Bristol Channel 2010 Part 1

Report and pictures by Martin Longhurst

Waverley arrived in Swansea fairly early on Thursday morning 3 June 2010 after a flat calm voyage from Scotland. She spent the next two days tied up in the Docks before re-entering service on Saturday morning.

She sailed at 10.00 for Porthcawl, Ilfracombe and the mystic isle of Lundy. The weather was lovely and the sailing popular with nearly 700 on board leaving Porthcawl. Just under 600 chose to spend time ashore in Ilfracombe but over 100 came aboard to steam to Lundy, making a reasonable number to land at Lundy. The return connection to Porthcawl was by coach.


Waverley arriving at Clevedon Pier 6 June 2010

The forecast for Sunday was not so good but nevertheless over 200 joined the paddler at Clevedon for a down channel trip to Penarth and Ilfracombe for time ashore. It was cold and grey as we steamed across to Penarth, where numbers on board increased considerably. A good passage was made across to Ilfracombe although at the mid-point of the Channel the mist closed in and visibility was very limited. However, the sun came out again as we closed on the Foreland Light. We made our landfall at the Devon port about 30 minutes late having punched the tide all the way. We visited the RNLI shop, walked round the Harbour and bought a Devon ice cream during our 60 minutes ashore.


Waverley rests at Ilfracombe in company with the Lundy ferry Oldenburg


We encountered HMS Gloucester outbound from Avonmouth as we cleared Barry. She changed course for a closer look and a naval officer could be seen waving his cap from her bridge as she sped passed.

The return passage was with the wind which made for quite a warm sailing in the bright evening sun. Again the tide was against us and there was some concern over the remaining depth of water at Penarth. However, the steamer was made fast promptly and was able to continue her voyage to Clevedon without incident. The wind was on our beam alongside the Pier which meant the fore and aft mooring lines were doubled as a precaution as the ship rolled. Soon we were all off and the paddler was off back to the west to seek shelter in Penarth Roads for the night.


Waverley turns for Wales in the light of the setting sun

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