0036 - Newlyn to Plymouth

After sleeping for a while, we were pretty much ready to go again...


I couldn't really tell you much about Newlyn, other than visiting the nearby supermarket, I didn't really leave the harbour - the only person I spoke to was a member of staff collecting dues...

The weather was a bit lousy but as soon as it cleared the crew were on deck... Phoebe did her usual once around the deck and went back to bed, and Chloe took an interest in some birds. After her advances were largely ignored, she did some sunbathing on the dodger as I got things ready to go...

We were headed to Plymouth and continuing with the night sailing we would be leaving just before dark, so we would get there first thing in the morning.

Newlyn was mostly fishing boats and very quiet, other than the member of staff I didn't see another person the whole time I was there...not sure why, there were plenty of boats, just no people...

I wanted to be out of the harbour and in deep water by dark, this harbour is surrounded by some shallow water and I wanted to be able to be clear of any fishing pots while I could still see them...


After filling the water tank, and pumping some diesel, we were off...

After clearing the main bay we passed this tanker on the way out...we actually passed it on the way in as well, but I only saw the lights at night, I knew it was a big ship but in the light, I could see how big it really was.


At night, all I can see are the anchor lights on these ships - or represented as small triangles on my AIS display - I tend to give all ships a wide berth and stay well out of their way, especially at night.

Something else that I noticed is how thin the chain, on this vessel, looks - I'm sure it's strong enough, but it just seemed really thin in comparison to the overall size of the ship...

It was soon dark, the wind picked up to nearly 30 knots, waves began to build, the current swung in our favour, and the night passed quickly - there were a lot of fishing boats and the radio chatter was fifty-per cent French. France is, after all, just across the water...

Things got a bit bumpy, as in waves half as high as the mast kinda bumpy, and whenever they do Chloe gets a bit clingy and grabbed some 'lap time' each time I was at the nav station, If I sat for more than a minute, she would quickly curl up and go to sleep...then I would have to move her as someone has to keep watch - this process repeated for most of the journey...

As we approached Plymouth things had settled down quite a bit and as the sun came up we were visited by a small pod of dolphins. This particular group were very active and put on quite a display!

It was a nice surprise to see them after a long bumpy night, and seeing them jumping out of the water was something I hadn't seen up-close before...

They didn't hang around for very long, but they sure did show off a bit!


It seemed like it didn't take long to get into Plymouth, as soon as I could see it we were there, passing the breakwater and meeting big ships doing their thing...


All the books say to watch out for the big military ships there, I always kinda thought they were just being funny, I didn't actually expect to see one...

But yea, as soon as we passed the breakwater we found ourselves in the way of a huge military ship, we promptly got out of the way without needing to be asked.

It was about now that I remembered I hadn't finished working out where I was going now that I was here, there are loads of anchorages but the weather was due to be foul in just a few hours, and we were looking for something a bit more sheltered...


I checked out a few anchorages but the ones I checked out were just not sheltered enough, so rather than haphazardly messing around in the Bay - I just grabbed a mooring ball behind Drakes Island until I could figure out where to go...

I didn't quite get the mooring ball correctly as the wind began to gust just as I had picked up the line and wasn't able to tie the line off at the bow but instead just tied it to the amidships cleat until I could tie it at the bow properly.


I noticed a second longer pick up line on the mooring and thought I'll just pick that line and tie to the bow and then release the other line and hey presto - it's done, but when I used the boat hook to grab the other line I dropped the damn boat hook into the water.


In my defence, my hands were still a bit wet and slimy from handling the other rope, but it was a dumb thing to do - I only have one boat hook. Luckily the boat hook floats, and as it floated I had a decision to make as it drifted off...


Do I try and retrieve the hook by untying from the mooring - as, If I am unsuccessful, I won't have a way of re-picking up the line without a hook? Or do I just buy another one...

I, of course, went after it - but during the pursuit, I did lose sight of it a few times as the sun was in my eyes and the glare made it hard to keep an eye on the hook...losing sight of the hook was quite defeating, but then I would catch a glimpse of it...


After about five tries I was unable to get it, but on the sixth try I managed to get a loop of rope around the end and get it back on board - I then went back to the mooring ball and picked the line up, and got tied correctly - and that was that.


In the picture below you can see the row of yellow mooring balls behind Drake's Island - not saying you should use them, but they are there...

I got tied up, had a cup of tea and fell asleep for a few hours, then after a series of phone calls to most of the Plymouth marinas, I found a nice little place called Millbay Marina not even that far away...


It's actually a private marina but if they have space you can go in, and they had just a few spaces left... The only 'economical' place I could find, the South Coast, is quite expensive - finding 'cheaper' moorings is getting trickier...

We headed on over and got tied up, and after 20hrs of sailing it was time for some sleep, and when I woke up it was now dark and the weather had arrived. The rain was heavy and very loud with the wind howling away...


We weren't the only ones hiding out in the bay, A cruise ship had decided to shelter just outside the marina...

At this time of night, in these conditions, I just went back to sleep, hopefully, by tomorrow the weather will have chilled out a bit, and we can spend a day having a quick look around Plymouth... I would later discover that this Marina, just by chance, has a Titanic connection...

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