Archive for the Percuil

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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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.

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It helps that the water is beautifully clear as well:

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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.

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

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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..