Trip on Sea Shanty starting 2019-10-11 in BSAOct19
Weekend from Plymouth, October 11 – 13 – report by skipper Phil Steele
Boat: ‘Sea Shanty’ a Bavaria 36 from QAB.
The forecast was going to be unreliable but favoured a change of plan that made Fowey the best idea.
On arrival Nick and Phil met Dave Franklin who immediately treated us to coffee in the bar, we then had a very comprehensive boat handover and issued an inventory list/location of kit, which is reminiscent of Phoenix boats. In the handover we were shown that some provisions were on board from previous use and he added a bottle of milk, two packs of biscuits and a pack of Jaffa cakes. This was very customer friendly and fits in with my style of tea and cakes on arrival. Tea towels, soap and towel for the head was included.
The crew however decided to assemble in the bar on a very wet night and agreed to eat on board the very good meal provided by Nick that was originally planned for Salcombe (Salcombe had previously warned me that a pontoon berth may not be available and there are no water taxis now that they are winter hours. As a by-the-way the bridge to QAB is now open to 11pm according to bar staff.
With the forecast of light variable easterly winds changing to SSW by mid-afternoon the idea was a 9:30 start to Mevagissey bay to look for dolphins. On removing the storm jib halyard, the shackle fell to pieces. Newly trained Emma took us out of the Marina and helmed us close hauled in a SW F4 to Looe Island. We reached Mevagissey bay but did not spot a dolphin. Taylor also newly trained helmed us on to the pontoon in Fowey. Whilst moored up a yacht was assisted in rafting to us and insisted on no relaxation of etiquette because it was a training boat but not able to issue RYA certificates. Normal evening festivities followed.
Sunday on exiting Fowey we needed two reefs in the main to deal with the S F5-6 gusting 7 sometimes poor visibility. During a squall we dropped the main when the topping lift failed and joined company with the top spreaders. The yacht has a vang and fortunately heads were low enough to prevent injury and the yacht was undamaged. A following lull to F5 meant we were able to get the main halyard to the end of the boom thanks to Neil and spare lines/sail ties kept on board. This boat is well kitted out. It looked like it was a quick release shackle that had failed possibly opened by the flogging reef lines. I will add this to my morning boat check list.
We continued back to QAB with a moderate sea F6-7 in clearing skies. Whilst clearing up the spray hood was found to have problems caused by a bent bracket which may have happened during the boom excitement because it was unused for sailing.
All members agreed that this was an excellent boat that will only improve in time and the two old crocks really enjoyed the competence and fitness of the other crew members that made it possible.