We left Milford Haven and had a great sail with good winds and moderate seas to Lundy and then on to Padstow. That’s the good news… the bad news is that Ffion was seasick the whole time and when we arrived in Padstow the anchorage near the lifeboat station was very bumpy. Things got worse when the wind shifted to North Easterly and the waves in the anchorage got worse.
There was no way we could stay there overnight, especially with Ffion so unwell and there were no local safe harbours accessible at low tide, especially in that swell. There was no choice, we had to move and as we had decided Ffion would go home, Milford was the best option .
To make things worse, the anchor snagged, I shredded the skin on my thumb trying to free it and the anchor bent in the process; It’s still usable though (anchor and thumb). While raising the sails in the now 20 knot winds, the genoa (the front sail) was flogging in the wind for a while and that has shown weaknesses in its sacrificial strip (also known as a UV strip because it is exposes to sunlight when the sail is furled) it has shredded in a few places.
As it was 9pm and it was a 24 hour sail against a North East wind back to Milford, we sailed North West into the Celtic Sea away from land during the night and tacked back North East the next day. It took 26 hours in the end so we were exhausted and more or less went straight to sleep.
This morning I had a good look at the genoa and it looks sound except the sacrificial strip which has done its job by absorbing uv sunrays and become brittle. I have spoken to a sailmaker in nearby Neyland who has given a rough price of £350 to replace this strip so tomorrow I hope to get a taxi over with the sail. He may not be able to work on it till later next week so I will be here at least a week.
Ffion will stay here with me, at least for a few days and will then go home, alas she is not a good sailor due to seasickness. I will then cross the Bristol Channel (again) and continue in to Southmpton arriving a little later than planned.
I will be looking for a crew member to help with the sail from Southampton to the Mediterranean if anyone is interested and can spare a couple of months.