In an earlier post about the voyage i said that i wasn’t going to post a blow by blow account of the sailing but rather i would put up posts about specific places that have been really good and then talk about the technical side in separate posts. I’m still going to stay with that format but i am also going to occasionally post an update on how things are going with the boat,the voyage and my plans as they shift and change . As of now (Easter) the boat is still in Mylor and i am enjoying being there although its an expensive option : not just that it’s an expensive place to keep the boat on a visitors mooring but that it also costs a lot to park there and even more to drive up and down from Plymouth. Now i know that a lot of sailors do exactly that ie live upcountry somewhere and have to drive for hours to get to their boats and then a couple of days later flog back up the motorway . Today was a good or bad example in that we joined the back of a traffic jam somewhere outside Truro and that was giving at least an hours delay on the A30 and just on the busiest travelling weekend of the year ! doing that and getting that hassle every time i go to the boat would soon spoil the fun and the only other options are public transport in one direction to get a train back in the other and then taxi or bus down to the boatyard. No….not having a moan : back in the day when i raced i would think nothing to a 7 or 8 hour train journey and then another 12 on the Irish Sea ferry just to get to the boat i crewed on, then have an awful ride across the Irish Sea and have to go straight back to work….gods i was keen in those days.
Mylor, although its been a great base so far the bills are going to get pretty wearing and that is all money that isn’t going into either the boat and its gear or towards the project boat so sooner rather than later i will have to leave there and move on. I have talked about getting out to the Scilly’s and maybe that will be the limit for this year and then head back east to my home base in Calstock. Already i am running into a boat preparation problem in that the Liberty hasn’t been out of the water since March last year and she is already growing weed along the waterline. The problem is that i wasn’t able to get on the slipway at Calstock to scrub, antifoul and change the centreboard line and all of those things still need doing : now as the sea warms up she will get a foul bottom really quickly unless i can beach her at the least and run round with a scrubbing brush and some antifoul around the waterline. Unlike a deep keeled boat she isn’t as easy to scrub, wet sand, and paint as she sits very low on her little bilge keels so at some time she needs to go in the slings of a travel hoist or go up on blocks for a weekend and at Mylor that isn’t an option right now as they are at their busiest time with this years launchings still in progress.
Its possible now that this year i will change plans again, do my scrubbing and maintainence all on the fly but maybe not push on around the Lizard for a jumping-off point for the Scilly’s : an alternative plan is forming in my mind where i just cruise the west-country rivers in a slow return trip via the Falmouth rivers, Fowey and the ports in between there and Plymouth, come into the Tamar to do my lift-out at Calstock and then continue a cruise of the west-country rivers with Salcombe and Dartmouth…all much nearer home. As to the Liberty itself : i am gaining more experience with the boat all the time and continue to make minor tweaks and modifications , i can now pull the first reef down from the cockpit and that makes a huge difference to boat safety, i am possibly now sailing the boat to its full potential and fully utilising its ability to get into the shallow creeks that i would never have got into before. This month i should have been fitting a tillerpilot and talking to the stainless steel people at Mylor to have my deck rails made…instead all of the budget and more went on my car ! when it failed its MOT. More and more though i am realising that the boat is fine for me when i am solo but not so good when we are 2 up and i am finding the limits of the sailing performance a bit frustrating at times and sometimes do hanker for just a little more space and sailing performance. For this year i will almost certainly just be sailing the Liberty and using her to her best ability in the rivers and creeks of the west-country. If we get ‘normal’ summer weather i am more likely to get a south-westerly airflow now and that would mean an easier cruise back to the east and to then leave cruising west of the Lizard for another year.
As with all planning i have an ‘A’ plan, a ‘B’ plan and as of today a ‘C’ plan…..the ‘C’ plan being basically to make it up as i go along !.