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.

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