I wanted to make a reasonably early start, high tide was at midday so I figured that if I left at about 9.30, got across in two hours, saw the sights then set of back again I'd still have some water across the bar.
Unfortunately the engine absolutely refused to start. I tried everything. In the end I called a local outboard mechanic Duncan who very kindly popped down to the slipway.What I hadn't spotted was a small rod connecting the primer/idle knob to the carb had come off. 10mins later the engine was up and running nicely.
I have a new vhf setup thanks to PikeyDave
with a large fibreglass antenna. I didn't want to risk using a small handheld VHF so far offshore. The reception on the new setup is excellent but the long antenna was a mistake, it whips around like crazy in the chop!
The slipway at Appledore was packed and so I was glad to get away. The bar was a little choppy so I had to slow right down to radio milford haven to inform them of my journey plans. Slight problem with VHF on a Sib, I can't hear it when the engine's above half throttle! Headsets?
Leaving the bar behind. Very hazy day, wasn't long before I couldn't see land behind or ahead of me.
The crossing proved to be 22.5 miles each way. After a bit of chop, the sea became glassier and glassier.
Losing sight of land
Slowly Lundy appeared out of the haze. The closer I got, the glassier the sea
I didn't see any dolphins or seals unfortunately, but there were a lot of seabirds about.
The anchorage at Lundy is stunning, especially on a calm day like today. There were quite a few boats moored up in the bay and I had counted on needing to swim ashore, but as it happens there is a very steep slipway which I just managed to drag the aerotec up.
I have been to Lundy before on a stag weekend where we stayed 24/7 in the Marisco Tavern, so I climbed up the track for half an hour to see if I could find someone to take a photo of me in front of the pub. It was very tempting to stay for a pint but given the length of the return journey I thought better of it!
After another trek down to the boat, I did a re-fuel. I had a full main 25litre tank and another 15 litres in jerrycans for the trip. I could only fit 9 and a bit litres back in the main tank, so unless I've missed a trick that means I did 22miles from Appledore to Lundy on.. 9.5 litres? Seems pretty good to me! I guess 1 up it really wasn't above half throttle very often.
The return trip was fast, perfect sea states. On the way out I stuck to 15mph but on the way back it was 18mph all the way. Just made it back in at 4.30 with very little water left on the approach to Appledore.
22.5miles each way, departed appledore Midday, returned to Appledore 16.30, approx 20litres fuel used. Not bad!
Conclusion: It's very do-able but you need perfect weather. Even so I am pretty battered now. VHF essential, the mobile signal disappears without warning. Lash every single thing down! Don't do a long trip if you've got a bad back, otherwise you won't be walking for a few days! Suncream, lots of water, food and take lots of fuel. And prepare yourself for the point at which you lose sight of land in all directions. Could easily panic some in a small boat like these.