Summer 2014 Part III – Ships!

It was a pretty grim morning when I headed over towards Falmouth for the start of the festival.

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This was my first glimpse of the assembled ships.

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I headed up the Penryn River to Greenbank first, but found there wasn’t enough water there to anchor in on spring tides (another bit of knowledge tucked away), and went back nearer to Falmouth itself to enjoy the rain for the rest of the day.

Happily the next morning was much better for a row around to have a good nose before everything got busier at the weekend. There was also a bonus of meeting up with friends on moorings and in the anchorage en route.

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It also gave access to some interesting views.. this is a Polish sail training ship, the largest vessel there.

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Later on I went for a quick blast out round Black Rock before picking up a different mooring – very boisterous sailing with only the one foresail up and all three reefs in the mainsail. Good fun for a short while 🙂

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I also made the trek up the hill to my favourite CD shop – this is the view back over the harbour from nearby.

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and this is the Fishermen’s Friends performing in the evening.

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I couldn’t resist a row around the ships in the dark – although I did pay for some exciting photo opportunities by getting utterly drenched in a brief shower not long after this!

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I’d been talking with my friends Rupert and Susie about meeting up when they sailed down to see the Tall Ships, but they were currently beset by south-westerlies having had various earlier delays. So after a chat in the evening they did the next best thing and came down on the train to meet me in Falmouth. Here they are as we started exploring the ships..

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and here are some views across the now very busy harbour.

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The anchorage was busier than ever – happily although the wind was strong there didn’t seem to be any issues with boats dragging their anchors.

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The firework display that evening was pretty impressive 🙂 especially over water, though a boat isn’t the best platform for taking photographs in the dark…

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The next morning we started off early while things were peaceful, except for a rather beautiful little liner turning round.. IMGP3286

and headed round to anchor up in a good viewing spot just east of the docks – not only a good position, but even better a chance to catch up with Nick Skeates on Wylo II. I’ve now met Nick in Penryn, Las Palmas, St Mawes, Percuil, Falmouth and up the Fal and always immensely enjoyed his enthusiasm, expertise and treasure trove of yarns.

Gradually more and more boats started to trickle out of Falmouth..

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..and several more joined our little steel boat anchorage section. Nick’s Wylo II is on the left of the picture and the two boats anchored in the right of the picture are sister ships, all built to Nick’s design.

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Another metal boat – but rather bigger! (the Polish sail training ship again)

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Though for looks my favourite is probably the lugger Greyhound in the centre here, with various other smacks and working boats under sail in the background.

(Greyhound was actually built very recently in Cornwall and offers day sailing, longer term crewing and shipping of cargo – see www.grayhoundluggersailing.co.uk )

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We had a cup of tea with Nick while waiting for the chaos in Carrick Roads to clear more as well, and then got under way to follow the fleet up-channel.

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Since several classes of ships were still jollying around for the start of the race we were catching up for a while and got quite a decent view through binoculars, though as the racing started they began to pull away.

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Happily the clouds followed them, leaving a beautiful afternoon for sailing, with towering white sails gleaming on the horizon to look at.

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We could still see stern lights glinting on the horizon in the dusk as we tacked in to anchor off Gorran Haven.

The next day dawn didn’t really break until the evening – the view was still like this as we entered Plymouth Sound..

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but later that evening we had a beautiful walk up to the heights above Cawsand and Kingsand.

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The next morning was rather clearer!

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Clear and calm – the perfect occasion for an early morning swim.

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I took advantage of the calm conditions and extra hands and eyes to sort out a problem with the outboard engine’s tilt mechanism, and when a light breeze came up we tacked northwards..

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although somehow by the time we reached the Narrows it had swung round and let us sail straight up – a perfect ending to the holiday!

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