Cruising Calendar

2019 Sailing season planned cruises

Fowey: 20th to 21st April
Salcombe: 4th to 6th May
Fowey: 25th to 27th May
Western Cruise (Fowey, Falmouth Sea Shanty Festival, Scilly Islands & Brittany coast): 12th to 23rd June
Eastern Cruise (Salcombe, Dartmouth, Brixham & Lyme Bay): 6th to 13th July
Fowey: 20th to 21st July
Fowey Regatta: 18th to 24th August
Fowey: 24th to 26th August
Salcombe & Dartmouth: 7th to 14th September
River Yealm: 28th to 29th September


2018 Sailing season planned cruises

Fowey: 21st to 22nd April
Fowey: 5th to 7th May
Salcombe: 26th to 28th May
Fowey: 2nd to 4th June
Tamar Anchorages: 9th to 10th June
Western Cruise inc Isles of Scilly: 25th June to 4th July
Salcombe: 14th to 15th July
Fowey Regatta: 9th to 25th August
Fowey: 24th to 27th August
Dartmouth and Tor Bay: 1st to 8th September
Local Weekend: 15th to 16th September


2018 Sailing season reports

Cruise to Fowey: Sandra Lerpiniere

OK so I signed up to Cruise no 2, my first with Cattewater CC, now I’m committed, especially as I have keen as mustard Paul Mac along to help me. We all met at muster point at 10.30 as arranged, not much wind so a gentle motor sail set in, with mother duck and all her ducklings following.  After a few miles myself and Paul decided to head out a few degrees in the search of wind, which amazingly we found, out came the Genoa, off went the engine, and albeit slowly we sailed the rest of the journey with the excitement of 6/8 dolphins, dancing about the bows and lifting us on our way towards Fowey. We arrived at Fowey, a pontoon had been booked, and the boats already berthed, were standing ready to catch our lines, always a welcome sight, extra hands. A meal ashore was eagerly anticipated, and we were not disappointed. The Lugger had been booked, so we ate, drank, and made merry, going for a night cap, or two in some people’s cases 😊at the Gallant Sailing Club.

Sunday dawned and my helping hand namely Paul who doesn’t like to sit still for too long, suggested a trip to Mevagissey, those that wanted to jumped on Tamarisk and off we headed, leaving others to play with dinghies and new outboards, or take a stroll up hill and down dale.  We motored across St Austell bay, went into Mevagissey, it’s small in there, did a quick U turn, and headed out again. Maybe one day with more experience I will return and stay a night.  We drifted and lunched, freshly cut sandwiches, homemade cakes, a nice bottle of red, then headed back along the coast in the general direction of Fowey avoiding what we decided was a fish farm, up to a mile off shore and probably about half a mile wide, marked with yellow buoys at each corner.  Once past this obstacle, we headed into a beautiful little bay called Polkerris. Paul suggested anchoring, and after a discussion, down went the anchor, on went the kettle, tea and cake anyone ???? We tried desperately hard to sail back, but with the eta at Fowey getting later and later, on went the engine, with lovely people waiting on the pontoon to catch our lines again.  A free evening saw myself and Paul eating on board and relaxing as the sun set, while others headed ashore for showers and a meal.  Monday saw us all up and leaving by 9.30 A gentle motor again, but if there’s no wind what else can we do!!

I would like to say a big thank you to Alan Eves for organising the cruise, a big thank you to the rest of the cruise boats for making me feel welcome and helping with berthing etc.  And an extra special thank you to my  sailing buddy, whose energy abounds and at the tender age he is let’s nothing stand in his way. Amazing !!!!

Fowey: The gin cruise by Pip Shell

Moody and Drascombe Weekend

Friday 13th July 2018 depart Plymouth to Fowey
Beautiful day, calm sea and what little wind available was straight on the bow. Never the less Sundance and Paloma headed west for Fowey in good spirits. Despite the fact that, Paloma’s auto helm was in the repair shop and not a bit of the white stuff in sight Roger and myself happily took turns at the helm and thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful British weather.
Alan had previously reserved space on Pontoon No.3. Once secured, Sundance kids came aboard for afternoon tea. During the interim and prior to getting comfortable and unknown by Roger and myself we were minus all the shortbread biscuits but one, which were put out for our visitors, even Roger could not have managed to eat those in that period time! It would appear our first visitors were Fowey Gulls!!
Margaret saved the day and arrived with homemade sausage rolls.
Ian having trailed his Drascombe Chnusper-Hasli to Mixtow, moored with us on the Pontoon, using Sundance as a base for Bed and Breakfast.

Ian arrives on Chunusper-Hasli

Saturday morning Ian and Alan jumped ship and took part in the Drascombe rally

A flying start to the Rally

This left Margaret and myself going ashore. Heading for the Royal Fowey Yacht Club followed by what girls do best “Cruising the Shops”.
During this period we received a phone call from the elusive Graham on Rose of Truro! searching for us (we were hidden on the inside of pontoon 3).He made alternative arrangements and moored on a buoy. He had been fortunate enough to obtain enough wind to carry out a little sailing and to sight a large pod of dolphins, which he also managed to do on the return journey, no luck with us lesser mortals!
Sunday the Moody fleet, Sundance, Rose of Truro and Paloma returned to Plymouth and lot emptier in the Diesel department. The weather overall was lovely and a great weekend had by all.

Sundance leading the way home



Members’ individual cruises

Single-handing to the Scillies

Ever since I bought Tranquillity last year I had been dreaming of revisiting the Scilly Islands whose white sands and blue seas are so reminiscent of our dreams of south sea paradise. So it broke my  heart when the CCC cruise there clashed with a must go family event. The fact that the club didn’t make it wasn’t going to discourage me, nor was the lack of willing crew so on Sunday 8th July I was up at 05.30, packed and drove down to Plymouth. After victualling at Morrisons, lunching on tea and pork pie, the afternoon was spent topping up fuel and water, checking the engine and otherwise preparing to sail. The early evening was devoted to drinking in The Bridge discussing the differing attractions of diving and sailing with Freddie whom i got to know while being reberthed to N pontoon during dredging operations over the winter. Finally a couple of cups of tea with Sandra settled me down for an early night.

Monday 9 July

Awoke at 04.30 and left the pontoon by 05.20 in order to catch the west setting tide. There was enough wind to sail nearly up to Rame Head but it dropped to a Force 2 leaving me no option but to motor nearly to Falmouth while reading happily in a sunny cockpit as the autopilot buzzed away in the background. I saw few other boats on the whole trip and no interesting birds  though an enormous flock of gulls near Looe suggested a shoal of fish near the surface..The Northerly F4 that eventually appeared, gave me 5.5 kts into the Helford River where I dropped the main and tied up to a green visitors buoy in the Pool at 14.45 under a blue sky and 28 degrees. Tea and a book whiled away the afternoon leading to a peaceful evening devoted to ringing and texting family and dining on tinned pie, leeks, orange and beer. Bed at 20.15 ready for another tide catching early start.

Tuesday 10 July

Dropped the buoy at 0520 and sailed out into a NE F5 which gave me 6 kts past the Manacle Rocks. A rising wind and difficult gybe which spilled my bowl of cereals and cup of tea all over the cockpit persuaded me to play safe and put two reefs in the main. This only reduced my speed from 7 kts down to the original 6 kts. By 0715, though, the wind had eased to F3 and so I took them out again. At 08.00 I was due S of the Lizard in NE F4 which, with the tide gave me SOG of 7.3 kts. Shearwaters flew past close to the wave tops as usual. At 09.20 a racing Catamaran passed me with foam flying from his lee hull. An hour later the wind had died away and clouds developed so I had to resort to motor. The day was young and I felt fresh so I decided to abort my original plan of breaking the journey in Newlyn, so set course for Wolf Rock which I passed at 12.00 noticing 3 more yachts on the horizon seemingly also heading for the Scillies, With an E F3 and a pronounced Northerly swell the sea was confused now which left me wondering if such a long leg was a good idea. I was getting tired and my stomach was upset and so, using my phone as an alarm, I managed to get several 5 minute doses which helped. At 17.15 I made a clean entry in sun through St Mary”s Sound, could find no buoys in Hugh Town harbour and so anchored in what proved to be an illegal spot. Despite a friendly greeting from a woman in a dinghy, I felt too tired to get the dinghy out and  go ashore so tidied the boat and sat admiring the scenery. Due to my upset stomach, al I managed for dinner was soup and water followed by an early night.

Wednesday 11 July

After a good night’s sleep I looked forward to a good breakfast but found that my milk had gone off so had to put up with mint tea followed by a boiled egg and marmite toast. While waiting for the Harbour Master to charge me £19.50, find me a buoy and tell me off very gently for anchoring within the harbour area, I rang my son Ben who was in hospital with a fractured spine. He was very cheerful since they were pleased with his progress and were starting to sit him up. It was time to pump up the dinghy and head ashore to explore St Mary’s beginning with tea and toasted tea cake in the first and best cafe that I found. A good walk around the southern half of the island included a visit to the RNLI Station, the Porth Cressa beach and anchorage and a circumnavigation of the Garrison peninsula. One thing that surprised me was the extraordinary number of cars there were on a small island with few roads. It was a warm day and so, after shopping in the Coop I treated myself to a locally made ice cream. Lunch on board consisted of a BLT sandwich and water before casting off at 13.30 and motoring across over the shallows to New Grimsby Sound between Tresco and Bryher. All of the mooring buoys had been taken so I had to anchor which took 4 attempts due partly to the weed clogging the anchor and also the way different boats were hanging at so many different angles. Doing that single handed involving lots of hauling of chain and rushing backwards and forwards from stem to stern left me exhausted so I settled down in the hot sun, ate the second BLT sandwich washed down with milky coffee while admiring the views of the castle and the scaffold on the top of Hangman’s Island. By 16.30 I felt recovered enough to explore a little of Tresco past the Town Hill pub and along the western shore where 3 kids carelessly let their blow up unicorn blow away to sea. It didn’t seem to unduly worry them. After a San Miguel at the Abbey Farm pub I had a long motor against the tide back to the boat. Dined on fishcake and salad, finished my book and bed.

Thursday 12 July

Up at 05.30 and discovered that England had lost so after a gentle breakfast I took the dinghy to the Bryher Low Water Quay struggling with the sea weed which kept try to tangle the outboard prop. Nevertheless I was able to drag the dinghy up onto the beautiful fine white sand and went exploring. The island is obviously set up for tourism but, apart from the hotel complex by Hell Bay you still get a sense of an old fishing community where everything is done on a small scale. The walk to Hell Bay and its rain starved lake was exhilarating and passed several surprises such as a modern shop, an old fire station, a grass tennis court which doubled as a football pitch and two uses for retired red post boxes – one as a micro museum and the other as a greenhouse for sunflowers. The only birds seemed to be gulls and sparrows though later I did see a pair of oystercatchers on Hangman’s Rock. After tea and newly baked scone at the Ivy Cafe I had a look at Fraggle Rock Bay and was back on the boat by 12.30. At 17.30 I again went ashore again hoping to have dinner there but, luckily as it turned out, they were all fully booked so I went to the fishmonger by the quay and bought the first freshly caught mackerel of the season plus a lobster sandwich and crab quiche. Just as I was arriving back at the boat I heard shouts from several boats to discover that despite having been at anchor for 24 hours without trouble, spring tides of 4 kts and weed on the anchor had caused be to drag and I was heading back into the moored boats at speed. Thank god for responsible skippers since two of them dashed across to me and helped to get up the anchor and show me where I could safely anchor in Green Bay with shallow water and low tides. Since getting home, the purchase of an extra 40 metres of chain should stop that happening again. Dinner was a grilled mackerel with bread, butter and tomatoes followed by a short sleep until 22.00 when the boat grounded as expected. Once it had settled I slept until 02.00 when the boat had lifted but somehow wrapped the anchor warp around the keel which involved pulling it up at the anchor end then releasing the bitter end, unwrapping and retying it. Back to bed.

Friday 13th July

Awoke at 05.00 and away by 05.30 which allowed me to get back through the shallows and round the northern coast of St Mary’s before the tide fell. I did pay for this later when I had adverse tides between Lands End and The Lizard, but a different route out of the islands would have been even slower. Anyway, the weather was fine with a northerly F2 and slight sea so motored out  on a 75 degree course for the mainland. At 07.30 3 dolphins briefly danced around the boat followed by 2 dozen gannets diving for fish so perhaps I had sailed through a mackerel shoal. At 08.40 I passed an 11 storey high P&O cruise ship dawdling down the shipping lane at no more than 5 kts. The wind slowly improved and so at 10.40 we were able to make 5.4 kts  in a northerly F4 and shortly after with Lands End on the beam, 6 guillemots flew up in front of the bow and I saw the first yacht of the day. Unfortunately by noon the wind had died again so we needed engine for a couple of hours during which time I was able to enjoy the luscious Bryher LLCT sandwich for lunch. (Lobster, lettuce, cucumber and tomato) 15.00 saw the wind die again and so the faithful old engine saw us past the Lizard ant 16.00 and into Helford by 18.30. Once again there were no buoys but luckily I found the Mooring Master who helped me raft up on “Panacea” whose skipper, he assured me, was miles away. As soon as he was gone, said skipper, called Graham, who keeps his boat in the Tamar, popped his head out of the companion way so we spent the evening chatting and drinking a bottle of Rioja between us. Dinner was the Bryher crab quiche.

Saturday 14th July

At 06.00 I helped Graham unmoor, had a milkless breakfast (a fridge would be nice) and was away by 06.30 passing through a large flock of black headed gulls in the entrance. Motor was needed again since the wind was only 4 kts but at least it gave me a flat sea with only the slightest of ripples. This lasted until the Draystone buoy just after Rame Head which allowed me to keep the binoculars out and observe 5 shearwaters flying past, another cruise ship on the horizon, 3 small fishing boats going in tight circles towing what I assumed were purse seine nets and a small stationary power boat with 2 rods out of the back with two guys seemingly asleep in the cockpit. The SW F4 which saw me into Plymouth, gave me some enjoyable sailing through the excitement if the Plymouth Regatta – it was a good thing that I had some knowledge of the racing rules, especially when I got caught up in the start of a big boat race. At !6.00 it was time to fill up with diesel, settle in my home berth, clean up and shower before going up to the Bridge to celebrate. Dinner was beautifully braised belly pork and 2 pints of bitter by which time Sandra had joined me, insisting that the beer needed washing down with a double whisky. If that was not enough, Colin and Val joined us on Tranquillity for Pimms, Tonic and wine as  we closed what, for  me, was a truly successful week.

Paul Mack

2017 Sailing season planned cruises

Fowey:  15th – 17th April
Fowey: 29 April – 1 May
Fowey: 13 May
Salcombe 27 – 29 May Salcombe
Channel Island Cruise 30 May – 11 June
Salcombe 17 – 18 June
Tamar Creeks and Anchorages 1 -2 July.
Fowey Falmouth and Isles of Scilly 5 – 15 July
Fowey Regatta 13 -19 August
Salcombe Dartmouth and Brixham 2 September – 9 September
Exploring local anchorages    16 September