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nomads weekend at daymer bay - 1-2 jun, 2001

For those of us who did not go to Dahab this year, Daymer Bay has been something to look forward to for the past couple of months. The weather forecast also kept getting better, so much so that at the Port Of Call on Thursday night even Martin said he might come down.

We started very early Friday morning, around 6am, much to the annoyance of the female constituent, and motored steadily south in Gerry's Galaxy with the trailer following (as trailers do). We were all woken, even Gerry, when we discovered that the roundabout near Oakhampton was still there. The aim of all this dedication was actually to get to the Little Chef on the A30 beyond Wadebridge for breakfast. We did this last year on the trip to Marazion and it kept us going all day.

After breakfast we motored back North and West into the lanes and finally to the car park at Daymer. Our experience with the car park attendants over the weekend was varied. Viv and I even got out at the top of the lane and walked down (after phoning home). The cost for car park and launching was the same each time £3.50.

Friday's sailing was large sails and light winds from WNW. Not much planing but a lot of fun all the same. We have a new prospective member, Alistair Donald who came down and stayed for the weekend. The water was flat, mostly, and Al, who normally sails on Axebridge, showed what 20 years experience can do. Later we all piled into the Carpenters arms at Polzeath. This turned out to be a tourist pub with ok food, loud jukebox and loud children. The Doombar bitter from the local Sharp's brewery in Rock was good though.

The B&B we stopped at is called Seaways, on the road up the hill out of Polzeath to the North East. Several double rooms, clean and the food is really good. The guest book had entries for Martin, Tony, Phil and others over the years. Very nice. Alistair stayed at Daymer House very close to the beach car park and reported that this was also a desirable residence.

Saturday dawned bright and breezy. Breakfast was full and we got down to the beach car park around 11. The tides definitely favoured afternoon sailing all weekend. Martin was there along with a whole haul of windsurfers. The word and wind had got around and even at low tide there were rigs out there flying back and forth. The wind had increased dramatically to a force 4 or 5 perhaps 6 and had swung round to almost straight north. Most people took out 5.5's and small boards. Viv tried the Snake and our small 4.2Art and I took our 6.5 Heckler and the 320 Pheonix. Gerry got out on his new orange sinker and flew into the distance. I definitely need a new board.

As the tide came in the waves appeared over sand banks and the far side became a mess of large waves and confused sea. It was easy to plane but increasingly difficult to stay up wind.

At one stage I went looking for Viv and found her unable to get up out of the water, quite close to the rocks at Gun Point on the far side. We made the decision to leave her kit and I dragged her back across the estuary before I went to see what was left. I beached on the far shore and searched from the top along the cliffs. A couple walking along the top waved and said that the board & rig had been recovered by one of the tourist boats and that the lifeguard were looking for the body! Unfortunately as I tried to launch from the beach the rig and the board separated and stranded me. Fortunately a guy leaving the same beach stopped when I shouted to him and managed to take a message back that the equipment had failed.

Using a phone we called the lifeguard and told them that there was no body. (You'll notice here I became plural. This was with the help of Phil from Leicester who just happened to be there with a wife, 2 kids and a mobile). A little later Martin came to the rescue on Gerry's Phoenix with at first a UJ and then, after a second trip, a deck plate and we managed to get back across in one piece. Very interesting huge mast high waves were negotiated on the way. Al and Chris volunteered to drive to Padstow and pick up the equipment which was not damaged, so like all the best stories everyone lived happily ever after.

The evening was spent at the Port Gaverne Hotel with Crab Soup all round and various main courses, excellent fare after a hard days blow.

Sunday morning breakfast and packing up at the B&B took a while. I can recommend Seaways and the landlady's home-made jam. The afternoon started off with a stroll around and over Brea hill. From the top you can see the whole of the estuary and Padstow harbour. Smashing view.

The last bit of sailing was spent in lighter winds than Friday. A good excuse for Martin to air his new wide AHD and an 8.5m. We were all amazed to see a Starboard on the water (95cm wide!) with a 10.1m sail. The estuary was again very flat. Fluky winds near the beach and little gusts with devastating lulls finished everyone off. The sun was nice though.

Must mention Martin's sand brush and Gerry's inner tube covered padlock!
The trip back was uneventful, thankfully devoid of traffic holdups. We finished at the Priory at Portbury with drinks and yet more discussion of the weekends events. I wonder what happened in Dahab [find out here! - Ed].

Steve Powell.

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