On sailing a Folksong – a Sunday sail in winter

1030, Sunday 13th December

My first sail since the end of October.

Blue Mistress has ridden the storms reasonably well.

The forehatch has sprung a small leak. The sail bags are wet.

We have lost not one but two shackle pins on the stern lines.

Poor mousing on my part – (yes, I did use wire), and not helped by the vastly increased run-off of water from Dartmoor into the Plym.


The wind was easterly this morning and gusting. I left the Sound through the eastern entrance and sailed happily south – course 180 degrees (M), until Dodman Point opened up  in the west.

I turned for home about 1330.

There were one or two boats sailing and a number of small fishing boats. Mostly I had the sea to myself.

Looking towards Devon in the east to Great Mew Stone and the entrance to the Yealm

and towards Cornwall in the west – Rame Head with Kingsand and Cawsand on the right of the picture.


The wind decided to back towards north which was exactly wrong for re-entering the Sound.

I was concentrating on clearing the eastern end of the Breakwater, when four dolphins appeared from nowhere . . .

They were intent on play, appearing randomly around the boat, racing passed or lazily rolling under the keel.

As they levelled with the cockpit, I could have touched them.

Delighted, excited and entranced, the tiller in one hand, the camera in the other, I took lots of images – mostly of freshly disturbed water.

They lead me on – (note the rapidly approaching conical mark on the end of the Breakwater), and, when I looked up, I had missed the entrance and had to tack very quickly.

My new friends immediately disappeared, and I was reminded of the Sirens of Greek Mythology.

“OK, guys, joke over.”

250 yards on, I tacked back and there they were again.

They escorted me to the entrance to the Sound, before swimming off – no doubt chuckling all the way back to sea!


I was asked last week why I hadn’t taken my boat out of the water for the winter.

There’s your answer.

One thought on “On sailing a Folksong – a Sunday sail in winter

  1. What a rewarding experience!
    I hope you share some more tips about shepherding dolphins in future posts 😀

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