Archive for St Just

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!

[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..