Speedwell of Rhu Ship's Log

13 th to 15 th of June 2017 - Leaving Ireland

Crew : Helen and Andy
Destinations : At sea and New Grimsby Sound.
Distance : 149 miles

We set our alarm clock for 0500 and were out of the marina by 0600. It was cold and overcast and initially the wind was light and on our nose. We quickly started to take turns to lie down below for an hour or so to make sure we were ready for an overnight passage. It had been a long time since we had had any early morning starts or late nights. By 0920 the wind had filled and we were able to sail under full sails. We were visited briefly by a small pod of common dolphins who played in our bow wave. By mid afternoon the sun had come out and cloud had disappeared so we were finally warming up.We made between 4.5 and 8 knots on starboard tack in a fairly consistent Force 3-4 until around 2000. By this time the wind had started to veer around to the south and we were heading further east than we wanted to. Our speed had also reduced to less that 3 knots so we ended up motor sailing through the night. Overnight was a clear night with a bright moon which Helen mistook for a boat as it started to rise directly on our nose. However, there was very little traffic apart from the odd fishing boat. There was a bit of swell coming in from the Atlantic but the sea was smooth by the morning. We eventually spotted land and recognised it as Round Island on the north side of the Isles of Scilly.

This was our intended landfall so our navigation had worked! Although the GPS also helped. At 0825 we had found a suitable place to anchor right on the middle of New Grimsby Sound. We had a restful morning and then got the tender ready to go ashore. We walked up to Cromwell and Charles Castle and found the supermarket where Andy was able to get cash back as we only had a fiver between us, not having expected to be visiting the UK quite so soon. We took in some of the local flora, which was free unlike The Abbey Gardens which was very expensive and we had visited last year. Unfortunately the pub was closed to so we headed back to the boat for supper.


We hope to head south from our anchorage over the Tresco Flats. These are drying areas so yachts with deep keeps can only pass at high water and have to follow transits to make sure they don't end up hitting rocks. We spent some time watching other boats navigate the channel. By the end of the day all the visitors moorings had been taken. 


Thursday morning was quite rock and roll on the boat so we took the tender ashore to Bryer this time where we had lunch, tea and cake, punctuated by a walk and a quick swim for Helen. The sea didn't seem to be any warmer than in Ireland. On returning to the boat the swell coming into the harbour hadn't really improved. However, the weather was good for a passage to Brest the following day. After planning our passage, we used the electric hob to cook a couple of meals. The solar panels are recharging the batteries very well so we can now save on our gas usage when at anchor. We are also hoping the solar shower will make lots of hot water! We managed one shower last year with this. 

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