Log 8498 Distance approx 230nm
Grit and I arrived in Aber (as they call it) on Thursday 17th August to have a day preparing and provisioning before setting off towards Falmouth. We went to the Christopher Williams exhibition again where I was surprised to meet Jannicke (I’ll put up a nice picture of her later). In the morning we were greeted by Robin and Rosie who are best friends of Terry, who made Sumara. Robin said he had seen her as a log cut through as planks and he gave a hand casting the keel. We needed to catch the tide so unfortunately couldn’t spend long with them. Robin saw the Scottish Three Peaks sticker on the hull and said he had done the Tilman Three Peaks three times and I should try it! Mnnn, maybe.
We set off at high water-ish with a favourable tide. Robin and Rosie were at the pier head to wave us off. The forecast was a bit uncertain in terms of wind strength but for sure it would be a beat the whole way. Definitely SW or S winds between F3 and 6. We waved goodbye to Aber, a lovely town with plenty to do, and tacked off away from “The Patches” to get a long board down the coast before tacking again a few times to clear St Davids Head. It was spring tides and they run at 4 – 5 kts off St Davids so we were keen to give it a wide berth. We headed for a waypoint between the Smalls and the shipping lanes. The shipping lanes can be quite an obstruction to yachts adding considerable mileage and spoiling advantageous tacks. In this case a wind shift acted in our favour and we managed to slip past the south corner by using a little bit of engine to assist us as the wind had nearly failed.
Across the Bristol Channel the wind varied in strength but was never too strong, one reef was needed at one point but then the genoa was hoisted.
I was up a lot whilst we sailed around St Davids so it was good to catch up on some snooze. We were making almost south in the SW breeze and after two days or so we reached a point on the coast near to St Ives.
Here I hoped to pick up a sea breeze by staying inshore and also I also wanted to catch a reverse tide which proved elusive.We were going to try to use the favourable tide on Monday evening to round Lands End. We were making 4-5 kn SOG but very little boat speed. I was looking forward to easing the sheets after so much windward work but when we reached Longships to bear away we were stuffed by slack winds and needed to motor. The tide here runs strong, very strong. It shifted against us one hour before prediction and there was no twelve’s rule here. It pretty much stopped us dead at one point shifting sidewards in a fierce tide rip towards the rocks. The little Kubota 12 hp did some sterling work and eventually after a long unpleasant struggle we broke free. The wind returned and we romped towards Lizard picking up a favourable tide. Although we gave the headland three miles offing with this spring tide there was still a very confused sea.
Soon Falmouth was in sight and we moored safely in the visitor marina at 11:38 on Tuesday morning. Cost £21.00 per night. Fair price for spotless showers with piped Radio 2 (?)! Log 8710.