Sunday, February 28, 2010

'Pinto's' Summer Cruise, part 2

Eddystone Lighthouse


Wednesday, 30th July

By 0230 we could no longer see the flash of the Eddystone Light which placed us about 15 miles from it on a bearing of 070 degrees. By 1040 the Lizard Lighthouse could clearly be seen ahead. According to the log, during the past eighteen- and-a-half hours we had only sailed sixteen miles, which gave us an average speed of 1.16 knots. By 1130 we were a couple of miles south of the Lizard. A high pressure area to the north was depriving us of wind. In fact there was a dead calm and a perfect azure sky. Sunhats and light clothing kept us from being burnt by the sun’s rays. Coasters and freighters passed us frequently in the shipping lane a mile or so to the south of us. We decided it was safe for a swim, but this time we examined the tranquil surface of the sea before taking the plunge. We didn’t know for sure if a shark was nearby, although I doubt it would have been interested in us, certainly not as prey. Nevertheless we were vigilant, and had the boarding ladder over the side for a quick exit.

Lizard Lighthouse as viewed from the sea

Lizard Point

A haze began to develop high in the sky, causing a hint of a halo around the sun. In turn a faint wind from the north allowed us to use the spinnaker on a fine reach. Gradually the wind increased in strength from force 2 to force 3 and we began to scoot along. The wind backed to the northwest and freshened to force 4 which had us taking down the spinnaker and replacing it with the Genoa. At 1545 Land’s End bore 320 degrees. The sea was still smooth which allowed ‘Pinto’ to move at her maximum speed of six knots. Within an hour-and-a-half we were excited to see the Wolf Rock lighthouse fine on our port bow about three miles away. Providing the wind remained steady, we had all the power we needed for maintaining our course. Therefore we passed within three cable of the Lighthouse to take in the scale and detail.

Wolf Rock Lighthouse

Peninnis Light

From there on for the next nineteen miles there was nothing, apart from the sea, between us and Peninnis Head which marks the entrance to St Mary’s Sound at the Scilly Isles. We were averaging very nearly six knots, which meant we arrived in the offing shortly before dark. Going in at night was not difficult because there was good visibility, and buoys like Spanish Ledge Buoy were lighted to guide us in. We sailed around the Garrison and anchored off Hugh Town Harbour at 2245. Very pleased with ourselves we made a hot snack and turned in.

No comments: