Looking for the Fastnet Race

After a break away from the boat I finally had some time for a sail and early on Sunday morning a scratch crew, Neil, Garry and I set out for a trip round the bay. It was an early start 0700 and with a forecast of winds of F4/5 were looking forward to a good day on the water. In calm air on the river we raised the main, slipped the mooring at 0730 and headed downriver to the sea. There was talk of the Fastnet Race starting today and we might see them - little did we know the start was about noon and there was no way that they would be on this side of Lyme Bay until much later in the day.

A morning of variable winds followed, ranging from a F2 to a lively F5, giving us and the boat a good workout and given the conditions we decided to have lunch at anchor in Ansteys Cove, headed inshore. dropped the hook and spend a hour in the shelter of the cliff, so out of the wind, and enjoyed a relaxed lunch.

With the wind direction we had a cracking broad reach back to the Exe Safe Water Mark where we dropped the sails and headed in.

One of the challenges I have backed away from is picking up the mooring single handedly, but with two other experienced sailors on board today was going to be the day when I had to do it as I had the backup of people who could take over should things go wrong. The past issues where engine cut at very low revs has always given me that nagging doubt, but the engine was behaving, the wind was light and we were almost at high water, and I really, really, had to pick up that mooring on my own.

Garry and Neil stood at the transom as I lined the boat up, went to tick over, and at less than half a knot according to the GPS, picked up the boat hook and "sauntered" up the deck in a relaxed way, reached down and picked up the pickup buoy and pulled the chain onboard. We were on the mooring! A huge tick in the box. While it is something that I need to practice a few times I now know that it can be done! The only comment from Neil was to go into neutral as I left the cockpit next time.

Crew: Sandy Garrity, Garry and Neil

Weather Issued 6 August 04:05 UTC Sea area: Portland Wind: West, backing southwest, F4 or F5 Sea State: Slight or moderate Weather: Fair Visibility: Good Distance figures Distance: 38 nm Moving Average: 4.30 kts Max: 7 kts AIS Track