Monday, January 02, 2012

Cruise of the ‘Ishani’, a 26’ Eventide – Part 2

The Scillies

We were not disappointed with Watermouth, for the holding and protection were good at the anchorage between Widmouth Head and Burrow Nose. At 1430 we upped anchor and said goodbye to the delightful cove with its gently sloping woodland to the water’s edge and nearby castle. After passing Ilfracombe our course was towards Hartland Point. Progressively the wind increased and we found ourselves reducing canvas until running before it with only the small staysail. Our Autohelm did a splendid job, allowing the watchman to keep under cover out of the elements. One by one we counted off the usual markers: first, Hartland Light at 2000, followed by Bude, Trevose Head, St Ives and Pendeen.

The next morning at 0800, Round Island radio beacon was within range. By use of the DF and distance run, we were able to plot our position and lay a course towards the Scillies. The Longships Lighthouse duly appeared, confirming we were on track. Later that day the grey outlines of islands gradually emerged from an almost equally grey sea, and the closer we came to them the more sure we were of where the entrance was to St Mary’s Sound. We felt the better option for gaining access to Hugh Town was the southerly route, because we didn’t feel like the more risky one over Crow Bar at the north end of St Mary’s. We needn’t have worried, because the Island ferry, the ‘Scillonian’, goes that way at or near high water. We anchored off Hugh Town in 10 feet of crystal clear water early that evening of 23rd May.

Bill had been suffering somewhat from seasickness, but as the yacht quietly lay to her anchor he quickly recovered. After a hearty meal we both turned in and had a good night’s sleep, waking fresh the next morning. Via the VHF Bill made a radio telephone call to his wife. She was relieved to learn that all had gone well and that we had arrived safely at the Islands. She in turn promised to phone my wife confirming all was well.

Times can be anxious for relatives left behind. They can imagine all sorts of happenings, especially if the weather is unsettled, but these days mobile phones have made communications a simple matter. Fifteen years ago, things were different. Landlines were the norm. Making a phone call at St Mary’s Island would normally have entailed inflating the dinghy, rowing her to the harbour; then walking to the telephone booth. Back at the boat, the dinghy would have to be cleaned, deflated and packed away or secured to the foredeck – a lot of hassle, but the exercise would have done you good!

Text for the Day

Colossians 3:14, 15 'But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.'

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