On sailing a Folksong


I’ve just watched the videos on the Avida website prior to the Vendee Globe on 9th November. Great pictures.

Now for the contrast  –  yesterday I took Blue Mistress out into the Sound.

24 hour forecast: Northwest 4 or 5, backing west 3 or less. Slight or moderate. Showers in west. Good.

It had backed to south of west 3 or less by the time we got there – so it was the genoa and a gentle 2-3 knot sail across the Sound towards Cawsand, then out through the Western Channel, a broad reach along the outside of the Breakwater and back in through the Eastern Channel – (one mackerel later).  This whole trip would be a ten minute stroll for an Open 60. It took me the whole afternoon.

Plymouth Breakwater – west – looking into the sun, early yesterday afternoon

One of the delights of sailing a long keeled boat is the minimal leeway compared to other boats. In a steady light breeze, not enough to produce any significant heeling, we chuckled through the water. On the first leg, using crab pot buoys as markers and a cottage in Cawsand as guide, we easily cleared the marks upwind, while two newer boats that had set off after us dropped to leeward – and behind.

Now, Blue Mistress is no racing boat, and it not my intention to race her, but I reckon that, on some points of sailing, she could go faster – if only I wasn’t holding her back.

So, in later posts, I hope to tackle this – starting with rudder design.

Plymouth Breakwater – east – late in the afternoon