Speedwell of Rhu Ship's Log

22nd to 24th of June 2017 - Gentle Sailing

Crew : Helen and Andy Position Map
Destinations : River Odet.
Distance : 45 miles

Today it remained fairly cool so it wasn't too onerous getting the boat ready to sail. When at anchor or on a buoy, we prepare her and get both sails up before we leave so that we can start sailing quite quickly. We left our anchorage at 0835, sailing out of the harbour with a few other yachts. Seeing a boat in front of us with the cruising chute flying spurred us on to give ours an airing. It was only a Force 2 and the wind was gradually veering so we didn't make very good speed and needed to head slightly further south than we wanted to. However, the cruising chute helped us to increase our speed from 3 knots to 4 knots. We refused to be rushed and followed a course which allowed us a comfortable sail. We knew that there was a good likelihood of sea breezes in the afternoon which would increase our speed and bring the apparent wind further forward.

There was no swell and it was very peaceful. So what does one do when sailing in the sun at 4 knots with no swell to speak of? Well we played with some dolphins, played music and did some yoga and danced on the aft deck. The dolphins seemed to like our music as they arrived shortly after we started playing it. Because the boat was so sedate we were able to spend time on the foredeck watching them swim in the bow wave.

                      

As we got past the headland, we dropped the cruising chute then gybed to head toward our destination. Our speed gradually increased to around 7 knots as we headed further upwind. We entered the River Odet, passing the two marinas and many morning buoys. We had decided we wanted to spend some time at anchor to get some chores done on the boat. Staying in marinas becomes quite expensive and we don't particularly enjoy marinas so we will try to avoid this whenever possible and anchor. Many of the anchorages on the river were full of buoys and as we got to the end of the navigable channel we were starting to think we may have to return to a mooring buoy. We tried a few spots, but the river bottom was very rocky. However, we eventually found a little inlet in sight of Quimper, but surrounded by lovely woodland. We tucked ourself in close to the shore as advised in the pilot book. However, we discovered that the bay was full of eddies and during the last of the ebb tide the boat was moving in all sorts of directions on its anchor. We could hear the anchor chain growling over the rocks as we did this. The following morning we moved further out once the only other yacht had left. This proved much more peaceful, despite lying to the tide. Unless there is a strong wind, lying to the tide can be very comfortable if there is plenty of swinging room.

We spent 3 nights at anchor. I managed to do some maintenance on the windscreen and Andy did a few more deck plugs. This is a never ending job as our teak decks are now 30 years old and getting quite thin. It involves removing the old screws which are starting to show through the teak, drilling a hole the size of a teak plug and putting in a new teak plug using epoxy, then cutting off the excess with a chisel and sanding it flush. We were also able to get ashore and explore the riverside paths. The weather was much cooler which was a pleasant relief, requiring less suncream.

                    
LOOKING TOWARD QUIMPER AT ANCHOR RIVER ODET

 

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