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Summer Cruise 2015 - Scilly Islands - aboard "Zazu" (Beneteau 39)

Updated: 27-09-2015

Report from Steve Worner (Photos Lis Jones):

The usual Motley Crew, with the addition of Caroline, to keep Nigel under control, decided that another trip to the Scillies was called for so we booked Zazu, a 39ft Beneteau.

Yacht Zazu
Yacht Zazu

Our first shock came when it was pointed out at the last minute that the handover was to be at the Smugglers cottage and not Falmouth town itself. For those who know the area this is just up river of King Harry ferry and was, until recently, best recognised by Confederate or Pirate flags flying on its pontoon. Thanks to Sat nav I managed to navigate down the narrow roads to the Cottage, the last bit being a concrete road which was laid in the second world war to load ships for the D day landings.

Moored alongside the pontoon at the Pandora Inn
Moored alongside the pontoon at the Pandora Inn

Our preference was to board and head straight for Scilly overnight, but the preceding days had seen strong winds and it was decided that the trip would be quite rough so we headed to the Pandora for our evening meal, having been complimented for our neat parking on the pontoon by a couple who were having a meal and whose view we had spoiled. We carefully chose a mooring in Restronguet Creek for the night ( to avoid the embarassment of waking only to find ourselves aground when the tide went out as some have experienced in the past).

Early morning at Restronguet
Early morning at Restronguet

An early start and we headed West with engine on as what wind there was was on the nose. At one point we spotted a couple of porpoises but they did not come to play, having passed The Lizard and crossing Mounts Bay, Nigel pointed out that we had enough wind to sail and we were able to make it on one tack.

South of Wolf Rock
South of Wolf Rock
The intention had been to approach the Islands from Bishop Rock or Spanish Ledges but the tack we were on took us straight in through Crow Sound so we modified our plans to suit. St Marys harbour had a different look to it with with a large crane at the end extending and reinforcing the Quay and workers apparently walking on water although actually standing on the raised sea bed at low water. Having had a long day we decided to eat and have a drink on board.
Any sign of Scilly?
Any sign of Scilly?

Sunday was a quiet day ashore and also playing with an inflatable canoe we had brought with us. Monday we had a leisurely start and headed for New Grimsby Sound but having cleared the moorings we had a French boat waving frantically at us - they had arrived to find their engine would not start so we took them under tow.

Another stricken French yacht-rudder problems
Another stricken French yacht-rudder problems
They wanted us to put them onto a mooring but we were not keen to attempt to tow them amongst the parked yachts so were going to take them where they could anchor but fortunately the harbour masters men came out in their work boat and took over the tow allowing us to continue to our original destination and pick up a mooring.
Tow established
Tow established
After a late lunch we went ashore in the dinghy for a walk, unfortunately the gardens were about to close when Caroline got there but the views from the beaches were stunning on a warm and sunny day. The day ended with showers and a meal in the pub before returning to Zazu.

The Scillonian III -a daily visitor
The Scillonian III -a daily visitor

Tuesday and we headed out of the Sound for a trip around the Northern Isles and then down around Bishop Rock Lighthouse - an enjoyable start with brisk winds but the weather deteriorated so we headed back through Crow Sound to St Marys.

Rounding Bishop Rock
Rounding Bishop Rock
We intended to top up fuel and water, only to be shooed away by the Harbourmasters men as, unbeknown to us, Prince Charles and Camilla had heard we were in town and had just arrived on the Scillonian to visit us - ok I exaggerate the Wales's came to visit their fellow countryman - Elisabeth Jones!
Royalty visiting the harbour
Royalty visiting the harbour
We picked up a mooring and despite paddling around in the canoe, close to the shore, did not get an invite to join the Royal party!

Nigel took half the crew ashore for evening meal but ran out of fuel when making the second run so we paddled back to the mother boat to put the dribble of fuel from the can into the outboard.As there was so little we paddled ashore, conserving what little fuel we had for the return trip. Having enjoyed another good meal the advance party returned to Zazu in the dinghy, slipped the mooring and went back to collect the remaining crew from the harbour wall.

Team Owen and Francis-good technique!
Team Owen and Francis-good technique!
Team Owen and Worner-better technique??
Team Owen and Worner-better technique??

On Wednesday morning Lis and Myself paddled the canoe ashore to pick up petrol and a few essential supplies before we finally made a succesful rounding of Bishop Rock Light - its was a beautiful sunny day, made magic by an escort of a very large pod of dolphins playing under our bows for a full half hour

Dolphins
Dolphins
and gannets diving about 100 metres off our Port side. By the time we returned to St Marys the tide was too low to allow us to go alongside for fuel and water - we were not in need of either but would have topped up given the opportunity.

How Carribeanesque!
How Carribeanesque!

Another meal ashore and we watched the Amazons returning from their ladies weekly Gig race. An early start on Thursday and motor all day back to the Helford, the only real excitements being navigation lessons for Roger from Ruth and a brief sighting of a basking shark by Caroline. Having just picked up a mooring in the Helford the Coastguard came on with an imminent Easterly gale warning - perfect for Helford NOT. We continued with our plan for showers and meal in the sailing club before returning to Zazu and motoring around to Falmouth where we eventually found a reasonable mooring buoy for the night.

The end of the day looking west from St Mary's
The end of the day looking west from St Mary's

We were up early ready to refuel and return the boat. The forecast was spot on blowing a gale and lashing with rain.

Bye bye Scilly. By the look of the clouds a good time to be leaving.
Bye bye Scilly. By the look of the clouds a good time to be leaving.
Having lived in shorts all week I was determined to finish the week like it so just put on my jacket and Tilley hat to end up with water leaking out of my trainer lace holes. Nigel manoeuvred us onto the fuel berth but we had a long wait as the attendant had been delayed by a road accident. We eventually headed back up the river and returned the boat, the only good news being that the rain finally stopped when we moored up. Another great KPCA week not even spoiled by the last bit of weather, however there was a sting in the tail for the rest of the crew who followed the bad weather back home and were further delayed by roadworks and holiday traffic - for me no such problem as I was extending my holiday with a weekend in St Ives so a quick crossing on King Harry ferry and an hour later I was enjoying a pint and pasty whilst 'commiserating' by text with the weary crew by text!

A Scilly alligator
A Scilly alligator
The skipper taking a nap
The skipper taking a nap
There's Scilly!
There's Scilly!
Approaching St Mary's
Approaching St Mary's
Beer o'clock moored up in St Mary's
Beer o'clock moored up in St Mary's
In the dinghy
In the dinghy