Last event if the series - Plymouth Final Fling - 14/15th of October

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voyages up the river severn

Started by phil_kirk, May 14, 2012, 01:20:44 PM

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Thanks Neil,

Going agroud isn't a problem with a centreboard when you know what the sea bed is made of and which way to turn to get back into deeper water.  The sun had fully gone down at 9pm but surprisingly there was enough light from the bridges, Avonmouth and roads, houses on either side of the severn that we could see the telltales on the jib.  The red aircraft avoidance lights on the top of the bridge piers were visible from nearer Cleavdon and were an easy reference point. Had it been pitch dark it would have been much trickier.

We're going round the island this weekend.  Spectating on the water.


RTI what a spectacle.  More so when you you're not taking part and have time to look around. 

We went round in the Wayfarer and passed the start line about 5 minutes before the first start.  We kept to the mainland side of the channel to keep out of the way and were able to see ICAP Lepoard the TP52's and the AC45 cat etc. 

We reached the needles in a gap between the faster boats from the first 2 starts and the Sports boats.  behind them it was a busy throng of yachts.  To keep out of the way and since it was near high water we threaded the needles going through the larger gap.  To leg to St Catherines was exciting with a lot of planing and Surfing on waves upto 8 feet high.  Not wanting to capsize and become an obstacle for the others we put in two reefs but were still planing and surfing in the gusts.  Once round St Catherines we stayed inshore of the yachts but only by a few m  to avoid the rocks. The wind was very shifty with some vicious gusts and then calms.  We cut inside Bembridge ledge buoy and kept close to the shore after that to keep out of the adverse tide.  We wanted to cut across Ryde sands but worked out that there was only 30cm of water over the shallow areas and had to tack out to join the yachts.  We stayed as close to the edge of the bank  as we could and managed not to get in anyones way.  A Sigma 36 followed us at one point but breifly grounded when he tacked off.  We could see a few other yachts who had got to close and were stuck.

The final slog to the finish appeared to take forever but eventually we passed the line at 3pm an elapsed time of 10 hours.  We stopepd in Cowes for a drink mooring up next to the ribs (for free) before sailing back to calshot. We had been sailing against the tide for most of the day which made our time more impressive. 

An epic day. 

To do that in a Cherub I would sugggest 


Graham Bridle

That you would be completely off your trolley.


Sorry i pressed post by accident. 
I would suggest a rib support boat and a spare crew and a sunny day.

I wondered what the shortest dinghy to sail round the island is. perhaps the 6 foot skif should have a go!

Clive Everest

Lymington Optimists have done it swapping crew.
Class Committee


2688- Atum Bom


So something shorter than an optimist and non stop would give quite a long standing record.  It might take a long time though. 

Neil C.

I was "persuaded" to clear out some old magazines from the sitting room this afternoon to make way for the Christmas tree. I came across an old issue of Y&Y with a very interesting article all about Frank Dye, which put me in mind of Phil and his epic adventures up and down the Severn. Here is a bit of the article for your interest. I think the idea was that you should go out and buy Frank's books "Ocean Crossing Wayfarer" and "Sailing to the Edge of Fear" so I don't think Y&Y will be suing me for copyright:

Early Cruising Exploits:
Of his crew Frank is very appreciative. "I owe a great deal to my many crew - tough, adventurous and plain nice people. Invariably I have learned a great deal from them."
His first cruising was in a Hornet! "Bob Wright, a friend from school days, sailed with me on my first cruise from Kings Lynn to Brancaster Staithe. With a fair wind and almost no knowledge of the ebb and flow of salt waters we were unable to stem the tide into Lynn Cut before dark. We dragged our Hornet, a 15ft racing machine, to the top of the sands and laid out an anchor so as to swing clear of the shipping channel during the night. I remember being badly scared in the early hours watching navigation lights heading straight for us and swinging away at the last moment to follow the channel (and we were without any means of showing our presence).
"Surprisingly Bob crewed for me again at Easter to the Humber. This was an ambitious project as we had not learned to reef afloat and were equipped with wet weather gear of gas capes, cycle leggings, and gym shoes.
"We departed Brancaster Staithe on the last of the ebb tide, crossed the Wash with a small reef in the mainsail and pulled the Hornet ashore at Chapel St Leonard in Lincolnshire some hours later, and rigged the tent alongside the dinghy. Next day we headed north with the weather unsettled, the wind freshening and the dinghy beginning to plane. We planned to cross the mouth of the Humber and pull ashore for the night in Yorkshire."

Log Extract:
"Bob overboard! We had been planing in rushes for some time with Bob on the end of the sliding seat. A sudden gust, the Hornet heeled, Bob's gym shoe slipped off the wet gunwale, he slid down the plank into the water - and was gone! I just managed to keep the dinghy upright although she was much over-canvassed. Scared of capsizing due to my lack of weight, I was afraid of losing sight of my crew in the choppy sea. I came along side him at the second attempt but his clothing was so sodden with water that he was too heavy to climb over the transom and the Hornet was too tender to bring him aboard over the side. After several attempts I tied him to the stern and sailed him ashore to get him back in the boat - a distance of something over a mile.
By the time we were off Donna Nook, the southern entrance of the Humber, the wind was heavy and we rolled in a deep reef and tied down the jib. We estimated the wind to be almost gale force, as we were showing only 30 per cent of our sail area, and would dearly have liked to pull ashore until it blew out, but it was only just after low water, the gently shelving beach floods for over a mile, and with no shelter from the wind Bob was cold and shivering violently after his swim.
I had read that a boat should stay in deep water to make maximum use of the flood tide, so we stood out into the deep water channel. It was a mistake. The tide was running into the eye of the wind and we were soon in heavy breaking seas. Badly scared, we stood back close under the shore - and so we learned the importance of getting a lee from the land!"

The article goes on to explain how Frank and Bob decided that a Hornet was the wrong kind of boat for this kind of thing. Undeterred, they went on to do a crossing of the North Sea to Holland in a Force 8 gale, and cruised round Denmark in a Wayfarer the following Spring. Proper tough guys in those days.


Without dry suits and breathable thermals. GPS. weather forecast etc.

Proper nutters. Most of Frank dye's crews only did one or two trips.


We have a cruise organised this year to island YC canvey with the plan being to sail across on Saturday, camp overnight then sail back on Sunday. I plan on taking "New Tricks" with the kids for a good old fashioned swallows and amazons adventure. Although I may send the tent and sleeping bags in a car to ensure a dry nights sleep.