Cornish Shrimper - Daislebee

Cornish Shrimper - Daislebee

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Drascamp 2018 – Drascombes, Devon’s, Deben’s…and kayaks

After months of planning Drascamp 2018 kicked off at Cleavel Point, on the south side of Poole Harbour on Monday 13th August.

Throughout the day a procession of cars and motorhomes arrived and a growing collection tents and other structures began to appear as well as a large number of boats which were soon rigging on the grass next to the launch area.

Monday night saw a cheese and wine gathering where old friends gathered and new friends were found.

As was the pattern for the rest of the week Tuesday saw a 09.00 am briefing that was a little early for some…and it was noticeable that the numbers declined as the week progressed ……
The plan for the day was to start the Harbour familiarisation quiz put together by Bob. This would take people to a variety of different areas of the harbour,  unfamiliar even to those who had sailed there before.

And thus the pattern for the week was set – briefing followed by a day’s activity, be it a sail in the harbour, or indeed outside in Studland Bay, a walk, sight seeing or swimming, there was something for everyone.

The barbecues were lit at 17.00 to allow younger ones to be fed in good time, and as the darkness gathered there was a mass adjournment to the large tepee, which once your eyes got used to the smoke from the fire pit, proved a popular late evening venue.

Wednesday evening’s entertainment was a quiz, run and put together by Andy Peter, helped by his glamorous assistant Judy. There were rounds for everyone, from children’s TV, Drascombing history, general nautical and music. Competition was fierce but eventually Brad, Bob, Tony and Joe emerged victorious.
Andy had also set everyone a task – to produce a limerick about their or someone else’s boat. During the quiz he read some out.....many could not be put into print but here are a selection.

“9 years I’ve had Aspen, my Lugger
I’m so fond of her now I could hug her
But the first couple of years
She near brought me to tears
And I nearly got shot of the bugger!!”

“Drascamp is a jolly place
To sail in Periwinkle
But it ain't no joke
When your toilet's broke
And you need to have a tinkle”

“The skipper of the drifter Pellew
Had difficulty keeping a crew
They'd all disembark
When just for a lark
He showed them his secret tattoo”

“The skipper of the good ship Loulie
Set sail in Poole in a hoolie
And when having a pee
The mainsail broke free
And hit him full-on in the goolie”

Thursday morning dawned wet and windy and many decided to go exploring in land…a trip over the ferry at Studland and a couple of hours in the warm and dry watching Mama Mia put the world to rights and when we emerged the sun was shining again.
Thursday’s evening activities included pirate fancy dress and horse racing, marshalled by Tony Wood.

Races for junior jockeys, fillies and stallions (no geldings) proved popular with a penalty for the chair jump and the risk of getting a soaking at the water hazard. The children and many of the adults looked very ‘piratical’ in their costumes.
We were entertained later by fireworks from Poole Quay.

Brian Oswald and Andy Cooper entertained the children with a sing song on the Friday evening, and after the BBQ we were able to compared the quality of Bournemouth’s firework display.
The scouts from the London Docklands, with Jeff  and Andrew Webber, Will Combes , assisted by John and Ollie Webber ran a fiercely competitive knot tying competition, which showed some dark horses in the filed with knots tying talents previously well hidden.

They followed this with a general quiz on navigation lights. This involved one of them standing out in the dark field holding a variety of coloured torches whilst the audience tried to guess submarine from pilot boat. The site of Ollie running like a whirling dervish past the tepee, with a headlight on his forehead, a red torch griped in his mouth, displaying a port hand light in his hand had us all in stiches.

Saturday was our last full day and many crews planned to go for a last sail in the harbour. Alas this was not to be as the promised level of high water never materialised and most were unable to get off the beach so a group recovery took place and soon most of the boats were on their trailers ready for Sundays journey.

Fish and chips were collected and returned at high speed from Wareham for a very convivial last evening in the tepee.

Drascamp 2018 drew to a close on the Sunday morning after a very successful week at Cleavel Point. With over 74 adults and 32 children we had a really good time, one family even boasted bringing 4 generations, whilst another had 3 along for the week.

We had 26 boats on the water and a bewildering number of kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards, which ensured all had a good time on the water.

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Maintenance and short cruise

As you may recall - on the journey back from Dartmouth my water pump began to leak. With the Yanmar 1GM 10 fitted in the Cornish Shrimper, or should I say shoe horned in, this is no mean feat to attend to, but luckily for me, help was on hand.

Robin is another Shrimper owner at the club and hand the same issue a couple of years ago, so I called for advice.

The parts list below was what Robin kindly sent and I phoned a company to see if they could come over to do it as it is beyond my limited mechanical abilities.

There was much intake of breath and sucking of teeth in the club house when I mentioned it - the cost was likely to be quite during another conversation with Robin about the oil pipes, he suggested that he could come down and have a go.....amazing....

I got all the parts together with the exception of the shaft as we could assess that once apart and see if a new one was needed.

I obtained the rest of the parts from the sources below, and after discussion also bought new lower oil pipes as once that area was accessible it made sense to do some preventative maintenance - the oil pipes came from Ebay and I bought the nickel steel variety as opposed to the Yanmar mild steel. I covered the banjo ends and treated them to several coats of steel coloured Hammerite.

Robin commented that they looked so nice it was a shame no one was going to see them buried in the engine compartment.

This picture is taken of a static display at an engineering company and shows the main parts that needed to be undone or changed.

Item                                                               Yanmar Part No       Approx £

water pump O ring
Seal 1
Seal 2
Hose From Sea Cock to pump
Hose From Pump to Spigot  (90 Deg)
Hose From Spigot to Thermostat
Hose from Thermostat to Elbow


French Marine  -

Bottom Line Marine -

Ebay UK

Monday 23rd  - work commences ...and concludes 

First of all the alternator and belt were removed which gave better access to the work area.

Then the bolts on the water pump were undone..all was gong well until Robin came to the third bolt that was burred and none of his spanners or socket would was looking bad, when an old spanner he had just thrown into the tool bucket got a grip and the bolt was loose. - The alternative would have been a whole engine removal I suspect.

The pump was soon out, followed by the oil pipes, as well as the oil filter as it blocks access to one end of the pipes...I had previously drained the oil.

The water pump shaft was inspected once Robin had coerced it from the housing ..and yes it was in a bad way and needed replacing.

I located a supplier - Marine Power ( at Deacons Yard on the Hamble - what the lady there didn't know about engines - impressed and re assured. - whilst Robin put the oil pipes on.

On my return we replaced the shaft and seals and re assembled the pump - and finally after about 6 hours we were ready to test - with the boat still on the trailer everything seemed to be working well.

Previously Marcus N and Andy P had indicated they would be out and about in the Solent and so they sailed up to Ashlett that evening - with me hoping the repairs has been successful so we could join them.

Robin and I launched our boats and I tested the engine more thoroughly in the water all good, thank god.

We all adjourned to the curry house in the village where I bought Robin a well deserved meal.

Tuesday 24th

It's funny when you have lost of choices of where to go that it becomes hard to make a decision - as it was we all decided we had never been to the Island Harbour marina on the Medina, just south of the Folly Inn on the Isle of Wight.

We departed Ashlett in high temperatures and a light breeze and with a lot of easterly bias sailed and were swept by the tide towards the Cowes entrance. Progress was good so we opted for lunch in Osbourne Bay, where having fallen asleep the anchor promptly dragged until I was awoken by a phone call from Robin...he is a treasure.

Later I sailed into Cowes, needing several tacks to make the entrance, but in the process left a Cape Cutter way behind which was pleasing.

The fleet at Island Harbour

Christian at Island harbour could not have been more welcoming and after a very nice shower we adjourned to the bar.

From there we walked along a very well made path into Newport for a meal.  A boat yard adjoins the marina and the sorry state of the paddle steamer 'Ryde' could be seen up close.  She was a passenger ferry between the island and the mainland between 1937 and 1969 - she saw wartime service and a mine sweeper and an anti aircraft role as well as being involved in the D-Day landings. (More details)

Paddle Steamer 'Ryde'

Thankfully Andy, who joined us later, had the presence of mind to bring torch - otherwise the return journey could have been interesting....

Wednesday 25th

Morning coffee

Looking north from Island Harbour towards the Folly and Cowes

We set off by about 09.30 to spend the night in Lymington.

Outside Cowes the wind died totally and we drifted in style, until it picked up and we had a great sail down the Solent. Marcus and I managed to sail almost all the way to the quay but the wind failed us at the top end of the harbour. Space was available on the Town Quay and we rafted up behind an elderly couple on their 34 m motor sailer who had been tied up for three weeks enjoying Lymington !

Town Quay - Lymington

After trips to shops and chandlers we adjourned to the Lymington Town Sailing Club where we watched the evening racing from their very nice balcony. We were joined by Andy's wife Judy and ended up eating there..and very good it was too.

Thursday 26th

Alum Bay was the destination we decided up for lunch, Marcus fished but Robin and Andy sailed, whilst I gave my engine a bit of a work out to clear the pipes.

We anchored in the bay to enjoy the sun. It was a little rolly and I would advise independent anchoring and as I found out later, setting a trip line is a wise precaution.

Alum Bay - just inside the Needles

Fantastic colours in the cliffs

Robin and I even had a swim in lovely cool water - we needed it.

The clouds started to form in the late afternoon and the very loud rumble of thunder rolled across the bay so we set off for a night in Yarmouth (Andy left us for his home port of Keyhaven).

Storm clouds across the bay
On the way back we fished-  having equipped ourselves with mackerel lines in Lymington, the competition commenced-  and I caught two lovely fish, Robin - one and Marcus..the fisherman...nil but he made up for it by filleting ours and cooking them up as a pre dinner snack toed up in Yarmouth..the storm passed by with no rain.

We did see a harrier of some sort, dodge through our rigging with a small bird of some sort clutched in its talons. Quite some acrobatics to see.

We wandered into town and had a drink at the George to watch the sunset and saw a seal playing briefly off the beach,

Sunset off Yarmouth

We then wandered around the streets and came across a fairly new restaurant  La Cucina, in the High Street - very nice, good value and very friendly staff. (

That got us in the mood and back on the boats red wine was produced..and a late night ....

Friday 26th

Robin and I left Marcus and drifted with style on the tide back to Ashlett where recovery was simple and I set off of home.

Monday, 16 July 2018

Another blog you might be interested in....

Two friends of mine have decided to sell up and sail the world...they have bought and fitted out their Wauquiez Pilot Saloon 40 and set sail from Portsmouth harbour on the first leg of their adventure - exploring the Baltic.

A similar boat

Follow their blog at

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Sailing in the Ionian

Not strictly the adventures of Daislebee, but certainly that of her skipper, who has temporarily gone to the dark side and went sailing in the Ionian. I had suggested the idea of a weeks sailing, just the two of us, my wife Caroline and I , and was most surprised when she agreed. She is not a keen sailor...but before she could change her mind it was booked and paid for....

Our home for a week
We arrived on Sunday 1st July with a quick and easy flight from Heathrow to Preveza that landed us in hot sunny weather , jut like we had left at home.... A air conditioned 40 minute trip round to Vilcho and we were the signing the papers and having a very efficient tour of the boat, a Bravaria 33.

The yacht was clean and tidy and had a excellent welcome pack that did us well over the next few days. Equipped with a dinghy and outboard as standard, this was a step up from previous charters where every little extra cost more....Sail Ionian had got off to a good start.

We were signed sealed and delivered by about 16.30 and set off for our first night's destination Spartakhori, on the north west top of Meganisis

Coach trip in orange - sail trip in blue

Leaving Vilcho - crew at the helm

Spartakhori is a lovely inlet, shelter from most directions with a pontoon laid on by the Porta Spilia taverna that allows mooring on both sides.  Although we were bare boat chartering, there was also an 'assisted flotilla'  which is slightly less formal than a conventional flotilla allowing more flexibility. We joined them for the night and having met Sean and his wife, an ex Inspector for Dorset, we decided to tag along with the assisted group the next day as well.
The meal at Porta Spilia was fine, nothing to shout about, but for a first night, tired and hungry, very welcome.

It was our first experience of mooring using a floating line from the quay and we had arranged some practice in the morning, but as it happened it went so well we cancelled.
(For those of you unfamiliar with this type of mooring it involves reversing up to the quay and passing both stern lines to a helping hand. You need to stop the boat before reaching the quay - three feet or so out and take back both lines tying them off and then motoring against them. Meanwhile another helping hand passes the crew a line that is tied to the quay but sinks as it runs out into the harbour to a strong fixing of some sort. The crew walks to the bow with the line and takes it in through the appropriate fair lead. The trick is then to pull as if you are pulling up the anchor until the line is tight - it helps to slacken the stern lines a few feet...make fast the tight floating or lazy line and then use the engine to take up the tension, tightening the stern lines so you balance the boat off the quay at a distance that enables your boarding ladder to be deployed.)

Pontoon at Spartakhori

The meal at the taverna was ok but we regretted not think of mosquito spray as sat at a table on the beach we soon became supper for the marinading mossies - I'd recommend having something from the grill as opposed to something that had been cooked and sat there waiting. We also made the mistake of ordering starters as sides dishes to the main course --any idea how many chillies you get as a starter course...dozens...and dozens.... lesson learned.


We had decided to go to Sivota which is on the southern end of Levkas and it turned out the assisted flotilla was going there as well so we would have help with the lines but we sailed, or rather motored northwards to start with to spend sometime in Ormos Varko, about 5 miles away . It is a wide open bay with an island plumb in the centre of the entrance.It is sand here and the water is lovely and clear, ideal for swimming.

Route to Varko

Ormos Varko

We did sail most of the way and anchored in about 3 meters and settled down to enjoy a swim, lunch, and more swimming- with a temperature of over 30 degrees the water was wonderful.

Later we set off to join the gang at Sivota - the great thing being we knew there would be a space for of the benefits of the assisted approach.

Route to Sivota
On the way we passed the islands of Skorpios and Skorpidhi which used t be owned by the Onassis family but now apparently are owned by a Russian who discourages visitors with burly security guards.

Sivota is a lovely harbour, unseen from the sea it is set back in a deep and thin inlet safe from the prevailing winds. We reversed back onto a lazy line and were soon tied up at the quay, directly outside the favoured taverna.
Entering Sivota

Harbour at Sivota

We went for a wander around the harbour, resisting the administrations of the tavernas dotted around the quay trying to entice us in..all of them looked good but thirst was the issue, not hunger. Having found a bar and downed several ice cold beers we returned to the taverna we were moored against and after a wait, eased with more beer we went upstairs to the roof terrace. Service was slow but that didn't worry us ..where were we going.... but we received a free carafe of house white to ease the pain..which it did admirably.


Unfortunately something from the meal didn't agree with Caroline and she was confined to her berth the next day, which then posed a bit of a problem but having had breakfast and waited fir the fleet to leave, I slipped the mooring with no difficulty and set sail for our planned lunch time destination of  Arkoudhi, a small island between us and Ithaca were I wanted to get to for the evening.

The wind was great and I ended up reefing in keep the boat reasonably level for passenger comfort but still had a cracking sail.

I abandoned plans for a lunch stop and the crew was still comatose in their bunk and pressed on for Kioni on the island of Ithaca.

Route to Kioni

I had one moment of panic as, doing 7 knots, the depth sounder suddenly read 2 the middle of the sea...I discovered that over 200 m it flickers between 2 and 3 m,..the chart re assured me we were in over 300 m of water...
Entering Kioni
The other event was seeing something like a sword fish, long, sleek and with a very point snout, repeatedly leaping out of the water just off the starboard bow.

Kioni was rammed, even early afternoon, so I attempted anchoring on the southern side with out success and moved over to a spot just inside the entrance where, with a fortuitous wind I was able to take a line to a rock on the shore and as the boat blew round secure it to the winch. Back on board I was able to tension the line so we lay stern to the rocks.

There was some drama that afternoon as I watch a lady with a young child paddle board past me out to sea, followed  by a young girl on her paddle board.

Possibly the way to travel....

I did wonder, as the wind was starting to get up and inflatable paddle boards don't have much directional stability..sure enough 10 minutes later a powerful rib tears out of the harbour and returns awhile later towing he boards behind with the Mun and child and young girl sitting in the boat...all's well that ends well.....

The wind got up so much that it became uncomfortable where we were so I recovered the lines and the crew who was feeling almost human by now raised the anchor.

We ventured into the harbour proper, with out much hope but to our surprise a dinghy moved out of the way and revealed a spot ideal for us, so we reversed in and made snug for the night.

On a long line - as they disappear out to sea......

Our snug berth 

View from the town

After a good meal, Caroline had got her appetite back, we retired to listen to the cheers and roars as the England world cup match ebbed and flowed...successfully at it turned out.


We decided to get in early at our next harbour and spend time swiping and looking around, so we set off after breakfast for the island of Atoko and the famous One House Bay en route to Kastos for the night.

We had a good sail over with the wind rising until we reached the lee of Atoko. One House Bay was a popular anchorage with turquoise  clear water and spectacular cliffs.

Route to Kastos via Atokos

One House Bay
 We didn't stay long..the beauty of the place marred by the number of boats jostling for position.

One boat however did stand out from the crowd. A huge blue British flag yacht nosed it the bay and anchored with precision making all the other 30, 40 and even 50 ft yachts look very small in comparison. - the ensign was the same size as our main sail....

British yacht in One House Bay

We continued on to Kastos, making our way to the only harbour on the island which is located on the south eastern side.

We arrived mid to early afternoon and found the quay already crowded but the was room for us to squeeze between two boats, one friendly , one not so. In fairness we accidentally dropped our anchor and chain across his and on enquiring they had to plans to move early so there would no problem there. He pointed out that he had angled his to take into account the direction of the wind but another skipper pointed out that the wind was now coming from the angle we had laid on he went a little quiet. We made friends when he and his crew when they helped move a dinghy and shared a beer - universal currency.

The stern of our boat - on the quay at Kastos

The quay at Kastos
We walked round to the far side of the harbour and had a lovely swim, while I checked out the anchors - yes - crossed but not tangled so no problem tomorrow.

The main attraction of Kastos is the Windmill bar on the hill to the south of the harbour.
The Windmill Bar

Views from
Across the bay

After a drink here we wander down to a taverna just below the Windmill which had fantastic views. There were a number of South African boats in the harbour, which had filled with boats long lining to the beach and their crews seemed settled in for a big party.

 Kastos with the quay in the distance and boats long lined to the
 beach in the foreground

The shorter sailing days appealed to Caroline, so we decided to take a short trip just around the corner to the next island, Kastos bigger relation Kalamos.

Again there is only the single harbour which effectively run by George, who is so well known that he even appears in the cruising pilot books.

route from Kastos to Kalamos
We headed north with little or no wind so the motor was on and threaded ourselves through the gap with the small island just north of Kastos.

The quay at Kalamos on arrival

The same quay later in the evening -
boats are also rafted up on the other side  (left of  picture)

George obviously keeps a good look out for approaching yachts and his white shirt and captains cap are easily visible as he waves to attract your attention. He directs yachts into suitable berths and assists with their lines, before introducing himself and pointing out his taverna at the end of the quay and all the benefits it has to offer. Later on as the harbour fills he can be seen racing around in his white motor boat, directing yachts and telling them where to drop their anchors..the bottom must be a real cats cradle - but amazingly the next morning there were very few crossed lines..and yes George is on hand to help...very proactive.

We walked up the hill to find the bakers - so hot..and steep but an interesting view and church.

The church at Kalamos

Typical street

Our boat on the quay - before the crowd arrived

We ate that night at Georges and had the best white snapper for a long time. Sat there enjoying the view I heard an then saw a familiar voice and face - James Wilder, who had joined us on the Morbihan adventure in 2017 was there with his family, on the second week with the same Sail Ionian as us.
He and I caught up over a few beers later that evening....enough said.


We needed to start heading homewards and although we were quite north in the Ionian we needed to move west so we selected Vathi  which is on the north east side of Meganisi - you need to be careful  there are several places called Vathi  in the Ionian - get the right one.

Route to Vathi

There was no wind again so, setting off quite late, we motored out of Kalamos and headed north round the top of the island.

The quay at Vathu

Looking out towards the sea

We crossed the bay and entered Vathi tying up at the quay at the far end of the harbour - apparently they charge 4 euros here but no one came and asked for money and there were no signs so perhaps not.

The road runs right behind the boats at the quay - not busy but it did feel starring having cars that close - it was worse at 05.00 am when the dust cart came to empty the bins - they are an intriguing design - a hydrolic pedal operated steel lid allows access to a shute for rubbish that runs below ground - very neat and tidy .....BUT..when they are emptied the whole arrangement is raised to ground level and the full bin slid out to be replaced by an empty you can imaging not a silent operation.

That evening we ate at the Rose Garden, which is the far side of the square behind the quay, and had probably the best meal of the week.


Our last day..and we decided to chill...we didn't have far to travel so popped out of Vathi and back east a couple of miles to a bay we had spotted on the way in the day before.

Route to bay

We spent a lovely day, swimming and relaxing in the quiet anchorage. The fish were quite happy to come close if you tempted them with bread.

Later that day we saw a drama unfold - I spotted a pillar of smoke some distance away and through the binoculars and saw a sizeable yacht with black smoke billowing from the cockpit - flames could soon be seen at the base of the smoke. The genoa was still up and the boat circled aimlessly for 20 - 30 minutes before the mast collapsed and eventually the smoke turned to white and dissipated.
I monitored Ch 16 but not a peep - other boats were in the vicinity of the yacht but there was no obvious rescue activity - compare that to the Solent where the radio would have been buzzing, Life boats, helicopters, the full monty - here is Greece ..not a lot.

When we set out for the bay where the base is we had a good sail over and a large patch of sea was oily and calm, in spite of the wind.

Route to the Bay
I had spoken to the base the day before and it appeared that the fleet was going to anchor on the eastern side of the bay overnight and use the tavernas there before crossing to the base on the western side the next morning. The wind was forecast NW so we headed to the eastern side and had a meal at one of the tavernas.

A quiet anchorage - then.......

As we ate the wind got up and we didn't linger, heading back to the boat quite early.

Back on the boat the wind steadily increased, to the point that I knew I'd be on anchor watch all night and Caroline wouldn't sleep at all. So we decided to go over to the base and see in there was room for us, or a buoy free for us to moor to.

As soon as the anchor was raised the wind increased dramatically - so much so that Caroline felt better staying at the bow. I couldn't leave the wheel to go the the VHF downstairs so I just headed for the base at Vilcho.

The boat was heeling as if she was sailing, with the force of the wind on the superstructure.

I got to the base and set about seeing how the boat would turn in the wind. The force of the wind was so strong that she just sat at 60 degrees to the wind with a lot of reverse engine revs. I thought that I could head up about the base and turn the other way and see how she lay then, but before i did a rib shot out from the Sail Ionian base and Otto pulled himself aboard.

Although we missed the first berth and nearly rammed the boats downwind of us, he managed to get her into a berth and I threw the lines to waiting hands. Two..yes two lazy lines and another line onto a winch and we were snug..but the wind just howled, spray and spume everywhere. The boats on the up wind side of the concrete pontoon had their engines at 3500 revs to keep off the jetty. The recorded wind on the jetty was 67 knots !!! just under 80 mph

It lasted until 12.30 and then like a light it was turned off and peace reigned..well I say peace - the festival that had been the reason for staying over the other side then started...delayed by the wind..and that went on til 04.00 ..not good.


The day dawned as if the night before had never happened..and having cleared the boat we sat in the cool cafe until the coach arrived to take us home.


A great company, very impressed. The boat was good, well equipped, everything worked . The staff very friendly and helpful and the Ionian - great play ground - certainty bears more exploration - would do it again but perhaps nearer to one end of the season or other...not over crowded but busy at times in the small harbours.

But would take or ensure I had a handheld VHF to supplement the main on in the cabin and mosquito spray