Journey’s End

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All the Way from Basel

I love quirky, laid back friendly Penzance and once again woke to find myself put firmly in my place – a Beneteau First 27.7 – yup, a light weight Frenchie – all the way from Basel. Good boat, but clearly a great skipper. Anyway back to whence we came.

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Ice Breaker to Luxury Yacht

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Penzance Wet Dock

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Penzance Sunshine

Good plans never survive the first write and the latest master Plan was at least Mk4. Sunday 30th saw Teams Goss and A-Jay slip quietly out of the River Avoca, trickling South either side of the Tusker Buoy. Farewell Pete and Tracey, it was a pleasure and a privilege to meet you both.

Barry the Barometer remained cheerful, a weak sun escaped from the overcast and the skipper was chipper after a good lunch and 8 knots on the clock, as wind and tide sluiced Team A-Jay South, Yanny pushing very gently. We routed East of Tusker to clip the NE corner of the Tusker TSS and popped out of St. George’s Channel like a cork from a bottle, at a cool 8.5 knots, drinking tea with nothing on the radar to worry about. Rising to an oily sea, a metre high on tip toes, nervy Guillemots “Don’t panic Captain Mainwaring”, Ireland to starboard, Kilmore Quay a bolt hole, little Dale a pretty Pembrokeshire safe haven, no others until Padstow and its Doom Bar which Team A-Jay had crossed in a pre dawn raid back in May.

The skipper boiled cabbage as the Saint with his attendant Bishops and Clerks washed their Smalls off the Welsh coast, in the cold grey dusk, and busy ships slipped up the Smalls TSS.

Dolphins came as the skipper’s thoughts turned to supper, and danced close under the prow though most avoided capture by the skipper’s Tesco Hudl2. While the dolphins – perhaps a dozen-   hunted, the skipper, dressed for dinner in blue crash helmet and fetching red life jacket, smugly congratulated himself on the contents of his pot whilst working diligently at maintaining a healthy ballast ratio.

Blessed with tide, pushed gently by Yanny and pulled by he sails in 8 knots from the North, Team A-Jay had averaged better than 7knots, though tide would head us through sunset into the small hours and the pace would slow.

Dark night, busy with ships tramping Northwards, the shore alive; astern the ruby, emerald and diamond lights of a yacht maintaining station, the sea gently restless. Dull midnight veiled moon, sleepy wind, quiet sea, deserted for now but for the following yacht and a fishing boat out to sea – 83 miles done, many more to go.

Pubescent dawn came with a bang as Harry announced to the sleepy  skipper that the boat was ill balanced for the lively conditions. Stepping on deck it was clear that things had become more boisterous and the skipper had been ill prepared. It wasn’t long before there was a rope round the prop, the job sheets had knitted themselves into a ball more fuel was required and the skipper’s DIY preventer was over powered.

‘Saga Mode, make a list, get on with it. A bad start to the day but there was excitement to be had as A-Jay picked up her skirts and surfed off the big daddies at nearly 9 knots, no big deal but enough excitement for this skipper. So it was that Team A-Jay shot out of the Celtic Sea and plunged clumsily into Cornish waters. It was strange to find quiet waters around the Longships, at which point the Master Plan was again rewritten to include Penzance for a rest, 186 nautical miles and too many sleepless hours out from Arklow. Needless to say Team Goss was snugly ensconced in the Scillies, drama free, long before the skipper stabled Team A-Jay; a little way to go yet I fear.

Next stop home, or shall we go round again??

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By ajay290

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