Not the Alderney Crossing

An end of summer long weekend had been planned for several months. Loosely based on the old Starcross Fishing and Cruising Lads Trip where we would head for Alderney and if the weather and wind was good end up there, if not then end up somewhere.

Originally a crew of four, one had a better offer and decided he would sail another day, leaving the three of us.

Joe and I drove down on Thursday evening, called in for victuals and fuel then headed to the boat, grabbed a bite to eat and got some sleep.

Alex joined us on Friday morning and we set about passage planning and checking the boat.

Departure was planned for 1900 (UTC) just as the sun was setting, heading east to Prawle Point, then due east to the north east point of the Casquets Traffic Separation Scheme finally crossing the TSS and into Braye. A passage of about 100 nautical miles or 20 hours.

We slipped the pontoon and headed out into Millbay and started to raise the sails when the ship that was docked there announced her departure with a loud blast on her horn just as we were raising the mainsail, we hurried back into King Point to let ship get underway.

With the ship well out of the way we sorted out the main and headed for the breakwater.

Joe, Sandy and Alex departing Plymouth Sound. Credit: Alex Bowling

With the sun setting the crew picture was taken and we past the break water. I went below to start the passage log and was worried to see the battery monitor displaying 12.7 volts with a discharge rate of 0.5 amps with the engine running something was wrong with the electrical system; either batteries or alternator.

Sitting quietly at the navigation station I came to the decision to turn back as we had no way of recharging the batteries at Alderney as we would be on a swing mooring. Time to address the crew!

I climbed back on deck and explained the situation, Alex and Joe were disappointed but agreed with my decision. We turned the boat round and headed back to the marina.

My next challenge was a night berthing, with no wind in the marina no gelcoat was damaged and once tied up, plugged in and in the saloon we all poured a large drink.

Crew: Sandy Garrity, Alex Bowling, Joe North

Weather: Issued by the Met Office at 19:00 (UTC+1) on Fri 6 Sep 2019

Lyme Regis to Lands End including the Isles of Scilly

24 hour forecast: West 5 or 6, veering north and decreasing 4 for a time. Moderate, occasionally rough at first near Isles of Scilly, becoming slight, but smooth at times in Lyme Bay. Occasional rain then showers for a time, mainly fair later. Good, occasionally moderate at first.

Outlook for the following 24 hours: North 4 or 5, becoming variable 4 or less. Mostly slight. Fair. Good.

Trip Stats: Distance: XX nm, Avg speed: X.XX knots, Max speed: X.XX knots, Under way: Xh XXm

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