Tin Tin's Sailing Calendar

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Torquay to the Scilly Isles

Friday 29th April 2016
With Rebecca and Kyle on board we cast off at 10:00, after breakfast, into squally rain showers, and by 13:00 were abeam Start Point. The tide was against us and it took ages to fight into the westerly wind past Salcombe. Eventually we could tack in towards Plymouth to seek calmer waters, but shortly afterwards the wind began to veer towards the North and I tacked to lay a course for The Lizard. We were visited several times by harbour porpoises which came to play with us. As well as guillemots and gannets we saw several swallows flying low over the water heading for Britain. The wind was very cold and despite thermals and ski gear under our sailing suits, we got chilled easily. This wasn't helped by keeping the sprayhood down for greater speed and visibility.  Eventually Mark found a better sail trim, with a bit of reef in the main and genoa and we picked up speed nicely too make 7-9 knots in the right direction.
Supper of mushroom tortellini and bolognese sauce was served to the crew in the cockpit by Paul, who then didn't much feel like eating anything. Mark and Kyle took the first night watch from 1930 to 2300. .

Saturday 30th April 2016
Beccy and Paul took the second watch and by 2 in the morning we were racing along in fairly flat water past the intensely bright flash of the Lizard light, under a clear starlit sky. The moon startled us by appearing as bright orange triangle astern, as it rose. At 03:00 Mark and Kyle came on watch took over till 7am when the Scillies were just an hour ahead, clear in bright sunlight. We sailed into The Cove between Agnes and Gugh, and at 09:40 on Saturday 30th April anchored in 3 meters of crystal clear light blue water on sand. We had sailed 143 miles in 23 hours and 30 minutes. Just one other yacht in the bay with us. Very peaceful. The sand bar joining the islands sheltered us from the NW waves, and breakfast was a civilized affair in hot sunshine at the cockpit table.

We then set about getting ashore only to find that we had neglected the dinghy, which was without oars, and the outboard which hadn't been serviced and wouldn't start. :-( Paradise denied! Mark and Kyle worked on the engine, cleaned spark plugs etc, but it still wouldn't go. So we built a paddle from a boat hook and a plastic chopping board and went ashore to The Turks Head, where we enjoyed a pint and a bite of lunch. Tame thrushes came to watch us eat. Out in the bay we were amazed to see over 100 Scilly gigs massing for a race to St Marys and back. What a sight!

After lunch I decided to head to St Marys to get the outboard fixed. However Mark suggested that I try the outboard myself, and he was amazed when it burst into life. My secret? I turned the fuel tap on! So instead we headed back ashore for a long walk round the amazing rocks and little lanes. Back on board Beccy & Kyle excelled themselves by going in for a (rather brief) swim (11 degrees C).

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