Updates from Chione T

Coronation Chione!

Chione ‘dressed overall’ for the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla on Sat 6 May. Martin and I spent the day onboard and watched the Coronation, while it rained outside. By the afternoon the weather had cleared and there was lovely early summer sunshine.

On Sun 7 May we sailed over to Jennycliff Bay, tacked and then headed into Cawsand Bay. Very light winds and warm sunshine made a pleasant day’s sail. During the afternoon, while becalmed, we caught the first mackerel of the year! As it was only small, it was let go.

First mackerel of the year!

More images from the trip to Falmouth 7 – 10 Apr 23

Some more images of the trip to Falmouth and back over the Easter weekend. Looking back at a foggy Plymouth; the intrepid sailors(!); a small libation to celebrate passing St Anthony’s Head Lighthouse; Mylor Yacht Harbour in early evening sunshine; and, an anchored freighter that we passed on the way to the Helford River (note the change in weather conditions to overcast and gusty winds).

Falmouth trip 7 – 10 Apr 23

We left Plymouth in thick fog at 0700 on Fri 7 Apr and headed out towards the breakwater. I’ll admit to being a bit apprehensive due to the poor visibility, but there was no need to worry as the fog began to clear as the breakwater came into view and by the time Cawsand Bay was abeam, visibility at sea was good.

We motor-sailed most of the way to Falmouth as the wind was light for the majority of the day, only picking up as we passed Dodman Point, at which point the engine was stopped and we sailed the rest of the way into Falmouth Harbour and up Carrick Roads to Mylor Yacht Harbour. The Staff at Mylor were very friendly and welcoming and, unlike other Falmouth marinas, they allowed us to pre-book a Visitor Berth. Also, the facilities at Mylor were excellent as was the meal we had on Saturday night at Castaways Restaurant.

During the day on Saturday we sailed up to Malpas, passing Trelissick Gardens, the Tregothnan Tea Plantation and King Harry Ferry amongst others. Sunday saw us head over to the Helford River which was an enjoyable sail despite the blustery weather and overcast skies. Helford was very quiet and the majority of the moorings were still vacant which allowed is to pick up a mooring for lunch just to the East of Frenchman’s Creek.

On Monday we headed home and what a sail it was! Leaving Falmouth at 0600 it was just getting light and the wind was gusty from the SW at approx Force 4 – 5. Under just headsail and engine we were making 6 knots over the ground in a lumpy following sea. As we passed Dodman Point the wind increased to Force 5 – 6 with the occasional gust at Force 7. I estimate that the swell was in the region of 3 metres with the odd breaking crest from the starboard quarter. Wash-boards were firmly in place and we were both clipped on with life jackets. Other than trips below for snacks, drinks and to update the log, we both remained on deck for the deck for the duration of the passage. I think we were both a bit apprehensive about the conditions and I did consider diverting to Fowey, but this would have resulted in a 4 – 5 mile passage with the sea on the beam, so standing on to Plymouth seemed more favourable. From about 1100 onwards conditions remained steady and despite the swell and breaking crests, Chione remained dry on deck throughout. The worst of the conditions were experienced off Penlee Point when the waves became quite steep and we had 10 minutes of surfing down the front of them. We were both relieved to get back alongside King Point Marina at 1400 when we had a well deserved (late) lunch. Storm Noa hit the following day and the wind and sea state that we experienced on the way back from Falmouth would have been a precursor!

Day sail to Wembury Mewstone – Sun 2 Apr

Had a great day’s sailing on Sunday with light NE winds and warm sun. Chione has not been lifted out of the water now for 18 months, so marine growth is starting to build up which slows her down noticeably! That said, in light winds and a smooth sea state she still pushed along at between 4 – 4.5 knots. Sailed East to the Wembury Mewstone at which point we decided to head back into King Point Marina. As the 2022/23 berthing season has come to an end, we have managed to move berths to the one on the outside of our previous berth which, due to prop-wash, makes coming alongside port-side-to much easier.

For our next outing we are planning to head West on Fri 7 Apr to spend Easter in Falmouth. Fingers crossed for favourable weather!

Victron energy battery charger

After the Poweramp battery charger fitted to Chione failed, I have fitted a Victron energy blue smart charger with 3 outputs. Only 2 of the outputs have been connected (to the domestic and engine battery) and so far, the charger is working well. It has a blue tooth function that allows the charger to be monitored from a mobile phone, which is very useful. I understand that the Poweramp charger may have been fitted to Chione when she was new, so it has lasted for a good 20 years. It’ll be interesting to see how the Victron charger performs over the coming years!

Newly fitted Victron charger (mess from drilling has since been cleaned up!)

An afternoon sail to Penlee Point and back – Sun 12 Feb 23

Wind SE force 3 – 5, sea state slight to moderate and good visibility all resulted in an exhilarating sail out past Penlee Point and back to King Point Marina. On the way out we spotted one of the (unidentified) Daring Class destroyers anchored off Cawsand and on the way back, HMS Somerset followed us in towards the breakwater.

Chione took the surprisingly lumpy seas in her stride and with the first reef in the main and both headsails set, we tramped along between 5 – 6 knots. Back in behind the breakwater the sea state eased and we watched several landing craft head out to sea via The Bridge before Chione’s sails were furled and we headed back to King Point.

Day sail to Cawsand – Sat 20 Aug 22

My friend David joined Martin and me for a day sail to Cawsand Bay. The original passage plan had been to go out to the Eddystone Lighthouse, but the wind was dead on the nose, so instead we sailed out across Wembury Bay and then tacked and headed for Cawsand.

The wind was quite gusty and the swell suitably ‘rolley’ to make for an enjoyable sail! Chione sailed well and now that the jib halyard has been un-twisted (I had reeved it back to front, so David and Martin hauled me up the mast prior to sailing to rectify it. The Solent Bosun’s Chair worked well and felt very safe – it was attached to the throat and peak halyards which made it relatively easy to haul me up the mast).

Cawsand was a beautiful anchorage and not too busy for a sunny Saturday in August. We anchored close in to the shore in 8m and enjoyed a quiet few hours with a few beers and swimming.

First sail with Chione’s new mast

I have finally finished rigging Chione’s new mast and bent on her sails. There are still a few minor jobs to finish – re-wiring the lights and VHF aerial. I have also sanded down the cockpit coaming ready for varnishing – the recent hot, dry weather has been a boon!

Chione went for her first sail during the evening of Friday 12 August. Surprisingly, everything worked fine and apart from having to adjust the main’sl lacing, there were no problems. Conditions were perfect for a first sail with light winds and very little swell. It was also good to escape the heat of the marina! We sailed over to Jenny Cliff Bay and back and then returned to the marina. For her next sail I am planning a trip out to the Eddystone Lighthouse which will be a lengthy sail to settle everything down and stretch Chione’s legs.

Chione’s new mast is finally stepped!

After what has seemed like a long wait, Chione’s new mast was finally stepped by Allspars at Queen Anne’s Battery Marina on Tuesday 5 July. The new mast has been manufactured by Collars and I am very grateful to the Team there for fitting all of the mast furniture and lighting wiring. Once the mast was delivered to Plymouth, Martin and I spent a weekend dressing it ready for stepping.

There was a horrible moment when it appeared that the tabernacle bolt through the base of the mast was not going to fit, but with a bit of pushing and pulling everything went smoothly and Chione was a yacht again! She’s now back in King Point Marina and I am slowly getting her re-rigged and completing some maintenance. All being well we’ll be back on the water in a few weeks time – after a break of 11 months!

Not the sail I’d planned!

Dear Readers, Chione and I will not be on the water for a while.

While out sailing on Saturday 4 September, Chione’s mast snapped at the lower mast band. I was very fortunate that I managed to get all her sails down, recover the rigging and motor back to King Point Marina and while the incident itself was a shock, and I am disappointed not to be able to get out sailing, the important thing is that Chione herself is undamaged and I am hoping to be able to get a new length of mast scarfed into the remaining part of the mast. I suspect repairs will take a while and I will be lucky to be back on the water before the New Year. If anyone has any recommendations for wooden mast repairs (or at worst build a new mast) in the Plymouth area, please do let me know.

While the incident unfolded a bermudan sloop stood by me. In the kerfuffle of getting sorted out I never got her name. If her crew happen to read this post, I am eternally grateful to you for taking time out of your passage to ensure that I was ok. Thank you.