Shirehampton Sailing Club

Sailing report

August 2019

The cruise yesterday went really well, with Kingfisher, the safety boat, Andrew Smith, Trevor, Brian and me.
We set off from Shire at just after 11:00, drifting down river towards PYSC to join their fleet of five dinghies and two rescue boats. We arrived at 12:20, Kingfisher having taken a tow.

The briefing was to set off from Portishead again at 13:00, but it was almost 13:30 by the time we all left the slip. By then a breeze had set in and good ground was made with Andrew and Trevor aboard Kingfisher. The south westerly wind freshened further into a lively Force 4. We were going so well that the decision was made to have a late picnic lunch on Flat Holm. We anchored off at around 15:45, with four of the PYSC dinghies sharing Kingfishers anchor and waded ashore. It was the first time most of us had been to Flat Holm. We set off again at 16:45 with Trevor, me and Claire, a PYSC member, aboard Kingfisher on a course for the Somerset coast west of Clevedon. We needed to get out of the shipping channel because a large car carrier was due to be coming up the Channel at around 1700.

The wind had dropped a little, so we sailed and chatted our way up the Channel until it was time to transfer Claire to one of the PYSC rescue boats so that she could go home. As we passed Portishead there was a ship coming down stream, out of Portbury I guess, so we crossed onto the welsh side of the shipping channel. At this point the wind freshened again from the east and the tide was running full.

When we got to Portbury there was a ship coming out of the dock and the car carrier was waiting for her to clear just up channel from the mouth to the Avon. Trevor was keen to go inshore, but I "having sailed these waters before" decided to wait for the car carrier to pass the mouth of the Avon before turning into the river astern her. Too late, we got caught by the stream running up the Severn and despite sailing hard for a quarter of an hour (Brian said longer) against the flow we made no headway. I had sailed these water before, but not when the tide was in full flow!

The safety boat came to the rescue and towed us for 10 minutes up into the mouth of the Avon. Trevor and I then spent a fun ten more minutes sailing wind over tide until the wind left us and it was decided that a tow would be quicker than drifting back to Shire. We arrived and came ashore at 20:20 having had a great day.

Total distance sailed 40 miles. Photos maybe to follow.

Lets hope the cruise on 17th August is as successful.



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