Finally after three years of no Wharram Hui we were able to get a small gathering of Wharram catamarans together in Cornwall in the Fal estuary.
The 2019 Hui was scuppered by me (Hanneke) spending a large part of the summer in hospital (for a heart-valve replacement), 2020 was written off because of Covid, so it was great that with many people now vaccinated and rules a bit more relaxed, we were able to bring a few boats in the South West of England together.
Arrivals And Friday Evening Barbecue
Five boats were able to attend, three of them local. There was our own 24ft Mana, Tiki 21 ‘Heron’ owned by locals Julius, Carli and their two boys, and ‘Amatasi’, which was built as a prototype by us and is now owned by Simon Caro in Falmouth.
Two Tiki 30s came from further away, ‘Moku’ was sailed from Jersey by Dave Yettram and friend and Rory McDougall sailed his ‘Moana’ from the river Exe, with crew Ian Bamsey. Ian owns a Tiki 21 himself, but did not want to sail her that far on his own. Both arrived on the Friday and we motored down the creek to meet them on Mana and guide them up the channel to Devoran Quay.
The weather forecast had been changing over the days and originally we expected strong winds on Sunday, but that all changed and the cloudy weather and bits of rain came on Friday and Saturday morning with sun promised for Saturday afternoon and Sunday. So we decided to have our BBQ on Friday evening, where 12 of us had our first social meeting of fellow souls in a long time.
Saturday - A Day Of Sailing And A Night At Roundwood Quay
It was followed by a quiet Saturday morning chatting on board the boats dried out at the Quay, while the last bits of rain faded. We then all departed in the afternoon in sunshine on the rising tide.
Out in Carrick Roads the three Tikis and Mana sailed briskly up and down, gybing and tacking and sailing in formation. We spotted Amatasi coming from Falmouth in the distance to join us.
We then had to start heading up river before the tide would fall, as we planned an overnight stay at Roundwood Quay (as in 2017). We all tried to keep sailing in the fluctuating light wind up the narrowing river, which came from all directions, but in the end we all motored the last bit and tied up at the quay.
James (age 93) was on board Mana with myself and our son’s girlfriend Liz. Liz comes from San Francisco and has learned her sailing on tall ships. She loves going up masts and is a wizard with knots. At the quay Mana got the best mooring spot alongside the stone steps, which would allow James to get back on board when the tide had dropped (a long way - others had to abseil down to their decks).
On shore we were welcomed by Carli who had come by car with a massive pot of curry, rice, naan bread and poppadoms, served up hot and delicious. We sat round the campfire into the dark of evening. James made it back on board Mana, where we had erected her deck tent ready for bed.
Sunday's Trip To The Helford
Next morning Simon was the first to dive in for a cold swim, followed by Liz and finally young Sol, from Heron, who wore his wetsuit. The tide quietly started to drop, so after breakfast it was time to leave. Moana, the last one to leave, just made it before her keels got stuck in the mud.
Sunday’s plan was to sail out of Carrick Roads to the Helford River, where we rafted up for lunch. Rory and Ian on ‘Moana’ could not join us as they had to get back to Exeter to catch the early morning tide. There was a bit of extra excitement when Simon quietly announced he had just lost his anchor. He had been letting out warp a couple of times to let Moku swing round to get alongside Heron. The last time his knot was not secure and the rope slipped.
As the water was not too deep and there was a long warp stretched along the bottom, we thought it should be possible to dive it up. Solomon, who had always been a waterboy, was volunteered to do this. The water was cold, but just one dive and Sol came to the surface with the rope in his hand. A sigh of relief.
By 3 o’clock it was time to sail home. We had to get up Restronguet creek by 6pm for the high tide. Heron left soon after us. The others left a bit later. Moku was heading straight back to Jersey, which they reached within 24 hours.
It was a lovely sail back, the wind was from the North, so after a close hauled course to Pendennis head we had to tack up Carrick Roads. Liz took the helm and was getting the hang of keeping Mana sailing as close to the wind as possible while keeping up good speed. A bit different from a square rigged tall ship. Several tacks got us well up North, but then on the last slant towards Restronguet, suddenly a sudden flapping of the mainsail. Looking up the peak of the sail had dropped and the halyard was down to the deck. The halyard block at the top of the mast had broken!
We lowered the sail and started the motor and motored all the way back home where we would be able to make repairs.
It was a great weekend, sorry that more people weren’t able to attend. Lets hope next year will be more free and more can come from further away.