Arrival in the Scillies and "How the Wind Blows"

Slipstream Web Diary
Bill Cuthbert
Wed 8 Jun 2011 07:28
Slipstream needs to be in Barmouth, Gwynedd entered in th 4.00 p.m. Friday 24th June. She is entered in the 2011 Three Peaks Yacht Race. After two previous delivery legs which took in Hamble-Portland-Teignmouth-Brixham and Brixham-Salcombe-Plymouth-Fowey-Falmouth she finds herself bound for Ireland and, hopefully, the port of Arklow.
The Falmouth crew involved Atlantic veterans Nic & Vicky and his and her pairs of Bill & Alison and Simon & Anna. In both latter cases the women looked to their menfolk to arrange a calm and sunny passage.
Afetr the usual epics of getting to a port so distant as Falmouth, we were let out of the inside of a raft by our salty neighbour of 75 and his septuagenarian wife. Around 9.00 a.m. BST we slipped quietly past the Black Rock cairn at the entrance to the harbour - before and complaints or comments about the weather (sunny) or wind strength (F4) we were bound for the Scillies. Past Black Head the wind perked up and needed a reef. After the Lizard we had two reefs tucked in and bumped around in the race. Simon decided that a 1kg per person ration of still-warm cornish pasty would settle all stomachs so we attacked them with only a few of the larger handles going over the side. 5 minutes later Anna was putting hers back in the bag from which it had come - rather than into the sick bucket next to her head.
The wind permitted a heading of 250 - a little south of our desired course but only one tack north was required to get us round the north side of the Scillies. It is an amazing sight in the evening sunshine. Huge waves grached either side of us as we entered New Grimbsy Sound. This pretty pool, which separates Tresco and Bryher was a very welcome prospect. We found a large mooring buoy - reserved by the Tresco Hbr Master - broke out the dinghy and were in the pub for last food orders at 9.00 p.m. 12 hours and 75 miles the better. The food was quickly served, hot and delicious.
Although in berth by 11ish, there was a leaisurely start on Tuesday morning. The wind was, as predicted, howling across the Sound. F7 predicted and felt. Some parties were very happy that the skipper declared an on-island day. We dinghied in (5 up + Simon) and waled around the circumference of the island. During a 15 minute pause on the eastern beaches Schnoogle started schnoogling. Our conversation was not interesting eniugh. We left him and Vicky on the beach and sought out the Island Hotel for prosecco and Cornish ales.
The wind was truly blowing when back at Sound. It was also had to be mentioned that tidal height calculations were a bit off re: the depth in the harbour. The dinghy was truly "high-and-dry".
With a bit of wind over tide (which rips through on the ebb) dinghy occupants were nicely soaked. This was a lesson we forgot later that night on the return from the New Inn in the twilight. Those up front received 1m waves over their heads. Anna was dry at the back.
Crew still a bit anxoius about the sailing slated for Wednesday. Skipper is intent on a midday departure.
We all say "Hi" to Wills and Tom and the "sitters". Follow the dots to Ireland or Wales - to be determined!!!