than he anticipated!

Graham left us on Monday night and missed an exhilarating sail back to FalmouthMap in a following F7 wind and high seas which resulted in a surfing speed of over11 knots on one brief occasion. Needless to say Enigma was well reefed on both main and genoa. It was lumpy off the Lizard but clear skies and views of the coast made up for it.

Thanks to helmspersons, navigators, sail trimmers, victuallers, cooks and washers up but there were no bottle washers on board so the bottle banks of Cornwall are now overflowing. This may mean a significant reduction in their Council Tax!

Secretary’s note: For the return race from St Mary’s to Penzance “Enigma of Tamar” was placed 16th out of 32 competitors.

Falmouth  50.1528,-5.0623
Penzance  50.1169,-5.5303
off Mousehole  50.0814,-5.5178
St. Agnes  49.8966,-6.3389
Tresco  49.9585,-6.347
Penzance  50.1169,-5.5303
Falmouth  50.1528,-5.0623