BRISTOL SAILING ASSOCIATIONNewsletter July 2022
Following is an extract of the BSA Newsletter as far as it relates to the Go Sailing Association - thanks to BSA for "keeping us in the loop".
Several members asked for a charter in August. Ian Collins, who is now an approved skipper for GSA (Go Sailing Association) has chartered their Dufour 34 based in Plymouth from August 18th – 25th. This trip is being sailed in two parts, a weekend from the 18th – 21st which is fully booked, and a midweek sail from the 21st – 25th for which there may be one place available. This will be confirmed at the meeting on August 8th. Ian can charter this boat with a crew from BSA PROVIDED ALL THOSE WHO GO JOIN GSA. This costs just £40 per year and with low charter fees makes for low cost sailing (cheaper and more accessible than Phoenix was). So far Ian and three other BSA members have joined GSA, with several other intending to join. Details about GSA including joining are on the website www.gosail.club .
Go sailing. Phil Steele sailed on a skills assessment weekend with GSA on the weekend of July 30th (his birthday as it happens!) and has been approved as a skipper of GSA boats. Now that we are chartering GSA boats Phil has asked that we establish a protocol for booking and paying for these trips, as this cannot be done by BSA as a club. We will discuss this at the meeting on August 8th.
Celtic Flame 11, First Time Out (with me as skipper) – Plymouth to Penznce, June 30 – July 7, 2022 - report by Ian Collins
I have had my first sailing trip on Celtic Flame a Dufour 34 part of the GSA Fleet. Based in the Yacht Haven Plymouth, a very nicely presented boat with all the amenities and, as we discovered, good handling in a wide variety of conditions both sea-state and wind.
The crew were Dougal Mathews first mate, Rhian Phillips, Kate Wilkins and myself as skipper, Ian Collins.
On Thursday 30th June we met up at the Bridge restaurant in Yacht Haven and got through the pleasantries with the aid of a drink before loading the trolleys and progressing to the boat. With all stashed away, we booked a table at the Clovelly Inn for 1930. The Clovelly, which we can now confirm as surviving lockdown and still serving excellent meals, can be seen from the pontoon and previously was an invigorating walk along the frontage and up over the cliff path to then descend down the hill into Turnchapel. There has been a landslip on the path so it is now necessary to take to the road route. So we went by car. All worthwhile effort for the excellent hospitality, meals and drinks.
Friday 1st dawned bright with a NW wind funnelling down the Tamar and up the Cattewater. By 0900 we were clearing the Marina and just past Mountbatten Pier had the main and Genoa up and out, sailing a classic broad reach making 5-6 knots, in the sunshine. A great start. Turning west at the Rame Head buoy we sat out about a mile from the coast to clear the overfalls but on reflection we should have made it another half as free of the effect of the land the wind backed more Westerly. Clear of the head and into Whitesands Bay things settled down. The sail to Fowey was very pleasant with a steady NW wind giving us around 6 knots SOG across a 1 metre swell, tide in our favour most of the way.
Fowey Harbour is a lovely approach and on this occasion we were able to sail all the way in to drop the main opposite the Town Pier, giving the large number of tourist loitering on the Quayside some boating action to gawp at, and hopefully inspire some to take up our pursuit. The pontoons and visitors buoys seemed fully occupied so we motored on up the Fowey to Wiseman’s Reach and picked up a visitors buoy. On arrival they were still loading a cargo boat with china clay but that finished by about 1800 when we had our meal aboard and a wonderfully peaceful night tucked away from traffic and turmoil.
Saturday broke fair with the sun glinting on the water. So an early start and a run down river through a harbour beginning to wake up. This morning in the shelter of Gribben Head with its distinctive Barbers Pole daymark it was down to the engine to take us west out and away from Fowey. After rounding the head we once more had the benefit of wind from the NW and began to sail across St Austell Bay, then Mevagissey Bay standing well off to clear the Gwineas Cardinal and the Dodman Point overfalls. Clearing the point and turning more west gave us an even better point of sail to cross Veryan and Gerran’s Bay accompanied for some way by porpoise.
Having sailed most of the way at around 6 knots, occasional 7 we had made good time and rounded St Anthony Head, dropped our sails and made a cautious approach, avoiding the Dragon Boat racing to raft up against an obliging Frenchman’s yacht on the outside of the north arm of Falmouth Yacht Haven. All changed and showered we wandered up to the Chain Locker, conveniently close to the marina and had a very nice meal.
Pasties were procured and we set of to the west once more the following morning raising the sails as soon as we cleared the moorings and crossing Falmouth Bay in the company of the Dragon Boats setting out for a day of racing till we crossed their start line south of the Helford River. Now we held our course south to give the Manacles a good offing. Then SSW to Black Head. To the SW the Lizard Point comes into view and as is not uncommon Atlantic swells pushing onto land for the first time gave us a sea with 2 metre white tops. SW with speeds of 18 gusting to 28 knots demanding that Kate and Dougal kept concentrating hard on the helm. We held this course till well across Mounts Bay then turned North toward Penzance. The sea calmed as we came under the land cover and arrived outside the harbour and picked up a visitors buoy to wait the tide. Penzance is gated and opens 2 hours before and 1 after high tide. We were duly called in and directed to raft alongside an older, but in great condition, Bowman 40 ketch whose owners had taken the ferry out to Tresco for the day. To stretch our legs we walked the Esplanade, then back to the Dolphin Tavern for, what else but Fish and Chips.
Next morning we left at 0800 to sail east and back to Plymouth by way of the Helford River and a quiet night on a visitors buoy and a meal on-board. Sailing past the Lizard was so different from the previous day. The sea-state was so much calmer and the wind speeds almost half giving us a pleasant sail. Once again an early start and once out into the bay, good steady winds around 11 to 16 knots from the NW allowing us to make good time to Fowey this time taking a berth on a pontoon and using the water taxi to take us to Polruan and a nice meal at the Russel.
For our final passage to Plymouth on Wednesday the wind, which had so far favoured us, abandoned our ship and at 2000 rpm we motored steadily on a calm sea toward whence we came. But the sun shone, we did little but make teas and coffees with Hot Dogs for lunch enjoying the weather and regretting the wind or lack of. With the perversities Neptune visits on sailors the wind did make an appearance at Rame Head, but with our berth close by and our sails zippered in the sail bag there was no enthusiasm to sail from the breakwater to the Cattewater so we finished as we had started the day, on the motor. We fuelled and watered and with the decks scrubbed and ourselves also we headed to the Bridge for the final meal of the trip and another good night’s sleep.
It had been an excellent trip with Celtic Flame behaving admirably, the weather being kind and the wind and sea mostly in our favour. I thank the crew for being such good companions.