A report on a West Country Cruise on Sea Essay (18-26 June 2021)
I have been wanting to explore the West Country for several years and finally my stars aligned. After checking availability with a prospective mate and other crew, I took the plunge, booked the charter and time off work.
With the rule of 6 in force we sailed with 6 POB. All on board had experience and all but one had previously sailed on Sea Essay. Skipper and Mate had both attended a Skippers Refresher event organised by another club prior to this event.
Since we had heard that restaurants might be fully booked we victualed on the basis of eating on board on at least 4 evenings. This worked out very well in practice.
We took over Sea Essay at 1200 and slipped our lines around 1630 for a short passage from Mayflower Marina to Newton Ferrers on the River Yealm. When East of Drake’s Island we raised the main with the intention of sailing with one reef but encountered an issue with tangled reefing pennants. With this resolved we had an enjoyable beat until we made the leading line to Wembury Church. With the wind increasing we took in a reef and then in a light drizzle, we entered the River Yealm under engine. Met by HM near the visitors’ pontoon and allocated a residential mooring for the night.
Little to no wind – Carefully exited R Yealm after LW. Passage to St Mawes, Famouth Marina and rafted at Falmouth Yacht Haven. Ate ashore at the Pizza place on the foreshore.
Inclement weather forecast. Spent day in Falmouth with some crew exploring the town and others visiting the Cornish National Maritime Museum.
Passages under sail to the River Helford.
Then a passage towards Fowey.
Responded to a PAN PAN call from two dinghy sailors in a swamped dinghy. Photo below is of the dinghy after a tow to Portscatho.
Topped up with water – Purchased Gas. The latter is only available at Mixtow Creek which is shallow at LW.
We then took in some of the coastline en-route towards Polpero which turned out to be a fantastic lunch stop.
We then had an exhilarating downwind passage to Salcombe.
Took advantage of the Salcombe Yacht Club’s showers. Passage under engine to Burgh Island for lunch at anchor.
Passage under sail to Newton Ferrers.
Issue with the Fwd heads – would not pump in water.
Tidal Gate at LW in R Yealm at the Bar. We then took the opportunity to for MOB Practice under sail and engine in Plymouth Sound and sailed to an anchorage at Cawsand. After an excellent salad lunch and with a moderate breeze we has an exhilarating sail, short tacking all the way up to Saltash to check our clearance under the bridges.
We then explored the R Lynher ….
before leaving two crew at the Mayflower marina and mooring in QAB. We ate ashore at the Murghai Restaurant close to QAB marina.
Collected cars from Mayflower. Scrubbed deck, cleaned, purchased spares, completed handover documentation.
|Sat||Plymouth to Newton Ferrers 8 NM|
|Sun||Newton Ferrers to Falmouth 44 NM|
|Tues||Falmouth to Helford then Fowey 40 NM|
|Wed||Fowey to Polpero then Salcombe 39 NM|
|Thurs||Salcombe to Burgh Island then Newton Ferrers 19 NM|
|Fri||Cawsand then Saltash then Plymouth QAB 26 NM|
James Savage (Skipper)