Trip on Celtic Flame II starting 2022-08-18 in BSAOct22

A WEEK OF TWO HALVES, August 18 – 25, report by Ian Collins

Skipper: Ian Collins

Boat: GSA Dufour 34 ‘Celtic Flame II’ from Plymouth

Crew 1: Brian Adams, Reg Morris, Geoff Norwood and Ewart Hutton.

Crew 2:Richard Trim and Kate Wilcox(GSA).

The First Half

This charter was from 18th to the 25th of August 2022. I had booked the boat earlier as it was readily available to charter. As the weather this year had been kind it seemed a shame to not take advantage of this very sailable Dufour 34. To get a crew I split the week, Thursday to Sunday and then Sunday to Thursday.

The crew for the first half were all able to get to Yacht HavenMap early afternoon and as Reg is currently resident in Plymouth and has acted as Bosun for Celtic Flame 11 he was able to complete the handover and pre-departure checks before we arrived enabling us to set sail promptly heading west along the coast to Fowey.

This was a really good sail with winds at variable force 4 and North of West on a sea that although lively, gave us no problems. This resulted in us arriving in Fowey Harbour early evening unsurprised to find all the harbour moorings taken. As we intended to eat aboard I suggested we go up the river to Wisemans Creek and take a visitors buoy. This was one of many occasions I have found the Harbour crowded but have always managed to get a buoy in Wisemans CreekMap. By 2000 the train had stopped shunting the china clay trucks and once the industry halted this has got to be one of the most pleasant moorings in east Cornwall. We had a nice meal aboard pre-prepared by Geoff. Regrettably Brian informed us he was not feeling able to continue the trip.

This mooring is, without the industry, very quiet and a peaceful night was our reward. The early riser in Wisemans Creek is normally treated to a wildlife bonanza, in particular the birdlife. First thing I could see four heron patiently waiting for breakfast to swim within range and one of them having to fend off two grey squirrels intent on foraging its fishing platform.

Saturday morning and a good breakfast set us on our way to first drop Brian off at the Town Quay, allowing us to grab a few extra victuals at the same time. Then down the river and out past Gribben HeadMap turning west across St Austell Bay heading for the Helford RiverMap. Another great day’s sailing with conditions, if anything, even better than the Thursday. Another great favourite of mine is this river, and another place I’ve always found a welcome and a mooring. This is a delightful spot its only drawback for me is the very restricted hours operated by the water taxi. In truth this really wouldn’t be a problem if my relationships with dinghies was friendlier.

Another pre-prepared meal and a peaceful night with us casting off just after the first two fishing boats and heading out onto a very calm sea with the wind now right behind us. Taking advantage of this wind we rigged the genoa out on a pole and put a preventer on the main, and for almost all of the passage to Dodmans point Mapwe had that wonderful, but I’ve always considered somewhat strange experience, of, for whole stretches, doing 6 knots but hardly appearing to be moving. I love it! All good things must come to an end and our goosewinging fell foul of rounding Dodman but the sailing continued to be first class and with some sightings of the usual Whitesands Bay dolphins, but somewhat distant. We rounded Rame Head and sailed till under the lee of the Fort before dropping the sails. Then motored on to fuel and feed ourselves at Yacht HavenMap.

The Second Half.

Shortly after waving the first crew adieu, Kate Wilcox arrived with Richard Trim; and so the second crew was complete and early. Once again this allowed for a prompt start. I do so love the long evenings with the opportunities that they offer us to get going.

This time we headed east out around the Mew StoneMap and across Wembury Bay to find a place farther up the YealmMap than normal on the No. 2 pontoon. This was one of only two alongside moorings left before we would have needed to raft-up. We ate on board and enjoyed a quiet night.

The next morning, with the wind on our nose, it was slow progress out of the bay, till we turned then a steady wind once again from North of West, a variable 4 to 6 gave us a rollicking ride up to DartmouthMap where we managed, by dint of timing to be able to grab a space on the town quay as the trip boats vacated. We headed off to the Cherub for a Godly pint and a devilishly good meal. The following morning we cleared the quay early to have a good sail round Berry Head Mapfollowed by a slow crawl across the Bay to Torquay, but as we had plenty of time, why hurry? This was August and couldn’t you tell it. I always of preference try to take a place in the Town Quay MarinaMap. It’s a good deal cheaper than the west side and now they’ve improved the ablutions. Also at its farthest point you are normally a lot closer to dry land, with its facilities than where the Marina staff usually park visitors. We ate, and drank, ashore that evening.

Of particular interest to me was we were asked to raft up alongside a Freedom 35 which I had seen previously in Voyager Boatyard in Plymouth. For me the good fortune was the owner Steve was onboard and I was able to chat with him, get some good information, and exchange phone numbers.

Next day with an early start we were off back to Plymouth. Flat calm in Tor Bay and the wind from where it had been all week, we headed out to pass Berry headMap maintaining our course till 12 miles out, then turning for a long, long run with the wind 5 to 6 and just forward of a beam reach. The sea state had become livelier overnight and this gave us a fast, and at times, an exciting ride till we lost the wind passing Prawle PointMap and from there slow and stately progress till needing to move along the engine was called forth as we reached Wembury HeadMap. Arriving at Yacht HavenMap we fuelled and ate, allowing for a good night’s sleep before the clean-up and heading home.

I would like to thank both crews for the companionship and the sailing, it was for me an excellent week of both. August has never been, for me among the best time for sailing, mainly because of other sailors and the occasional problems they present, we were prepared with meals aboard going West, and a certain amount of local knowledge to the East. My fears were unfounded during this week.

Thanks to all Ian

Plymouth Yacht Haven  50.3586,-4.1215
Fowey  50.3521,-4.6359
Gribben Head  50.3101,-4.6726
Helford River  50.0972,-5.1332
Dodmans point  50.215,-4.8026
Plymouth Yacht Haven  50.3586,-4.1215
Mew Stone  50.303,-4.1118
Yealm No 2 pontoon  50.3122,-4.0523
Dartmouth  50.3514,-3.5762
Berry Head  50.3991,-3.4794
Torbay  50.4585,-3.5282
Berry head  50.4,-3.4833
Prawle Point  50.2001,-3.7214
Wembury Head  50.3107,-4.1198
Plymouth Yacht Haven  50.3586,-4.1215