Archive for Mevagissey

2015 Part II

Posted in Cornwall, Fun, Music, Photographs, Sailing, Walking with tags , , , , , , , , on August 11, 2016 by maidofmettle

In September I had a couple of weeks offย  and my fingers crossed for fair winds at the start to sail to the Fal for the Burning Man at Trelissick, and was delighted when the weather systems obliged. The look of the clouds over Dartmoor to the east gave additional motivation to head the other way!

2015-09-16 #01

It was a bit of a chilly passage, not unpleasant but not remarkable. It did seem like quite a long sail to St Mawes compared to recent jaunts around Plymouth Sound.

The following morning off St Mawes was rather more memorable, with a spectacular double rainbow.

2015-09-17 #01

Amanita is anchored on the left – Mike and Janey had just come down from Percuil and stopped for breakfast before we sailed across to Falmouth to enjoy a folk session in the pub that evening.

2015-09-17 #02

The wind had dropped for the row into the pub – a really beautiful evening.

2015-09-17 #06

The next day I went for a sail out in the harbour, admiring the local boats (generally from behind).

2015-09-18 #02

Anchoring off Trefusis proved a bit of a challenge – with the strong winds and a bit of tide some of the boats already there were roving around all over the place (one in particular seemed determined to chase both Maid and Amanita away) and finding a clear spot with the right depth of water took a few attempts.

The next day however was much more peaceful – no equinoctial gale today!

2015-09-19 #02

I landed for a bit of an early morning walk..

2015-09-19 #07

..before heading up Carrick Roads as soon as the tide went slack. With the wind very light I wouldn’t have got anywhere with it against me, but neither did I want a strong current behind me as I wouldn’t have been able to steer!

The compromise choice mostly worked, though I ended up putting the engine on just before the bar at Turnaware and motoring in to Channels Creek. Of course, another benefit of coming early was being able to anchor before the hordes arrived.

2015-09-19 #22

It didn’t take long for the rest of the fleet to start coming in. I was very impressed with Mike rowing Amanita in (and relieved when they made it sideways over the bar without touching!).

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There were a lot more still to come – in possibly even less wind at times! There were some more impressive feats of seamanship in sailing into the anchorage, quite something to watch.

2015-09-19 #25

And later on the Burning Man was a splendid event again – lighting it with flaming arrows certainly built up the suspense!

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There was a huge crowd this time – say three or four hundred compared to a tenth of that when we’d been to the first event a couple of years ago.

The next morning started off similarly still causing some boats some difficulty in getting away. We’d decided to head upriver so could wait for a bit more wind.

2015-09-20 #05

In the meantime, I went for a bit of a walk ashore and was rather impressed with this multifunctional boat storage ๐Ÿ™‚

2015-09-20 #06

Later on we sailed upriver, being suitably wary of the King Harry chain ferry..

2015-09-20 #08

.. to anchor in the mouth of Roundwood Creek. The bottom shelves quite quickly here and having made a couple of quick tacks in very little room I decided it was best to just drop the anchor and see where we ended up! Happily it worked out well.

Once the tide had risen enough to get ashore we went for walk and blackberrying expedition on Roundwood Quay.

Sailing in the upper Fal is usually tricky due to the high tree-lined banks, and the trip down the next day was no exception. A lot of the passage was more a case of pointing in the right direction than sailing, with the occasional gust along with various obstacles (not to mention the banks) to keep things interesting! It was a relief to get to more open water again at Trelissick, though I still had to be very careful of the shallow bar at Turnaware.

2015-09-21 #03

However on reaching Carrick Roads the wind got up properly – in fact enough to drop one of the jibs and take a reef in.

2015-09-21 #04

I hadn’t really decided where to stop, so I took a trip into Falmouth and out again and was eyeing up a spot I’d never used before in open water at the edge of Carrick Roads when it became clear the others were heading for a spot beside the breakwater, so I decided to do the same.

 

The sunshine was interspersed with some quite spectacular showers- I don’t think I’ve ever seen a rainbow quite this flat before!

2015-09-22 #02

It seemed a good day to stay here enjoying the company and exploring ashore between showers.

2015-09-22 #01

The next morning the fleet dispersed. Steve headed west to Ireland (and then Spain), Mike & Janey were going back to the Solent and Nick & I to Mevagissey.

With light following winds forecast I figured I’d need special measures to keep up, so I folded the dinghy away on deck and dug out one of the larger foresails which I don’t think had seen action since somewhere between the Azores and Scillies in 2011.

I actually overtook at one point…

2015-09-23 #04

…but when we turned to have the wind dead behind us Wylo‘s gaff rig came into its own and made it very much even despite the fact she was still towing a dinghy. Here we are just leaving the Falmouth entrance.

2015-09-23 #06

..with Janey & Mike in hot pursuit in Amanita..

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and here we are approaching the Dodman..

2015-09-23 #10

There can be fearsome overfalls off the point, but with a fair tide and wind we sailed right in under the headland and stone cross…

2015-09-23 #11

..before continuing around the coast past the Tall Ship Royalist to anchor just north of Mevagissey, and enjoying a lovely evening ashore with friends of Nick’s.

2015-09-23 #13

Dawn the next morning was spectacular, especially over the sea..

2015-09-24 #01

..but also gently lighting up the houses above the harbour at Mevagissey.

2015-09-24 #02

It started as a very peaceful sail, but with some slightly ominous looking clouds.

2015-09-24 #05

This one looked particularly disturbing. The wind and waves were both getting up a bit and I hove to for a while to make lunch before getting going again..

2015-09-24 #10

..by which time Nick had caught up.

2015-09-24 #12

After carrying on under just the mainsail for a while debating whether the wind was still increasing I eventually decided the conditions were fine to get the big headsail out again and resumed rapid pursuit.

2015-09-24 #15

We both shot past Rame Head in splendid conditions half-expecting a squall which didn’t appear then- inevitably it came just as we wanted to turn north.

2015-09-24 #17

At least we were out of the big waves and rolling, but it was quite a tough beat into Cawsand – a very satisfying sail but good to drop the anchor at last.

The next morning I had to get up early to travel away for the weekend- a nice sail at first, but unfortunately one where I needed to get the engine on – plans do get in the way of things at times!

2015-09-25 #01

 

August 2012 part 2

Posted in Cornwall, Photographs, Sailing, Walking with tags , , , , , on August 11, 2014 by maidofmettle

Having shot west at the start of the holiday allowed me to cruise back to Torpont with a lot more stops, visiting quite a few places I’d only ever sailed past before.

A calm morning to start with – at least there were no issues with the chain ferry motoring down!

2012-08-28 #01 Fal

By the time I got down to Carrick Roads there was a lovely breeze.

2012-08-28 #07

So out past Black Rock at the entrance to Falmouth Harbour (the entrance would be too straightforward without one great big hazard right in the middle)…

2012-08-28 #10 - Copy

and round the Roseland, past Nare Head and the Dodman to tie up between two mooring buoys in the outer harbour at Mevagissey. Not something I’d done in a while but with the dinghy in the water very simple- basically just pick one buoy up normally (I say simple – not necessarily easy!) and then row a line to the other one.

2012-08-28 #26 Mevagissey - Copy

Mevagissey, or ‘Mevva’, is a beautiful little town, with the harbour possibly still home to as many fishing boats as pleasure boats, though tourism is a much bigger industry now.

Incidentally, it’s claimed (though wikipedia regards it to be somewhat dubious) to have been the first town in the UK with electric street lights, run by a power station built in 1895 and powered by pilchard oil. That’s some sign of how big the fishing fleet would have been then, but probably didn’t do much for any early tourists!

Here you can see the inner harbour, with the old lifeboat house in the bottom left.

2012-08-28 #25 Mevagissey

Here’s the evening entertainment signing on the quayside..

2012-08-28 #28 Mevagissey

..and here’s another picture of the inner harbour.

2012-08-28 #29 Mevagissey - Copy

The next day the wind was rather strong so with Maid tucked safely in the harbour I went for a walk north along the coast..

2012-08-29 #02

..to Pentewan, once the site of a much bigger harbour since lost to siltation. The very shallow shelving sandy beach looks perfect for the caravan park though.

2012-08-29 #03

Surprisingly, the inner basins are still largely intact..

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though the ‘channel’ to the sea is minimal.

2012-08-29 #06

Mevagissey has a much more practical entrance which I departed from the next day – the wind hadn’t abated but the sunshine on the other side of the cold front made quite a difference.

2012-08-30 #04 Mevagissey

It was a fast and exciting sail tacking up to Charlestown at the northern side of St Austell Bay, taking full advantage of the shelter of the land and consequent smooth sea to charge to windward in winds I’d never normally want to tack into.

2012-08-30 #05

Charlestown is one of the harbours that took over when Pentewan went into decline, and is still used by tall ships today. The fee to use the lock is rather beyond smaller boats, and I didn’t plan on staying long anyway so anchored off and rowed into the harbour in the dinghy for a look around.

2012-08-30 #18

The bottom shelves quite slowly here as well making it quite a long row in against the wind – you can just see Maid anchored offshore in the background between the pier heads.

2012-08-30 #10

Here’s another look at the ships inside-ย  if you’ve seen any period drama with a nautical flavour you may recognise them or the harbour.

2012-08-30 #09 - Copy

Next we shot off downwind, past Gribbin Head and the entrance to Fowey.. Rather less hard work, and almost as exhilarating..

2012-08-30 #24 - Copy

…though I was rather wishing I wasn’t towing the dinghy, which was fine going upwind but now kept trying to overtake and ramming the back of the boat, till I finally found a system to prevent it.

2012-08-30 #21 - Copy

I was aiming for Polperro, which is an altogether different harbour to Pentewan (as was) or Charlestown, very much a crack in the rocks kind of entrance. Can you see it?

2012-08-30 #29

(it’s just to the right of the dark brown rock extending from the left, below the lowest white house)

Given the wind strength I’ll let myself off getting my thumb in this one (note the angle of heel despite the sheltered water and having taken the sails down).

2012-08-30 #31 - Copy

Despite my recent practice picking up the mooring buoy in the much stronger headwind took a while longer than in Mevagissey. It wasn’t helped by the fact that there was no room to maneuver so the couple of times that I missed it and the front of the boat got blown away from it by the wind I ended up having to leave the cove and go back in again. I think the fisherman I kept going past found it amusing enough to not mind.

Eventually I got set and was now glad I had the dinghy in the water to row a stern line out again – there really isn’t any room to swing here without blocking the channel or potentially hitting a rock. I was glad I had a very long line – it was quite a distance (see the angle of the rope in the bottom right!).

2012-08-30 #32

Here’s the inner harbour..

2012-08-30 #40 - Copy

..and Maid out in the outer harbour, with a beautiful moon, especially enjoyed with some very tasty fish and chips at the end of a long and satisfying day.

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(it was slightly disconcerting to still hear the swell on the rocks when getting into bed though..)

The next morning I went for a walk along the coast path, finding what was presumably an old huer’s hut

 

2012-08-31 #15

and a bit more of a wander round Polperro – you might guess that this is ‘Shell Cottage’.

2012-08-31 #27

Once the tide had turned I carried on eastward, before rounding St Mary’s Island and anchoring off Looe.

2012-08-31 #32 - Copy

 

There’s plenty of space inside, but it’s shallow and drying out against a wall really restricts when you can leave – especially if you’re heading eastwards and want to have plenty of time sailing with the tide rising. It’s clearly a popular place for crab-fishing though..

2012-09-01 #09 - Copy

The next afternoon’s sailing was very relaxed..

2012-09-01 #19

..with plenty of time to admire the coast and the little villages, while giving the firing range a bit further along a wide berth.

2012-09-01 #21

It was a beautiful evening to arrive back in Plymouth Sound and anchor in Barn Pool for the night,

2012-09-01 #32

with a rather striking moonrise oncc again.

2012-09-01 #34 - Copy

From there was just a short hop back to Torpoint, although admittedly one that required careful timing due to the strong tides through the Narrows. And that was that ๐Ÿ™‚