Hello Crazy Sails friends and followers.
It’s been a busy few days since we left Weymouth and the challenges of poor internet and almost non-existent phone reception have curtailed contact but here we are in the Royal Fowey Yacht Club finally able to access the great unseen power that seems to control much of our lives today.
Hope you like the short video of our friend Dilly the Dolphin who adopted us as we headed for Portland Bill, having finally departed Weymouth on Tuesday. I was so excited I almost didn’t get any footage as I couldn’t get my phone camera switched on, couldn’t focus and of course, being on the sea, the boat kept wobbling, so though it’s short I was quite delighted with the final outcome. Dilly wasn’t the only dolphin we saw that day as we were also met coming into Dartmouth by another flippered friend and saw another couple the following day, along with an amazing sunfish. I feel so lucky as sailing with dolphins has always been something I’ve wanted to experience.
We (well, Simon really) timed our journey around Portland Bill to perfection, managing to avoid the rather nasty race which runs around the top of the Bill by arriving there at the optimum four hours after high water and keeping inshore. The Harbour Master had said we should be close enough to throw a cake to shore – not sure we were that close but got some good views of the lighthouse as we rounded the Bill and were able to turn off onto our course for Dartmouth without any problem.
We had hoped to possibly go on beyond Dartmouth to Salcombe but the wind, though only a light southwesterly was bitingly cold and we had to motor sail to keep up the time, so eight hours after having donned about four layers, including full sailing gear, woolly hats and thermal gloves, we decided Dartmouth would be a wonderful haven for the night. We averaged around 6.5-7 knots most of the way, so had a straightforward journey but we were glad to say farewell to Lyme Bay and turn in past the Mewstone Rock into the pretty Dartmouth estuary, which looked beautiful in the early evening light. We moored alongside the Town Quay and were greeted by Adrian and Sue, our neighbours from Orion, who had been moored up alongside us for a few days in Weymouth. They had decided to brave the weather on Sunday and ended up with a fair amount of Lyme Bay over their decks and in their cabin so we felt glad we had made the move west on Tuesday, rather than being tempted earlier. We enjoyed an evening sundowner nightcap with them before crashing out and hoping that the cross river ferries, which left from just behind us, wouldn’t work too long into the night – they didn’t and after 11.30pm all was peaceful.
Dartmouth, in the morning sunshine, looked very inviting but we knew we had to press on and get some more miles under our belts, so after a leisurely breakfast and a taking advantage of a few photo opportunities we readied ourselves and the boat and set off, once more. Fortunately, the wind was less bitter today and though it was (unlike the forecast which said it would be south easterly) still from the south west, it was a warmer breeze, the temperature hit 18 degrees and the sun shone out of a beautiful clear blue sky. Unfortunately, due to the wind direction we still had to motorsail, which was a pity but certainly averaging 6.5-7 knots again made us appreciate the speed Kairos can do, compared to our previous Westerly Konsort, which was much loved but also much slower through the water.
We travelled quite close to the coastline so we had a wonderful view of the changing countryside, which went from rolling green fields right down to the sea shore in parts to steeper craggier cliffs and then finally back to green wooded clifftops peppered with the occasional house built into the hillside so it looked like it was clinging on amongst the lush vegetation. The sea state was slight but with a 1.5 metre swell which was left over from the previous poor weather. Our heading was 283 degrees towards Fowey with an eta of 5pm. We were hoping to get in, moored and changed ready to meet up with Chris and Paul Dew, two friends we had met when Paul offered to swim our long line ashore for us when we were sailing in the Greek Islands. Although hailing from Hayling Island, Paul is now very much a Cornish local having taught here for many years and living up the Tamar River – on the Cornish side, of course. Chris, I believe, is a west country local though she has also spent time in Emsworth, so we have a lot in common and we were looking forward to seeing them again on their patch.
On schedule, we entered the Fowey estuary and made our way up the river to look for Berrills Yard pontoon that the Harbour Office had very kindly said we could moor up on. Most visitors moorings are on pontoons or bouys out in the river but this one was a walk ashore pontoon and we were glad of this hoping to have more passers by to see our NAS fundraising banner than we would out in the harbour. The harbour master was also very kind, giving us a discount as we were doing our trip for charity – we will be putting the amount of the discount in our JustGiving pot – so very many thanks to them. Fowey is really lovely, a very typical Cornish seaside town with friendly people, great eateries – really recommend The King of Prussia and two lovely yacht Clubs. We did, indeed, meet up with Chris and Paul and had a lovely bottle of wine (mega bottle of rose – thanks Judy and Trev) on board before decanting to the King of Prussia where we were treated to a lovely dinner – very very many thanks Chris and Paul and for your donation too.
After a relaxing few days here, we are now ready to head off again and tomorrow we leave for the Helford River, before either Newlyn or Penzanze and then our journey around the Lizard and Lands End, so friends for now, it’s Crazysails and the Kairos Crew out…….. until another day.