Helford Camp 2021

Summer Camp Surprises!
Once again, this year we held two summer camps at Helford and at Salcombe and each are reported below. The Helford report was written by Jenny Chilvers and includes notable surprises as a mini award ceremony was held, firstly to award the Commodore’s Cup to Anna and Adri for completing their Seamanship course in 2020.

Helford Camp 2021

There are many ways of remembering a holiday. Those photos that pop up on the computer when you don’t expect them, the memories in one’s head or looking back at a newsletter. This input from us (Roy and Jenny) does not replace Steve’s comprehensive blog, rather looks at it from a different angle.

The normal early arrivers turned up around 7am, Rob H following Roy and Jenny down the farm track (there was a slight pause whilst Roy had to wait for a deer to get out of the way) soon followed by Emma H, who passed Roy and Jenny on Bodmin Moor but arrived behind them – not sure how – must have been a sneaky breakfast stop! The field was already occupied by Steve, Mel Sarah and Mark. As a consequence, Roy was not first on the water, much to his disappointment, with Steve taking out ex members Mark and Tom whilst Roy and Jenny’s tent was only just up!

By the end of Saturday the field was filling nicely with those who you would expect to arrive on day one. Much concern and sympathy amongst those present for new members Gary and Sasha and their children. Steve received a text to say they were arriving with the car on a low loader, with the Club boat being towed behind. In typical Cody fashion everyone wanted to ensure that, whatever time they arrived with two tired young children, they were made welcome. A team was stood by to help put the tent up, entertain the children, provide the necessary refreshment and ensure that after a day they would rather forget ended on a positive note. It was also a Happy Birthday to Sasha.

Saturday did see several boats take to the water and Sunday was the obligatory shakedown trip to the Ferry Boat – well maybe testing the boat was secondary for that must have first ice cream. What do you mean no Gooseberry or Rum & Raisin or even Malti Mystery! – never mind we’ll make do with Raspberry yogurt sorbet. In the evening the camp was serenaded by the harmonious duet of Steve & Mel with sounds gently drifting across the field.

Monday was a first opportunity to get past August Rock buoy. Those who wanted to sail further needed to make the most of the weather because later in the week it
looked a bit too windy for going

anywhere! There was a chance of getting to Maenporth but the winds turned out to be a bit light so instead we the fleet

went to “the beach with no name” that we landed on last year. A
very quiet pebbly beach that by land can only be walked to from
Mawnan Smith, and by sea it can be reached only at high tide.
Tacking in precisely between to two sets of reefs on either side was “a first” for some. Roy built a cairn but was soon out done by Steve who built a higher one complete with windows! A sail north after lunch allowed the fleet to look at Maenporth which was rather busy before returning home again. Well done to Anna and Adri who sailed with an asymmetric for the first time.

Where had the forecast wind gone on Tuesday? 8 people kayaked to Gweek and explored the boatyard café whilst Anna, Adri and Lisbeth rowed Squirrel.

Wednesday we achieved a Helford 2021 record for sailing boats leaving the beach all together – 15. 8 boats went to Gillan with 4 sailing up the creek whilst the rest went to Ponsence Cove to enjoy family fun on the water.

And then the winds came. Who moaned about no wind on Tuesday? Ged decided to see if Peewit sank – he blamed it on the Commodore for causing it to capsize for the first time in earnest. Well, why not? And to answer the question – no it did not sink but was it VERY low in the water? – yes. Not to be out done Roy and Jenny capsized and stuck the mast well in the mud, David and Jack capsized their new Feva resulting in David having a trip to minor injuries after the rudder hit his head and Andy capsized the reefed Vision sailing single handed and needed assistance from Jenny (who hitched a lift out from the visitors next door) to right it. Morgan had good fun in the Solution keeping Roy company in the Laser 1. Roy can never have too much time on the water – righting the 2k did not tire him enough.

It was windy again on Friday. Next time you see Andy ask him what it is like seeing his boat from ten foot in the air (as he was catapulted out sailing with Simon). And yes, it was as they capsized! Rob H did enjoy his Topper sail and several others took to the water to make the most of the wind and the opportunity to play off camp.

Saturday morning it was, to put it mildly, raining but as it eased a little there was a melodious sound coming from up the hill by Anna and Adri’s tent. The description was that Mike was giving a singing lesson but he was teaching the gathered group sea shanties and very pleasant it sounded too! A good warm up for later in the camp.

A late than normal briefing allowed Commodore Rob B to make two presentations. The first, The Commodores Cup, was to Anna and Adri for their achievement of getting their Seamanship Skills certificates in 2020. The second presentation was one that he had been keeping under wraps for some months -following citations from himself, Simon and Tony – it was with great pleasure Rob was able to announce that Steve had received an ‘RYA Community Award for Outstanding Contribution’…presented to outstanding individuals for their exceptional commitment and services to boating at Club or grassroots level. (See elsewhere in the newsletter for more detail on this well-deserved award).

The afternoon saw some sailing – after all this is a sailing Club – with a variety of craft making the most of the water before a largish group investigated the Red Lion at Mawnan Smith for an evening meal.

Sunday morning some were itching to go for a longer blast in a bigger expanse of water so Roy led 4 boats through the moorings to head for August Rock. However, disappointing winds and poor visibility meant that they had to adjourn to the Ferry Boat waiting for the tide – it is a hard life! Once the water returned for the evening as you might expect, with a bit more wind, several boats decided that wind and water meant it was time to play.

The following day the winds had abated enough to go out of the river mouth again and the tides were set fair for a trip to Porthallow. Some decided that a walk was a better option and voyaged to Helford, had lunch at the Shipwrights Arms and a walk. Don’t talk to Andy and Vanessa about getting the last cream tea at the Holy Mackerel Cafe which had sold out by the time the others got there. For those that got to Porthallow the Five Pilchards was open for drinks but no food – however a new café next door did food (including a speciality of five pilchards) but no alcohol. After a relaxed lunch it was time to head back in a freshening breeze which resulted in one capsize – Rob B lost the race to plate which was won by Morgan leaving Rob B and Mike to get wet. Rob B decided not to stop at the Ferry Boat (was that a first?) but the rest of the fleet did to be met by Sasha, Gary, Lexi and Maxim just in time for an ice cream before heading back to camp.

Tuesday, we had perhaps a Cody first – Gold, Silver and Pewter (not bronze) fleet. This was the first of two other sails out of the river entrance for the gold fleet. 5 boats made it to Coverack in a gentle F3. And no, we did not sail through the Manacles but instead were led outside by Andy as OOD. His arrival timing was perfect getting there just before low water and after lunch the boats were just refloating, requiring pulling up the beach a

few times before our departure. Coverack was fortunately not too busy with swimmers and paddleboarders with just a handful or yachts anchored off. The silver fleet went to Grebe Beach and had family time with Rob H and Alan going for a quick blast in the Sport. Meanwhile the pewter fleet (Phil and Jo) had a nice meal with friends in Malpas.

The next day was again another dank and misally with the planned communal BBQ postponed until Thursday. Not to miss a day on the water, in the evening, Jenny and Roy sailed in the rain to Gweek, nearly becoming becalmed off the seal sanctuary but in the end making it back to camp in a nice F3 (but dying winds).

Well! what would camp be without Pirates Breakfast? There was the normal gathering of clues on the field before the new pirate king, Edmund, was captured at Tremaine Quay by the Indians. You’ll be pleased to know he managed to escape. However, who are these two pirates – they do not look as if they are under 12? This was Mikes first Pirates Breakfast and don’t argue with Terry once she has that super soaker in her hand! Thursday was all about the camp doing things together. After the drying out (needed following the water fight) 11 boats, sailed to Grebe Beach. After lunch some went for a blast (Roy said there was wind and water …..), Rob H, Emma and Harry along with Isobel and Edmund went to look at Gillan Creek resulting in Edmund and Isobel going for a swim with the kite up. The fleet regathered to set off as one to return to camp – a freshening breeze meaning that Jack and Katy also went swimming in the Feva. The “whole” camp day was rounded off with a communal BBQ and camp fire (without the beach fire but instead wood on BBQ’s) and a collective serenade under the stars led by Steve and Mel but supported by others notably Mike who did a rendition of a sea shanty which he had then adapted for Cody SC and Farnborough -it really was very clever with an unexpected twist. Mark also provided music and song – his take on “Hole in my Bucket” as Henry prompted much laughter (and maybe Henry needs anger management therapy!)

Friday was the other long sail in the second week to Cellar’s Beach, Place. It is opposite St Mawes and Andy and Vanessa spotted it on a walk last year and suggested it as an alternative destination to St Mawes. An ebbing tide and wind shadow meant that the fleet of 3 did not sail very far into this pretty bay and, much to Andy’s disappointment, we did not see the spectacular Place House – one for next year. It was a very pleasant and quiet lunch stop and one to be recommended for future years. When sailing back just after low water we did notice that August Rock does actually exist behind that green buoy. For those back at camp a crab race had to be done from Tremaine Quay whilst for others a leisurely lunch at the Shipwright Arms was calling.

On the Gold fleet return it was nice to be able to talk to a prospective new club member who was interested in camping, Hilary, who had been taught by Simon and Steve at Frensham and happened to be in the area.

It gave her an idea of what a Cody summer camp is about.

There was no night paddle to the pub at Gweek but Friday night did see 15 craft (ranging from paddleboards, kayaks and a rowed GP14) take to the water as dusk was falling looking for the famed phosphorescence. It was not the best year but given the weather there was more than expected and for some it was the first time of seeing it. It is good to report that all craft safely returned to shore and none were lost in the dark!

Saturday was not a brilliant day weather wise but it did not stop a small fleet sailing to Grebe via Porth Navas creek. We’ll not mention the Laser that, whilst pushing the limits to reach the end of the creek, got caught in some mooring lines (Roy). After the last ice cream at the Ferry Boat, it was back in time to make use of the yellow Landi to haul boats up from the beach. A few remained on the foreshore with the hope of a sail in Sunday. Andy and Vanessa felt they needed to give their outboard its annual usage by going to the boat yard café at Gweek.

Sadly, Mark did not have a good journey home. His camper van caught fire on the journey home whilst on A30 and is no more. No one was injured in the fire, but a lot of camping equipment has been lost, and the van had been owned by Mark for many years and had irreplaceable sentimental value. 

The plan to sail to Gillan for breakfast on Sunday did not take place with a F6 in the forecast so the remaining boats were hauled from the beach, and the race was on to see if the tents would come down in the dry. The answer to that is no.

Thanks to all at Helford for making it another special and memorable camp. It does not happen without the hard work of those in the background so a thank you to all those who contribute to the organisation. Hopefully see you next year at Helford?

Jenny and Roy Chilvers

Club Mini Awards Ceremony at Helford 
by the Commodore

At the morning meeting/briefing at Helford on the Friday 6th August (or it may have been the Saturday – but in any event it was on a poor weather/non sailing day!) I used the assembly to have an impromptu mini- awards ceremony to announce two awards for club members. The first was the Commodores Cup, which is awarded annually by the

Committee to club members who have made significant and noteworthy progress in their sailing development. This award was for 2020 but (in similar fashion to the Tokyo Olympics the actual presentation of the trophy was delayed by COVID). The Committee unanimously agreed that Anna and Adri should be awarded the trophy for 2020 in recognition of their training and development achievements during 2020. They completed RYA Seamanship in the clubs Comet Versa Squirrel during the height of lockdown at a SWAC – a watersports training establishment in Southampton. I’m sure the whole club will join me in congratulating them on this achievement and the award.