After getting the engine running nicely and having had a good first sail on the new boat last weekend, it was time to let my kids loose on board. They have grand schemes of making it look super cosy inside, and making the interior a nicer and more comfortable place to be.
We set off for Plymouth on Saturday afternoon and arrived just in time to watch the Guy Fawkes night fireworks on Plymouth Hoe from Jennycliff on the Turnchapel side of the sound. It was a fantastic display, and the fairground on the Hoe looked incredible.
It was a cold evening, and we had plenty of sleeping bags and blankets to get onto the boat. It took us two trips in the dingy to get everything onto the boat, where the kids immediately started organising the boat and setting up their beds.
Knowing it would be cold on board I had bought a Origo Heatpal bio-ethanol heater and a carbon monoxide alarm.
They’re advertised as being suitable for marine use so I was hopeful of a snug night on the boat. The thing with burning stuff on a boat is that you have to ensure that there’s enough oxygen to feed the fire, or your little ray of joy will start throwing off carbon monoxide and you may get a better sleep that you bargained for! With that in mind I had all the air vents open, and a good draft through the boat, to the point where I’m not sure the boat was any warmer than if I’d kept the vents closed and not lit the heater! Anyway, the carbon monoxide meter showed zero, and my kids got a great night’s sleep. I didn’t sleep too well up in the V-birth, with my head close to a damp underside of the foredeck, and being a bit paranoid about the CO thing. This meant I spent the night checking the CO meter every 30 mins although it has an alarm that would wake me up should the levels rise to a concerning level.
Eventually morning came, and it was beautiful. The sun illuminated a rippling alto stratus cloud layer, reflecting on the oily calm water of the Plym. You could see your breath and feel the sharpness of the air in your lungs
Meanwhile, the girls were still warm, cosy and fast asleep.
When they woke up we tidied away all our bedding, got dressed in our warm clothes and rustled up some breakfast. Bacon sandwiches for the girls and an egg sandwich for me. Then we dropped our mooring and sailed across the sound. Compared to the previous weekend there were hardly any boats out. It was like someone had declared the sailing season over. I was struck by the huge number of masts poking up out of the marinas we passed. Hundred and hundreds of boats all tied up going nowhere. Yes, it was a bit chilly, but the sun was out, and there was a good northerly breeze and we hoisted the sails and took turns at the tiller. All those boats were missing a glorious day, but it was all to our gain, as it was lovely to have the sound almost to ourselves!
I was hoping to get up the Tamar and into the River Lynher, but it wasn’t to be. We had dropped the mooring later than I’d planned and the tide running down the river was too strong to fight so we didn’t get as far as I’d hoped. We ended up picking up a mooring just off Royal William Yard, Stonehouse, where we ate salad boxes and crisps for lunch.
We needed to get home at a reasonable time to get ready for school the next day, finish homework and all that stuff so we dropped our mooring and headed back across the sound. Tilly took a turn on the tiller.
The breeze was strengthening, gusty and disturbed due to it having ruffled the city’s hair as it travelled southward. We sailed on genoa alone and with the tide with us we fairly flew along. Before we knew it we were back on the mooring and decamping all our stuff again. All in all we did seven nautical miles, and spent around three and a half hours off the moorings. By the time we got back the girls had made the cockpit into a day bed and looked very cosy! It was a great day!
Video Footage of the day and a wildlife encounter!