Thursday, 11 August 2016


We did it.

Slipped out of our Swansea berth a shade after 0900, navigated the lock in the company of three other boats, including the lovely Bristol Channel Pilot, Olga, didn't bump into anything, left harbour and set sail for Tenby.

10 hours, 37 minutes underway, 45nm covered, into wind the whole damned way.

I confess, I cheated the last ten miles.

The seas built and the wind stiffened considerably as we left Port Enyon off our starboard quarter. I held off on the outside of the Helwick bank, hoping to pick up a better line in for a last fetch into Tenby.

I knew the wind was going to build into late afternoon, but had underestimated the effect that would have against the tide outside the shelter of the bay.

When the squall hit, we were faced with rank upon serried rank of foam capped waves, all of them taller than the boat, and the boat heeling over to beyond 25 degrees even with everything reefed down hard.

I held the beat until we came in over the west end of the bank, and then faced with the soon to turn foul tide and a hard beat into steep, churning seas for the last ten miles, I dropped sail and put the engine on.

I think by then Nik had had enough, although she was bearing up admirably.

The little boat managed the angry waters well, burying her nose time and again into marching seas that washed over the decks to clatter against the sprayhood, until we finally made shelter in the approaching lee of Caldy Island and things calmed down.

It was bumpy, but for her crew, nestled in the cockpit behind the sprayhood, dry at least, the little boat affording shelter more than sufficient for the conditions.

The final approach into Tenby was over smooth water. By now, Nik had retired below and was asleep on the port bunk. I motor up gently alongside one of the visitors buoys and secured a line to it, snagging it first with the boathook,  then leaning out over the starboard quarter to thread a line through it that I then walked back to secure on the bow.

Then I pumped up the dinghy to row the half mile to shore to find some fish and chips and cold beer to bring back to the boat for supper.

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