Half Term Sailing (Part 2)

As usual I’ve been slow off the mark and am only now writing up our second bank holiday weekend at the end of May. We spent Friday night at Dale; this time it was neaps so we picked up one of the new visitor moorings and slept soundly with more than 2 metres of water beneath the keel. The dinghy motor, with old fuel siphoned out and replaced with fresh, also worked perfectly. Here are some photographs of the day, and the sunset at anchor.

Of course, a British weather forecast can never be relied upon, so what was supposed to be light westerly winds during the night turned instead to a gusty F4 bringing heavy rain out of the south east. We woke on Saturday morning to frapping halyards and the dinghy thrashing about behind the boat. We waited a couple of hours to time re-entry for the marina freeflow, and then we motored back up a wet and grey Milford Haven for lunch in Martha’s Vineyard, and very nice it was too.

The sky cleared by early evening, so Jenny got some good photos of sunset in the Marina.

Sunset in Milford Marina

We were drinking wine in our cockpit when a very strange vessel was slid into the berth next to us by the Marina workboat. It was a 1960s Kingfisher 26, in – it must be said- something of a state of disrepair, and crewed by an elderly gentleman who had hurt his head quite badly and by a fit young lad who turned out to be his son. The condition of the boat – and the means of delivery – made me think she had just come off the hard, but it transpired she had come from Abersoch or thereabouts the previous day. The crewman had joined at St Davids (presumably Porth Clais, but they knew not where for certain) where he had tried to board via dinghy, only for the dinghy to sink and force him to swim for it. They then brought the boat outside Skomer and were headed for Burnham on Sea (about 80Nm and 18-24 hours sailing away). In the light winds of the afternoon their impeller failed off Linney Head, the exhaust gasses melted the silencer, and they were dead in the water. Eventually they were found by the Angle lifeboat and towed towards Milford Haven. The speed of the tow caused the stern of the boat to dip in the water and off St Ann’s Head they started to back-flood via the burnt out exhaust system. With water up to their knees they tried to use the sea toilet to bail the boat before asking the lifeboat to stop the tow and send a pump over. Eventually they made it to the marina with the crewman having nearly sunk twice in one day! They were really nice people and the crewman’s partner arrived to take them home. We hope they got back to Burnham on Sea safe and sound after a pretty stressful voyage!

Here is the post from the Angle lifeboat.


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