Archive for St Mawes

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 off  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!).

2015-09-19 #24

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!

2015-09-19 #32

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 🙂

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..

2015-09-23 #08b

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

 

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.

2013-10-01 #12

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!