Whilst looking through the latest edition of Civil Service Sailing magazine we noticed that the Coastal Sailing Division are considering potential replacements for the present Sea Essay.
Chris and I were very lucky in August 2018 to spend a week on board Sea Essay cruising along the coast of Cornwall and Devon. There were 6 of us on board, most of us not having met before, and with different levels of expertise from the fully qualified Skipper Brian Skelley, to me as the only novice sailor.
Living in such close quarters is a challenge in itself, but fortunately we got on well together, with everyone developing and sharing their skills, (in my case it was making the tea) and generally enjoying a sailing holiday in a beautiful area.
We joined the boat at Mylor, near Falmouth but spent the first day boat bound due to bad weather. Fortunately, the next day was brighter and we set off to the Helford River only to break down and have to be towed back by Sea Start. A day and a new impeller later we reached Fowey and berthed at a floating pontoon, using the water taxi to go ashore and explore the town and the pub. Over the next few days we sailed to Plymouth then back to Mylor practising jibing, tacking and man-overboard and generally making the most of the whole experience. We had one more episode of engine failure but thanks to the skills of Brian Skelley we were able to enter the River Yealm under sail and pick up a mooring buoy where we stayed until the problem was fixed.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Apart from the thrill of coastal cruising, we enjoyed exploring new areas, meeting some great people and sharing meals both on board and ashore followed by entertaining and very competitive evenings playing cards.
Chris and I sometimes have ‘discussions’ about which of us is the better sailor. I thought I would throw it open to the club to have a say on this. I think that these pictures explain it all but what do you think?