Here are tentative plans for this season, based on the UK government’s current roadmap for easing coronavirus restrictions. Please email me to say which trips you’d like to join.
The key dates for us in the roadmap are:
29 March – boating allowed with crews of up to six people from different households. No overnight stays so day sails only, no cruising.
No earlier than 12 April – Overnight stays by one household allowed; so I can spend the night on Guiding Star but not with crew.
No earlier than 17 May – Overnight stays allowed with up to six people from different households; so we can cruise. International travel will be reviewed so this is the earliest we might be allowed to sail across the Channel.
No earlier than 21 June – All restrictions lifted and international travel allowed. However, whether we can sail to France will depend on the state of restrictions there.
The RYA has published a handy summary of how the government roadmap applies to boating.
Guiding Star will be hauled out for spring maintenance work at the end of March. That will take between two and four weeks so she will be ready to sail some time in the second half of April.
Mid April-mid May Day sailing from Plymouth
While boating is allowed but overnight stays by people from different households are not, I suggest we make some day sails around Plymouth.
Guiding Star has a new mainsail which involves slab reefing rather than the simpler roller reefing and a new genoa, so this will be a good chance to settle the new sails in. We can practice reefing and man overboard after eighteen months in which most of us have hardly sailed at all.
If you live within easy reach of Plymouth and would like a day sail, please get in touch. It would be ideal if you were flexible on dates so we can pick a fine sailing day, rather than fix a date a long way in advance and commit ourselves to sailing in pouring rain.
29-30 May Brixham Heritage Regatta
Hoping that overnight stays will be allowed by the end of May, we can sail to Brixham for the spring bank holiday weekend Heritage Regatta. There will be a fish supper and fireworks on Saturday 29th and sailing round the bay on Sunday 30th. The full programme is on the regatta website. The event is fun and friendly and an ideal first cruise for the season.
Join Guiding Star in Plymouth on Wednesday 26 May to sail to Dartmouth on Thursday 27 and Brixham on Friday 28. Sail back to Plymouth on Monday 31st.
11-13 June Falmouth Classics
The biggest gathering of traditional boats in Britain. There will be races on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th and a Parade of Sail on Sunday 13th. Last time we went, in 2018, the weather was hot, sunny and windless: huge fun but slow sailing. If there’s no wind this year, I hope we’ll go faster with Guiding Star’s new loose-footed mainsail and big genoa.
Join the boat in Plymouth on Tuesday 8 June to sail to Fowey on Wednesday 9th and Falmouth on Thursday 10th.
July-September France, Scotland or…?
Plans after the Classics are more tentative. If we’re allowed to sail to France, that might be the moment to cross the Channel. Last year’s plan was to cruise the Atlantic coast of France to La Rochelle and I’d still like to do that. However, it looks doubtful that coronavirus restrictions in France will have eased enough by then.
An alternative plan would be to sail Guiding Star to the west coast of Scotland and cruise the Western Isles over the summer.
Please let me know your thoughts about the second half of the season: when you might be available and whether you would be up for the longer trips to Scotland or France.