In the Night Sailing (but no Iggle Piggle)
originally published on www.thegledaproject.com on 8th Sep 2014
Neil wanted to try a night sail as part of the sea trials for Gleda. Whilst I do know that night sailing is part of her/our future and that many boats like ours sail at night, it was not on my todo list for this particular week. Neil pointed out that I would get to see the stars and possibly the Milky Way. Not very likely as it was cloudy!
Not keen but resigned to doing it anyway, Neil had a kip between 7 and 9 and then I went to bed when he got up. Neil got me up at 11pm. I grumpily got dressed with plenty of layers. It was not a warm evening, well I didn’t think so. We left our comfortable pontoon mooring in Fowey about 11.30pm and I missed most of the motor down the river to the harbour entrance as I was busy with my task of stowing the fenders and mooring ropes.
We headed out of the harbour and turned left towards Plymouth. Straight into the easterly blowing wind and hitting the waves hard. I was already not happy and less so when Neil went up on the roof of the deck pod to untie the sails and then hanging of the front to untile the gib. He was wearing a harness and a life jacket but even so we were pitching well and if he went overboard in the dark, bye bye mon captain and the one who knows how to sail the boat.
For 2 hours I sat in my seat in the corner of the pod wishing to be rescued by a helicopter that would winch me up off the boat. It was the sea state not the night sail that was upsetting me. I wasn’t sick but as you can’t see the waves coming each lurch was a surprise; an unwelcome one.
Neil suggested that I went and lie down. I did just as we were approaching Polperro. I quite easily could of called out every minute “are you still there” but contained this to about every 1/4 hour or so. I went back up after about 2 hours and we were still outside Polperro, (wrong wind). Neil put an engine on to start to motor towards Plymouth as our plan was to head back to Weir Quay and our mooring. However after 15mins of smacking into the waves with not much speed he said “this is supposed to be fun”, “I’m turning around and we are going back to Fowey”. Yay.
As soon as we turned it was pleasant sailing. Neil said a good example for me of the same sea and winds just the direction that changed and gave us a good run back to Fowey.
We arrived back on the same pontoon at 7am probably much to the bemusement of our neighbours who had seen us leave the night before. We had a couple of hours kip then went ashore to pay for a nights mooring.
As yet, night sailing has no appeal to me and for when I have to take a turn to watch/sail, Neil will have to be in the pod bunk in case I have a problem/query.
Ideal; I go to bed and wake up where we want to be or alternatively maybe they will invent beaming technology soon!
* I suspect my IgglePiggle refernce will onl be “got” by the parents or grandparents of pre-school children.