A Cruise Around the Block

10 August 2013 | Portishead Bristol
08 August 2013 | Padstow
05 August 2013 | Falmouth
02 August 2013 | Falmouth
31 July 2013 | Dartmouth
27 July 2013 | Dartmouth
23 July 2013 | Ramsgate
21 July 2013 | St. Katherine's Dock
18 July 2013 | Lowestoft
11 July 2013 | Blythe
09 July 2013 | Stonehaven
07 July 2013 | Wick
26 June 2013 | Stromness
22 June 2013 | Stornoway
15 June 2013 | Mallaig
10 June 2013 | Tobermory
08 June 2013 | Oban
04 June 2013 | Port Ellen, Islay
02 June 2013 | Bangor
20 May 2013 | Holyhead

Feels Like Home

10 August 2013 | Portishead Bristol
Rod
Cracked it. We berthed this morning at 1000 after an easy motor sail (well a motor decorated with sails) from Cardiff. On Thursday, after Dave joined the crew for the final leg, we slipped our berth at Padstow and headed across the bar to anchor round the headland. Despite the drizzle and fresh wind the forecast looked food for a night sail to Lundy. We Lundy some shelter and slept until Midnight then headed off into the black. The wind was fresh and the waves were foaming. We settled for genoa alone and made 6 knots. The sky cleared but the seas increased to the point where we realised the anchorage at Lundy would not be safe and made the decision to alter course for Ilfracombe. After bumpy night we picked up a visitors buoy in the outer harbour and grabbed some sleep. We left at 1200 before we grounded, and punched the strong ebb tide for three hours before enjoying a roller coaster up the Severn and locked into Cardiff at 1900. After a quick meal on board and a bottle of red the skipper for one fell into a deep sleep. We were up at 6.30 to catch the 0700 barrage lock and suddenly it's over. The log shows 2400 miles since we locked out three months and two days ago. The signal flags are fluttering in the breeze and the restaurant is booked. What's next I'm asked? A circumnavigation of the garden beckons. Thanks to all for the crewing, company and comments. Shearwater out.

A swim and a dry out

08 August 2013 | Padstow
Rod
We left Falmouth and had a gentle sail to Mousehole, a tiny fishing village near Newlyn. In the winter they put large timber bulks across the harbour entrance to keep out the winter storms. When we arrived it was one big Cornish holiday site. We tied up alongside an old fishing smack and joined the bathers. We dried out for the first time on the trip, the boat standing happily on the hard stand although the fenders felt the squeeze from the old fishing craft as she settled on her wooden leg. We were off early on Wednesday to round Lands End at 0830. The wind filled in later in the day and we enjoyed a few hours under sail alone before the need to meet the tidal gate at Padstow required further assistance from the engine. We moored in the harbour last night; a brass band was playing, it could have been for us. Still need to work out the tides for the final leg.

Perhaps an Ark would be useful

05 August 2013 | Falmouth
Rod
Last night I was awoken by torrential rain to follow the deluge which engulfed us on Sunday. It's begrudgingly abating this morning. Jerry arrives tonight and tomorrow we push off towards Penzance and then round Lands End to Padstow where Dave should join us for the final passage to Portishead. With spring tides making the Bristol Channel currents even more powerful we need to carefully time our sail. I'd hate to get swept back into the Atlantic at this stage. The winds look favourable so this could be the last week. I'm getting ready for some Winster village life.

Pasties Ahoy

02 August 2013 | Falmouth
Rod
Despite the doubtful outlook in the last blog, on Wednesday by lunchtime, our weather scouts in Plymouth, Terry and Jenny Waterfall, rang to say the view from Plymouth Hoe was favourable. The volunteer lookouts at Froward Point, at the entrance to the Dart, confirmed the visibility had improved and the seas were abating. The crew had escaped to Dartmouth for beer and pasties but a swift phone call was in time to prevent the beer if not the pasties and they repaired to Shearwater and we set sail at 2. After a long slog to windward against an unfavourable tide, we berthed in Sutton Marina, Plymouth at 10.30. On Thursday Terry and Jenny escorted us out of harbour on Buscadeer, snapping Shearwater under sail. We enjoyed an easy tight fetch down to Fowey. The harbour was full obliging us to raft up on a mooring buoy. After midnight the surge into the harbour caused us to review the situation and we reluctantly motored off to find somewhere more sheltered up river. We earned a peaceful night and this morning set off bright and early to carry ebb tide down to Falmouth. Shearwater happily beat to windward yet again and we are now moored in Falmouth visitors marina, our destination for the week. Not bad, considering the problematic weather. The crew head back to Derbyshire tomorrow and I await the final crew for the sail back to home port.

Appeasing the Weather Gods

31 July 2013 | Dartmouth
Rod
After a magnificent run of weather we have ground to a halt in Dartmouth. I'm thinking of giving the marina a direct link to my bank account as currently it feels as though I am their main income stream. My good natured crew are patiently reading books as I survey the damp misty windswept river. I have paid over a large sum of money to be told the autopilot is working correctly; this remains to be seen. I've mended an oil leak on the engine. I might have to start polishing the hull soon, it's getting that serious. We got up at six this morning, hoping to break out to Plymouth, but the weather gods have determined I have had my ration of good fortune for the time being. Ah we'll, another coffee and perhaps I'll have a read.

Dartmouth again

27 July 2013 | Dartmouth
Rod
Last night we berthed in Darthaven Marina after a straightforward passage from Poole at the end of a long week. The crew this week ranging from the youngest at 15 to the eldest who, let's say is the wrong side of 70, sailed the longest passages through the water, 365 miles. It's slightly misleading because for most of the passages we were fighting strong spring tides. At one point off St Catherine's, Isle of Wight we were only making 1.5 knots over ground, for several hours. When the tide finally turned in our favour and we were able to free off we covered the 25 miles into Poole in 3 hours. So, after only 3 weeks Shearwater has journeyed from the Orkneys to Dartmouth, where Jan and I spent many years sailing with our family. Jan has driven down for the weekend and for a couple of days I needn't fret about the weather forecast. In theory, in 2 weeks, we could be back in Bristol, but who knows.
Vessel Name: Shearwater
Vessel Make/Model: Westerly Fulmar
Hailing Port: Portishead Quays Marina Bristol
Crew: Rod Shiers and pals
About: sailing friends from down the years and fellow members of Ogston Sailing Club
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Shearwater's Photos -

A Cruise Around the Block

Who: Rod Shiers and pals
Port: Portishead Quays Marina Bristol