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Saturday, 27 April 2013

Weighing the odds and planning the route

It's only six days until I set off from Portreath, weather permitting. Realistically the weather systems are not particularly settled. A current forecast for the day before I start is light northwesterly winds with relatively low waves.

Being cautious I am not going if there is any doubt about the wind and sea state.

I have plotted my route, with estimated voyage times. The first voyage is from Portreath, about 9 miles, which should take about three hours. It takes me two miles out to sea to avoid the Stones, a series of reefs off Godrevy Island. There is an inner passage between the reefs and the island but there is danger of a race forming if there is any sea. After the Stones I cut in and end up at St Ives.

The next three days take me round the tip of cornwall, starting at St Ives and tucking into Sennen Cove for one night and then Mousehole, with a short hop in the final day.

To get to Sennen I have to be two and a half miles off Pendeen to avoid a race and then I head to the right of a rock formation called the Brisons, then entering Whitesand Bay and manoevring into Sennen Cove just before Lands End. Passing Lands End I go inside the Longships but outside the Runnel Stone to avoid the risk of turbulent water off Gwennap Head. The total voyage is about 42 miles according to my measures.

The art of sailing is to be thinking of plan B, plan C and preferably plan D. The problem with the tip of Cornwall is that there are fewer plans. If the sea state gets too difficult to get into Sennen Cove there isn't a great plan B - either reversing up the coast back to St Ives or South and the East, perhaps to get into Porth Curno or Lamorna or on to Mousehole. So in a small boat I am being very cautious.

BUT I have another plan B for the charity event - if the weather fails me then I will cycle round the coast, meeting up with runners on the way and do the same distance on my rowing machine the next weekend - and wait for another opportunity!

1 comment:

  1. The charts bring the whole thing to life!! The weather is looking reasonable so hopefully it will suit a rower as well as the runners!!

    Four days to go until "fourdaysrunning/rowing"