With a single reef in the mainsail and the No.1 jib, (a former mainsail cut to size), Blue Mistress sails beautifully.
There was a grey cloudy sky yesterday afternoon, with rain to come. The forecast said the wind would lessen as the afternoon wore on. But Charles and Annette were on holiday and wanted to sail and Peggy said she’s come too – (none of them wanting to sail more than I), so we went.
We put our nose out round the Breakwater into the teeth of a long swell and decided that, with the wind lessening, it would be more fun to sail inside the Breakwater. And it was when we had tacked and eased the sheets slightly into a close reach across relatively calm waters that the boat came alive. It’s difficult to describe but there was a moment when the rhythm of the boat stepped up a notch. It was the sort of unlooked-for feeling you get ‘in your bones’. Maybe it was the movement through the water as we picked up speed, maybe the various sounds changing, maybe it was the set of the sails or the feel of the wind on my cheek, but I found myself knowing precisely why I am pleased with Blue Mistress and why the wait for the work on her to be completed has been worth it.
As we headed towards the bridge between Drake’s Island and the Mount Edgcumbe estate to enter the Tamar, a fleet of Lasers swept down on us. A few minutes before they had been a mile away over towards Cawsand, now the leaders were on us and there was that tricky moment of how to avoid them. They seemed to be everywhere – enthusiastic youngsters seriously racing.
Once on the Tamar, with a light drizzle and the wind dropping, it was time to shake out the reef – and the genoa might have helped but the wind was dropping fast and it fell altogether as we came level with Millbrook Lake.
So a chance to recharge the batteries and enjoy a gentle motor up river past the naval dockyards before returning to the Plym.
The drizzle stopped as we were directed inshore towards the Mayflower Marina to avoid another warship plus its attendant tug, police boat and various ribs.
It’s only the second season I have sailed in Plymouth and I am still ‘green behind the ears’, so maybe I am a little naïve, but, as my Dad used to point out, when you’re on the water, there’s always something happening and always something to see. Don’t miss it. It’s particularly true here.