Trip on Sea Shanty starting 2022-03-25 in BSAApril22
Plymouth to Dartmouth and back “tout de suite”, Friday 25th -- 27th March 2022 – report by skipper Ian Collins
Boat: “Sea Shanty” a 36 foot Bavaria
Alan, Paula and I arrived after an easy, for a Friday, drive down to Plymouth. We had collected the keys and settled ourselves in by 1600. On this occasion David Franklin, the owner, was unable to be there to greet us and do the handover but by way of an apology he’d left on board a very nice bottle of wine.
Bob, Ewart and Chris arrived to complete the crew and we settled down to a sociable evening eating and drinking on board. I’d laid out a plan based on the forecasted weather, tides and currents which was to get away early and beat up to Dartmouth using the light to moderate North to North-East winds, checking our progress as we passed Salcombe to see if the engines assistance would be required to make the all-important deadline of a 1915 booking at The Cherub.
Contrary to the forecast we found ourselves with a stiff breeze blowing us rapidly out the Sound and onto a long fast tack up and out from a coast shrouded in mist. It was at this point that the combination of sailing, sea state and sea sickness appointed me as supercargo and Bob stood in most effectively tacking us back toward the shoreline, bringing us in at Prawle Point. To effectively find our way past Start point with 20 knots of North East to East winds with occasional gust to 30 it was decided to use engine, and anything the sails could add, for the push round Start Point and across the bay to Dartmouth mostly head-on into the wind. I’m pleased to say that this plan came together bringing us up the Harbour , and much to our delight, onto the last space on the outside of the Town Quay with enough time to make The Cherub without blotting our copy book. As I have always found we were rewarded with good beverage, excellent Pub-Grub promptly served at a price that didn’t require the amputation of limbs.
We lost an hour as the clocks wound forward but in recompense were given a glorious morning for a prompt start for the home port. My stomach allowed me to rejoin the Crew. The North East wind was with us and willing. Barring the over-falls, which are to be expected, as we rounded Start Point close in, the sea state was fine all the way back.. Lots of genoa to do the work and a double reefed main for balance. A truly grand sail. This was a very fast cruise in both directions with between 7 to 9 knots almost constantly and on several occasions recording in excess of 10. The log records us leaving Plymouth at 0745 and berthing in Dartmouth at 1900 with a distance of 62.9 miles in 11 hours 45 minutes. Leaving at 0930 we berthed after fuelling at 1700, a time of 8 hours 30 minutes, and a total log reading of 101 miles in the two days.
To others who have not as yet sailed Sea Shanty I can honestly say this is the best Bavaria 36 I have sailed. She has a 2m lead keel giving her bags of stability She is nicely kitted out and a real pleasure to sail. I feel I should give a word of warning though. MDL Marinas have added additional pontoons on the outside (sea-side) walkway and where Sea Shanty was previously berthed on the last of the pontoon moorings before the alongside boats, she is now several finger pontoon from the end at the narrowest part of the Marina. Entry and exit should be fine in the normally prevailing winds, but much trickier when North to East winds are blowing. I was blown onto the next boat and some minor damage occurred. Other than that ( and of course the day lost to Mal de Mer on my part) a great sailing weekend. So thanks to all the crew, and a very special thank you to Bob who did an excellent job of sailing Sea Shanty and keeping the log in my absence.