Dartmouth Day Mark
Tanker, 'Alfa britannia'
Sailing to windward with the tiller lashed
Having dried my shirts in the Marina’s tumble dryer and done the shopping I put to sea. There was a very light wind from the SW. At first it was slow progress to Berry Head while passing an anchored tanker named ‘Alfa Britannia’, registered at Nassau, but gradually the wind increased to a force 4. I was surprised how well ‘Ladybird’ went to windward, easily out-sailing a Newbridge 22’. I had a splendid beat out to sea beyond Berry Head before heading on the port tack towards Scabbacombe Head; then another tack to miss Nimble Rock. When coming up to the E. Blackstone and the Mewstone the sea became pretty bumpy. To cope more easily with the conditions I turned on the engine, but the cap fell off the outboard when I refilled it, which meant improvising with a plastic bag and a piece of string. I was reminded of a similar happening when I cruised ‘Faith’, my Paradox sailboat. Soon, the wind was free enough for us to keep clear of the two south cardinal buoys guarding the Mewstone, and I turned the engine off.
On the approach to the River Dart I took down the mainsail and ran in under the foresail. Not until ‘Ladybird’ was off Darthaven Marina did I start the engine. An examination of the anchorage between number 3 and number 5 buoys confirmed all would be well for anchoring. The Harbourmaster also gave his consent. I have located where I can buy another cap for the outboard, and tomorrow I’ll find a way of getting there.