The first half of our passage from St Ives to Padstow was very trying with a very weak wind, mostly following. We needed to set the spinnaker to make against the tide but the extremely variable wind direction made it almost impossible to keeping the spinnaker set. Eventually a contrary NE wind appeared and, even though we had to beat against it, it was a relief. Finally, we entered the beautiful Camel Estuary.
The estuary is very tidal and not suited to anchoring, so we entered the Padstow dock through a tidal gate. Padstow was packed with visitors for the half-term and Jubilee holidays. We were berthed in the thick of it, right outside the Old Customs House inn and under crowds drinking or eating fish and chips. Many craft were dressed overall and others decked with red, white & blue.
We had three days here waiting for the right winds to cross to Milford Haven. We took the opportunity to do three loads of laundry.
On the Saturday evening we left Padstow and moved down estuary to anchor off Polzeath, ready for an early start at 4:00am the next morning. There was a narrow band of calm forecast which would likely follow us north. We needed to be ahead of it, which we achieved with an hour’s motoring after which we had a fast reach to Milford Haven. We were joined for an hour by a large pod of dolphins, including several calves. They loved criss-crossing under our bow.
Milford Haven is vast and there are lots of boating possibilities. We anchored in the lovely Sandy Haven and had a sunny day drying out gear after the rain of the last part of our passage. The following day we motored up the harbour, through the oil and LPG tanker terminals to the Neyland Yacht Marina.
We had a busy social time in Neyland.
First we were visited by Ynskje’s in-laws Mike and Nina. We had a lazy long coffee time in the marina bistro which merged into lunch.
Over lock-down, Tony started contributing to the OpenCPN marine navigation project. He needed to learn the object-orientated programming language C++, GitHub and the intricacies of writing plugins for OpenCPN. He has had a lot of support from another sailor Mike.
It so happens that Mike has been working his way down from Scotland to Plymouth in his yacht Kamish and our paths crossed in Neyland. It was the first time we had met in person.
We enjoyed visiting each other’s yachts and had a convivial evening with refreshments and a dish prepared by Ynskje.
We found we were berthed close by Judy & Jamie, whom we had got to know when we were in Helsinki in 2018. We spent an afternoon aboard Secret of Hurst catching up and exchanging cruising tips.
We have just been joined by Ynskje’s son Dan in a surprise visit. He will sail with us across to Ireland. The weather has been very unsettled. We have been waiting for enough but not too much wind from a manageable direction for the 81nm passage. We are hoping to make the passage on Sunday after waiting five days.
That’s it for now.
Ynskje & Tony