Nobody told the albatross

I have just got back from London having attended Roger Taylor’s lecture at the home of the Cruising Association at Limehouse Basin in London.

Roger is the self-styled Simple Sailor . He has written three well-received books about his voyages first in his Corribee, Ming Ming, and now in her successor, Ming Ming ll. In 2009, he was awarded the Jester Medal by the Ocean Cruising Club “for an outstanding contribution to the art of singlehanded sailing.” The large number of members present was a fitting testament to his endeavours.

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Brixham to Plymouth – reflection – tidal race

(Continued . . .)

This series of five posts outlines a September passage from Plymouth to Teignmouth and back.

(Click on image to enlarge)

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The interruption to my passage plan has meant that I have to get from Brixham to Plymouth, a distance of a little over 40 nautical miles by this evening. This is no problem on paper – but there will probably be no time for fishing. Also the tide will be wrong going round Start Point. I had planned to round the Point, which is about 13 nm along the coast from here, yesterday evening with the tide carrying me, I will now reach it around the middle of today with the tide against me. The wind has gone round  to the north east – almost the opposite of yesterday morning.

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Plymouth to Salcombe

This series of five posts outlines a September passage from Plymouth to Teignmouth and back.

My son had a few days holiday owing and wanted to sail. We had a choice of Falmouth or Teignmouth. The wind direction and tides suited Teignmouth. To add interest on the way, we decided to overnight in Salcombe and Torquay. He was going to leave the boat in Teignmouth and I was going to return to Plymouth alone. In the event, we were weather-bound in Teignmouth for a week. A family holiday was imminent, so when the weather eventually eased, I had only a short time to return Blue Mistress to Plymouth. I planned a direct passage to Salcombe, to overnight there and then on to Plymouth. As it happened, I had a major problem off Berry Head which completely altered my passage plan.

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(Click on image to enlarge. Double click magnifies)

04. Plymouth to Salcombe

If we had had a trip in which we fell out with each other, I would probably not have mentioned this, but we had a good time and I want to acknowledge it.

For a single-hander having someone aboard adds a whole extra dimension. The boat has been set up for one person. Ropes and gear have been placed to-hand and manoeuvers thought through in advance so that much of the routine on the boat has become automatic to me. I’m ahead of the game – most of the time. Few people want to be a passenger on a small boat, they want to be part of the crew. Therefore, having another person on board, someone who will inevitably do things differently, means my having to stand back and create ‘space’ for them to do it. How much space depends on the person.

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Stillness in the dark

(Continued . . .)

This series of posts has covered a short voyage. My original intention was to outline – (mostly in images), a trip I made up the rivers Tamar and Lynher in August and maybe make a few comments about waypoints. Experiencing the advantages and disadvantages of waypoints was the exercise I set myself for the trip. On the way, I learnt much more than expected. All voyages involve a personal journey of one sort or another, but, looking back at this one, there were so many things I hadn’t seen or done before. Like many  people who finish their day job, I ask myself, “What on earth have I been doing all my life?”

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I go on deck around 0500 to check the rode. I shortened it last evening to keep Blue Mistress out of the shallows as the tide fell.

It is dark. I have rigged an anchor light aft rather than on the normal fore-stay because it throws a useful light over the cockpit. The boat is only 25 foot long so the difference is unlikely to affect any passing boat. Of the two other anchor lights I can see, one is rigged the same way.

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To the Lynher

(Continued . . .)

The early morning mist reveals four egrets. We enjoy the peace together.

(Click on image to enlarge – an extra click magnifies)

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The tide is falling and I decide to wait till after lunch before leaving. There will still be an hour or so to the next high tide but it will be slackening. This gives me a morning to do odd jobs on the boat and time to sit and read.

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