Bella Donna goes aground


I am sure readers of YM will have a chuckle at my misfortunes this weekend when a typical novice error ended with my Bella Donna high and dry on the rocks at Cawsand Bay, Plymouth. The tide still had a couple of hours ebb left when this picture was taken and the crowds had begun to congregate. Also on the scene, and just out of frame were three good men from HM Coastguard who stood by throughout the indicent to make sure my crew and I were save – even though we were less than 20 metres from the beach, in a flat calm and light winds. My thanks to them for keeping our spirits up during our long wait

The cause of my discomfort was trying to motor-sail out of the bay. Even in 5 knots of wind Bella Donna’s huge main overpowered her 25hp outboard so I was unable to reverse clear of the rocks after raising the anchor.

But it all had a reasonably happy ending when Bella Donna floated off four hours later with, I hope, little more than a few deep scratches to the underside of her starboard hull and a small crack in one daggerboard. She was assisted into deep water by a RIB of the Plymouth Constabulary who also have my deep gratitude.