Pilgrim BM45 Voyage June 2017

The shipping forecast leading up to the voyage date was looking most inclement and turbulent and indeed on the day of the voyage nothing had changed. Winds were up to force six maximum with moderate to poor visibility and lashings of occasional medium to heavy rain. However the weather was not aggressive enough to keep Pilgrim storm bound for the afternoon and once the guest and I had chosen bunks and stowed personal belongings way it was time to get the usual crew / guest safety briefing underway and then have a decision of the sailing options available.The passage plan at the time was to head towards Dartmouth and pick up a mooring there, but due to the stormy weather the passage plan changed to having an afternoon of sailing in Torbay and then head to Torquay marina for the evening and stay at a mooring there for the night.

Pilgrim BM45 alongside Provident, which is a mule class Brixham trawler.

 

Pilgrim BM45 is a Brixham gaff rigged ketch sailing trawler built in 1895 by J W & A Uphams, which is one of Brixham’s most famous ship yards. She is one of a few surviving red sailed wooden built sailing trawlers left.

 

Pilgrim BM45 – Ship Specification

  • MMSI: 235000438
  • Call Sign: ZQSP8
  • Rig: Gaff Rigged Ketch
  • Sails: Main gaff and main topsail, Mizzen and mizzen Topsail, Foresail, Jib and Flying Jib
  • Length on deck: 22.70m(74 ½ ft)
  • Waterline length: 19.96m (65 ½ ft)
  • length overall incl. Bowsprit: 28.82m (94 ½ ft)
  • Bowsprit: 10.36m (34 ft)
  • Beam: 5.33m (17 ½ ft)
  • Main Mast height deck to mast-top: 21.94 m (72 ft)
  • Draft (aft): 3.2m (10 ½ ft)
  • Gross Tonnage: 90 tonne gross
  • Engines: Twin Doosan 5.8, 120 BHP Diesel

Pilgrim BM45 – Accommodation Specification

  • Total persons Carried: 15
  • Berths: 16
  • Main saloon: 8 berths
  • Forward Cabin: 4 berths
  • Crew accommodation: 4 berths
    (Note on charters sold by the berth we only carry 10 Guests)
  • Heads / showers: 1 Heads with shower located forward – 1 Heads with shower located aft

 

Pilgrim’s engraved name and her tiller.

 

The navigation desk!

 

Pilgrim’s galley and bunks. Which includes a snazzy parrot.

 

With the guests and crew all in agreement that the best idea was to have a sail around Torbay for the afternoon and then head to Torquay marina for the evening, we slipped the mooring and headed out to Torbay. It was a little rough while sailing in the bay and the rain was intermittent but we had a good wind to sail by and we had unreefed mainsail and mizzen. We also had staysail up and a jib. The passage to us close to Berry Head, which is an site of special scientific interest and despite the poor visibility, there was a fantastic view of the lighthouse.

 

A misty view of Berry Head lighthouse as white horses gallop away from the bow of Pilgrim.

 

The jib has been tied with wool and ready to be rigged up.

 

A sea veiled in swirling mist.

 

Wild (and rain) filled sails.

 

A brief moment of rain-free sailing!

 

It was soon time to make one final trip across Torbay and head reluctantly towards Torquay marina. It would have been preferable to moor at Dartmouth, not only as it would have given us more sailing time but also because it is an incredibly beautiful area, with lots of different water craft moored up on the pontoons and swing moorings. The weather turned again, becoming very misty and wet just before we entered Torquay marina, which was perfect timing, as it would have been sheer folly to have remained sailing out in the bay with weather like that.

 

Heading to the marina. Really glad the gear has latex neck and wrist seals on it. Definitely needed to be kept dry while out on the water!

 

Misty skies and wind-filled sails.

 

A rather clean looking starboard buoy riding the waves.

 

Motoring up to the pontoon.

 

The marina offered a fair amount of protection from the weather blowing around outside the marina walls. This was the view from the moorings.

 

Once we had arrived at Torquay marina, we sorted the boat out for the evening and then got into something more comfortable and sat around the table in the galley and had a long chat about all kinds of things while the evening meal was being cooked. Once dinner was ready we all tucked in and also enjoyed a glass for wine or ale. Dinner and dessert was fantastic and afterwards we continued having pleasant conversations over a mug of cocoa with a good helping of Kraken rum poured in… purely to keep out the cold, naturally. The weather battled outside the marina entrance but inside the protective walls, it was really rather calm and relaxing. It was a really good evening.

 

Views out to sea.

 

A soggy deck, cloudy skies and light rain.

 

Getting the bunk ready for the night. A little tight though, but cosy all the same.

 

Lights out! Even the parrot had settled down for the night.

 

In the morning we all got up and enjoyed a really nice cooked breakfast and listened to the shipping forecast which was being broadcast via the VHF. The forecast was not much better than the day before, however it was a little dryer and considerably less windy, so that cheered everyone up. Once breakfast was over and we had a small briefing in regards to our sailing options for the day, we then stowed away our gear, suited up in sailing kit and we were ready to leave the marina. It was sunny with only a light coating of mist and the rain seemed miles off and it never reached up. So we slipped the mooring and left the marina. After motoring out a small way, we hoisted the sails and had a long morning of sailing around the bay; however we had to remain in Torbay due to the weather conditions.

 

Motoring out of the marina and past a bobbing port buoy.

 

A few of Pilgrim’s bowsprit.

 

At the tiller of the Gaff Rigged Ketch. All 90 tons or so of it.

 

Rendered passing honours to Vigilance as she sailed past.

 

The ship’s bell, with cloudy skies.

 

Heading back to Brixham, which hailed the end of the voyage.

 

Once we arrived back at Brixham marina, the voyage was sadly over. Despite the weather it was a truly fantastic voyage and the sailing was most enjoyable. It had been a while since I was on board a traditional sailing vessel and it felt good to be on one once again. It was a brilliant way to start the sailing season.

 

 

Take it easy,

Arctic Tundra Fox

The photographs in this blog are owned by ©Arctic Tundra Fox unless otherwise stated, and not for public domain use, thank you.

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Golden Vanity Voyage August 2016

Waking up on the first day of the voyage at 0800 and being greeted by a less than favourable shipping forecast was not the most of positive of things to be greeted by. With strong Southwest winds veering West to force six to gale eight, rough and very rough seas, thundery showers and moderate to good visibility, it was not the best of weathers to venture out of the harbour. The sea inside the breakwater of Brixham harbour was a little rough and windblown but the sea the other side of the breakwater was fairly choppy and only one sea going vessel opted to venture out. Even the fishing boats which normally venture out daily decided to remain in the comfort of the harbour.

Golden Vanity Voyage 20th-22nd August 2016 ~ (2)

A few of the bunks on-board Golden Vanity.

 

On Deck of the Golden Vanity.

On Deck of the Golden Vanity.

After getting a bunk sorted out and my things unpacked and sorted we were all informed that due to the weather we would not be sailing out of the harbour, which was a very sensible and understandable course of action from Stan our skipper. Instead we all walked to a local hotel and have cream teas after which some of us stayed behind for a drink and myself and a few others ventured up to Berry Head to admire the views that the old Napoleonic fortifications offered. Sometime later we all strolled back down to the marina and had a really good wholesome cooked meal, of which was cooked by Neil. Neil cooked for us all for during our time on board and the meals were simply fantastic, healthy and very tasty.

Neil getting things sorted down below deck.

Neil getting things sorted down below deck.

 

Nighttime at Brixham Marina.

Nighttime at Brixham Marina.

 

Settling down for the night.

Settling down for the night.

Day two of the voyage got underway and with a slightly better weather forecast we ventured out into the deep blue ocean. The weather was grey, a little damp and still rather windy but we had two reefs in the mainsail and a good sided staysail so the ride wasn’t all that bumpy. Later on we put a second staysail up which was a smaller sail in the form of a storm jib. Golden Vanity cut through the sea ever so well and was not really inhibited by the current sea state. Once we go to Berry Head the weather picked up and the wind got a little stronger and the boat was tossed around just a little more. Also someone’s hat was blown over-board, which of course meant we had to find it. Even through the hat was black and the sea state was rough, I managed to spot it and after about eight minutes we managed to hook the hat back! Eight minutes in a man (hat) overboard drill isn’t a bad time all things considering, especially taking into account we were trying to spot a black baseball cap and not a person wearing sailing waterproofs and a big inflated yellow lifejacket! The highlight by far was seeing the dolphins off Berry Head. The dolphins around that area are common dolphins and harbour dolphins. They were swimming around the boat as we passed Berry Head on the way to Dartmouth. Dartmouth was our destination and it was our plan to stay over at the visitors pontoon for the night. It was a good plan as there was much going on during our time in Dartmouth.

A healthy breakfast.

A healthy breakfast.

 

Motoring out of Brixham.

Motoring out of Brixham.

 

Hoisted the mainsail with two reefs in.

Hoisted the mainsail with two reefs in.

 

Sailing towards Berry Head.

Sailing towards Berry Head.

 

Dolphins! Truly wonderful animals.

Dolphins! Truly wonderful animals.

 

Getting a second staysail ready to hoist.

Getting a second staysail ready to hoist.

Rough seas and a strong wind.

Rough seas and a strong wind.

The weather started to get somewhat wet so it was rainwear time and for a good hour we had rain. We reached Dartmouth and enjoyed the views of Dartmouth Castle on our way up to the River Dart, once we sailed a little way up, we stopped to have lunch. While we ate lunch we enjoyed the sights of other classic boats slowly making their way up to Dartmouth. Once lunch was over we kept our rainwear on and then motored up the River Dart a little way as we couldn’t take up our mooring alongside the visitors pontoon until a little later on. We motored on past a few historic sites such as an old boat yard and Greenway which was the home of Agatha Christie. Soon we turned around and headed to the visitors pontoon and we passed a steam train which was making its way along the shoreline. Upon reaching the visitors pontoon we moored up and settled down for the night and enjoyed yet another splendid meal by Neil. Some then ventured out and enjoyed a drink and some people stayed behind for a cup of tea and relaxation in the cosy galley of Golden Vanity. Once everyone returned back to the boat we all had an early night after a good day of sailing.

Time to get waterproofs on, things got a little windy and wet.

Time to get waterproofs on, things got a little windy and wet.

 

Sailing towards Dartmouth.

Sailing towards Dartmouth.

 

Dartmouth Castle.

Dartmouth Castle.

 

Greenway Boathouse.

Greenway Boathouse.

 

A steam train running along side the waters edge!

A steam train running along side the waters edge!

 

Moored up alongside the visitors pontoon for the night.

Moored up alongside the visitors pontoon for the night.

 

Sitting down to a really good meal in the galley.

Sitting down to a really good meal in the galley.

 

Nighttime at Dartmouth Marina.

Nighttime at Dartmouth Marina.

 

Golden Vanity Voyage 20th-22nd August 2016 ~ (124)

The best bunk on-board Golden Vanity.

Early the next day we got up and headed towards the fuel barge to top up Golden Vanity’s fuel tank and after that task was completed we ventured out of Dartmouth for some more sailing. The weather had greatly improved and the wind had died down a little which meant we could have the mainsail up with not reefs as well has two large staysails, all of which meant we were really sailing. The destination was Brixham and it didn’t take long for us to reach it either, once again we sailed past Berry Head and saw one or two dolphins swimming about in their normal playful fashion. Once we arrived close to Brixham marina we sailed straight on in under sail without using the motor which is a very traditional and skilful selling technique. Sailing into harbour used to be common place! Once we moored up in the harbour we had lunch and then packed our bags, as that marked the end of what was a really brilliant few days of truly fantastic classic sailing.

Maneuvering around some moored up classic ships.

Maneuvering around some moored up classic ships.

 

Britannia Royal Naval College.

Britannia Royal Naval College.

 

Filling up with fuel at the fuel barge.

Filling up with fuel at the fuel barge.

 

Sailing out of Dartmouth.

Sailing out of Dartmouth.

 

Two staysails up and an unreefed mainsail.

Two staysails up and an unreefed mainsail.

 

Enjoying a cup of tea on the bowsprit.

Enjoying a cup of tea on the bowsprit.

 

Really good productive sailing.

Really good productive sailing.

 

Sailing into Brixham Marina.

Sailing into Brixham Marina.

 

Having a relaxing sit down by the tiller.

Having a relaxing sit down by the tiller.

 

Moored up alone side another classic ship.

Moored up alone side another classic ship.

Take it easy,

Arctic Tundra Fox

The photographs in this blog are owned by ©Arctic Tundra Fox unless otherwise stated, and not for public domain use, thank you.