Relaunch and a Visit to SV Bora Bora

I got down to Mayflower marina for 0700 UTC well in time for relaunch. The lifting crew arrived and had a cup of tea, what better way to start the day, before starting up the lift and relaunching me.

Being invited to go onboard with the boat still in the strops, half in and half out the water so I could check the through hull was watertight was a bit odd, but I had witnessed a boat sinking at Topsham a few years earlier because the owner had not fitted a through hull, and thought it was a excellent way of avoiding a flooding. The team walked the boat round to the fuel pontoon and it was then my turn to put the kettle on for a cuppa.

With the new depth sounder uncalibrated I was surprised at how close it read to the original, about 0.20 meter difference.

As I turned on the engine ready for departure one of the predicted showers arrived, a French friend calls them "waso pepe", roughly translated bird pee as they are so short. Set the lines for my usual single handed departure and one of the lift team assisted me, perhaps they were keen for me to get a move on as the next launch was being lined up.

Chugging out passed the pontoons it was good to finally see water speed, depth and water temperature (still too cold for swimming in my book). Passing a big red vessel on one of the pontoons I noticed that it was flying an A flag and a couple of chaps were holding pipes over the side, so took a wide slow course round them and headed up the Tamar towards Saltash where I had arranged to raft up with Bora Bora and her owners Morris, Steph and the dog Lammy.

I had not been up the Tamar since doing my RYA Day Skipper some years before. Passing the naval dockyard at Devonport is always interesting with lots of activity then you need to pass the fearsome jaws of the Torpoint Ferry. Three chain ferries that cross the Tamar and have right of way over any other vessel. With the ferries to contend with and being followed by a Landing Craft it made for an interesting half hour.

Just as I passed the entrance to the River Lynher I called Bora Bora and arranged lines and fenders. Lined up with appropriate line of trot moorings and slowly worked my way up the line until I spotted the boat. Rafting up is always a controlled crash, at least I was doing about 0.5 knots when we came alongside.

All tied up, I stepped aboard and was warmly greeted with a bottle of whisky! 1000 hours is usually too early for a dram, but as this was a special occasion we took exception and poured a small "taster."

Steph and Morris on Bora Bora, Saltash

News and talk of our summer's sailing plans were exchanged and I departed for the return trip down river. This time with the ebb tide and the trip was done in half the time as I had made it up river.

After an hour in Plymouth Sound where I had some space to do some maneuvers under engine to get the hang of the boats handling characteristics as it had been some time since we had been out in her. As ever she was faultless under engine and I am convinced that there were a few odd looks as I performed figures of eight going forward and backwards.

Time to head in and have some lunch, I don't think I'll ever be comfortable entering marinas, but arrived safely back on the berth with no damage to the gelcoat - result.

Crew: Sandy Garrity

Trip Stats: Distance: 11 nm, Avg speed: 4.40 knots, Max speed: 9.00 knots, Under way: 2 h 30 m.

Weather: Inshore waters forecast to 12 miles offshore 01:00 (UTC+1) on Fri 28 May 2021 to 01:00 (UTC+1) on Sat 29 May 2021

Lyme Regis to Lands End including the Isles of Scilly

24 hour forecast: Variable, becoming mainly east or northeast, 2 to 4. Mainly moderate west of The Lizard, otherwise smooth or slight. Occasional rain. Mainly good.


A Clean Hull

Finally, the 2021 season is starting. After months of not getting out of the marina, UK COVID lockdowns and May having some truly unseasonal weather

I booked Aphrodite into Mayflower Marina for a lift, powerwash and overnight hold. The overnight hold was so we had time to sort out a through hull that had been fitted when the hull was coppercoated back in 2019. The fitting was so tight we could not remove the blanking plated to fit the speed, depth and temperature sensor and with the trip round the UK about two months away I wanted all the instruments working.

As this was my first trip out of the marina Steve from Red Snapper kindly offered to be a responsible adult onboard and we met up at about 1300 (UTC) for the lift out at 1500.

After leaving King Point we had some time to spare and really wanted a bit more tide as we were on large springs and headed over to Queen Ann's Battery before turning west and motoring round to Mayflower. Where on arrival be parked Aphrodite on the fuel berth, handed her over to the lifting team and watched her being lifted out.

Lift out

Having watched the boat being lifted out by crane on the Exe the travel lift was a lot less stressful and once she was safely parked on a block the guys preceded to jet wash her bottom.

Considering how little the boat has been used during the last 18 months I was delighted to see just a film of slime that came off easily. At this point we headed off for a cup of tea before checking anodes, they will last until October when I am coming out for the winter, and the main reason for the lift out - sorting the log's through hull that had been fitted at Mylor and no matter how much I tried I could not remove the blanking plate.

With the jet wash finished we popped a ladder against the boat and I climbed onboard, unscrewed the retaining collar and wiggled the blanking bung and got the usual 10 mm of travel. Returned to ground level and Steve and I found the "stage one" through hull removal kit, a medium sized hammer and an old broom handle. The moment of truth, and one that we hoped would happen, one sharp tap and the blanking plate and out it popped. Cheers all round.

An inspection if the blanking plate and through hull showed that either no or not enough silicone grease had been used in the fitting! Stage two of the through hull kit was deployed, a new blanking plate that had been well greased, that went in and out several times without any problem and then the water sensor was tested and that worked as designed.

Thankfully, the job went well and stages three and four were not needed, an angle grinder and new through hull. We tided up and headed off to find something to eat, and have a celebratory beer. I would return to the boat in the morning for the relaunch.

All times are UTC.

Crew: Sandy Garrity, Steve Roffe

Trip Stats: Distance: 3.20 nm, Avg speed: 4.00 knots, Max speed: 6.00 knots, Under way: 1 h 30 m.

Sunrise: 0542 hrs Sunset: 1931 hrs

Weather: Inshore waters forecast to 12 miles offshore 07:00 (UTC+1) on Thu 27 May 2021 to 07:00 (UTC+1) on Fri 28 May 2021.

Lyme Regis to Lands End including the Isles of Scilly

24 hour forecast: Variable 4 or less becoming east or southeast 2 to 4. Slight or moderate in west, otherwise smooth or slight. Occasional rain later. Mainly good.