|First sail of year on Derek H's Sadler 26
||First sail of the year on Derek Hathaway's Sadler 26. A chance to get re-acquainted with the boat before a planned cross channel trip in a couple of week's time.
Quite bouncy to start with - apparently a F6. Wind dropped down to maybe a F3 to F4 for most of the rest of the time. Apart from, of course, when we needed it when sailing back in from the fairway buoy on a dead run against the neap tides
|Drew Trophy race from Exe to Brixham.
||A day with no wind, a little wind and then some wind. Met up with Topsham SC at Brixham Yacht Club. The first photo gives an indication of how little wind there was at times!
|Sail on Derek's Sadler 26
||Past Straight Point and on to Budleigh.
Not much wind for some of the time but a lovely day and a lovely sail.
|Brixham to Exe
||A cracking sail back from Brixham to the Exe. From Brixham, we went to Anstey's Cove for lunch as did many other SYC boats. After lunch there was a cracking sail back across the bay to the Exe - winds ranging from 10 knots to about 18 knots Excellent sailing.
|Last time on Amelie?
||Helping take Derek H's Sadler 26 up to its winter quarters in Topsham - via Trouts Boatyard pontoon.
Could be the last time on Amelie as Derek is thinking of a possible change to a Westerly Fulmar
|Back from Brixham to the Exe
||A slowish sail back from Brixham to the Exe after the Drew Trophy Race.
Wind was up and down a bit from 5 knots to 15 knots but mostly around about 8 knots.
Sailed past the practise race for the 2015 Wayfarer nationals being sailed out of Brixham Yacht Club. Only 7 boats of the water???
Managed to sail the whole way - whenever we threatened to put the motor on, the wind picked up a bit.
Very nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon listenening to Genesis and Pink Floyd on the boat cockpit speakers with the sun out.
|Baltic Wharf in Totnes to SYC on the Exe
||A great sail down from Baltic Wharf at Totnes down the Dart to Dartmouth and then up the coast to Starcross Yacht Club on the Exe. First sail of the year on Dereks Sadler 26. Weather forecast was a bit lively but turned out to be a great sail
|SYC Newport trophy to Dartmouth
||Absolutely no wind to start with - took 1/2 an hour to cross the start line at 10:40. Wind then filled in a bit making the sail from Torbay onwards a bit quicker. Some small waves past Berry Head also slowed things a little. Peter S sailed a storming race in his Sadler 26 and was first by miles on handicap (and very nearly first overall). We came a slightly surprising 2nd on handicap. Very pleasant meal in the Red Lion in Dittisham
|2011 Channel Islands Trip - round Sark
||From St Peter Port round Sark. Technical incompetence means that the track ends as we were coming in to Dixcart bay to anchor for lunch
|Exe estuary to Brixham
||A sail down from SYC on the Exe Estuary to Brixham ready for an early morning start across to the Channel Islands.
The ship shown in the photos (the THV Patricia) was doing buoy maintenance on the buoys marking the wreck of the MV Emsstrom off Torbay. Wierdly, we saw the same ship come in after us to anchor off Dixcart Bay at Sark two days later.
|Drew Trophy yacht race
||From Exe safe water mark down to Brixham and back again the next day
|2011 Channel Islands trip - down to Brixham
||From Starcross Yacht Club down to Brixham to await a weather window for crossing to Guernsey
|Dartmouth to Plymouth
||Starting from Dittisham, a sail round from the Dart to Plymouth on Derek H's Sadler 26. A good sail down towards Start Point. A easy rounding of Start at just before slack water. Then a motor sail from Start to Bolt Tail as the wind was too much on the nose. Then a good sail across Bigbury Bay and into Plymouth Sound (where the visibility dropped down to about a quarter of a mile).
|Dartmouth race 2016
||A sail to Dartmouth in Derek H's Sadler 26. The wind was in all directions including not there at all. The "dog leg" at Torbay was us searching for wind that wasn't there! Moored up for the night at Dittisham on the Dart.
|Channel Islands - Exe to Brixham
||A sail down from Starcross Yacht Club on the Exe to Brixham ready for an 0200 departure from Brixham to Guernsey. Average speed an estimate as GPS time data lost.
|CI & France 2015 - Sail down to Brixham
||A sail from Starcross down to Brixham ready for an early morning channel crossing to St Peter Port - Guernsey. Wind went from near enough becalmed to a F5 in about 15 minutes. Made for an exciting sail across Torbay
|Dittisham to Plymouth
||From Dittisham on the Dart to Quee Anne's Battery marina in Plymouth. Some lovely sailing (especially across Bigbury Bay) but also some motoring due to lack of wind.
The average speed for this passage is partly attributable to the large spring tides that were as favourable as planned.
|Newport Trophy yacht race - Exe to Dartmouth
||A very light winds yacht race (or timed rally) from the Exe to the Dart. Such light winds, in fact, that the race ended early on a line from the Ore Stone to Hope's Nose.
Interesting "inshore passage" for some of the route between Berry Head and Dartmouth.
Overnight stay on a mooring in Dittisham.
|2011 Channel Islands trip - Brixham to St Peter Port
||From Brixham marina across to St Peter Port Guernsey. Across the traffic separation scheme and down the Little Russel arriving at St Peter Port at about 2300
|CI & France 2015 - St Malo to Dinan
||From the Port des Sablons marina at Saint Servan (next to St Malo), a sail up the river Rance to the medieval town of Dinan. The trip took us through the hyrdro-electric barrage lock. Anchored near St. Suliac for a spot of lunch (OK - to wait for the tide to rise) and then up through the lock at Chatelier. After this lock the river becomes a bit more canal like. Moored up at Dinan and explored the well preserved walled medieval town of Dinan.
Dinan is twinned with Exmouth! No idea why...
|CI & France 2015 - Dixcart on Sark to Gorey on Jersey
||A very foggy sail from the Dixcart Bay anchorage on Sark round to Gorey on Jersey. Stayed close to Simon T's catamaran with its posh radar reflector! Giggled at the rather asthmatic fog horn. Fog cleared nicely for the rounding of the north east corner of Jersey and into Gorey harbour. Visited the rather spectacular Mont Orgueil Castle while the boat dried out in Gorey Harbour. A splendid veggie curry provided by Simon T on his Nelly Nui.
Note - there was a lot of fog - the photos aren't blurry - stare hard and you should see stuff!
|Channel Islands - Brixham to Guernsey
||A south about sail round Guernsey to St Peter Port. The wind couldnt have been better such that we got to St Peter Port Victoria Marina beforer the sill closed meaning that dinner at La Perla was on.
Unfortuantely only the 2nd half of the track was saved on the GPS. Average speed an estimate as GPS time data lost.
|Treguier to St Peter Port
||A long, hard "slog" back from Treguier to St Peter Port. The trip started with some wind against tide coming back down the river/estuary from Treguier to the sea. After this, the progress past Ile de Brehat was, as expected, very slow as we fought the now Spring tides (needs must to make the Guernsey tidal gates). The plan had been to again go between the Plateau des Roches-Dovres and the the Plateau de Barnouic. However, as we got close another look at the tidal atlases led to a re-plan and we eased off to go north of them and, as the wind picked up, we flew along with the stanchions and toe rails under water. With the wind just off the nose we didn't want to reef the genoa so we bounced along happily making progress towards Les Hanois. Getting close to Guernsey we changed to motor sailing to "make" St Martins Point and then up the Little Russel to St Peter Port. A long day's sailing!
Met up with Jonathan G (back from Gorey and St Helier) for a second night at La Scala. SYC yotties will be shocked to hear that the owner is selling up!
|CI & France 2015 - St Peter Port to SYC
||A stonkingly fast sail back from St Peter Port to Starcross Yacht Club on the Exe. Plans changed late as we were concerned about getting back to SYC before predicted high winds late on the Saturday night (also trying to miss low water on the Exe). So up at the hideously early hour of 02:30 and up through the Little Russell channel in the dark. The Little Russell was just a tad "bouncy". After a couple of hours of motor sailing (to keep up the average speed as required), the wind picked up a bit and started to back round to the west. The final third of the sail was with 14 to 20 knots (force 5ish) of wind aft of the port beam and with full sails up. Derek's Sadler averaged over 5.4 knots - way ahead of what we could have hoped for. Back on the mooring by about 18:30 - maybe 3 hours ahead of planned.
|CI & France 2015 - Gorey to St Malo France
||From Gorey on Jersey down to St Malo in France. Along the Violet Channel and then straight on through the rocky shallows that extend from the south east corner of Jersey. As soon as the motor was off we were joined by a pod of about 6 to 8 large dolphins who stayed playing with the boat for about half an hour. Then between the Minquiers and Ile Chausey reefs and on to St Malo.
Note - the pictures that appear to be blank sea are actually photos of dolphins if you look hard enough!
|CI & France 2015 - St Peter Port to Dixcart Bay
||A lovely sail across from St Peter Port on Guernsey to Dixcart Bay on Sark. Climbed the path to the village on Sark but the ice cream shop was shut! Had to make do with a pint in the pub. Spent the night at anchor in Dixcart Bay
|Sark to Treguier, France
||A long downwind sail from the overnight anchorage at Dixcart Bay, Sark to Treguier in Brittany, France.
The wind was just about dead aft so lots of goose winging (with preventer set) and running.
We were going to go south of both the Plateau des Roches-Douvres and Plateau de Barnouic but Julian P on Kinfolk had the good idea to go between - there was lots of room for this when we looked at the charts.
This meant that we got to Treguier quicker than expected so we abandoned the plan to anchor in the lower reaches of the river and continued all the way up to Treguier. Treguier Marina has a fearsome reputation for cross tides causing havoc but as it was quite neapy we all moored up safely in the marina.
The pilot books make the approaches to Treguier sound very complicated but the "Grande Passe" route in was very straightforward - we'll leave the Basse De La Gainer route for another time!
Simon T's cat was attacked by dolphins just inside the fairway - I'm sure there's a Sun headline in there somewhere...
|CI & France 2015 - Stuck in harbour
||Some big gusts of wind were predicted for this Friday so we sat the day out in St Peter Port marina. A wise choice as the few boats that did go out came back in fairly quickly. Some chandlery browsing and lunch at Guernsey Yacht Club
|Channel Islands - Alderney to Exe
||The return sail from Braye Harbour Alderney to the Exe Estuary.
The second half of the sail was very breezy as we sailed across in a gap between two lows.
Unfortuantely only the 2nd half of the track was saved on the GPS.
|Drew Trophy 2016
||An SYC yacht race with a bit of everything. Absolutely no wind at the start so we drifted backwards past the committee boat and took maybe 20 minutes to get over the start line. Then a lovely sail until we were off Babbacombe when everyone (bar Mike H) lost all wind for another 1/2 hour. Then a lovely sail into Brixham Harbour. Second overall. A lovely dinner at Brixham Yacht Club with the Topsham Yacht Club peeps.
|Ore Stone and back - Chaos
||Trial SYC "race" from Exe safe water mark, round the Teignmouth outfall buoy, round the Ore Stone and back to the Exe SWM.
A really great day's sailing. Relaxed and sunny on the downwind leg to the Ore Stone and really good sailing on the upwind leg back to the Exe SWM. The wind moved round a little to the east on the way back making (for us) a straight line sail; pretty much all the way back.
The "Chaos" in the title refers the the race's putative title - "CHase Around the Ore Stone"
|CI & France 2015 - Dinan to St Malo
||Back from Dinan to St Malo. Via the locks at Chatelier and the Rance hydro-electric barrage. Light winds.
|Channel Islands - Guernsey to Sark
||A cracking sail across from St Peter Port on Guernsey to the Havre Gosselin anchorage on Sark to await the favourable tides for a sail to Alderney.
Havre Gosselin is part of the large La Grand Greve bay and is a picturesque little anchorage with mooring buoys surrounded by rocky outcrops. Average speed an estimate as GPS time data lost.
|Dittisham to QAB Plymouth
||Round from Dittisham on the Dart to Queen Annes Battery marina in Plymouth. With the wind forecast to be F4 to F5 from the west and most of the trip being westwards, this was going to be an interesting trip. Start Point planning was spot on - we arrived just at the very last of the flood tide meaning little adverse tide but, more importantly, no wind over tide. So Start Point was a pussy cat. Prawle Point and Bolt Head made up for this though. With wind over tide by then, the seas there were "interesting" as the wind gusted to 22 knots (low end of a force 6). Some of the biggest overfalls I've been through for quite some time! As we got to Bigbury Bay the wind was a better angle and we got to sail rather than the motor sailing we did from just past Start. Into QAB about 8pm.
|CI & France 2015 - Brixham to Guernsey
||A sail across from Brixham Marina to St Peter Port in Guernsey. Quite foggy when leaving Brixham, not so foggy crossing the shipping lanes (phew) and very foggy making landfall on the Guernsey side (having more than one chart plotter available amongst the various nav aids made this easier).
Note - the photos may be rubbish but they are not that out of focus - it really was that foggy). Stare hard and you'll see things in the photos!
|St Peter Port to Sark
||A lovely sail from St Peter Port, Guernsey across to Dixcart Bay, Sark.
Having seen, from the sea, the high, narrow path from Sark to Little Sark (La Coupee - Google it) I'd never have thought that I'd actually walk across it. Worth it though for some of the photos taking looking back to Guernsey and Herm. The ship that can been seen in some of the photos of the yachts at anchor is believed to be the Patricia seen two days previously off Torbay!
|CI & France 2015 - St Malo to Guernsey
||A sail back from St Malo to Guernsey. Quite a hard sail as there were some short steepish waves that slowed the boat speed considerably for quite a time. The wind was also from the north meaning that we were "pinching" for quite a lot of the time. As we passed Jersey the wind picked up and freed a little making for an excellent 2nd half of the sail into St Peter Port on Guernsey
|Channel Islands - Sark to Alderney
||Leaving the anchorage at Havre Gosselin at Sark through the Gouliot Passage and then via the Alderney Race and into Braye Harbour in Alderney.
Some very high speeds when travelling with the Alderney Race and at times steering about 70 to 80 degrees across it to maintain the required course. Average speed an estimate as GPS time data lost.
|St Peter Port to SYC
||Up at the hideously early hour of 03:00 to catch the first of the tidal flow up the Little Russel at 04:00. A lovely clear night at 4am with all the navigation lights clearly visible. After Platte Fougere we "turned left a bit" to allow for the strong Spring tides. For much of the time the weather forecast was correct and what little wind there was was on the nose. However, the visibility was good making crossing the shipping lanes a lot easier than on the way out.
The photos of the Channel Light Vessel show an absolutely flat sea. The wind did pick up for a bit after this which made for a lovely sail with flat seas. A while north of the shipping lanes we were joined by about 6 to 8 dolphins for about 20 minutes. An hour or so later a much smaller porpoise made an appearance.
Amelie's engine held up well and we were back on the mooring at SYC by about 19:30.
|Brixham to St Peter Port, Guernsey
||A very foggy sail from Brixham in Devon to St Peter, Guernsey in the Channel Islands. The photos give an idea of how foggy it was.
Left at the hideously early time of 03:30 (to make the tidal gate for the Little Russel channel off Guernsey).
Left in thick fog that continued all across to the east going lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme off Casquets. This would have been more scary without the two AIS sets and radar spread across the 3 yachts. AIS data meant we had to alter course for unseen ships before the TSS but not actually in the TSS. By the time we got to the east going channel the fog had lifted to maybe a mile or two's visibility. This visibility continued until we started the tide assisted "sleigh ride" down the Little Russel at which point the fog came in with a vengeance. At this point the two, independent GPS chart plotters we had on board (one a hand held Garmin) were very reassuring. Roustel Tower came into view exactly where expected with just 100 yards visibility. The "pier gates" for St Peter Port harbour weren't visible until we were between them! Twenty minutes after tying up on the SPP waiting pontoon, the fog lifted!
In time for dinner at La Scala. The SYC "cruise in company" events are getting popular - there were 16 yotties from SYC at La Scala.