So here we are almost at the end of our trip. We are at anchor just to the SW of the entrance to Plymouth Harbour, back in Cornwall and only 35 Nm from Falmouth.
Having collected Heather and Ben on Friday evening in Poole we went back there on Saturday morning to pick up our other two children, Rachel and Sam and Rachel’s friend Matt. We left Poole harbour with seven people on board! The cockpit was pretty full but cleared a bit as the tiredness generated by motion sickness took over. Matt proved to be an excellent helmsman and spent most of the afternoon at the wheel as we shot westwards in a good wind and with the tide behind us.
By about 5 o’clock we were tied up alongside in Weymouth harbour…We had a tremendous evening and tried to teach Matt a couple of simple, family card games. Apparently he has some sort of degree; it doesn’t seem to have had logic or reasoning in the syllabus. He is (allegedly) quite photogenic though…Now how do you sleep seven people on a boat that only has bed space for six? Simple, use the cockpit tent. Sam slept there and as he snores even more than I do it was a good place for him.
I was up first on Sunday and made banana chip muffins for breakfast. Ben left mid morning to get back up b’stard north and then Rachel made me go and buy the ingredients for Bloody Marys. She, Sam, Heather and Matt then sat around scoring them for various attributes. Apparently they are doing a countrywide, or is that worldwide, assessment of this famous cocktail.
This will be the last time we are all together as a family for quite a while and we commissioned a famous photographer to mark the occasion. Unfortunately he didn’t turn up so Matt took this…After they had all departed back to their real worlds Sheryl and I got ready for sea and set off west once again, I suspect there will be a lot of “set off west….” type phrases over the next few years.
Sunday night we eventually anchored just north of Torbay having had an abortive attempt at Beer where the swell made the anchorage too uncomfortable. Monday was spent motoring around Start Point and then NW to Cawsands Bay. Tuesday will be our last day of circumnavigating the UK and we should be back in Falmouth by late afternoon on Tuesday.
Well we made it! As per the last post we got back here on Tuesday afternoon and tied up at one of the Harbour Commission’s visitor moorings where we will be for the next two or three weeks. It was somewhat anti-climactic sailing past St Anthony’s Head and into Carrick Roads (well motoring, actually). There was also something slightly surreal about arriving back where we started from travelling in the same direction as when we left – I guess its good practice for going around the world. Overall we spent two days shy of five months on the round Britain trip and covered about 2,850 Nm. Thats an average of less than 20 Nm a day which might not sound much but represents an average of about four hours of travel a day.
For the next week or so we will be rectifying defects and making preparations to continue south. In short, spending a load of money. Work to be done includes:
Service the engine
Fit a new bilge pump
Fit a new (extra) jib sail
Fit lazy bags for the main and mizzen sails (I’ll post photos later)
Buy charts and cruising guide books
Service the water maker
Repair the auto pilot
Repair the self-steering
Repair the steaming light
Once we are ready to go we intend to take a road trip up country to see our mothers and various friends en route. After that its back to Falmouth for about the 22nd of September and be ready to sail south as soon as the weather is ok to cross the Bay of Biscay
I’m not intending to make regular updates for most of the rest of the month so check back around the 22nd to see how preparations have gone and if we are ready to go!