Start / Finish Time: 06:19 / 17:55
Daily time / distance: 61.0 NM / 11hr 36 mins
Weather: Forecast issued 0405 for 0800; Plymouth NE3-4, N4-5 later. Slight/mod. Fog. Lundy N-NW 4-5. Fog patches at first, good. Inshore N 3-4 increasing 5 later. Smooth/slight. Outlook Friday N 4-5 increasing 6 in west.
Crew: Nevil, Rachel, Robert & Luke. Larry
The adults were all awake early and Rachel was particularly happy that she had not had to get up in the middle of the night. The fog had cleared so we decided to get going to make our way to Helford in reasonable time that evening. We didn't feel too guilty that the Harbour Master hadn't collected his dues before we left, since we had paid for but not used the night in St Mary's Harbour earlier in the week. We slipped the mooring and got out clear of Penninis Head before getting some sail up although with the weak wind this was pretty much a token effort at first. After an hour or so, when we were well clear of the Scillies we found ourselves in another fog bank, with visibility down to a few hundred metres again although the wind had increased a little to make the sails do some work. The radar was useful to show up a few contacts, some of which we saw, others passed us by without ever being identified. This was the first time I had ever used radar so it was a useful learning experience. Rachel was definitely not happy at this point, being spooked by the fog and the odd gust healing the boat more than a few degrees. Larry and she had a frank discussion and decided that although she had improved her knowledge and skill levels tremendously and is/was a fantastic first mate, she is not currently ready to be happy in charge of a yacht and therefore not ready to be a Day Skipper. Although this was a bit of a blow to her she actually relaxed somewhat after this point.
We burst out of the fog bank a little past Wolf Rock and continued on our way due east to Lizard, sometimes purely under sail, sometimes motor-sailing. As we passed Lizard we saw dolphins in the distance, more sunfish and a basking shark. As we crossed Cadgwith Bay we came across a pair of puffins and then an even bigger basking shark was feeding on the surface and allowed us to keep up with him for some time. A RIB noticed us watching something and came over for a look and the yelps they let out at seeing such a creature were fantastic!
At the end of the day we made our way into Helford and after finding and making fast to the Cornish Cruising buoy we went ashore for a little walk and a well earned beer. The boys had a great time poking round in the mud in front of the pub and Robert even found a 2p piece! Back on board a fine fish pie was consumed with gusto.