Trip on Chloe starting 2017-06-16 in BSAJuly17
Plymouth to Fowey June 16 – 18 – report by Ian Collins
Skipper: Ian Collins
Bavaria 34 ‘Chloe’
In preparation for the rigours about to be endured, on the 16th of June We motored yacht ‘Chloe’ down the Plymouth Cattewater to the Yacht Haven Marina and stiffened our resolve with a meal and a drink in the Bridge bar.
Up early and away on Saturday we raised the sails and frightened the wind into submission. With barely a breeze in the Sound we crept pass the Breakwater. To oblige a bevy of nautical Lemmings heading south to the edge of the earth we altered our original plan to head for the Eddystone and then right hand down a bit, to our well-considered backup plan of Rame Head and decide when we get there. We set and maintained our course. This seemed to augur well with the Lemmings heading out to the Southern Horizon. That is all excepting the inevitable one. Closing on us from the stern came a salt-encrusted descendant of Baldrick, who had of course "a cunning plan." He had steered a course well to the west of the main fleet perhaps to prove some point or other. Suffice it to say attempting to pass us by way of our wind shadow failed; accepting failure he dropped behind nearly entangling himself in Jeff’s mackerel line and headed towards the fast disappearing flotilla yelling that "we'd ruined his Race". We were as you can imagine devastated so we made a cup of tea and waved.
Rame Head and then crossing Whitesands Bay chasing zephyrs that played on the calm surface of the sea all around us but seldom in our sails till past Looe Island, our resolve stiffened by consuming meat pies we caught the wayward wind and sailed well to Fowey. This was a very full Fowey so we chose to raft against a similarly sized vessel crewed by to Ancient and very weathered old salts who were determined to sail for Falmouth 0700. Our assurance that this would be fine by us was accepted, though I had the feeling that a "pinch of salt " may have been included, but they were most helpful in securing our lines.
We paid our dues to the Harbour master then our ransom to the sub branch of the Cornish Community of Pirates and Privateers; known locally as the Water Taxi. I would warn others intending to cruise these waters of a new technique now being employed of" Smiling" and" Being Helpful". The ransom remains the same, more in keeping with the scowling, unpleasant old bugger who I warn you may still on occasions still operate. As usual a pleasant meal in the Lugger with the added benefit of entertainment in the shape of a small but lively little slug attempting the Hornpipe on a leaf of Phil's salad with an encore of a free dessert.
Up early on Sunday and to the surprised expressions of our rafting partners we slipped away at about 0630. No wind but we motored slowly in pleasant sunshine close enough in to enjoy the scenery as we headed east. Looe Island seemed to be our talisman as we came abeam a little wind from the SSE began to make its presence felt, with true Blue Peter heritage, in the sails we had prepared earlier and with its encouragement we sailed on to Plymouth. As is normal Rame Head played Nemesis with its selection of fluky winds and adverse currents but we persevered into the sound with Stewart helming us through the Bridge west of Drakes Island and safe onto the buoys to the north for scrambled eggs and bacon before fuelling, clearing, cleaning and returning ‘Chloe’ to Richard at the sailing school.
A very pleasant way to spend a weekend in good company so Thank you all.
Before I finish I would like to say a special thank you to Phil for his generosity and ability in sharing his experience, skill and knowledge particularly on Stewart's behalf who I know found Phil's input most useful and confidence-building. Thank you.