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  • Writer's pictureApril Boyes

End of Volvo Cork week - Weymouth delivery

delivery on Pata Negra Lombard 46 racing yacht


I arrived late on Friday evening after work to be ready for an early start to deliver Pata Negra after she was on charter during Cork week back to Weymouth on the south coast of England.

Cork Yacht club is a beauty and I managed to catch a sunset beer and bumped into a few familiar faces from Liverpool yacht club.

There's Eduardo in striking pink from Max Too ... their t-shirts made the crew easy to locate and a lovely bunch they are too.

Later in the evening we headed to the bar for some beers and I met up with George too, who would also be doing the delivery over and had a few more drinks but just the one as the queue to the bar was about 45 minutes long...before heading back to the boat. On our peaceful walk back we were stopped by the Commodore of the club and his partner for a nightcap on their Bluewater cruiser..impossible to say no! After a little dance it was finally time to get some sleep before the early start!

Saturday morning and it's delivery day! 8:00am and first thing on the list was to provision for the trip...snacks, bacon, crisps, chocolate, Pepsi, know, all the most nutritious healthy food you can think of. Actually we did buy some apples. Next job was to drop the Volvo Cork Week flags...then fuel up as the wind forecast was looking very light so we would be doing a lot of motoring. I hanked on the jib for future use and attached the sheets and then we were on our way.

We initially were looking to set off Friday which is when I did the passage plan for.. but given the tidal gates and timing of crew arrival etc etc Saturday morning looked much more realistic so everything changed...that's sailing for you! The wind due 4-8 knots to start with out of Cork and gradually due to back to an Easterly. The main tidal gate we needed to be aware of was the Lizard which we could get within 1 nautical mile of dependant on the sea state and we wanted the tide with us at this point so worked back 19 hours from the time we set off at 10:00 BST.

I was very pleased that George had the oven on and bacon sandwiches were a priority in the morning... yummy! By 11:00 BST we were out of cork with the main up and aiming to keep high and head towards the top of the lands end TSS it's a pretty quiet part of the journey with sparse traffic and we had pretty mild weather with low winds and just the main up due to the wind direction...motor sailing. We wanted to keep fairly high as you can see from our track below so our wind angle would allow us to sail down.

If you're wondering ... yes that is a rope chair/swing on the boom which was constructed around 14:30BST... travelling in the same direction for many many hours with little wind it's amazing the ... inventions people come up with to pass the time, alongside deep conversations and eating far too many hob knobs!! As the evening was approaching we decided to adopt a watch system of 3 hours on 3 hours off in pairs. Around 21:00BST it really did start to get chilly and wooly hats and offshore kit was on. Especially after nightfall lifejackets were put on, wind had picked up too to around 13-16 knots. We hoisted the jib and I was keeping an eye on the passage plan using a combination of B & G and Navionics it was ideal to keep an eye on tides and the AIS features on B&G are great.

The TSS near lands end was relatively quiet but we kept a close eye on the shipping and was a relatively uneventful crossing. Night navigation is my favourite and there's something about it that never fails to excite me. Despite it being chilly we had a hot chocolate and it was soon time to be off watch and Chris to take over...waking people up from watch can be a bit cringe especially they're in deep sleep whispering 'Wakey Wakey' or gently shaking them. I love sleeping on boats the gentle rocking sound of the waves or vibration of the engine people working and adjusting sails above whilst I am cosy in my sleeping bag is very peaceful.

Rise and shine crew! Well ....the wind picked up throughout the early hours and we ended up putting 2 reefs in and doing over 9 knots over the ground which was splendid. Bright sunshine and heading towards the Lizard at 10:25BST with tide on our side and the sea state calm we were then able to come inshore near Falmouth. I even managed to get signal to call my brother who lives in Plymouth and say a quick hello and ask him how his day was going before getting our angles set up for the next headland towards Salcombe.

Things got a little bit exciting at 20 knots of TWS as we headed towards Plymouth with some of us sleeping and some of us on Watch as you can see in the below photo! I had a great playlist on hence the headphones...we originally expected to be back by Sunday evening but with a solid beat it seemed less and less optimistic with Monday morning looking much more realistic.

Well...amongst navigating other sailing boats and a race fleet...we were also being headed and lifted by the breeze...THEN DISASTER our pack of hob knobs got absolutely drenched...I blame whoever left them on deck who wants to eat salty wet hobnobs... however, probably for the best given how many chocolates we had but I was looking forward to one later with a hot drink! As we didn't have a second nights dinner planned we had to improvise and had ham and cheese melted in tortilla wraps..absolutley delicious! But more importantly warm.... I think anyone on land enjoying the 26 degrees may have wondered why we were dressed in full on offshores but the wind chill can get you even on the sunniest day! We were greeted by some dolphins near Falmouth which just never gets boring... it's always magical... I always say hello to them and love the squeaky sounds they make.

Another evening another watch.. I was keeping an eye on some of the boats notably on Blue Thunder can see she passed our port side with a CPA of 15 metres in the dark! I could see their navigation lights but we were tempted at one stage to give them a quick call on VHF as they looked as though they would be in close proximity with us. AIS is great... look at all the little triangles that's all the boats coming towards us.

The wind dropped off so we decided to shake out a reef and increase our boat speed crossing Lyme bay towards Portland/Weymouth our destination it felt like forever we had been sailing that night but I was enjoying the night sailing and keeping an eye out for boats!

It was time then to come off watch which I was grateful for given how cold it was and was a welcome fact I would be woken up just a few hours from our destination!

Coming into Weymouth in the early hours was quiet, the guiding lights easy to see and we went through the East ship channel and into the marina.

As soon as Pata Negra was tied to the dock we all got some much needed sleep then went for breakfast before we flaked the main/Jib packed away our kit.

A great trip, albeit delayed we had some big breeze and was a good experience to be on deck on my own at times and I am looking forward to the next delivery and packing in more miles towards my next goal getting in some more skippered miles for my Yachtmaster Offshore.

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