Laurence Andrews

Day Skipper - Day 1

We started the morning after sleeping aboard, not the best sleep ever but got just enough. We went through the workings of a life jacket after breakfast, explaining the mechanism and how the automatic firing works. We then spent some time talking about weather information and where it can be sourced, explaining the Almanac, etc. We covered Diesel engine daily maintenance and learned the WOBBLE mnemonic, water, oil, bilge, belt, lecky, exhaust.

I helmed the boat out of the Marina which went okay although the wheel was locked (whoops) which wasn’t ideal and it took me a little while to figure out! We got out fine though, nice and steady with no issue. We then did some mooring practice under power and got a feel for the boat.

Simon the instructor demonstrated how to use engine wash and walk to turn the boat in a close circle. A very neat trick. Every boat will pull to port or starboard in a certain way depending on the propeller type.

We then worked to put the sails up but had some issues with the cars in the mast track, which seemed to get stuck in the just below the top spreaders. We tried a few things to check what the cause could be, we disconnected the halyard and attached a line to make sure it could run free which it did. And then disconnected one of the cars from the sail to see if it was getting caught. We believed that the newly installed rolling Genoa may have resulted in the mast bending back more than before and the track being slightly pinched as a result.

We motored up the Fal river just before the chain ferry and anchored up for lunch. During lunch we oiled the cars of the sail and successfully pulled the main up.

We pulled the anchor up and motored out of the river a little before putting the sails up and doing some light weather sailing. We practiced identifying marks and talked about points of sail. In the mouth of the River we performed a heave-to manoeuvre to stop the boat while in the wind.

We sailed past the lighthouse at the mouth of the Falmouth and sailed back into the river. With the wind fading we furled the Genoa and motorsailed back to where we were for lunch.

Luckily we found a pontoon to moor up to for the night, I was given helm duty for coming alongside the pontoon which seemed to go quite well. We tied up and called it a day.

We had sausage and mash for dinner and spoke to a full-time sailor called Terry on a boat named the Josephine of Exe who had done some transatlantic crossings. Very interesting character who shared a few bottles of red!