Saturday 14 September 2013

Reflections and final Tally re Summer Cruise 2013

Arctic Smoke's 2013 Cruise

Not sure how typical the weather was but we did have 4 weeks and therefore it seems reasonable to conclude that overall we experienced average conditions. The cruise demonstrated how difficult it is to keep up a decent speed and to sail more than motor if there's a timetable to keep. This cruise hinged around the objective of making Plymouth at the end of the first week. We had arranged to meet friends/family and had a bed and breakfast booked. During that part of the cruise (during which we had very little wind and covered one third of our total mileage) we had to use the engine if we were to keep to plan.

Left Hoo 1215 on 21/7/13
Total Nautical Miles = 897
Total Passage hours = 192
Total Engine hours = 101
Total Sailing hours = 91
Average speed = 4.5
Arrived Chatham 2000 on 16/8/13
Total days = 26

Margate Hook - 21/7/13
Portsmouth - 23/7/13
Newtown Creek - 23/7/13
Plymouth (Mayflower Marina and Weir Quay) - 25/7/13
St Peter Port - Guernsey - 31/7/13
Braye - Alderney -  3/8/13
Lezardrieux - 5/8/13
Treguier - 8/8/13
Roscoff - 10/8/13
St Peter Port - Guernsey - 12/8/13
Cherbourg - 13/8/13
Dover - 15/8/13
Chatham - 16/8/13

We also got held up in Plymouth for an extra 2 days whilst waiting for spare parts, making our stay there one of 6 days rather than the 4 planned. However, some sort of delay like that is probably almost inevitable over a 4 week coastal cruise. Had we not been delayed, we might have made our planned destination of SW Ireland and/or the Ilses of Scilly and had we done that we would probably have covered more miles and improved our average speed. Nevertheless, it looks like one would have to be pretty fortunate to achieve an average speed in excess of 5 knots and to sail more than motor.

Brittany was a delight and despite not making Ireland we could have no complaints about our eventual cruising ground. The food was excellent. Alderney also lived up to expectations and memories of past adventures a long time ago. Guernsey was a disappointment - the pubs around the harbour area were quite simply awful. The town further up was still pretty but that was little compensation. It was a good job we spent a day on Herm which was still a jewel.

The return trip was more about getting from A to B so we did not really do Cherbourg or Dover justice but we did have our best sailing during this period and it was good to end the cruise in that way.

Arctic Smoke:
Elizabethan 33 built by Peter Webster in 1974 - Hull number 3:
Length = 33 feet
Draught = 4' 8''
Long keel
Heavy displacement

Rig and main equipment:

Sloop now with roller reefing Genoa and slap reefing main
Autohelm self steering - not 100% reliable but useful when it did work
VHF/AIS (very useful)
Hand held GPS (2)
Laptop with GPS, OpenCPN, ZyGrib - both very useful. Laptop needs more memory as had a tendency to freeze when most needed
Usual paper charts and pilots
Life jackets - worn by all when underway
Life Harnesses - occasionally used
Bhuk 10 hp engine driving a 2 bladed prop
Electric cool box wired in place of fridge that's packed up
1 x 50 watt solar panel
1 x 120 Amp hour service battery (we occasionally had to use the engine to specifically charge the battery - but note how may engine hours we used anyway)
1 x standard starter battery
Crew of 4 (5 to Plymouth) - 5 was crowded, 4 was fine (Mick and Bernie shared the Forecastle)

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