Snark, pictured at Cotahele by the National Trust, during a beautiful early morning trip up the Tamar, having anchored off Pantillie Castle the night before (below). The observant amongst you will have spotted not only the lowered top mast; to clear the overhead cabled at Weir Quay; but also the missing spreet and mainsail.
Two days before, just as we are hoping to get out from under the devastating problems of the Covid pandemic and with our first guests on board, disaster struck. We had left Salcombe on the early tide in very poor visibility and were heading for Falmouth and the Classics regatta. Reaching in with light winds and a rolly beam sea, all sail set, we spotted the spreet was flexing rather more than it should. Closer inspection identified a crack forming on the leeward side just below the yard tackle.
We could see the spreet was slowly failing. Cue high speed sail dousing and head into the seas and lower the 650 kg spreet with as much control as we could manage. After a nerve racking 30 minutes during which the spar was crashing from side to side it was finally lashed to the rail and under much reduced sail we headed for the Cawsand anchorage to tidy up. Hence the unplanned but very pleasant trip up the Tamar, followed by a relaxing motor and sail under jury rig back to Dartmouth. Though it wasn't what was planned the guests were content with the alternative arrangements, there was after all still plenty of good food and drink to be had.
Back at our berth we have been able to assess the problem more carefully and to cut a long story short a new spreet is needed. Step forward the expert shipwrights at Creekside who will make us a new and much improved spar over the next few weeks. We will post progress pics as it happens. However, in the meantime we are limited in our sailing capacity . So we have de-rigged to protect the sails from the summer UV and set about some other chores best done in the summer weather (if it ever comes!)
We should be back up and running fully in early August all being well and assuming the 19 July opening up is real and 'irreversible' as currently advised.