July 17, 2010
Saturday 17th July 2010 River Yealm to Falmouth
Awoke early had breakfast and made sandwiches and snacks for the passage. Getting boat ready for a choppy motorsail into forecast W or SW winds of force 4 increasing 5 or 6 later in far west. Another small low coming through tomorrow keeping winds up around 5 to 6 so need to get down to Falmouth in one hop today if possible. A few showers still around and no doubt a big sea still running after the last two days. Its nearly 40 miles to Falmouth with the option of diverting into Fowey which is only 22 miles away. Not expecting it to be very comfortable today but looks like only oportunity for a while. Will need to push into wind and tide for first four hours off Plymouth, but hopefully this will get me well past Rame Head before it comes in my favour but is then wind against tide. Hoping the wind will continue to ease during the day and only increase to the forecast possible 5 or 6 later as the tide comes back in this evening. This is normally the pattern with westerly winds. Aiming to depart at 0800hrs, slack low water off Falmouth at about 1900hrs. Have beaten into force 3 to 4’s many times its just miserable, but 5 and 6’s is a little too much for my short waterline.
Depart pontoon at 0730hrs and motor down through the closely spaced moorings. Not enough room inside the river to raise the mainsail in a gusty wind and I know from experience that it will be a short lumpy sea once outside of the bar at the entrance. Spot a vacant mooring buoy right near the entrance and pick it up. Hoist the main in relative shelter and put in one reef. 0805hrs depart mooring and round the aptly named misery point and line up for the narrow channel to clear the bar. White horses and a 2 metre moderate to rough sea outside. Its a westerly 4 right on nose but I manage to maintain 4 knots motorsailing at just over half throttle. Lot of motion but not too violent, just need to push on and get around Rame Head. Slack water off Plymouth at 1300hrs when it will become wind against tide. Hopefully the seas will be smaller by then and maybe the wind will have dropped a little. Its a very grey cloudy morning but the air is warm and its not raining yet. Big dark clouds ahead over the land and out to sea past Rame Head. Steering low of course to give Rame Head a good offing and keep further offshore. Wind more WSW as I get abeam of Rame Head at 0945hrs and heavy dark clouds staying over the land with just the odd light shower at sea. Good progress so far and not too punnishing on me or the boat. Several yachts coming out of Plymouth and heading East with the wind and tide all reefed down.
1131hrs Sea state is now down to moderate but a short steep waves are killing my speed. Abeam Looe boardering on slamming, miserable fast motion 3.5 knots SOG, 24.8 miles to my waypoint off St Anthony’s Head at Falmouth entrance. Tide should start to slacken soon and hopefully short sea will ease a little. You never seem to have the right waterline length for the sea state upwind! No other yachts seem to be as mad and I am the only one heading west. A few east bound yachts up ahead rounding the Dodman and heading into Fowey with the last of the tide. Big black clouds behind them dropping there rain onto the coast. Still dry and clear out to sea. 1333hrs 16.6 miles to Falmouth entrance, back up to 4.3 knots. Sunny and warm with lots of cloud around but it is getting brighter. Tide is slack and abeam of Fowey now. A slightly better less steep moderate sea and slop! 1500hrs Much better speed, 5.2 knots, 9.3 miles to Falmouth entrance, blue sky appearing, warm. Wind now SW 3 and St Anthony’s Head in sight and the long dark cloud shrouded Lizard peninsula in the distance. 1650hrs 1 mile from waypoint turning to sail into Falmouth entrance, abeam Zone Point.
1700hrs Engine off and under sail, moderate sea and swell blue sky. Has even been settled enough to take photos in the last hour. Able to ease the sheets more as I close the entrance. A lovely sail into Falmouth and down Carrick Roads at 5.5 knots with the first of the flood tide. Still one reef in the main and 3/4 of the Genoa. So nice I take a bit of a detour and have a bit of a sail around the roads before heading down to Turnaware bar at the end of Carrick Roads. Drop and stowe sails as I approach.
1846hrs At anchor Channals Creek just the other side and to port of Turnaware Bar. Sunny and warm here with seven other yachts at anchor. The wind is SW and sending a small send into the creek, but its still a comfortable anchorage. Dinner is on and I sit back and enjoy the view. Another relaxing evening at one of my favourite anchorages, watching a variety of yachts and dinghy’s having an evening sail around Carrick Roads.