Archive for Falmouth

Summer 2016

Posted in Cornwall, Fun, Photographs, Sailing, Walking with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 13, 2017 by maidofmettle

Since Maid is happily back in the water again and I’m about to go away for a few weeks I thought I’d better catch up quickly on last summer’s main holiday.

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Surprisingly for the second year in a row I launched very late but left Carbeile to find Nick (just ahead of the mast in the picture below) at anchor. Even more surprisingly it was his first day off the beach, though given he’d be crossing to the Caribbean a few months later launching late seemed much less important for him!

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I wasn’t going anywhere near that far or long, but I could almost kid myself sorting out the provisions in the sunshine.

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The evening was a pretty much perfect reintroduction to life afloat.

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It felt quite easy to slip into the mindset of a longer cruise, spending the next day at anchor doing various jobs and catching up a bit while waiting for the wind to swing round to suit a passage west the next day, after another beautiful sunset.

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The next day the forecast proved true and we had a beautiful sail out of Plymouth Sound and past Rame Head (on the right below, you can just see the small chapel on the top).

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We had some extra company on passage as well 🙂

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We ended up in different places in the evening as I’d tacked inshore and pretty much got the anchor down before I realised Nick was carrying straight on, but we’d likely meet again in a few days. I’d been wanting to anchor off Caerhays and have a peek at the castle for years, but never had the right conditions for it.

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The next morning I got the dinghy out and pulled ashore – a nice easy landing!

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There was plenty of time for a look around while waiting for the tide to turn to head further along the coast. This is the view looking north across the bay with Caerhays Castle in the background.

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Later on it was a bit grey but still fine sailing conditions, nice and calm to sneak through the passage inside Gull Rock towards the anchorage at Portscatho.

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This place has provided many of the most beautiful dawns I’ve seen.

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This was clearly going to be a much brighter day…

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… great for seeing Portscatho at it’s best.

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I went for a sail in the afternoon – was initially thinking of heading round to the Percuil but the wind died away quite quickly.

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Happily there was just enough wind to glide back into Portscatho.

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The next morning proved rather less idyllic – there was brief a short steep swell that made being aboard decidedly uncomfortable, annoying as I’d been hoping to meet some friends ashore but had to stay aboard till it calmed later on. Happily there was at least the regatta racing to watch.

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Later on it had calmed down and I could head up through the regatta excitement in the town..

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to go and enjoy some games and fish & chips on a slightly quieter beach.

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Then back to the boat again and a sail round to Falmouth harbour

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including getting to wave at Kensa in Carrick Roads.

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The next day in St Mawes was a bit gloomy to start with…

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but happily cheered up in time to meet Ian, Ali and Penny (the look-out) for a kayaking/rowing expedition up the Percuil.

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We got far beyond where I’ve ever dared go with Maid and enjoyed exploring some distance upstream on the tide…

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before heading back downstream, saying hello to an old friend from the French canals on the way  – Planet looking splendid as ever.

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St Mawes looks quite nice in the evening too 🙂

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The next day was a busy one – time to head east again! But first a dinghy expedition

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into sunny St Mawes

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Following that, anchor up under sail and a quick few tacks out past St Mawes Castle across the bottom of Falmouth Harbour

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and to Trefusis on the other side to row in and have a yarn with Nick while waiting for the tide to turn and his varnishing to dry.

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And then after lunch, time to up-anchor again and sail out past Fraggle Rock St Anthony’s Head.

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It was a splendid sail eastward, with Maid throwing out quite a bow wave at times.

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I could have easily gone further, but Portmellon offered both the chance to visit a new place and to meet up with Dave who was sailing the opposite direction from Plymouth. Having had the wind behind me I had a while to explore ashore first and admire the view of Maid out in the anchorage

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before meeting Dormouse on the way in.

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I had offered to make dinner ready for his arrival, but he texted to say he’d already caught more than enough fish, and I’m not one to turn fresh fish down 🙂

The next day started off rather gloomy, a pleasant wind but many shades of grey as Dave headed south to round the Dodman

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and I ran on eastward towards Rame Head.

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The sun did eventually come out in late afternoon, but at that point the wind died, making it a pretty poor trade. The next couple of hours brought minimal progress, with just enough wind to point at Rame Head but not enough to make any ground toward it.

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Even getting the biggest sail I own out of the forepeak didn’t make much difference, until a very long hour or two later the wind finally filled back in.

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Finally we managed to put Rame Head behind us and round Penlee to head into Cawsand Bay.

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Of course later on there was a bit of a struggle to put the sail away again 😀

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The next day was a much shorter sail, though going through the swirling currents of the narrows is always exciting

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as is picking up a mooring under sail – I got it, but it took a couple of tries.

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And there we are- time to go back to work again!

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Of course now I actually publish this it’s time to go sailing again – much better 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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September 2013 part 2

Posted in Cornwall, Fun, Music, Photographs, Sailing, Walking with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 7, 2014 by maidofmettle

The following day I went for a bit of a sail and decided to anchor off the Molunans again having spied Dave already there.

2013-09-25 #02 St Just to Little Molunan

We went for a circular wander on the Roseland, up towards the lighthouse and looking back over the boats..

2013-09-25 #03 St Just to Little Molunan

..before heading east, and then inland and circling back to the beach again (rather different weather to the last time I was here).

2013-09-25 #05 St Just to Little Molunan

I’d taken a slightly longer route on the return trip going right round opposite St Mawes, and was rather surprised to find Dave spear-fishing when I rowed out. Thoughts of moving to get away from the Eye of Sauron..

2013-09-25 #07 St Just to Little Molunan

..and the incessant foghorn were soon dismissed in favour of chat ranging from sailing to woodworking to northern Finnish tribespeople and a delicious fish supper (though the foghorn did get rather irritating later on).

The next day we left the hooting behind and sailed north before parting ways off St Mawes, with Dave continuing northward..

2013-09-26 #03 Dormouse Dave

..while I headed in.

2013-09-26 #07 St Mawes

The next few days were largely spent sailing between St Mawes and Falmouth, with friends and free anchorage in St Mawes and music sessions in Falmouth. Generally it was easy going one way…

2013-09-26 #08 St Mawes to Falmouth

..and harder getting back!

2013-09-27 #02 St Mawes

The sun only seemed to come out later on.. (still windy though).

2013-09-27 #01 St Mawes

There was also the rather amusing circumstance of being introduced to someone I’d known years previously by a mutual acquaintance- eventually we both worked it out!

A couple of days later a couple of us headed to anchor on the Penryn River and dinghy up for the local ‘River Revels’ festival. I was rather jealous of Nick’s sail getting up there…

2013-09-29 #01 Penryn River Revels

Unsurprisingly I don’t have any pictures of the blindfold rowing race I came fourth in, but I should think if you imagine this sculling race with more contestants and more chaos you wouldn’t be far off:

2013-09-29 #02 Penryn River Revels

After fish and chips several of us went to a music session in the nearby Famous Barrel, which I’m rather ashamed to say I never discovered when Chris & I were working on the boat in Penryn.

2013-09-29 #04 Famous Barrel folk session

I tacked back to St Mawes again the next day (can’t believe the amount of easterlies in that holiday) to meet up with Si and Cat

2013-09-30 #01 Falmouth to St Mawes

and then popped back to Falmouth for some music in the evening.

2013-09-30 #07 Falmouth

The next morning with the wind changing round I decided to go to the Helford, but sailed into St Mawes first to see if anyone was about and was joined by another friend for the sail over. Definitely a good photo-taking opportunity..

2013-10-01 #03 [Steve]

with thanks to him sailing rings round Maid though the weather was looking rather ominous. Remarkably, we both made it to the Helford before it started chucking it down.

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The following day looked the most sensible to head back to Plymouth, though it was rather grey

2013-10-02 #01 Helford to Millbrook

and strangely I’m not sure I’ve ever been seasick so many times as on that trip, even nearing Mazagon or between Madeira and Tenerife when I was definitely worse off overall.

Rame Head and Penlee Point were both very welcome sights indeed, with Plymouth Breakwater heralding very sheltered water.

2013-10-02 #03 Helford to Millbrook

In the end it was a lovely sail in to anchor off Millbrook.

2013-10-02 #04 Helford to Millbrook

For a change the next day I headed up the River Tamar, which I’d never properly explored very far. My first stopping point was very sheltered and isolated, with a steep wooded slope to the south and low-lying meadow land to the north.

2013-10-03 #01 Pentillie Hole

The Tamar is still very broad at high water, creating some spectacular reflections.

2013-10-04 #02 Cotehele

I continued upstream the next day when the tide had come about half way up, so there was reasonable depth, and also so it had more to rise for when I inevitably did get stuck – actually within about 100 yards. Perhaps I had tried to start too early, but then I was hoping to meet people at Cotehele, where I anchored off the quay just about on time.

2013-10-04 #03 Cotehele

We went for a very nice walk round the estate, and then some refreshment in the tea rooms – which also contained this rather useful detailed chart (you can see the amount of mud at low water)!

2013-10-04 #05 Cotehele

Later in the afternoon I went further up by dinghy, as far as the railway viaduct at Calstock.2013-10-04 #13 Cotehele

The following morning was atmospheric to say the least..

2013-10-05 #01 Cotehele

and just as much so when the sun finally started breaking through..

2013-10-05 #07 Cotehele to Cawsand

leaving some rather curious misty effects behind.

 

2013-10-05 #12 Cotehele to Cawsand

By the time I got down to the Tamar bridges it was bright sunshine

2013-10-05 #15 Cotehele to Cawsand

and shortly afterwards I was able to start sailing

2013-10-05 #18 Cotehele to Cawsand

back down the river and out over the ‘Bridge’ (a narrow channel through former anti-submarine defences) to the anchorage in Cawsand Bay.

2013-10-05 #19 Cawsand

There was plenty going on ashore

2013-10-05 #21 Cawsand

and a chance for a bite to eat before setting off to walk across the peninsula and over to the chapel on Rame Head.

2013-10-05 #23 Rame Peninsula

 

I wasn’t concerned about the evening drawing in as I’d done the walk before and the coast path is generally quite hard to get lost on, so very much appreciated the sunset, both from Rame Head itself

2013-10-05 #27 Rame Peninsula

and looking back towards it from the east.

2013-10-05 #33 Rame Peninsula

Cawsand and Kingsand are two of the most beautiful villages I’ve seen in the dark as well.

2013-10-05 #34 Cawsand

2013-10-05 #35 Cawsand

2013-10-05 #37 Cawsand

The next morning I got up early

2013-10-06 #02 Cawsand & Mt Edgcumbe

to go for a walk in the other direction in the Mount Edgcumbe country park

2013-10-06 #11 Cawsand & Mt Edgcumbe

this time enjoying the dawn light shining through the trees

2013-10-06 #12 Cawsand & Mt Edgcumbe

as well as some beautiful views of the city of Plymouth

2013-10-06 #18 Cawsand & Mt Edgcumbe

lots of deer

2013-10-06 #26 Cawsand & Mt Edgcumbe

and Plymouth Sound.

2013-10-06 #28 Cawsand & Mt Edgcumbe

Then back towards Cawsand and Kingsand

2013-10-06 #31 Cawsand & Mt Edgcumbe

for a quick afternoon swim, and then motoring back out of the bay

2013-10-06 #32 Cawsand

and up to a mooring at Torpoint to head home again.

While I didn’t actually sail all that far it had been a fantastic holiday – really nice to have all that time off at once.

In many ways it removed the pressure to do many long trips, and let me focus very much on what would be happening in the next couple of days, especially good with so many people I knew or got to know around, which was one of the main joys of it.

September 2013 part 1

Posted in Cornwall, Fun, Photographs, Sailing, Unfortunate events, Walking with tags , , , , , , , , on September 4, 2014 by maidofmettle

Well, I didn’t quite make catching up before going away.. will do soon though!

Having spent most of 2013 working well away from home and Maid in Grimsby I was glad to have a perfect day for setting out from Torpoint in September, with clear blue sky and a beautiful north-west breeze to sail past Cremyll..

2013-09-10 #01 Torpoint to the Helford

..and pursue a submarine out of Plymouth Sound.

2013-09-10 #03 Torpoint to the Helford

I took good advantage of the wind, and nice flat seas..

2013-09-10 #05 Torpoint to the Helford

and sailed on much the same course the whole way to the Helford River. There’s nothing like a long passage at the start of a holiday to let you take it easy the entire rest of the time! The wind had got up a bit more by the end, making for an exciting sail in..

2013-09-10 #06 Torpoint to the Helford

..but my preferred anchorage in a north-westerly was nice and sheltered as expected.

2013-09-10 #08 Torpoint to the Helford

I did however get a bit of a shock when I launched the dinghy to row ashore and eat in the Ferryboat Inn (well, it was the first day of the holiday..) and discovered a rather large sheet of paint had become detached from the port bow, around the waterline. I definitely needed a pint after that.

2013-09-10 #10 Torpoint to the Helford

The next day I decided the best plan of action was to sail to Falmouth when the wind changed in a day or two, as it was probably the best place to dry the boat out and repair the paintwork in the area. In the meantime there was no danger so I left Maid at anchor in the Helford (this was her good side)..

2013-09-11 #01 Helford River

and walked east along the river..

2013-09-11 #03 Helford River

..before turning north up towards Falmouth and the beach at Maenporth – no beach football going on this late in the year (unlike the last time I was there) which was probably a good thing for my legs!

2013-09-11 #06 Durgan to Maenporth

Then back to the boat to watch the evening’s racing on the river.

2013-09-11 #09 Helford River

The next morning the sky looked rather ominous..

2013-09-12 #01 Helford River to Falmouth

..but the wind was fair for Falmouth so I sailed round and stopped in the main anchorage, and was glad to see a couple of other boats I knew, even if I was a bit embarrassed by the state of Maid’s paintwork. There was another boat dried out on the wall at first, which actually proved extremely useful as it gave me a chance to get some advice check out where best to position the boat etc – I was quite tense about drying out since I hadn’t done it for years, and never on my own (and on that occasion her bow plunged into a bit of a hole giving her a very awkward angle at low water).

2013-09-12 #04 Falmouth

We had a great gathering of people from the anchorage and friends ashore or on the other side of the harbour in the Chain Locker, with a superb Irish session to enjoy as well.

When the wall came free I went alongside at high water and tied up, weighting the lines heavily so that they’d keep the boat in position at high water while allowing enough slack to avoid trying to hand the boat off the wall at low water. I also put lots of fenders out against the wall, with a plank to spread the load across them, and lined several water cans up along the side against the wall to make sure Maid leaned that way rather than falling over. At least it kept me busy till the tide was starting to go down. Here you can see it worked rather well..

2013-09-14 #02 Falmouth

..and it was then up early the next morning to get on with the work while the tide was low. The dawn was at least quite impressive..

2013-09-15 #04 Falmouth

..and even more spectacular the next day.

2013-09-15 #09 Falmouth

After spending a couple of days chipping away loose paint, scraping off loose rust, rinsing, degreasing and rinsing again, applying rust converter and repainting I was happy the patching would do for at least the rest of the holiday. The wind was forecast to get very strong so I headed up Carrick Roads to find a sheltered anchorage in the Fal. I actually ended up doubling back, as the place I expected to be good was quite gusty and with only a fairly narrow shelf between the bank and deep water channel, and quite crowded -so I went back downstream to the place that seemed far too open but had actually looked a decent bet as I went past.

It served very well, and was rather idyllic in the evening when the wind died off.

2013-09-17 #03 Channals Creek

In fact it was a place I’d wanted to anchor at some point for years, with the National Trust property of Trelissick on one shore..

2013-09-18 #02 Channals Creek

..and the shingle beach at Turnaware Bar on the other side.

2013-09-18 #05 Turnaware

Having landed there I walked up the ridge..

2013-09-18 #06 Turnaware to Messack Pt

and then southwards parallel to Carrick Roads, a route I’d previously enjoyed much of from the opposite direction. There are great view across open fields and Carrick Roads..

2013-09-18 #10 Turnaware to Messack Pt

..pine trees above the edge of the water..

2013-09-18 #14 Turnaware to Messack Pt

..and from higher ground some beautiful views of farmland with Falmouth in the background.

2013-09-18 #17 Turnaware to Messack Pt

The next day was greyer but still enjoyable, this time rambling around the permissive footpaths in the woods on the other bank, past the chain ferry and overlooking an anchorage and quay upstream.

2013-09-19 #03 Trelissick woods

The next day it was back to sunshine again but an easterly wind, and I took the opportunity to sail down the estuary and anchor in another place I’d wanted to stop for years when a suitable moment presented itself. This was just opposite the fine secluded beaches of the Molunans, just north of St Antony’s Head (more widely known perhaps as Fraggle Rock) lighthouse on the eastern side of the entrance to Falmouth Harbour. I’d walked to and swum from the beaches several times before from St Mawes, but never stopped off the beach.

2013-09-20 #01 Great Molunan

Looking back from the land (of course I went for a walk up to the lighthouse and around the cliffs) you can just about see Maid to the left of centre, looking like she’s surprisingly far offshore, with Great Molunan beach on the right.

 

2013-09-20 #03 Great Molunan

In the evening I sailed into Falmouth to meet up with people and enjoy some more live music – a nice easy run over..

2013-09-20 #11 Great Molunan to Falmouth

..with some colourful racing boats to admire..

2013-09-20 #13 Great Molunan to Falmouth

This time I anchored (where it’s free) off Trefusis Point and rowed across to the town.

When I’d gone ashore the next morning (probably to get sometime from that Cornish institution Trago Mills) I was a bit surprised to see a boat nosing around oddly close to the anchored Maid on the other side of the harbour. Though when I thought about it she looked a bit familiar – and much more so when she dropped anchor off Falmouth. It didn’t take too long for Mike and I to make plans for a drink in the Chain Locker and then for Carolyn to join us.

2013-09-21 #01 Falmouth

On the other side of the harbour we were also making plans to join in a local event to mark the autumn equinox being held at Trelissick, so a little fleet set off up Carrick Roads, gathering one or two others along the way. I hadn’t really sailed in company in some time and it was great fun, with the weather just about holding to give us beautiful sunshine..

2013-09-22 #02 Trefusis to Trelissick

..though the fog was getting nearer and nearer..

2013-09-22 #06 Trefusis to Trelissick

..until it closed in almost immediately after we’d all dropped anchor. It made for a rather atmospheric row ashore..

2013-09-22 #10 Trelissick

..to join the crowd on the (by now very narrow!) beach..

2013-09-22 #13 Trelissick

..and the gloom made quite a seasonal backdrop to Dave’s excellent burning man, preceded by a couple of readings and accompanied by some traditional music.

2013-09-22 #12 Trelissick

Unfortunately the band had to get to a pub session so couldn’t stay, but the party continued for a while with several people having brought instruments ashore.

2013-09-22 #14 Trelissick

The next day I went for another walk in the woods above Turnaware Bar..

2013-09-23 #02 Turnaware

..before sailing down to St Just, again finding some friends (“we’ll put the kettle on” is always a welcome hail when sailing into an anchorage).

2013-09-24 #02 St Just

The next day was very peaceful and I re-sealed a few of Maid’s windows before rowing in to admire the church in the evening – it’s always a beautiful spot but especially so after dark on this occasion with the tide high and the lights on.

2013-09-24 #09 St Just

2013-09-24 #10 St Just

That said, it did make getting back slightly more interesting when the evening service finished and they switched them all off!

[Easter 2012] Part 1 – bunny dating

Posted in Cornwall, Photographs, Sailing, Walking with tags , , , on March 3, 2014 by maidofmettle

I think this is a new low in titles bearing little resemblance to the post. I won’t ask what you’re thinking of, but it actually refers to the fact that my camera appears to have had incorrect date settings for most or all of this holiday, and having mislaid the corresponding logbook pages I only eventually straightened the mess out by working all the confusing bits back and forwards from a picture of the Easter Bunny doing its rounds on the Helford River by RIB.

Having done that I suppose we might as well take advantage and begin at the beginning, with the winter having flown by, and Easter starting with a trip up the Tamar to the St Germans River

2012-04-02 #01

The weather had been beautiful a few days before when I’d gone down to take Maid round to her mooring after being launched, but was now rather grey

2012-04-02 #15

though some of the graffiti was rather heart-warming. You can’t really complain about that, can you? (though I must confess to wondering what the crossed-out bit said..)

2012-04-02 #07

I wouldn’t say either was the peak, but the next day was definitely an improvement, once the sunshine broke through the clouds over Devonport dockyard.

2012-04-05 #02

along with a beautiful breeze for sailing back down the Tamar, past Drake’s Island

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and out to sea

2012-04-05 #14

and along the coast to Fowey (pronounced as Foy), one of the most well-known of the Cornish harbour-towns I’d passed by the previous autumn.

I moored on the short-stay pontoon the next morning to give me a chance to look around

2012-04-06 #13

including what is reputed to be the model for Toad Hall

2012-04-06 #08

The Sea Rat would undoubtedly have found it much changed, but still quite possibly been at home here, with every waterfront home seemingly having some direct route down to the water

2012-04-06 #01

though ‘little grey sea town’ seems less apt now

2012-04-05 #15

but the passage as a whole is certainly timeless:

‘And now,’ he was softly saying, ‘I take to the road again, holding on southwestwards for many a long and dusty day; till at last I reach the little grey sea town I know so well, that clings along one steep side of the harbour. There through dark doorways you look down flights of stone steps, overhung by great pink tufts of valerian and ending in a patch of sparkling blue water.

The little boats that lie tethered to the rings and stanchions of the old sea-wall are gaily painted as those I clambered in and out of in my own childhood; the salmon leap on the flood tide, schools of mackerel flash and play past quay-sides and foreshores, and by the windows the great vessels glide, night and day, up to their moorings or forth to the open sea. There, sooner or later, the ships of all seafaring nations arrive; and there, at its destined hour, the ship of my choice will let go its anchor.

I shall take my time, I shall tarry and bide, till at last the right one lies waiting for me, warped out into midstream, loaded low, her bowsprit pointing down harbour. I shall slip on board, by boat or along hawser; and then one morning I shall wake to the song and tramp of the sailors, the clink of the capstan, and the rattle of the anchor-chain coming merrily in.

We shall break out the jib and the foresail, the white houses on the harbour side will glide slowly past us as she gathers steering-way, and the voyage will have begun! As she forges towards the headland she will clothe herself with canvas; and then, once outside, the sounding slap of great green seas as she heels to the wind, pointing South!

‘The Wind in the Willows’, Kenneth Grahame

In fact I sailed west that afternoon, to a beautifully peaceful anchorage 30 miles or so away on the Helford River.

2012-04-07 #06

where I launched the dinghy and went for an evening stroll ashore.

2012-04-07 #14

The next morning saw the aforementioned arrival of the Easter Bunny.

2012-04-08 #02

After that I popped round to Falmouth for a day or two

2012-04-10 #15

before returning to the Helford. There is something about the view of Nare Point below that I seemingly never tire of – it’s not particularly big or dramatic, just a small headland with rolling fields to landward, but somehow especially beautiful, whether coming or going from the river.

2012-04-10 #18

In fact, even when it was just a silhouette the sunset behind was dramatic.

2012-04-10 #22

There was a rainbow as I headed back eastward the next day

2012-04-11 #01

but the clouds quickly cleared leaving splendid weather passing St Anthony’s Head

2012-04-11 #05

on a fine sail

2012-04-11 #09

back to Fowey

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which was even prettier in the sunlight this time.

2012-04-11 #25

But this time I heeded the Sea Rat’s call even sooner, and after a walk ashore to admire the views of the harbour, and the village of Polruan on the eastern shore..

2012-04-11 #28

..I headed out to sea again, this time continuing eastward.

2012-04-11 #71

To be continued 🙂

[Autumn 2011] Falmouth festivities and a new home port

Posted in Cornwall, Fun, Music, Photographs, Sailing with tags , , on February 28, 2014 by maidofmettle

Picking up from the last blog, 2011 saw the 350th anniversary of the granting of a Royal Charter to the town of Falmouth, following its rapid rise from a hamlet at the confluence of the Penryn River and the Fal to one of the most important harbour towns in the country. It made for quite a celebration.

2011-10-05 #01 Falmouth Charter Day (Custom)

The town’s role in the Civil War was a particular focus, with Pendennis Castle having been the one of the last Royalists strongholds to fall. The 155 day siege was happily significantly compressed in the reenactment, with the bicycle cavalry being a particular highlight.

2011-10-05 #03 Falmouth Charter Day

And of course you can’t go wrong with a cannon or two.

2011-10-05 #04 Falmouth Charter Day

(The structure in the background is the fascinating National Maritime Museum Cornwall)

I very much enjoyed the live music in Falmouth as well – here are the excellent Aberfal Oggymen (now The Oggymen as people kept thinking they were Welsh) singing with the crowd packed into the Chain Locker after their performance in the Shipwrights’ Bar

2011-10-08 #13

and this is Falmouth Shout putting on a great performance in The Front.

2011-10-08 #12

In fact it was all good enough entertainment to persuade me to stay on in the area for the town’s annual Oyster Festival, though I’d now decided to keep Maid on the River Tamar (on the Devon border) for the next year.

So in the meantime it was back to enjoying walking round Falmouth, both along the coast

2011-10-08 #07 (Custom)

and inland

2011-10-08 #10 (Custom)

Except of course for the recovery time after gatecrashing a game of beach football. Turns out however much walking you’ve been doing up and down the Cornish coast, it’s still not adequate training. Good fun though.

2011-10-08 #09 (Custom)

I also roamed further up Carrick Roads again, back to St Just (seen here in rather murky weather to say the least, in fact Maid’s anchor light looks to have come on already!)

2011-10-13 #16 St Just

and to the splendidly named Feock, where I rather admired the use of a redundant post-box

2011-10-12 #02 Feock

before returning to Falmouth for the aforementioned Oyster Festival.

2011-10-16 #01

This is a big event here as it marks the start of the dredging season in one of the world’s last traditional oyster fisheries, with the harvest undertaken under sail and by hand punts. It’s also grown to become a celebration of Cornish seafood and culture in general, and draws a big crowd.

(The figure hovering above the crowd is probably Neptune, but no, I have no idea who the man on the left is either)

2011-10-15 #04 Oyster Festival (Custom)

There were cookery demonstrations

2011-10-15 #03 Oyster Festival (Custom)

obviously good food

2011-10-14 #14 Falmouth Oyster Festival

the hotly-contested oyster-shucking competition (a race to extract a bucket of oysters from their shells, for kudos and probably a fair few pints of Betty Stoggs over the year)

2011-10-15 #05 Oyster Festival

and more live music – this was my first introduction to the fantastic Dalla

2011-10-15 #02 Oyster Festival - Dalla

I caught up with Mike in the bar at some point once he’d brought Phantom Lady round from the Helford- here they are, just to show I did check up on the boat occasionally:

2011-10-15 #18

and here are Falmouth Shout belting out sea shanties again, this time joined by the redoubtable Betty Stoggs from Skinners Brewery.

2011-10-15 #19 Oyster Festival - Falmouth Shout

After all that I thought I’d actually better get around to trying some oysters by the Sunday, especially as I never had despite growing up 10 miles away from Whitstable, and having helped my parents gather them at low tide at least once.

2011-10-16 #02

After that it was time to enjoy the racing, with magnificent skill shown on a very congested course, especially considering the sail area and especially the bowsprits of the traditional working boats.

2011-10-16 #09

10 feet of wood projecting from a boat smaller than Maid looks quite a risk at times!

2011-10-16 #06

Sadly, it was soon time to pack the dinghy up

2011-10-16 #52 (Custom)

and sail out to take the tide east towards the Tamar

2011-10-16 #56

with the help of the tide being especially important as there wasn’t much wind for a while!

2011-10-16 #60

Still, there was no ocean swell and rolling here this evening, but a beautiful sunset

2011-10-16 #66

followed by a handy light breeze overnight – very welcome along with the very gentle sea as I hadn’t done any night sailing since getting back from the Azores. I can’t say I’d missed it, but apart from the lack of sleep (especially marked from not being in the routine and being close to obstacles) it was a very easy passage.

Dawn came somewhere off Rame Head

2011-10-17 #04 Plymouth Sound

to welcome Maid to her new home at Torpoint

2011-10-18 #01

So Maid had a new home – and so did I – time to go and start work again.

A strange feeling – it had been a fantastic couple of years away, including the few months of autumn back in the UK, but by this point I was keen to start work again, and it was getting towards the time of year where being based in a house and an office rather than a boat would seem fairly appealing. So more anticipation than sadness, especially as I would get to holiday in Cornwall the next year.

Carry On 2011

Posted in Cornwall, Fun, Photographs, Sailing, Unfortunate events, Walking with tags , , on February 23, 2014 by maidofmettle

It took me a while to figure out that the blog actually leaves 2011 high and dry. Oops. Or to express those concepts in picture form:

2011-09-27 #01

I’d had no problems anchored in that spot for a several days, but had evidently got complacent about increasing tidal range getting towards springs. Walking across the Roseland to meet up with Si and Cat in Portscatho got delayed for a few hours to wait for low water and make sure nothing dramatic happened. Happily the mud was clearly quite soft and with little current, no wind and the tide to come back in it wasn’t really a problem, unlike other incidents I can think of (chiefly https://maidofmettle.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/oops/).

I’m clearly playing rather loose with the timing of events here, as the original reason I’d anchored up the Percuil a few days previously was to be able to leave Maid anchored safely (no problems with lack of water with neap tides) in a sheltered spot while I travelled up to Redhill for a job interview. It was a rather early start, but a very beautiful one.

2011-09-23 #02 Percuil

2011-09-23 #03 Percuil

The journey involved one dinghy, two feet, and one bus to get to Truro, where the early morning haze seemed to have set in to stay..

2011-09-23 #05 Truro

..and then feet again and a couple of trains to get to Redhill. It’s fair to say it was quite a long journey. Plenty of time to think what to say though. Having worked there for several years it seems I didn’t take any photos of that bit, and it would be a rather strange activity at an interview even if you do already know the people there.

It was very good to get the prospect of a job confirmed and catch up with people, but I must confess that with Maid down in Cornwall the fact an imminent start date wasn’t likely did not seem like too much of a problem.

Especially as despite everyone saying that summer had been terrible, the autumn was turning out to be rather splendid.

2011-09-28 #04

In fact I did a lot more swimming in Cornwall in the autumn than I’d done in the Azores in summer. It wasn’t as deliciously warm as the volcanic spring-fed waters on Sao Miguel, but left you feeling splendid after a quick dip.

2011-09-28 #06

It helps that the water is beautifully clear as well:

2011-10-02 #17 (Custom)

I also got to catch up with Si and Cat again – this is them sailing past off St Mawes with Planet looking splendid.

2011-09-30 #01 Planet

When the wind was very light in the east I also took the opportunity to spend some time anchored off St Just in Roseland; a beautiful spot though often quite exposed.

2011-10-01 #14 (Custom)

This is the local church, occupying a beautiful spot down by the water.

2011-10-01 #05

The scenery around is every bit as splendid – this is looking out over the anchorage again

2011-10-01 #17 (Custom)

and this is from a walk further up the Roseland, looking across fields to Carrick Roads (the slightly curious name for the Fal estuary) and Penarrow Point, with Falmouth (left) & Mylor (right) in the distance.

2011-10-01 #04

Another bonus of sailing at this time of year is that the crowds have gone you do tend to meet some interesting people – it turned out the chap with the beautiful boat in the foreground here used to skipper one of the Brixham trawlers.

2011-10-01 #02 (Custom)

Speaking of intersting people, as well as enjoying Cornwall I did make one brief dash up to Reading to meet up with Claire before she left the country. Well, I say dash – not sure term really applies when you’ve rowed ashore to get a train at half six only to find it’s been cancelled and there’s not another one for an hour. Well worth it though 🙂

2011-10-03 #04

Back in Cornwall again I made sure I was in Falmouth for Charter Day – more to come on that, and why a regiment of bicycle cavalry featured..