Trip on Miranda starting 2015-10-02 in BSAOct15

October 2 – 4 Trip from PlymouthMap – report by skipper Alan Howells

There were two yachts on this trip so there will be a bit of an overlap between reports. This report is about ‘Miranda’, a Hanse 38.5 skippered by Alan Howells with crewBill Barnes, Jade Barnes, Don Hirst and Neil Webber

Despite her fairly normal length the Hanse is huge. She has a similar plan shape to some offshore racers – like an arrow head with maximum beam at the stern. The cockpit is sufficiently wide to enable crew to move around individually without having to move anyone else and the cockpit table is large enough to accommodate 8 with ease. There are two helming positions and top of the range B&G instruments including a chart plotter, the facilities offered by which were not fully explored even by Neil after hours of study and experimentation. Not that it was at all difficult to use - there were just so many possibilities. Down below she was cavernous, easily accommodating eight in total comfort around the saloon table.

We spent Thursday night on board after the usual visit to the Dolphin who still allow consumption of fish and chips from the shop. After a thorough handover Friday morn we were able to sail in a nice Easterly from the breakwater opposite QAB. Despite the sophisticated electronics that were absorbing the attention of some crew members we sailed on a very broad reach taking a fix off Eddystone and Hand Deeps and a further one of the Eddystone and a just visible Dodman before running on to a latitude somewhat South of the Lizard and gybing to my calculated bearing that put us on a nice broad reach to Falmouth. This is a somewhat curious strategy as it would be more usual to stay nearer to the rhumb line with a series of shorter reaches. However the wind seemed set to continue constant and (most importantly) we were able to keep the utterly extraordinary warm autumn sunshine in the cockpit without the shade of the mainsail throughout the entire passage.

As planned we used the facilities of Miranda, including the mood uplighting, for a very relaxed (3.5 hour) meal of five courses with a different drink accompanying each one for both crews whilst moored at the Visitor’s Yacht HavenMap. Full menu below.

The following afternoon was spent again in warm sunshine chasing fickle winds that enabled us to sail about half the way. Despite the limitations of the self tacking jib she seemed to be good at milking the very light winds from various directions.

The brisk (4-5) Easterly returned on Sunday allowing us to test Miranda’s ability to windward in a good breeze though unfortunately the sunshine had left us. She did not let us down making speeds of 6 – 7.5 with a heel angle of 15 – 20 and very little weather helm. Bearing away after Draystone gave us an average speed of 8.5 between there and just outside QAB Mapwhere we dropped the sails fuelled and returned to the mooring. This needed considerable care as the effect of the wind on the yacht is unquestionably the strongest force.

Overall the best sailing this year.

Plymouth  50.3648,-4.1322
Falmouth Yacht Haven  50.1555,-5.0586
Queen Anne's Battery Marina  50.3646,-4.1324