July 26, 2010
Early start again today, want to get a few things at Falmouth and have a good sail up to the Helford River where another Hurley 22 owner Bruce Carter and his partner Vicki have kindly invited me for dinner at their home. Lovely weather for sailing again bright and sunny with the odd cloud and a nice W or NW 3-4 forecast.
Departed Channals Creek 0845hrs under just the genoa in a light NW 1-2 with the ebb up to Falmouth. The wind had increased to a3-4 by the time I anchored off the Visitors Yacht Haven and seemed to be gusting more at times here. It was a little choppy and I was doubtful I would be able to row my little dinghy safely ashore. Inflated the dinghy and waited for a lull in the wind before rowing ashore very carefully. Landed safely and filled up one of my water containers and got some petrol from the fuel berth. Your supposed to report to the office and pay a fee for the anchorage or for a short stay. You then get the access code for the security gate but I was hoping to avoid it if possible. Dropped my cans off at the dinghy and went out the security gate and on past the office. I passed a yachtsmen at the gate and over heard him tell one of his crew what the new code was for the gate. I got around the corner and quickly wrote it down in my wallet. As I approached the shower block which you need a swipe card for to open the door, it opened and several people came out and held the door open for me. What a stroke of luck I had a clean set of clothes and my wash kit in my ruck sack. Not that I had planned it or anything you understand! A little later and feeling very refreshed I went and did a bit of shopping and had some lunch before returning. I walked passed the office and said good morning to the assistant and tapped in the code I had overheard. The gate swung open and down the gangway I went and straight into my dinghy and out to the boat. I know it was a bit cheeky but they had had four nights berthing fees out of me last week. I didnt feel to guilty as I have also been a regular visitor for many years.
While I had been ashore a big yacht had squeezed into the busy anchorage and was lying right over my anchor. Not the first time this has happened to me here. Of course there is no one on board as they have gone ashore. Out with all my fenders and string them all up one side from stem to stern. Start the engine and pull in half of my chain by which time I am a couple of feet off his stern as the still gusty wind veers us around. Back to the cockpit and put her full astern and watch as the chain goes tight and slowly the gap starts to open up as the anchor starts to drag and plough through the mud. I stop and shorten up the chain again and motor astern on it again and the anchor starts dragging quickly this time. Plenty of room now so I recover my anchor and head off. Didn’t need the fenders but if the anchor hadn’t broken out I would have needed to come up alongside him as he veered around in the wind to recover my anchor. Fortunately the bottom is very soft here and a good blast astern from the engine will pop your anchor out. But beware once it has popped out it will have a big ball of claggy mud in it which stops it biting in again and it will keep dragging! As I motor out of the anchorage the harbour masters launch is going around collecting dues and waves and wishes me a safe passage. Thankyou I reply and wave back.
1340 heading out past Falmouth Docks bound for the Helford River, engine off and under full genoa only. The wind is still quite gusty and NW 3-4. Manage to keep up four knots all the way out of Falmouth and across the bay. Even managed to tack all the way up to the moorings in the river before having to put the engine on. Theres a strong tide through the moorings and you need to keep your eyes open as you weave through them. 1545hrs Anchored just inshore of the local moorings in ‘Penarvon Cove’ which dries 1m at chart datum. There is 1m at low water tonight so I will dry, but thats the benefit of bilge keels. I anchored here last year after it was recommended to me by fellow Hurley Owners Association member Bruce Carter who keeps his Hurley 22 ‘Gala’ on a mooring in the river. Its a lovely spot and out of the strong tide that runs through the visitors moorings further out.
A bit lazy sailing up under just the genoa but very enjoyable just slipping along on a bright sunny afternoon. Time to relax in the sunshine before meeting up with Bruce and Vicki for dinner later. 1730hrs Bruce arrives in his tender to take me ashore and then to his house nearby. Bruce and Vicki had a week in Scilly on their boat in June. Vicki serves up a lovely meal and we swap stories about our trips. Bruce drops me back to the boat before dark and before ‘Dream Catcher’ settles into the mud about an hour later.
I phone home to find out my wife hasnt got any better and really needs me to get back. I listen to the forecast on the VHF and they are still giving W or SW 3-4 for tomorrow but not the occasionally 5 in the far west they had given earlier. I check the tide times for slack water at Lizard Point and stay up late and make up some food and snacks ready for a long motor sail upwind tomorrow. Phone home again to inform my wife of my departure time and eta. Need to depart at 0530hrs tomorrow, just a few hours time.