Money Penny planned and executed her escape plan from Fowey. A weather window opened and we leaped out of the window at the earliest opportunity. It was a lively sail from Fowey to Plymouth. When I worked as a police officer in Aberystwyth there was a craze amongst the kids of the town that as a thrill some of the youngsters would jump in the spin driers at the local laundrette and literally take a ‘spin’ in the machine. The sail from Fowey to Plymouth was similar to my understanding of the experience the kids would have had in the drier in Aberystwyth all those years ago. Difference being that they had to pay for the experience!
We eventually rounded Penlee Point and then had to endure another 4 miles, past the outer breakwater, the numerous marker buoys and moored up naval vessels before turning left then right into the Queen Anne’s battery (QAB) marina. I don’t think the marina got its name due to the fact that Queen Anne once bought a battery there. I think its more to do with the battlements and solid structures in the area that provide fortification to the city against attack from the sea. I may be wrong though!
QAB was full. Something they omitted to tell us on the radio, and we were forced to raft up against another similar sized boat and still pay the full marina fee. In fairness, they were expecting an armada of boats that weekend and told us we could only stay the one night. The following morning having arranged to move across the river to the Yacht Haven marina the marina staff informed us that they now had plenty of room as the intended yacht rally (armada) had cancelled due to the weather forecast. Too late brother, we had already agreed to move to the yacht Haven, so dropped our lines and headed out. It was a blustery day on the water and decided to review the Naval fleet based in Plymouth. The Naval fleet charged with our protection in the event of a conflict, not a war, but as now is acceptable these days a politically correct ‘conflict.’ Jude and I realised that the fleet was far from battle ready and all vessels appeared to be in various states or repair. The entire time we were reviewing Her Majesties fleet we were shadowed by a Police launch who I think out of pure boredom decided to follow us up the river at a discreet distance. Mind you, with all the chequered livery they were hardly ‘discreet’.
Fleet review including submarines complete, we battled the elements and headed for the Yacht Haven marine. Jude was at the helm, when we (me) noticed a rather large tanker enroute to the storage depot opposite our intended destination. Ok, who has right of way? A yacht under sail or a fully laden, tug towed tanker full of highly flammable petro chemicals of some unknown cocktail mix. Jude was up for a fight , she was at the helm , and wanted to out run the tanker. I, on the other hand decided to play chicken and let him go first. The tanker won and we gave him right of way. (Yes, yes, I fully appreciate all the other colregs to be considered) We followed the tanker up the river and then completely unannounced the plonker came to a stop and started to undertake a 180 degree manoeuvre straight in front of us . I then noticed due to its looming arse end getting a tad cross that it was the ‘Bro designer’ who is a regular at the Valero refinery in Milford. That’s OK then he’s a friend!!
We dived into the moorings to get out of the way. As we negotiated our way through the moorings we again had to stop as the ‘Bro designer’ made full use of her bow thrusters and swung around into a channel directly in front of us again! OK Bro Designer you’ve made your point. Yes you are bigger than us and have right of way through pure bulk. We eventually made the marina, and a big marina it was. They instructed us to berth up on K pontoon. We later discovered that K pontoon was only a half mile walk to the latrines. By marina standards we had a fairly rough night due to the very high winds and swell in the river bouncing Money Penny about all night. The following day Friday 21st July 2017, was spent at the marina, due to unseasonable weather!
Due to bad light and the official secrets act and the Police vessel, the only photograph that we can post on here is one of the Marina facilities in Yacht Haven………..namely a BATH! Great excitement! How many of you have had this facility in a marina??
The next day (clean and relaxed!!) we bide farewell to Plymouth, and headed out. Unfortunately, the wind wasn’t playing ball, and the four miles out to sea was straight into a 20 knot wind. We headed for Salcombe.