Trip on Miranda starting 2018-07-20 in BSAAug18

Night Navigation and Weekend Sail 20 - 22 July 2018- report by Ian Gamble

Skipper: Alan Howells. Crew: Neil Webber, Nigel Alltimes, Julian Brenard and Ian Gamble.

Boat - ‘Miranda’ – Hanse 385.

On Friday … Alan and Neil drove down ahead to receive the boat and load some supplies, whilst I met Julian and Nigel at Clifton in the afternoon, before setting out. We had a pleasant and leisurely drive, with plenty of time gained in flight with Captain Julian and Co-pilot Ian. We had an urgent stop for refuelling at an appropriate pub…before joining the M5 stretch to Plymouth.

All was apparently smooth at Liberty Charters in processing the acceptance of the very nice Miranda, a Hanse 385. With supplies and new temporary crew on board, we headed out of PlymouthMap at a leisurely pace. The evening was beautiful sailing, for a while, before the wind died and we motored on. The night passage went well with good navigational plan that worked out. We had been fixing our position up to nearly South of Dodman, when as expected, the lights disappeared. The plan of following the 50m depth contour and the bright St Anthony’s light was 100% sound from there.

Yes there were other navigational lights that even the Captain couldn't identify (regardless of the very many times he was asked) but they were of no importance as they made no difference to our passage. Captain Alan looked up the puzzling lights since returning and we now know that the four uncharted cardinals are part of a wave-measuring arrangement which appears in a recent Notice to Mariners. We did not go anywhere near them but had we done so we would have known which side to pass! 

Night pilotage into FalmouthMap was smooth and excellent. Generally we demonstrated our (particularly my own) distinct lack of knowledge of the shore-based courses, which was particularly evident as we asked many questions of Alan. Anyway, great progress to Falmouth and we steered a safe course into the harbour, Alan berthing the Miranda at the last stage, as I certainly couldn’t afford to buy a new one, nor any of the others around our mooring. We arrived at 04:30, very satisfied and finally hit the sack.

A steady start to Saturday and a quick walk into town for supplies and a T-Shirt for Ian (who forgot to pack any tops). Alan went for some fresh ingredients for his planned culinary delights, which we encouraged heartily. We lunched in due course, on a variety of cold cooked meats and salad, washed down with some wine and followed by one of Alan’s special deserts, consisting of some nice vanilla ice cream, blackcurrant jam and Pernod; delicious!

So, with a few choice navigational hints, we headed for Fowey, arriving after ensuring we sampled the Pernod with some ice. Late afternoon as we arrived in FoweyMap, to evidence that Dawn French was most likely in residence in her beautiful house on the beach cliff at the harbour entrance. After some brief discussion and a change of clothes, we decided to venture into Polruan, via the Water Taxi.

Ever the adventurer, Alan decided to test out the inflatable tender stowed on Miranda’s deck. After some minor hitches in locating the inflation adaptor, we had a suitably ready tender and two hardy old sea dogs to test it. Neil, Nigel thought we would ensure our chances of a swift pint in The Lugger and left the other pair to their rowing adventure.

Unfortunately, we had received what turned out to be some rather off-putting hearsay, that The Lugger had changed hands and that the food therein, was no longer as good… It beggars belief what the apparent lunatic rumour starter was comparing it to, as we ended up, much to the disgust of the initial three of us, in the alternative venue The Fiddle-Inn. This was a distinct step, neh… fall-down from The Luggar, in terms of décor, beer choice, menu and atmosphere, which somewhat resembled the equivalent of a rowdy day at Weston Super Mare.

At great temptation of walking straight back out again, we groaned to learn that the two tender buccaneers had already ordered their food here, as they had somewhat unwittingly bypassed The Lugger, in their haste to find nosh. Well nosh they got…and so we joined them in fish and chips (about the most edible thing on the menu), keeping the crew of the Miranda together.

Later we watched as the two tender warriors headed back to Miranda, whilst expecting our reliable Fowey Water Taxi. A good night’s sleep and a very pleasant breakfast before heading out of Fowey, on yet another glorious day.

We set a bearing on a safe line out of the harbour and made some tacking choices to avoid various rocks, buoys and other vessels, including a tanker and a rather luxurious-looking cruise ship. Adjusting course several times to venture close in to Polperro Harbour Mapand bypass Mevagissey, we part-sailed and part-motored toward Plymouth. We tried out the autopilot mode, in order to dine in style on a splendid Chilli Con Carne, prepared by Alan, followed by another delicious helping of ice cream and Pernot desert. What more could a sailor wish for?

And so…to PlymouthMap and the reluctant return of The Hanse 385, Miranda. I do hope I’ll be seeing her again.

Plymouth  50.3648,-4.1322
Falmouth  50.1528,-5.0623
Fowey  50.3349,-4.6323
Polperro Harbour  50.3264,-4.5134
Plymouth  50.3648,-4.1322