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Friday, 3 May 2013

Portreath to St Ives - An Early Start

The first day of the four day row was to be a 9 mile voyage down the north coast of Cornwall.

The plan was for everyone to set off for St Ives  Portreath at 1.00, coinciding with high tide - I would have the advantage of the westerly ebb tide down to St Ives.

But the forecast predicted strong head winds for the afternoon and my only chance was to go very early in the morning when the winds were light, catching the last of the ebb tide.

This meant a 4.00 am start, rigging PicoMicroYacht in the dark and leaving Portreath at 5.30.

Rowing out of Portreath bay I went inside the large rock just west of the bay - a large wave swept up the side of the rock and created a snarling noise as if to say 'don't mess with the sea round here.'

As the sun rose, the sea and sky became a deep blue colour and the coastal scenary a mellow green, the sun gradually burning off the haze over the land.

There was a long swell with superimposed smaller waves caused by the wind and  every so often PicoMicoYacht crashed into the steeper ones with a thump, with a fine spray covering the boat. I had expected  a somewhat confuse sea, but PicoMicroYacht was coping really well with it.

My course took me several miles out to sea to avoid a huge reef called the 'Stones' close to the Godrevy lighthouse. As I headed for the outside of the reef I could see the sea breaking over parts of it. The wind was rising and the tide turning against me and it was hard going getting past it. I reached the Stones buoy, marking the outside of the reef, and turned sharply into St Ives bay.

The Stones buoy with some of the 'Stones' just visible in the distance

The tide and wind was sweeping me back along the bay, but I kept moving as fast as possible to get close to shore where the tide was weaker and I was more protected from the wind. It was slow going but I arrived in a small bay near St Ives - Carbis bay - the trip taking four and a half hours.

1 comment:

  1. Well done for a brilliant start, hope Saturday has gone equally well!