Archive for Fowey

[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

2012-04-05 #10

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

2012-04-11 #23

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 🙂