The Gathering of the Boats is a fleeting kind of festival in that all the boats come and go on the same tide with a BBQ and a few beers and some music in the process. I've attended it for the last 2 or 3 years but it was great to finally arrive in Teal. Its also a harbour which I would have been hesitant to go into in Teal without others to follow but as it happens the Mussel farms are easy to get through and the channel is well marked. I had a look at the pier at low water today so I know where to go in future should I want to dry out in there. There doesn't seem to be any resident boats there so its likely any drying boat would have the place entirely to themselves
The forecast for yesterday wasn't exactly promising but I had it in my head I was going come hell or high water. It's all sheltered water sailing anyway so I wasn't going to let the rain stop me, thankfully many were of the same opinion and it seems it was the biggest turn out to date. The drascombe lugger association were out in force with about 25 boats attending. All the usual suspects were out, the Mackerel boats the lobster boats and numerous others, 'Teal' and Brian Martens 'Guillemott' being two new (albeit very old) additions.
We had a lovely sail from Baltimore to begin with, meeting up outside the estuary at 2.30 amidst a squall of wind and rain. We dropped most of our sail and went in under staysail and mizzen, we eventually started the engine to keep pace as we got further into shelter. We rafted up about an hour and a half before high tide and set about relaxing. The rain held off much better than anticipated so there was plenty of chitchat and Cormac who is the main organiser gave a rundown on all the boats in attendance along with nice t-shirts for the boat owners. Following that we were at the top of the tide and began slipping away around 4.45.
The whole flotilla motored off down stream and back to where they came from, We upped sail once out into the mussel farms but the wind soon died and we had to motor most of the way back. We picked up the mooring in heavy rain about 7 o'clock and headed home to dry out.
Its a great little event and the rain did little to dampen spirits, looking forward to next years.
|Teal & Guillemot|
Guillemot was built in 1893 in Baltimore and rebuilt in Hegartys at the same time as I was working on Teal, She was relaunched a week after Teal and had her first sail at Baltimore wooden boat festival as well.
|Drying out this morning|
|One from last year, A glorious day.|