Trip on Liver Bird starting 2017-04-29 in BSAMay17
Plymouth to Fowey and back 29-30 April – report by skipper Jerzy Wieczorek
Boat: Elan 38, ‘Liver Bird’
We took over the boat at 16:30 and had a long, detailed and very helpful handover. The crew then set off to find food and drink, leaving the skipper behind trying to puzzle out how to complete an online visa application for Kuwait. That done, I hastened after the crew – the long way round Sutton Harbour – and found them enjoying a fish supper in one of the Barbican chippies. Additional refreshment was had in the Dolphin, followed by another stroll back and drinks on board.
The weather forecast was predicting some very acceptable sailing weather, with SE winds of 4/5 gusting to 6. Having left the marina at 09:00, we raised the main as soon as possible, keeping two reefs in. Once we’d rounded Rame Head we could make course directly westwards. Mindful of the manoeuvres that would be needed as we approached Fowey, we executed a couple of practice gybes on the way. It was a lively sail, averaging over 6 kts. We arrived nice and early at about 1:30 pm and moored up against the visitors’ pontoon directly opposite the lifeboat, thinking to perhaps move across the river later.
Lunch was had on board. As the afternoon wore on, it became apparent that the keelboats that had been racing earlier and were now moored astern of the lifeboat weren’t going anywhere. There wasn’t much appetite for using the dinghy so the water taxi was hailed to go ashore.
We had a drink at the Galleon Inn, but decided to eat at the Royal Fowey Yacht Club. Just as we got there, we encountered an open front door, with an elderly lady perched on her stair lift seat, needing assistance to get into her wheelchair. As we helped her, we told her where we were headed, to which the reply was “you’ll be lucky, it’s ladies night”. In the end we dined at the Ship Inn. The food took ages to arrive, necessitating a couple of prompts. At last it did, and Andy complained about the wait. This resulted in the young lady who’d taken the order apologizing profusely, offering us free desserts and not content with that, giving Andy a shoulder massage.
Overnight the wind increased markedly, but had settled down to around F5 by morning, still from the SE. After motoring away from the pontoon, we set sail immediately. Sea state was moderate. We headed S on the port tack to get some sea room, but struggled to make more than 070 on the starboard tack. After a repeat of the process we found ourselves heading straight towards Looe Island, and the forecast heavy rain had set in. I decided to motor sail the remainder of the way. The rain eased off as we headed past Draystone, and we sailed the remainder. We moored alongside the fuel pontoon and were told it would be more than half an hour before anyone arrived – enough time to make lunch. Having refueled ourselves and the boat, we returned the boat to her berth, cleaned up and departed.
During the handover, I’d been told that the log had been recalibrated as it was reading wrong. Well, we logged 106 miles (no misprint) for QAB to Fowey and back, more than double the actual distance!