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Daymer Bay - June 2011

June 25/26 - Daymer delivers the goods

...well not really.

Like many others and unlike some, I drove down early Sat am, having first collected Al, and stopped off at Asda in Bodmin. We were beaten to the Daymer car park by Matt, Ian & Neroli, Keith, Justin & Lorraine, Phil & Ruth, Bob, James, the car park attendants, Uncle Tom Cobbly & all.

It was cold, foggy and drizzly. It wasn't windy, and what wind there was seemed to be dropping. People who were already on the water seemed to be planing less - apart from Lorraine & Justin who can both plane on the wind from a butterfly's wings.

It was going to have to be 112l Kode, 7.4m sail + new 42cm skeg. New skeg had other plans, and refused to mate with corresponding slot. 30 mins later, having given it a good telling-off with several scraps of 150 grit wet 'n dry paper and a lot of glass fibre & resin dust, it was forced home. I have yet to suffer the pleasure of trying to remove it.

On the water, I think I must have got planing for all of 3 mins over a 2 1/2 hour period. The rest of the time was spent mainly in the water - trying to

  1. waterstart in insufficient wind;
  2. trying to uphaul; or
  3. trying to swim back to find some wind to do a). Occasionally attempting...
  4. tacks, putting me into position a).

Naturally, Justin was still managing to plane with a 5.7m sail. Ian occasionally exploded onto the plane by giving his rig a damn good thrashing. Neroli seldom seemed to come off the plane. I think a weight-related pattern is beginning to emerge here.

I swapped boards with Matt for a while - he wanted to try out the Kode. Probably not the best conditions for a test drive, but he got it on the plane briefly, before crashing spectacularly, claiming his irresistible force had hit an immovable object (sea weed). Fortunately, no damage was done - though the sea weed wasn't consulted about this. I, on the other hand, managed to get his Naish Supercross planing (very) marginally once or twice. Very smooth-feeling board.

And all the while, it remained cool, dismal & drizzly - except inside the pub later that evening. Here's a tip: If you call in at the Fourways Inn at St Minver, on a Saturday evening, don't arrive after 18:30 expecting to find somewhere to sit. Worse still, don't arrive dead on 19:00, or you'll find people 4 deep at the bar ordering food. However, the beer was good & so was the food.

Unfortunately, the beer put in a bid to reappear at about 4:20 in the morning, necessitating nocturnal perambulations. At first I thought the fog was inside my head - the unlikely result of too much beer. Fortunately, it turned out to be the real stuff: thick & wet, but remarkably mild.

From about 06:00, the tent began to start flapping - with gradually increasing vigour. By 07:00, the sun was up and the tent was still flapping. Time to arise. Everything was saturated, and the breeze was from the SE. Not a good direction for Daymer. In fact, it's probably the worst possible direction. Confirmed a short while later when Ian called to say he was on the beach; there was v little wind - dead offshore, and the rowing gigs were arriving. YES - we'd done it again. For the 3rd time in my memory, the Nomads have managed to put a Daymer Bay trip on the calendar to clash with the gig racing regatta.

Here's a tip: Before arranging the dates for future Daymer trips, check the events page on the Cornish Pilot Gig Association (CPGA) website (http://www.cpga.co.uk/). Hint: I suspect they'll look for a neap tide, too.

I suspect Ian & Neroli, Matt & Keith all beat their own separate retreats back home. Justin, Lorraine, Al & I engaged our creative juices whilst giving time for the tents to flap themselves dry... Marazion? Too far in the wrong direction. Exmouth or Bigbury? - both on the way home; both would work in SE. Eventually, the decision was made - Justin, Lorraine, Al & self would walk round the coast path from Polzeath to Pentire Head.

There were some big waves coming in to Polzeath, and some good surfers making use of them. There were also several thousand other people in the water trying to surf; learning to surf; body boarding and generally getting in the way of everyone else except the good guys who were right out the back anyway.

Pentire Head rewarded us with fabulous views down the estuary; out to sea where the sailing boats were racing; and of a couple of seals - or at least, their noses. It was hot walking & I ended up with a sunburnt neck.

After ice cream back at Polzeath, J & L & self walked round to Daymer to watch the gig racing, with an added courtesy performance from some sand martins.

Time to pack up and leave, and Al vented his frustration (I guess) on my trailer by trying to break off one of the board supports. In this, he was largely successful, calling for an impromptu rearrangement of boards to facilitate a hopefully uneventful drive home.

PS: An emergency trip the following day to Tony Low’s hospitality & gas welding emporium immediately prior to his return to France, followed by a visit to the very-small-and-expensive-tin-of-Hammerite-paint emporium, has seen the trailer’s board support restored to almost its former glory. I also took the opportunity of fitting the replacement hub/wheel bearing that I’d bought for the trailer about 3 years ago, having noticed how wobbly the wheel was & how worn the tyre down the inside (oops!).

Martin Farrimond

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