Trip on Phoebe starting 2017-10-27 in BSANov17

Weekend from Plymouth, Oct 27 – 29 2017 – report by skipper Ian Collins

Skipper, Ian Collins; crew, Rhian Phillips, Julian Brenard, Phil Steele and Dougal Matthews

Boat: Bavaria 36 ‘Phoebe’, Plymouth Sailing School at Yacht Haven QuayMap.

Another weekend from Plymouth and the forecast seemed consistent at least as far as the wind direction was concerned. It would be coming at us from the north. Mostly leaving Plymouth we sail south then turn right. Then it's Saturday and into the wind to Fowey and Sunday, we ride it home. Just now and then the wind picks up her skirts and comes at us from North or South and then we sail South but turn Left and  in that direction is Devon offering the intrepid weekend voyager; Salcombe, Dartmouth and for the truly adventurous Brixham, but you'll not make Berry Head in the light this time of year.


All 36 foot of Phoebe was awaiting us at the Quay. While Phil and Julian loaded the baggage on board Dougal and I shopped at Morrisons. It was on this mission that Dougal confided that he regretted not having sailed much recently and that he felt the need to practice Boat Handling. I assured him that I was sure that could be arranged. I can't tell you how much I love a volunteer. So with Dougal at the helm, we set course for the Marina only to find the fuelling berth blocked by a boat in trouble. Assured by the staff all would be sorted come the morning, we allocated ourselves the most convenient berth and hightailed it to the bar to eat and drink whilst awaiting Rhian who was struggling through Cardiff's evening rush hour. Sadly the restaurant closed before her arrival so it was a meat pie and Red Wine on board while we digested the first class meal served at the Bridge. Sorry Rhian, but when was life ever fair.

        Saturday morning found the fuel pumps still blocked so on we went over to QAB. Dougal phoned the office and it appeared to be answered by a call centre in Mumbai but even allowing for all that distance a man with a distinctly local accent appeared and served us reasonably promptly. With the sails up and a good breeze, we headed out by way of the east entrance and at the Mewl Stone bore off to the East. It was the last weekend of summertime and the weather echoed the event. There was sufficient sun to warm memories and enough bite in the wind to remind us of what's to come. This was one of those rare days that creates amnesia in the minds of leisure sailors. Temporarily you are transported to that never-never land of force fours in a tropical climate where you sail across a bowling green smooth sea of brilliant blue. A fog settles over the times spent frozen, soaked and being bounced about so badly a night in a dodgem car would be considered light relief. But no, this was a really good day sailing with a timely arrival into DartmouthMap to grab the last berth on the Town Quay. Secured, we took a short walk to "The Cherub” for a meal and drinks.

         Sunday morning came with a touch of damp in the air. We slipped away down river around 0830 into a different sort of day. More wind with the odd white cap on the waves. The wind had backed toward the west blowing at around force 5 occasionally gusting to force7.  So close hauled plus a push from the engine we crossed Start Bay. Rounding the point we set a course, best to west, which coincided with the wind veering more to the North and stiffening to 6 with guests trying to round us up. Lively, sometimes quite exciting if bumpy sailing got us back to Plymouth by mid-afternoon. We fuelled, watered, drank tea, ate a belated breakfast then waved Rhian on her way before running up the Cattewater and returning Phoebe to Richard.

       A really good weekend with an excellent crew doing most of the work. So thank you all I enjoyed it.

Plymouth Yacht Haven  50.3586,-4.1215
Dartmouth  50.3514,-3.5762