Monday, July 30, 2007

Afloat Again

It is Monday, 30th July 07 and ‘Faith’ is afloat again, but this time on the River Crouch, her home waters. She was launched at Burnham Yacht Harbour at 1300, almost an hour before high water. I had intended to launch at Hullbridge at the public slipway, but the wind was onshore and I was uncertain I’d have enough depth of water. As it worked out Burnham was fine.

After lunch I tried the yuloh which was much better than before but I needed to make a bungee fixture to keep the yuloh from coming of its pin.

Because the wind was coming from the North West I felt it best not to set out right away, but rather to leave the departure until daylight tomorrow, all being well with the forecast. The tides are unfavourable for getting north and east because the flood will be in action for the greater part of the day and ‘Faith’ will need to make way against the current.

Tonight looks like being peaceful since ‘Faith’ is anchored near the north bank of the River Crouch opposite the entrance to the River Roach and the boat is protected from what little wind there is.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


The forecast for the next few days looks good, except the wind speeds are likely to be low or non-existent; nevertheless, I think I should avail myself of this ‘promise’ by the forecasters after such a bad summer. If I can get the boat launched on Monday, 30th July at Hullbridge from the public slipway I’ll take the ebb towards Burnham-on-Crouch, and who knows where I might drift off the East Coast. Perhaps the currents will whisk me to the Walton Backwaters and into Titchmarsh Marina where my friend Richard keeps his 40’ wooden classic yacht? Maybe I’ll be taken by the currents to the Rivers Ore and Alde where the DCA have a scheduled meeting on the weekend of 4th and 5th June?

The ship’s battery aboard ‘Faith’ is fully charged; therefore I’m hopeful I’ll be able to keep the blog log going by charging the laptop battery from it. So if you are interested in where the currents take us, that’s me and the boat, keep an eye on this page.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Plymouth to Exmouth

We had a quiet night anchored in the lee near the entrance to Millbrook Creek and we left the anchorage shortly after 0830 on the morning of 17th July 07. The inshore forecast was for a south westerly wind of force 5/6, decreasing 3 or 4 for with showers. As we sailed across Plymouth Sound we felt the full force of a southerly wind. We could hold a course for the eastern end of the breakwater and beyond near the shore where we put in a tack taking us outside the Mewstone off the entrance of the River Yealm. When clear of the fearsome looking rock we bore off on a course to windward of the Udder Rock. There was a large swell to the extent that for seconds at a time we could not see our companion boat. The wind increased to force 5 and perhaps 6 and showing no sign of abating.

Our boats were absolutely amazing; they never gave us occasion for alarm, although waves lifted and attempted to topple them. I kept the hatch of ‘Faith’ partially open, but I noticed Al was sailing his boat from inside, completely sealed from the elements. With the help of the flood tide our little craft frequently touched five knots and Al told me his GPS registered a top speed for a brief moment of eight knots! His miniature yacht must have surfed down a wave at the time.

At Bolt Head and Bolt Tail the spring tide was ebbing fast, causing the seas to be very confused. This was more awesome than we had expected, bringing about a situation of true adventure sailing. Had we known the weather forecast of decreasing winds was badly out we would not have sailed that day. Squalls shot over the hill tops and down the valleys laying our boats on their sides. We fair scooted up the narrow entrance with high granite cliffs and rolling hills either side. Further in, beyond the sandbar we passed grand hotels and large mansions. While approaching the public pontoon we downed our sails then used the yulohs to come alongside. The harbour master’s assistants were very helpful by providing us with information and also allowing us to stay at the pontoon longer than the permitted two hours. I shopped for a new peaked cap, as I had lost two when they were blown into the water. Retrieving such a small item when underway in windy conditions is always tricky because an eye has to be kept on it while the boat is being turned around, then a smart manoeuvre is required for plucking it out of the water before it sinks or it is lost from sight in the waves.

High water that evening was approximately at 2100 hours and therefore we waited until the incoming tide had slackened before beating to the beach at Splat Cove near the entrance to the River. We made the mistake of thinking we could settle on the beach for a quiet night, but in the event the surge brought about by the boisterous winds caused us some anxiety as our boats bounced on the appropriately named beach. Eventually we were left high and dry. At 0400 I laid out the anchors for our boats, placing them much further from the high water mark so that we would be able to pull our craft clear as they floated.

By 0700 we were afloat and anchored leeward of the beach for breakfast before setting off against the incoming tide. As there was so little wind we had to scull or paddle beyond Salcombe’s infamous sandbar in search of wind. It was the morning of the 18th July and yachts motor-sailing passed us on their way to a point where they could safely round Start Point. Al and I had agreed a waypoint well south of the Race and there we changed course for Berry Head, which was just visible in the distance. With the wind and tide behind us we made excellent time, but when we arrived near the prominent steep-sided sandstone cliff the tide turned against us and the wind dropped, so it was back to our yulohs again. Gradually we made progress towards the centre of Torbay where the effect of the ebb was less and where we were likely to pick up what little wind there was in the shadow of the land to windward. We were surprised at the strength of the ebb current as it moved southwards past Brixham Harbour, but by sailing well to the north before doing a final tack we gained access the Harbour where we moored at the Sailing Club pontoon.

The skipper of ‘Oronso’, a grand 31’ Moody yacht, made us very welcome. He and his crew had been stormbound for many days on his way from the upper reaches of the Bristol Channel - even 9 frustrating days he spent at the tiny Cornish port of Newlyn. He had wisely chosen not to sail the day our little craft had arrived at Salcombe.

The Brixham Yacht Club staff and members received us warmly by making their facilities at our disposal, including the use of their showers and afterwards by providing a cooked meal at a very reasonable price. One member even made his dinghy available for us so that we could get ashore from the pontoon.

Thursday, 19th July.

It was one of those gorgeous, calm sunny mornings as we cast off from the pontoon at Brixham Sailing Club. Al led the way by efficiently sculling ‘Little Jim’ while I paddled ‘Faith’ rather more slowly behind him. I wished my yuloh had been working properly so that I could have kept up with the leader. I had not made the pivot hole in the shaft sufficiently wide to allow me to rotate the blade properly.

Even beyond the promontory of Berry Head there was little wind. Al’s racing car green boat with her tan sail was almost a dot near the horizon by the time a zephyr stirred ‘Faith’ into action. Gradually I made my way towards the south while Al took his boat northwards for the shore, our courses converging until the situation was reversed. I maintained a track parallel to the coast well to the south, clear of the land, while Al searched for onshore breezes near the beach.

Creamy cumulus clouds floated above the land and directly overhead the sky was a perfectly pale blue; seaward there was a thin veil of dark grey cloud with a hint of thunder. Both boats slowly sailed to the east. By mid afternoon ‘Faith’ lay abeam of the seaside resort of Teignmouth, unmistakeable for its high bluff of dark red coloured cliff to the west the river Teign. Beyond, 45 degrees from the port bow lay the tiny seaside town of Dawlish and beyond I could see the sand of Dawlish Warren pointing in the direction of Exmouth. I frequently looked at the changing map on my Garmin GPS to confirm ‘Faith’ was heading towards the Pole Sands, a constantly moving sandbank that we hoped to cross because our boats only required a few inches of water. By doing so we would save a distance of nearly 3 miles.

When abeam of Dawlish Town I was struck with the beauty of the place from seaward. There were outcrops of sandstone cliffs carved and sculpted into attractive abstract shapes by the action of sea and wind. They reminded me of the works of Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth, both of whom were influenced by the beauty of natural forms moulded by wind and water.

Approaching the Pole Sands both boats found themselves partners again after sailing different courses and the intrepid Al took the lead again. We called out the depths of water as it gradually began to shallow; then ‘Little Jim’ came to a halt causing Al to jump over the side to float his boat clear. The same thing happened to ‘Faith’. Little by little we worked our craft over the sands as the water rapidly ebbed. Behind we observed breaking wavelets before solid land suddenly popped out of the water. The action was instantaneous and all of a sudden we were trapped while water rushed by as if charging down a rapid. Al had already laid his anchor when he waded towards me to help me lay mine. There was no danger, just a delay as we waited for the flood tide, taking the opportunity for cooking an early evening meal.

While we awaited the return of the water a young man dressed in a black wetsuit lazily sailed and dragged his Topper dinghy with the sail number 33347 towards the beach at Exmouth. Two open catamarans moved slowly beyond the sands on the seaward side of the Pole Sands and a man looking rather concerned for our welfare stood on the Warren beach. He was beyond hailing distance; therefore we could not reassure him that we were perfectly happy with our situation. Tripper boats, fishing launches and numerous small craft motored in on the incoming tide that charged up the main channel between the off-lying bank where we were stranded and Exmouth town beach. Waves from their wakes disturbed gulls searching for food at the water’s edge.

When the tide obligingly lifted our boats we used the current to whisk us beyond the harbour, then by the lifeboat and into a sandy cove adjacent to Imperial Park near the slipway we were to use the next morning. At this point Bill Churchhouse appeared wading in a pair of blue welly boots; the tanned spritely figure introduced himself and in no time we were chatting about boats as if we had been friends for years. He had entered the 2006 Jester Challenge Atlantic Race and was an entrant for the 2010 race. His boat with the name ‘Belgean’ was aground nearby on a raised level of sand. To anchor there cost nothing and as he was living aboard his Westerly 22 during the summer months he was appreciative of the facility. She looked the part with a self-steering gear and a transparent observation dome.

True to his word he turned up in his tender before high water on Friday morning (20th July) to help us retrieve our boats. Al took his ashore first because he could winch ‘Little Jim’ onto the trailer from very shallow water without getting the wheels of his trailer wet. Putting my boat on her trailer was more problematic. By the time the water was deep enough the incoming tide was intent on whisking her to one side, but as I held her centrally on the trailer Al winched in the boat. I quickly jumped into the car and pulled the trailer clear by using a long length of rope. Bill Churchouse and Al chocked the wheels so that the trailer would not roll down the slipway and I released the rope and backed the car for attaching the trailer to it.

Another interested party in our Paradoxes, by the name of Mike joined the ensuing conversation. He had been busily taking photos of the retrieval events. These photos he would send to me via the Internet and he also told me his Seawych bilge keel yacht was for sale, whereupon I said I would gladly add an advertisement on my web site. The journey home by road was very tedious because it took 7 hours on account of the volume of traffic, it being the first day after the schools had broken up for the summer recess and because the rain was absolutely torrential, causing accidents and breakdowns. Road works added to the delay in getting home.

In retrospect, Al and I had enjoyed a fortnight’s cruise despite the bad weather and we made tentative murmurings that we might have another attempt at the Scilly Isles next year after seeing the start of the Jester Azores Challenge Race at Plymouth. For such plans so much depends upon personal circumstances and the vagaries of the weather.

Monday, July 16, 2007

To Plymouth

Rainy Day

I’m not superstitious and yet it is Friday 13th July and the barometer hits a low and there is rain for much of the day. What best to do? Al and I beached our boats at St Just in Roseland and took the car to Truro where we did essential shopping. I for one need ‘GAZ’ canisters for the cooker, milk and tomatoes. Al was desperate for a book, as he had exhausted his library.

While at Truro we visited the Cathedral which is something of a jewel. The architecture inside is supreme beautiful with high vaulted brick ceilings, magnificent pillars, and three large rose windows decorated with colourful stained glass. There’s a superb carved alter wall at the east end full of biblical figures. In the town there is a large pedestrian precinct with all the usual shops and stores.

After our short stay at Truro we moved on to Falmouth where we took the ‘Park and Ride’ service to avoid the difficulty of parking in the town. Despite the appalling wet weather, the main street was full of visitors and the red white and blue bunting strung across the road provided a festive atmosphere. We bought traditional Cornish pasties for consumption at Boat Park near the Maritime Museum where we had a view of the harbour.

Instead of returning to St Just via Truro we took a shortcut by using the King Harry Chain Ferry, and it was just as well we did, for the water was about to float our boats, but not before we had laid out anchors for hauling them into deep water. We used our yulohs to edge across the wind for re-setting the anchors, and as we did so down came the rain in torrents lasting for three hours. Needless to say, I used the time aboard to carry out two jobs: the first was fixing the GPS bracket, because it had come loose, and the second was repairing the join for the water pump that came away from the screw top attaching it to the water tank.

Because the wind was almost gale force, our boats bounced up and down and continued to do so into the night.

14th July

We sailed from St Just to Polruan and picked up mooring there. It was a great sail with a following wind and the sun all day.

15th July

It was a terrible morning with incessant rain. A three mast square rigger named the ‘Earl of Pembroke’ entered the harbour. Al took me in his boat to the town pontoon at Fowey in search of a chandler open on a Sunday. Sure enough we found one and bought the chart.

16th July

We left the moorings at 0840 and tacked out of the entrance to head for the Udder Rock buoy. Visibility was not great but Loe Island came into view. Al took a more windward course which paid off, because I had a real struggle around Rame Head, having to tack to get around it against the ebb. Al waited for me at Cawsands where we met for the run towards Drake Island. Barnpool was not protected from the wind so we made our way to Millbrook Creek and anchored in 10 feet of water at 1740.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

9th to 12th July

Helford River etc (Four Days)

On Monday 9th of July while in St Just Creek I was surprised to find Al in ‘Little Jim’ alongside. He had launched his Paradox an hour or so before. We had a great chat catching up on all the news.

Tuesday, 10th July

Tuesday morning there was drizzle on and off, but we made sail for Falmouth where I wanted to shop for food and batteries. The wind was force at least force 5, more likely 6, which made getting into the pontoons difficult. I sailed in an lay beside a large yacht and I was instructed by the person in charge to move because ‘Faith’ was obstructing the Pilot Boat. As I could not use the yuloh efficiently because of an error in construction I had no option but to sail for Mylor where I had arranged to meet Chas, a longstanding sailing friend, but like Falmouth, because of the strong wind I could not take the boat in safely; therefore Al and I sailed across the River Fal for St Just.

Wednesday, 11th July

There was a weak ridge of high pressure over the British Isles and for the first time sun broke through the clouds. At last the solar panel was charging the battery satisfactorily.

Both boats left St Just Creek at 0815 bound for the Helford River. Sailing across Falmouth Bay was great fun as the force 4 wind was off the shore and the water was smooth, enabling us to make 4 knots and even up to 5 for short bursts. When it came to tacking in the River, Al took the lead and left ‘Faith’ behind. It became obvious I was not sailing my boat correctly, or the sail was inefficient, or the boat was not ballasted correctly for going to windward.

We anchored just inside the mouth of the river by a sandy beach protected with extending rocks, where we had lunch in bright sunshine. Afterwards we sailed to the pontoons at Helford River Sailing Club, we had a super walk exploring the picturesque village. Sadly the cream teas cafĂ© had closed down. While doing the walk I inadvertently dropped my sailing hat and it wasn’t until I arrived back at the boat that I noticed it was missing. I retraced the walk and found the cap on the grass beside the path leading to the ferry slip.

Back at the club we had showers and Al ate out, while I cooked a meal before joining him for a drink at the Club. Whenever we were at the boats people would ask questions about their origin and design.

That night was very peaceful because the wind dropped and out boats had dried out.

Thursday, 12th July

We spent the morning walking to St Anthony Head and set sail in the afternoon for St Just. There was a following wind of force 4 which gave us high speed across Falmouth Bay. ‘Faith’ briefly touched 6 knots!

Back at St Just we relaxed and watched DCA boats as they came in from their exploits.

Tomorrow the forecast is for rain and a southerly force 7; therefore we’ll beach the boats and take to the car for Falmouth and other places.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Two Days

Sunday, 8th

Saturday’s forecast was variable becoming SW 3/4 increasing 5 or 6, heavy showers, good visibility, occasionally moderate. As I had breakfast while anchored at St Mawes I admired the scenery; seaward the colours were magical with huge white clouds reflected in an undulating mirror sea. I set sail for the River Fal and as ‘Faith’ neared the entrance to St Just Creek a swish black launch headed towards us and her skipper shouted, “You have a very distinctive boat,” to which I replied, “She is a bit different.” And that’s what I love about Paradox.

Changing course to the west I made a beeline for the lee, south of Restrongate Creek where tall trees kept the wind at bay, and there set the anchor. A sleek ‘Firebird’ catamaran lay quietly at her mooring a cable to the north and to the south were hundreds of boats tethered to the Mylor trots.

While having lunch a blue ‘Cruz’ drew alongside and Richard and Mark of the Dinghy Cruising Association introduced themselves. Later I observed two more dinghies flying the distinctive blue white and yellow pennant of the DCA. One was large varnished clinker boat with a high peeked lugsail and mizzen, the other was similar to a small Drascombe open boat.

At 1420 I broke out the anchor and hoisted sail with only 2 panels and in the strong wind we made 3.7 knots with an angle of heel of 20 degrees while on the wind. After an hour and a half I returned to nearly the identical spot in the lee of the trees. Later that evening after dinner and ablutions I discovered the laptop computer only had 18% battery power and therefore I could not write up the daily log. Before nightfall I was privileged to see the most beautiful double rainbow while around the boat cormorants or shags were catching their evening meal of fish. The fish were so abundant, shoals of them were breaking surface in a frenzy, presumably because a predator was after them.

Just before dusk the trip boat the, ‘Enterprise’ passed within a few feet while blasting out piped music; she was taking a party of holiday makers up the River to an inn, the name I cannot recall, but probably it was ‘The Anchor’. (Nearly all pubs by rivers have that name.)

In contrast to the unwelcome noise from the ‘Enterprise’ the quiet of the night was a joy, and I had a peaceful sleep.

Monday, 9th

The weather forecast predicted the wind would be stronger than yesterday, following the same pattern with heavy showers.

By 0730 we were underway and I cleaned the mud off the Danforth anchor, but in so doing I managed to get some rather large dollops on my sleeves, which later on dried and almost disappeared. Almost an hour after leaving the anchorage I set the anchor again before beaching on the shingle at St Just in Roseland. I took the laptop and mobile phone to Pasco’s Yard where Julian let me put them on charge. When anchored a few yards out after the shore escapade that included getting water and disposing the rubbish, a Hartley 14 came alongside with a crew of two; the helmsman introduced himself as Alan and he reminded me he had sent me an email in which he said he hoped to meet me at the DCA rally.

While anchored for lunch I checked the wiring on the solar panel and I found I had wired it incorrectly which accounted for the fact that the ship’s battery was low. After rectifying the fault the charger sprang into life.

At 1230 I set saile and followed several of the DCA dinghies bound for the sandy beach at the entrance to Mylor Creek. It was pretty boisterous with breakers brought about by the force 4 or 5 wind, maybe more; therefore I was not surprised when nearly all the boats returned and one crew wished my good luck. Outside in fairway ‘Faith’ came into her own having only 3 panels of sail she was sailing at 2.5 knots almost into the eye of the wind. Along the western shore by Restrongate and Loe Beach the sailing was exciting. There the water was smooth and the wind had increased causing ‘Faith’ to touch 5 knots while reaching. She gave a very comforting feel with no anxiety as she heeled between 20 and 30 degrees. I had the time of my life reaching and beating over and over again before sailing to the narrows at the northern end of the River.

When we returned to St Just in Roseland, there was Al in ‘Little Jim’; he very smartly used his yuloh to come alongside. We had a happy reunion and chatted for two-and-quarter hours before he took his boat to a slightly more protected anchorage within the Creek. We had arranged to use channel 77 at 0800 tomorrow.

Having eaten, washed and shaved I began typing this log and I’m hoping the wind will die down so that I’ll have a good sleep before tomorrow. The morning’s forecast is for much of the same – strong west to northwest winds and heavy showers.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

St Mawes

High water at Falmouth was at 1057 BST which meant I could launch ‘Faith’ at 0815 from the pebbly beach at St Just in Roseland. Everything went to plan and that was partly due to the fact there was hardly any wind, but there was sufficient to allow me to sail out of the creek into the River Fal where the wind freshened a little from the North West. That was ideal for a sail to Helford River, about 3 nautical miles from Pendennis Point

As ‘Faith’ sailed across Falmouth Bay on a fine reach I enjoyed looking at scenery; to the north there were some white beaches and behind them large buildings, including a prominent hotel, and to the south there were two ships at anchor laying side by side while transferring their cargo. Before I arrived off the entrance to the Helford River both ships got under way; the smaller black hulled vessel with a white superstructure crossed ahead in search of an anchorage. I was impressed by the way that whoever was in charge of the vessel carefully considered my slow progress and patiently waited until I was well clear before going astern to set the anchor.

The weather was almost perfect with white clouds set against an azure sky. ‘Faith’ sailed mostly unattended on her course towards Helford where the wind petered out giving me an opportunity to try the yuloh. There was no way I could get into the Helford River, as the ebb was on the run; I therefore turned the boat towards Falmouth with the prospect of playing with the sail to make the best of the fickle light wind. I had never before sailed close to the shore of Falmouth Bay and as the wind came in from the North West I took the opportunity. By then hundreds of yachts were sailing towards Helford from Falmouth and nearby there were many Pico dinghies from Bob Warren’s Sailing School practising their capsize drill in the lee of the cliffs.

When I arrived back at Pendennis Point the ebb was on the run and making into the Fal Estuary was hard going because the wind was negligible. I wondered if I would be able to pass to the north of Black Rock Beacon, which is an enormous monument with two black balls on the top, marking the spot of the infamous rock right in the middle of the entrance to the Fal.

I spent three hours trying to make progress northwards against the wind and the ebb tide; in the end I gave up and ran for St Mawes where I anchored in 15 feet of water to the east of the granite Castle. Setting the anchor was OK, but I had to make sure I was well away from three other yachts at anchor and as I tried rolling in the sail it did not go perfectly so the end of the boom went into the water, but I dropped the anchor astern and moved it forwards before sorting out the mess with the rig.

‘Faith’ is such an unusual boat she causes people to come and have a look; one such person, with the name of Jason, was intrigued with her. He spent a full half hour alongside on a fact-finding mission. He had a large Westerly yacht that he renovated after she had sunk.

As I type this log ‘Faith’ is sheltered from the North wind, but she is near the fairway that the St Mawes Ferry uses and every half hour I’m subjected to the buffeting of her wash and there are numerous runabouts going to and fro, some deliberately come close for the fun of it. I guess my night here will not be very quiet, as it is a Saturday which most probably means there will be a lot of activity well into the early hours of the morning.

Friday, July 06, 2007

St Just in Roseland

Although it was a howling gale I left home at 0515 for the West Country, reliant upon my TomTom road navigator which took me almost to the destination, but lead me up the creek! Not the one I wanted. The road became nothing more than a horse track that ended ta farm with a large driveway. The owner was very friendly and gave me instructions for finding St Just in Roseland where I arrived at 1415. It was much as I remembered it three years ago when I sailed into St Just Creek. There’s a delightful village church and a narrow winding lane leading to the pebbly beach where I’m hoping I’ll be able to launch ‘Faith’ on the late morning tide tomorrow.

On arrival I introduced myself to Julian who runs Pasco’s Boat Yard. He gave me permission to leave my car and trailer among a few laid up yachts. He let me use his freshwater hose to top up the water ballast. The wind continued to blow at gale force from the west directly into St Just Creek where I’m ready to spend the night after a good walk.

At the time of making up this log there is no sign of any other DCA sailors, but the NW Section’s holiday meeting is not due to start until tomorrow, and I guess most of them work for a living. It will take them a good time to travel south and set up camp. Maybe they’ll brave the gale which is due to moderate tomorrow and further still on Sunday.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Improving Weather?

It’s been a very long wait through most of June and into July for signs of improving weather. The Met Office confirmed that June was the wettest ever since recordings began; so maybe what remains of July will be mostly sunny. I can only hope this will be the case and with this glimmer of hope I’ll be setting off by road on the morning of Friday, 6th June for the trek to the West Country – most probably to St Just in Roseland to link up with the DCA NW group’s holiday meeting.

The forecast is as follows:

Lyme Regis to Lands End including Isles of Scilly

Issued by the Met Office at 1800 UTC on Thursday 05 July 2007

24 hour forecast:

Wind - West or southwest 6 to gale 8 decreasing 4 or 5.
Weather - Rain at first.
Visibility - Moderate or poor becoming good.
Sea State - Rough.

Outlook for the following 24 hours:

Wind - West or southwest 4 or 5 becoming variable 3 or less.
Weather - Fair.
Visibility - Good.
Sea State - Rough becoming slight or moderate.

Monday, July 02, 2007

No Respite

The awful weather is unrelenting; there’s no respite - low after low bringing rain, heavy showers and strong winds with deceptive sunshine peeping through the clouds now and again. Wimbledon, strawberries and cream says it all!

Here’s the forecast for the next 48 hours:

Lyme Regis to Lands End including Isles of Scilly

Issued by the Met Office at 1800 UTC on Monday 02 July 2007

24 hour forecast:

Wind - Southwest veering west 5 or 6, occasionally 7, decreasing 4 for a time.
Weather - Rain or showers.
Visibility - Moderate or good.
Sea State - Moderate or rough.

Outlook for the following 24 hours:

Wind - Southwest 5 or 6, occasionally 7.
Weather - Showers.
Visibility - Mainly good.
Sea State - Moderate or rough.

My friend Richard sailing his 40’ yacht with two crew members to help him is finding the going at sea quite challenging as he heads for the Channel Islands from the Solent. I guess me in my 14’ boat would find it much more challenging on the open water, especially as my course from Exmouth to Dartmouth and beyond would be into the wind; therefore the postponement of my West Country cruise continues until more favourable conditions arise.