The Lads Trip 2018 - Exe to the Yealm

We woke to a dull, overcast day and set about getting ready for going to sea. The winds were a lot lighter than forecast, a F1, and the sea state was smooth. At 0730 turned on the engine, hoisted the sail and slipped the visitors mooring. We were off on the combined Lads Trip and delivery of Aphrodite to her new home in Plymouth.

Delphi had a half hour start on us and at the Exe Safe Water Mark we could see that she was already at Dawlish, turned the wheel over to follow her. Sails fluttering in our own wind. Under engine we quickly caught her up as she was attempting to sail in extremely light airs. We pressed on under engine knowing that there was the tidal gate at Start Point that we had to catch and while disappointed to hear that Delphi had taken the decision to go into the Dart understood their decision.

After all the work in the engine I was interested to see how she went and was delighted with her performance. It sounded better than I have ever heard it. One slight heart in mouth moment as we rounded Start Point we felt a slight breeze and slowed down in order to unfurl the genoa we were convinced that the engine had stopped, but she was very quietly purring away in tick over.

I had been into the Yealm before, but only as crew so the pilotage was going to be interesting. Alex pulled out his Imray "The West Country Pilot" and entering the river was a doddle. Very impressed with that book and can see it on a birthday present list. We spotted the first visitors pontoon and decided to go and have a look at the second. Gulp, a real test of the engine at slow speeds. She performed admirably and we were able to control the boat through the plethora of very expensive boats. Having looked at the second pontoon we decided to go back to the first and tied up starboard side to. Time for a well earned beer.

A quick call to Craig and Stephanie found them in Plymouth and they popped over to Newton Ferries for a drink in the pub.

All in all a lovely simple first day of the season at sea. We retired to our bunks and slept soundly.

Crew: Sandy Garrity & Alex Bowling

Trip Stats: Distance: 51 nm, Avg speed: 6.00 knots, Max speed: 9.00 knots, Under way: 8 h 25 m.

Weather: Issued 28 April 2018 04:05 UTC

Sea area: Portland Wind: Southeast becoming cyclonic 5 to 7, then becoming west 4 or 5 later Sea State: Moderate or rough Weather: Rain, then showers Visibility: Good, occasionally poor at first.

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