Trip on Cherry B starting 2015-10-02 in BSAOct15
Plymouth to Falmouth and back 2-4 Oct – report by Jerzy Wieczorek
Boat: Plymouth Sailing School Bavaria 34 ‘Cherry B’
Eight of us met on Thursday evening in the Dolphin Inn for drinks, chips and the France Canada Rugby match. The other 5 were sailing on Miranda, a Hanse 385 skippered by Alan Howells.
On Friday the three of us left QAB bright and early at just after 8am. There was a light NE wind, somewhat less than forecast.
As we approached the Plymouth Breakwater a police RIB caught up with us and indicated we should bear to port, and kept nudging us further over. The reason became clear when a submarine surfaced just where our course would have taken us! It was flying the Dutch tricolor and the crew on deck waved cordially.
Once round Rame Head we headed across Whitsand bay with motor assistance. The wind improved a little and we were able to sail, making good progress as the tide turned in our favour. At one point we even managed to goose-wing. A series of gybes took us past St Anthony Head and we were berthed on the Visitors Pontoon in Falmouth by 1740.
Miranda arrived about an hour later and berthed in the slot next to us, which we had managed to keep free.
Alan took full advantage of the Hanse’s superior galley to cook a wonderful 5-course meal for 8, which was consumed with much accompanying drink followed by music and singing.
A not so early start on Saturday, saw us motor up the River Fal past the King Harry ferry and up to see the cargo ships moored just beyond. There were two, rejoicing in the names “Summer Meadow” and “Summer Flower”.
There was no wind to speak of as we rounded St Anthony’s Head again, and the sea was very calm. We chose a coast-bound course, going inside of Gull Rock and not needing to keep much distance off Dodman Point. Once we’d rounded that, we headed north for the passage between coast and Gwineas Rock. The almanac advises against this in strong onshore winds or poor visibility, neither of which applied. Once past, we headed directly for Fowey, encountering a period of extremely changeable winds and arriving on the visitors’ pontoon at 1730.
Once Miranda arrived and moored at Albert Quay, we rafted up alongside. After a meal at the Lugger, a relatively early night was had.
Conditions were quite different on the return leg to Plymouth. The wind was SE F4 and we needed to make a series of tacks to give ourselves sea-room. By early afternoon it the wind had increased. I measured us doing just over 6kts between the two mile markers. It became apparent that we needed motor assistance to get round Rame Head with any chance of reaching Plymouth before dark. We dropped the Genny and were then able to sail closer to the wind, with Rich doggedly staying on the helm until we’d reached the Draystone buoy. We followed a couple of trawlers and many sea birds into the calmer waters inside the breakwater, then re-fueled and returned the boat to Plymouth Sailing School.
Montmorency was relieved to be ashore.