COVID-19 Channel cruise
Yachting Monthly|November 2020
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COVID-19 Channel cruise
Andrew Beveridge’s solo adventure to the Isles of Scilly and Brittany

When the coronavirus pandemic scuppered my plans for a summer cruise to Portugal, I decided to look closer to home and explore the Isles of Scilly.

A hop across to northern France also seemed possible – and from there I could easily nip home.

My girlfriend Sally was nervous of travel during COVID-19, my children have youngsters and it was impossible to ask other friends or family and maintain social distancing on a 37ft boat.

So I resolved to go singlehanded which I have done before – from the Azores to Portugal twice and also round Britain.

My insurance company was amenable as long as I kept each passage to less than 100 miles in daylight. I worked out that Scilly to L’Aberwrac’h, Brittany was 100 miles as was Baie de Morlaix back to the River Yealm where I keep Nightstar, a lifting keel Jeanneau 379 – ideal for the Isles of Scilly and with twin rudders she can and has been grounded. I set off on 23 July from the Yealm, intending to sail the 100 miles to Scilly in three days. Unfortunately, with persistent south-westerlies Force 4-7, it took me six days, of which two were galebound, to reach the islands. En route, I anchored in Mevagissey, then sailed to Falmouth’s visitors’ marina – no rafting allowed so my shallow draft helped to find a berth. I intended to anchor off Mousehole next but with wind from the south it was temporarily exposed, so I went to the very welcoming Newlyn Marina.

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November 2020