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Gaz

Christmas 2010 cruise report
« on: Dec 30, 2010, 9:42 pm »
Its 10am on December 30th 2010 and 5 hovercraft, 9 crew and half a dozen spectators gathered on the Devon side of the Tamar, in the hamlet of Weir Quay. Why had this enthusiastic band braved the morning winter weather?  Well they were there to take part in the last Hover Cruise of 2010.
 
At about 10:30 the 5 craft now loaded with crew set off up the Tamar, Destination; Weir Head the navigatable limit of the river. It soon became apparent that despite a redesign the problems that plagued Jon Curtis on an earlier cruise were not resolved. After a quick chat Jon was left behind to affect a solution. We had to come back past this point so would, if needed collect him on the way back. So the 4 remaining craft continued on upstream, Past Halton Quay and soon after Cothele Quay. Then on through the sleepy village of Calstock with its massive viaduct dominating the valley. Here we were met by many walkers, homeowners and villagers all giving a cheery wave, the report of hostility from bygone years now a distant memory.
 
We travelled on to Morwellham Quay and beyond to Weir head. There’s a gentleman living here who from past experience is best to avoid, so rather than cause upset we kept this visit short. having been pre-warned at briefing Bryan White (accompanied by Ron) saw a gent approaching at speed and so made off downstream followed quickly Mark (no longer known as fireman Sam but Portman Pat! Ok you had to be here to get that) then by Ian Brooks, I however was checking our pub lunch booking and unable to flee! Luckily the gent far from being anti was an enthusiastic onlooker who wanted to get a craft. I handed him my business card and have asked him to contact me soon, he was most thankful and wished us a good trip, and I made my Exit and headed off to play catch-up. Several miles later I rejoined the others, soon passing the point at which we had left Jon. Thankfully He wasn’t there so the group flew on back to our launch site, were found Jon throwing spanners at his craft.
 
Following craft refuelling, Jon reported that after a quick blast out on the river the spanner throwing had made for much improvement. The now back to full strength flotilla was found to be hungry for food rather than adventure so made a b-line for the pub, first down the Tamar then up the Tavy to an almost isolated village and it’s aptly named “old Plough Inn” public house. We found a small area of land above the now high tide to leave the hovers while we did a little refuelling of our own. Conversation over lunch was naturally hover biased. All too quickly lunch was eaten and pint glasses emptied, the river beckoned!
 
We left the pub to be greeted by a strengthening wind. A new plan of action was drawn up to deal with the changing conditions. We were going to Lopwell Dam, the limit of the tidal Tavy and then return to base. At this point Mark and crewman Roger wisely decided that with his novice status he would head back to the launch site in the GP and enjoy more the sheltered conditions. The rest of us made off towards Lopwell Dam. The strong headwind soon proved too much for Jons craft and he indicated that he was also heading back to more sheltered water. This left the TS3, Sev and ASV to battle with the wind, which all 3 craft did admirably. Lopwell dam was soon in front of us heralding the end of another river. We made use of the large area of water that the high tide provided, swung the craft around and made for home. I kept out of the following wind as much as I could. The ASV being integrated hates a tail wind but behaved impeccably. Again all too soon the launch site was under the craft.
 
So was that it for the day? Was it hell! A third leg was quickly devised and after a crew change where Michal abandoned Ian and joined me in the ASV. The final 3 craft set off again. Sue stayed behind with Mark, Roger and Jon as she was getting cold! The hardened saltys went off and did battle with the elements. exploring a couple of sizable creeks then went further downstream under the two bridges linking Devon to Cornwall at Saltash. Bryan headed for a beach and we all decided that our hover quota was well topped up and we should make for home before the light failed us.
 
So off up the Tamar again the three rode... a fairly uneventful blast with the only incident being a gentle plough in my craft when we caught a strong gust off of the Tavy as we passed the river mouth. Just a few minutes later we where all making our final approach to Weir Quay and landing on the gravely slipway our cruising over for another year. Sue provided us with a hot cuppa and the craft were quickly loaded. Ian engaged in conversation with one the locals connected with the sailing club, and was pleased to discover that we had created a good impression. An invitation was extended to return whenever we wanted and to join the club, something I will look at in the New Year.
 
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dave brown

Christmas 2010 cruise report
« Reply #1 on: Dec 30, 2010, 11:43 pm »
Hi Gaz and all,
 
What a most interested read and it was good to catch up with you all at the launch site!
Cant wait to get my finger out and get some practice on my UH13P, Looking forward to launching with you all soon.
 
Roll on a good NewYear!
 
Dave

Brian.G.Reynolds

Re: Christmas 2010 cruise report
« Reply #2 on: Dec 31, 2010, 12:20 am »
Good write up Gaz!
 
Glad you all had a good safe time, unreliable craft? never heard of them!
 
Happy new year!
 
B.

atters

Re: Christmas 2010 cruise report
« Reply #3 on: Dec 31, 2010, 10:55 am »
happy new year  >:(
I will face today as if it were my last, with enthusiasm and respect for others.

Ian Brooks

Re: Christmas 2010 cruise report
« Reply #4 on: Dec 31, 2010, 1:18 pm »
Gaz

Thanks for organising it, the run was fantastic, the Tamar is a vintage run indeed, with spectacular scenery and a great pub for lunch to boot. I'm looking forward to a little more exploration in the area another time  ;D

Ian
Ian Brooks
Gloucester, UK

Bryan White

Re: Christmas 2010 cruise report
« Reply #5 on: Dec 31, 2010, 1:53 pm »
Cheers Gaz what a cracking day. I,m looking forward to getting back down there with the sun on my back. The TS3 is growing on me and its stability is fantastic.

Gaz

Re: Christmas 2010 cruise report
« Reply #6 on: Dec 31, 2010, 2:36 pm »
steady guy's im blushing  :-[  i also had a fantastic time and Sue wants to go out again NOW, not a bad result as i have been trying to get her out on the water all year! talk about last minute  ;D 
cruise video will be up in a few days i have about 3 hours of footage to edit!
 
looks like a summer cruise is on the cards, so speak up when do you want to meet and at what state of tide?
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joncurtis

Re: Christmas 2010 cruise report
« Reply #7 on: Dec 31, 2010, 3:21 pm »
was great fun, thanks very much gaz.

up for it again anytime.

fancy exploring exmouth in a few weeks?

thanks to everyone for the good advice regards me skirt etc. all the input very much appreciated.


Gaz

Re: Christmas 2010 cruise report
« Reply #8 on: Dec 31, 2010, 3:26 pm »
thanks jon


fancy exploring exmouth in a few weeks?


just try and stop me, name the time and i will see what i can do.
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Mark Wood

Re: Christmas 2010 cruise report
« Reply #9 on: Dec 31, 2010, 4:05 pm »
Cheers Gaz, Roger and I had a great first time on the water. the scenery was  breath taking and the company superb. Thanks to everyone for your advice and guidance much appreciated. Lastly thanks gaz for bringing us all together for a great day out.


mark


firemansam aka mrs gaz postman pat ?????
Mark Wood

Gaz

Re: Christmas 2010 cruise report
« Reply #10 on: Jan 01, 2011, 7:58 am »
Track of our route for this the last cruise of the year, all tracks (apart from the most southerly) end at the limit of navigation for that area. the arrow and flag are the launch site.
 
« Last Edit: Jan 01, 2011, 8:00 am by gaz »
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Sorcha

Re: Christmas 2010 cruise report
« Reply #11 on: Jan 01, 2011, 8:06 am »
Gaz, I notice the cruise was almost 7 hours long.  How long of that was spent in the pub? ::) ;D
 
I only wish I was closer to that area so I could have come.

Gaz

Re: Christmas 2010 cruise report
« Reply #12 on: Jan 01, 2011, 8:12 am »
ah, darn it guys weve been rumbled!!!
 
the time is a bit out as i set the tagger running when we got to the slip at 9am and we dident set out until 10:30
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gavin parson

Re: Christmas 2010 cruise report
« Reply #13 on: Jan 01, 2011, 8:59 am »
I hope you guys were given free bacon rolls and hot chocolate. That's the least a Christmas cruise organiser should lay on. Maybe hats and crackers too?  :D

Philip

Re: Christmas 2010 cruise report
« Reply #14 on: Jan 01, 2011, 10:01 am »
Looks like it was a good day out for everbody, from the map its ideal hover country. When are we going to see some pics?