BRISTOL SAILING ASSOCIATION
Newsletter July 2008
Contacts: Gordon Ogden (Commodore) 01275 462473
Jock Playle (Secretary) 0117 973 8855
Jane Jenkyn (Treasurer) 01275 880318
Marion Brown (Social Secretary) 0117 952 0434
We were pleased to see Bob Buchanan at the meeting, looking well after his heart bypass operation
1. Future Trips
1.1 We were unable to muster a full crew for Phil Steele‟s proposed weekend charter on August
2/3rd. With the short notice this had to be finalised at the July meeting and has therefore had to
1.2 Malcolm Price will skipper a weekend charter from Plymouth on August 15 – 17th. This is fully
booked, and full payment received from all going.
1.3 Phil Steele hopes to skipper a week‟s charter from Falmouth starting on Saturday August 30th.
This will be a coastal cruise, not cross-Channel, and could visit the Scilly Isles if the weather is
settled. For this to go ahead, we need one or two more crew. We will need to book this soon, so
will anyone who would like to go on this trip please let me (Jock) know as soon as possible.
1.4 Several members asked for a weekend charter on September 26/28th, and this will be skippered
by Phil Steele from Plymouth. Two of those who originally hoped to go have cancelled so there
are two places still available – please contact me (Jock) if you would like to go on this trip. We
need to confirm a full crew at the meeting on August 11th.
1.5 Phil Steele will skipper another weekend charter, this time in the Solent, on October 24 – 26th.
There are two places still available for this trip.
1.6 Sail in Thailand next winter? Kate Hubert is planning to organise a trip to Thailand/Malaysia
between next December and February. Several members have expressed an interest in this, As
it won‟t be the cheapest of trips an early booking would help drive the price down. The charter
would be 10/14 days either based from Phuket, or a one way charter between Phuket and
Langkawi in Malaysia, on one of a range of yachts or cats from 31-50ft. It will be hot 30-32C, with
clear skies, light winds and calm seas. It will be a leisurely cruise through the dozens of islands,
many uninhabited, with coral reefs and gorgeous beaches. Kate spent over 4 years living aboard
in the area, and knows all the best spots and secluded anchorages. We would be able to eat
spicy Thai food and fresh seafood ashore at local restaurants, bars and resorts around half the
time, and self-catering aboard the rest of the time. Please contact Kate to find out more, email
email@example.com or call on 01275 333706.
BSA Website. Thanks to hard work by Andy Hiles, the revamped website is now up and running.
As well as club information there are links to many other useful sites, a library page with our
newsletters, and a gallery of pictures of our sailing. Andy would like more of these pictures – at
present we have mainly just one weekend in the Solent on Spellbinder. Either let Andy have
some photos on CD, or log on to the website – www.bristolsailing.org.uk – and follow the link to
the webmaster to upload your photos.
3. Recent Trips
A summary of all trips reported at meetings is given here, or a full report, if available. Members
reporting at a meeting are reminded that a full version of the report should be provided, either
written or emailed. If this isn‟t available, then only a short summary will be given in the
newsletter. Full reports will be included with the next newsletter following receipt.
At the July meeting Jock reported on ten days sailing in Brittany, Sonia Russé described a
week‟s flotilla holiday in Croatia, and Steve Freestone reported a week‟s charter in the Saronic
Gulf. John Robinson described some sailing on Tim Sandford‟s yacht, and then gave an account
of a most unusual delivery trip he made – from Oban to Dublin – and then unexpectedly back to
Oban instead of onward to Portland. All these reports follow:
Ten days in Brittany – report by Jock Playle
Tony Hall and I joined our former work colleague Gordon Hughes aboard his Moody 36 DS “Le Trek”, along with
Ted Chubb, our skipper when we all started cruising in the 1970s. Our plan was to make for the N Brittany coast
from Plymouth via Dartmouth and Guernsey, sail west along the coast to Trébeurden, then back to Plymouth.
We planned to spend two nights and a day in each port visited – this might seem a bit leisurely, but we though it
quite reasonable for a crew with an average age of 69½.
We arrived at Plymouth in the afternoon of Sunday June 22 . After provisioning the boat, we considered the
forecast and decided to change our plans and leave next morning direct to St Quay. We had planned to sail to
Dartmouth on Monday, then make an early start on Tuesday for a daylight sail to Guernsey. However, the
forecast for Tuesday was for light southerly winds, and the prospect of a 5 am start followed by 16 hours
motoring into a head wind, then a night sail to Brittany, didn‟t appeal, so we decided to make use of the forecast
SW wind on Monday to sail direct to Brittany, heading for St Quay as a port with all-tide access.
We left at 9.30 on Monday and sailed for 8 hours in a light to moderate southwesterly, until the wind dropped and
we had to motor/sail. By 5 am on Tuesday the Roches Douvres were abeam, the wind picked up from the east,
and we sailed to St Quay arriving at 0930, exactly 24 hours for the 121 miles. This was a landmark (seamark?)
for me personally, as it was my 80 Channel crossing, the first being from Lymington to Cherbourg in1974.
Our main problem during this week was that the high tides on the Brittany coast were around midday. This
meant we couldn‟t leave one tidal harbour and reach another on the same day – we had to use an all-tide
harbour, such as St Quay or Tréguier on alternate days. We had hoped to sail to Binic, but took the easy option,
thus saving two days, of going there by bus during our day in St Quay on Wednesday. There is a bus run by the
local council along the coast from Paimpol to St Brieuc, with a flat fare of €2 for any journey.
On Thursday we left St Quay for Paimpol, leaving at 0800 to make sure we made the midday lock opening. We
arrived at 1155, sailing in a good W breeze to start with, then motor/sailing, then sailing again in a rising westerly
wind. After nothing but warm sun so far, the next day in Paimpol brought some light rain – the only poor weather
we had all week, unlike Bristol just 200 miles to the north. During the morning we bought some oysters for lunch.
Unfortunately I had the only bad one which attacked me viciously 3 hours later, and I was out of action until the
next day. Luckily we were moored very close to the marina facilities.....
On Saturday we left Paimpol on the first lock opening at 1130, heading for Tréguier. We had a W breeze at first,
then it veered NW and increased to 17 K so we tacked past Bréhat to the Passe de la Gaine approach to
Tréguier. The tide was still ebbing when we arrived at 1800, and we were lucky to find just one berth available on
the downstream side of the visitors‟ pontoon, allowing us to head straight in into the tide. We ate on board –
strangely I passed on the oysters, bought in Paimpol before we left.
On Sunday we found the wonderful traditional chandlery across the river from Tréguier to be closed, and we had
to amuse ourselves at a nearby car boot sale. In the evening there was just one restaurant open near the marina
– the Swiss mountain-themed St Bernard, rather strange for a port in Brittany but quite good.
On Monday we left Tréguier at 0900, just before HW, and sailed against the tide to Trébeurden. There was no
wind at first but it picked up from the NE by mid-afternoon and we sailed down the inshore passage into
Trébeurden at 1720. We were disappointed to find that the restaurant by the marina, the Creperie des Isles,
which used to be family-run and served good simple meals as well as a very good breakfast, now seems to be
part of a faceless chain, with unfriendly waiters tapping your order into a touch-screen gizmo then serving
indifferent food – and they don‟t open for breakfast. We had, however, decided to celebrate our last night in
France on the Tuesday with a blow-out at the 4* hotel Ti al Lannec, at the top of the hill above the marina. Here
we had a fantastic meal, at a cost, but this did include copious wine and armagnac.
We had planned to leave Trébeurden on the Wednesday afternoon, but given the forecast for strong northerly
winds on Thursday we decided to leave at the end of the morning tidal window. The marina sill is an automatic
counterbalanced device which opens and closes over a period of time. We knew it would be fully closed by 9.15,
but weren‟t sure of the latest time we could leave for our draft of 1.9 m. I went to ask at the marina office and had
a rather bizarre conversation with the lady there. After looking up the tables she told me we needed to cross the
sill by 8.15, then said we could leave that afternoon after 1300. Oh, she said, but where are you going?
Plymouth, I replied. Oh, that‟s a long way, you‟d better leave in the morning! Did she think we were going to sail
over 100 miles to get home for tea?
Anyway, next day we duly left at 0800 with a helpful westerly breeze and a distinctly unhelpful 2m swell on the
beam. By 10 pm the wind was up to over 25K, and the lumpy sea on top of the swell meant no-one got any sleep
that night. This boat sails very well on mainsail only, so we rolled away the genoa completely and continued
more comfortably toward Plymouth on full main at 6-7 K on a beam reach. When we passed the Eddystone in
the early morning the tops of the swells were breaking. As we approached Plymouth the sky was lit up from west
to east by flashes of lightning, with heavy showers. Welcome back to England! We berthed at Plymouth Yacht
Haven at 0550, just under 22 hours for the 107 miles, and a cracking sail if a bit bouncy.
Altogether we were away for 10 days, sailing for six of them, and covering a total of 320 miles.
Neilson Flotilla Holiday in Croatia 2nd to 9th June 2008 – report by Sonia Russé.
Jane (Jenkyn) and myself, her two sisters Christine and Frances and her brother in law, Ian (Skipper) chartered
a Beneteau 393 to sail around the Dubrovnik area of the Dalmatian coast line.
Up to the date of our arrival the weather had been superb, 27˚C with light winds however flight conditions
suggested a major change. So bumpy, the food and drinks service was abandoned while we cut through high
dense cloud for the entire journey. The 5-day forecast had indeed indicated thunder and lightning, black clouds
and rain though in reality this proved to be nowhere near as bad. We did however experience something of
Following arrival at Dubrovnik airport we had a two hour coach drive along a spectacular coast road to Orebic on
the Peljesac peninsular and then a 45 min crossing in a small cramped ferry to the island of Korcula and the
Marina base at Lumbarda.
As is the style of flotilla sailing we had skipper briefings every morning and were impressed with the full briefing
on the use of distress flares. Every morning before leaving we completed radio checks with the lead boat and
restaurant rendez vous every evening which, while casual were full of fun. Mooring fees for the week came in at
about £110 however diesel costs were included in the charter fee.
The flotilla was the first of the season and the Croatian authorities were being difficult in issuing work permits to
the lead crews resulting in just two young fellows, Mark and Mark (19 and 21yrs of age) being in full charge of
13 boats and crews. Big maturing curve there, nevertheless they handled it brilliantly. The boats however, had
been rigged in haste by Croatian riggers and due to this, several crews including ours had some concerns about
the rigging of their mainsails.
Our boat „Paradise‟, the largest in the group, was very clean, in good condition, adequately equipped except for
a missing boat hook which proved difficult with lazy lines to handle. More importantly, there were only coloured
plastic mugs for the G & T s… totally unacceptable! However the boat was spacious with a three cabin layout,
two heads, easy controls and a superb engine. Excellent galley, large fridge and saloon area with 6ft 3in head
The first passage was a short hop to Tristenic, 11km due east back on the Peljesac peninsular where we rafted
up alongside. The next day we sailed 25km to Luka on the Isle of Sipan. On the third day we sailed to Dubrovnik
about 15km away where we motored under the asymmetric cable bridge up the inlet to the very classy marina at
Rotat. Here we caught the regular buses in and out of Dubrovnik, a delightful town catering well for the tourist
though relatively quiet at this time of the season. .
On the fourth day we had a rather bumpy 23km motor-sail on a following moderate to rough sea, with winds 3 to
4 gusting 5 over to the easterly end of the island of Mijet to the bay of Okuklje which was lovely. Here we
participated in the obligatory flotilla challenge of dropping a raw egg from the top of the mast to the deck without
breaking the shell. We achieved this, by suspending the egg in a condom within an elaborate cardboard
structure …. Well, it was that sort of night!!
Moving swiftly on……the next day we headed west 18kms to Pomena at the other end of the island and equally
lovely, particularly in the sunshine. Finally on Day 6 we sailed back to Lumbarda about 14kms due west and
enjoyed a super meal and sunset in the very pretty town of Korcula where the Croatians were celebrating one of
their earlier football successes.
Personally I would definitely sail with Neilsons again, and again, along this stunning coastline boasting over
1000 islands, relatively unspoilt and pleasant people. I am sure Jane will agree with me it was a lovely sailing
break and we recommend it to you.
Steve & Anita Freestone’s charter to the Saronic Gulf – report by Steve Freestone.
21st July - 7 Days Out of Kalamaki, Greece.
Done the theory and the practicals, time to put it into practice! Thought we would give it a try in some warmer
waters, so where, when and how was the question. We decided that a boat of about 38 feet would be best for
our intended purpose, giving good waterline length and reasonable room to move about on deck. With just two
of us on board we need to be able to move quickly on deck without rigging and coamings impeding the mad
dash in a moment of panic.
Approaching three yacht charter companies Nautilus came back with the best match to our spec and price. We
agreed on a charter for 1 week of a Bavaria 38 owners version two cabin. This was an 08 model and came very
well equipped including microwave oven on the domestic front and a full set of instruments and charts for
navigation. New hull shape, so would be interesting to see how it performed.
Bus from airport is easy (96X) every twenty minutes stops right outside the Marina which is also where the
supermarket is, but it is about a mile walk to the boats. Suggest just get some things for 24 hours and pick up
rest on route. Food shops everywhere. Kalamaki has two all night discos so bring ear plugs. They finish at
4.30am, I can tell you! Very big marina, some five or six charter companies operate from here. Saronic Gulf is
the most popular in Greece especialy with the Greeks and Europeans. Good sailing ground and winds light in
the morning and 4 - 5 expected in the afternoons.
Kalamaki to Epidavros 25 Miles Approx.
Woke in the morning to a stiff breeze, not what was expected, some 15 - 18 knots and rising. Also a planned
first stop in Aigina was going to be crowded with a Sunsail regatta. Change of plan, now use the wind to take us
on to Epidavros. With 60% jib we motor- sailed out of the Marina and set course. Out of the lee of the shore the
wind was steadily increasing as was the boat speed with gusts of up to 34Knots and an average of 27. Wind
was on the quarter so felt quite secure.
Good progress was made and we were soon in sight of Epidavros. Mooring stern-to was to be the next
adventure. After two attempts we made it and planned a run ashore., to be greeted by the Port Police who
requested my presence to present the ships papers at 6.30 at the port office... oh what fun. It turns out they just
wanted their 1.75 Euros for mooring. Poseidon Hotel on waterfront - great view, fairly good food.
Epidavros to Poros 15 Miles Approx.
A run all the way with light winds until about 2.30pm when it picked up to a 4. Run on the quarter and gybe.
Local information told us to aim for a mooring on the pontoon which is in the North section of the harbour. This
proved good information, quiet and with less swell from ferries. Once again stern-to mooring proved interesting.,
with two attempts and an increasing wind abeam. So on the second attempt I placed the anchor somewhat to
windward. Not a good idea, the next boat promptly place their anchor over it.
All was well in the end, with some pontoon instruction from a professional skipper.
Some good tips then on short handed stern-to mooring;
1 Look at how much chain you think you need and add 25%
2 Don‟t start moving back, until the chain is on the sea bed. Move forward over the chain if you
need to maintain steerage.
3 Moving back on the anchor chain into position, stop letting chain out when stern is level with mast of
boat alongside (assuming similar size). Bow person can see this as a marker. With engine one click in
reverse anchor digs in and proves, boat stabilises about 2 -3 metres from harbour wall and you can come
back on chain in a steady fashion and step ashore.
4 If you recce. first and point at your intended berth, help would always appear to take your stern lines...
and new friends made.
Poros to N. Soupia to Poros
Our lunchtime spot was to be N. Soupia a wonderful small bay around the tip of Ak Skillaion, it was planned to
press on to Ydra in the afternoon but with a great anchorage we were late. So a change of plan, against local
knowledge of a packed Ydra we decided to head pack to Poros. Back to the pontoon and this time a perfect
Poros to Perdika to Nisis Moni
This was our first leg back up into the prevailing North Easterlies with a pleasant beat in a 3 and then 4. We
made it up to Perdika where we planned to stop for lunch but with water barge in and about to leave and a large
German Power Boat hogging the very small harbour, we abandoned plans and made for Nisis Moni, which was
planned as our overnight spot. Fantastic small bay to ourselves, and a Taverna ashore. Other yachts then
began to join us and some interesting anchoring proceeded. Not much thought to swinging circles, luckily they
all left before nightfall. We then relaid our anchor for the night to cope with the expected evening southwesterly
and rowed ashore to have the island to ourselves.
Nisis Moni to Nisis Dhorousa
Written up in Rod Heikell‟s Greek Waters Pilot and the Rough Guide as a must do, Nisis Dhorousa did not fail A
blue water white sandy beach, and a little Taverna with spectacular food. You can choose you own live lobster
in the morning and they cook it in the evening for you, to their own special recipe. Outstanding!
Anchored in a little bay to the south with 50 m of chain and a line ashore. Three other boats for company and
some help to put our line ashore made for making some new friends from Prague; a great evening ensued.
Nisis Dhorousa to Aigina to Kalamaki-Leaving N. Dhorousa we motor sailed to Aigina around the shoal
waters extending nothwards, for a quick visit to Aigina harbour and lunch, followed by a very enjoyable beat back
up to Kalamaki in a freshening breeze.
Overall a very enjoyable and successful trip. The Bavaria handled better than I expected under sail and motor.
Easily reefed on jib and main, motoring predictably at slow speeds and handled well in reverse. Equipped to a
standard higher than I was expecting I would use Nautilus, Kiriacoullis and the Bavaria again.
We hope anyone intending to sail in the Saronic Gulf will find these ramblings useful and if anyone would like
more information we are happy to oblige if we can.
Sailing with Tim Sandford on “Dehelerious” – report by John Robinson.
Dave Lloyd and I had planned to join Tim and Sarah on their boat Dehelerious to take part in the L’Aber W’rach
race from the Helford River across to Brittany.
Dehelerious is moored on the Hamble, and Tim and Sarah had spent the week bashing up the coast, aiming to
arrive in Falmouth on the Thursday to do the race on the Friday 27th. The weather had been miserable with the
wind on the nose, and it was all turning into a bit of a slog rather than an enjoyable 2 week holiday, so they
decided not to do the race, and to just have a leisurely cruise back to the Solent after a bit of exploring round
Plymouth. Dave and I joined them on the Friday evening, and as it was such a horrible wet evening, we went to
the Dolphin to cheer ourselves up.
The next day we sailed out of Plymouth to head for Fowey, but decided against that, and went up the Yealm to
have brunch. We negotiated the bar across the mouth of the estuary following the transits on the east side of
the bay, then up into this delightful sheltered haven, with the woods coming down to the shore, and herons and
the occasional fish jumping. We decided to head for Salcombe, aided by a south westerly breeze, and arrived in
the early evening. Went ashore and had beer and food, and got the ferry back to the boat which was moored on
a pontoon in the “Bag” (£18)
Next day we sailed back to Plymouth, making good time, and arriving at Mountbatten at 1 pm-ish. Went to the
pub for lunch, and then came home. Lovely sailing on one of the best weekends so far this summer.
A delivery from Oban to Dublin to .....Oban? – report by John Robinson
This is a report about a trip that Rob Mellor and I did last month. We were asked to help a friend and his fiancée
deliver a boat from Oban in Scotland – to Portland on the south coast. We were joined by the girlfriend’s
brother, and the plan was to set off on Wednesday 11 th June.
The boat was a 55ft Ketch called “Lochmarin” – (it had been called “Ardevora” in a previous incarnation, and
there’s a chapter in the Adlard Coles book “Heavy Weather Sailing” which talks about the crew’s experience on
the boat of using a sea anchor off the coast of Chile in 1997. Lochmarin has an aluminium hull – lifting keel –
and spade rudder. She has also benefited from a complete refit. New standing rigging, decking replaced, new
sails, and lots of new navigation equipment. Lots of room downstairs – en-suite stuff, a TV, as well as washing
machine. And a couple of fridges. … So sailing from Oban to Portland wasn’t going to be much of a hardship!
We left on Wed 11th June, mid-morning. The boat was on a swinging mooring across the bay from Oban by the
Kerrera marina, and we set off at about 11am. We decided to do the trip in two legs. The plan was to sail to
Dublin and arrive sometime on Thursday, and complete the final leg to Portland, or Falmouth after a bit of
sightseeing in Dublin. There were no time constraints, so we could pretty much suit ourselves about how we did
it. We had 12 to 15 knots of wind from the North which helped us make good time through the Islands down to
Corryvrecken and on to the Sound of Jura, where we stopped for lunch, and to wait for a beneficial tide round
the Mull of Kintyre. We passed The Mull in the early hours of Thursday – about 3am, and had good north
westerly winds most of the way down to Don Laoghaire on the south side of Dublin Bay. We tied up late on
Thursday evening after a difficult approach to the pontoon, and had a meal on board.
The next day, the plan had been to chill out, visit Dublin, eat oysters and drink Guinness, but the skipper called
everyone to the saloon to make an announcement (this was Friday 13 th). He told us that he was no longer going
to continue with his original plan, but was going to turn round and sail back to Oban. His relationship with his
fiancée was over – this was news to her – and that he’d pay for flights and ferries to return everyone to where
they’d come from – and that if anyone wanted to help him take the boat back up north he would be happy to
have them on board. I was having a very enjoyable sail, so despite being disappointed about not carrying on to
the south coast, and seeing that everyone else was leaving the boat, I decided to go back to Oban with our
skipper. I squared it with the fiancée, who was grateful that someone was helping him return to Scotland
because she appreciated that the boat might be hard work to sail singlehanded.
The crew left on the Friday evening, and me and the skipper had an evening in Don Laoghaire, followed by a
day in Dublin, where everyone seemed to be female, dressed in pink with springy antennae and brummy
accents. The Guinness was brilliant and the oysters were very good. We had a very pleasant day considering.
When we got back to Don Laoghaire late afternoon, we met some Americans who seemed to drink half pints of
Mount Gay Rum and who were heading for Oban in their 46 ft wooden hulled boat? We helped them with the
chart work which they were unsure about, and we promised to return their hospitality when they arrived in
Scotland, and I don’t remember much of the rest of that day.
Sunday we recovered which was OK, because there was absolutely no wind. I found a market which provided
Thai takeaways, hand carved buttons, excellent fudge and a good fish stall – which had sold out of oysters. If
you are in Don Laoghaire on a Sunday, go east along the front and you’ll find it. On Monday we set off for
Belfast. We had a good sail, the wind being predominantly from the west, and arrived at about 9pm having seen
no dolphins, turtles, basking sharks or Wales – as it was a bit overcast.
The next day we left early, and with light winds from the south west we made slow progress towards the Mull
until the wind picked up late in the morning, and we had a good sail, averaging 7 – 8 knots all the way to
Corryvrecken. The weather turned pretty miserable later in the day, and we had squalls coming through early
evening – lots of rain and the odd hailstorm. It all cleared and the wind dropped as we approached the north of
Jura, so we turned the motor on and motor sailed north, arriving at Oban at 1am-ish.
The engine started to falter after we passed Corryvrecken, and the skipper explained that the fuel starvation
may have been because while the boat was laid up for the re fit, some contamination may have occurred. The
fuel had been treated to sort this out, but there were still inactive bacteria in the fuel system clogging up the
filters. It was very dark as we approached, and the engine was faltering as we picked up a buoy at our second
attempt off the Island of Kerrera – after which we had a small celebration which involved whiskey.
I stayed on the boat for a day and a half, and decided that I would have to spend more time sailing around the
West Coast of Scotland. Wonderful cruising – wonderful people and great whiskey. (Secretary’s note: The
“whiskey” with an “e” may be great in Ireland, but on the west coast, or anywhere else, in Scotland it is
definitely great WHISKY.)
I flew back to Bristol on the Thursday.
The fiancée is still talking to me.
The Americans arrived in Oban on the weekend after I left. They “followed a light” and turned up in North Wales