Archive for Whitsand Bay

2015 Part I

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

2015 was another year of launching late, but it got off to a good start when I thought I spotted a familiar looking boat in my planned anchorage within about 5 minutes of launching. Getting closer it turned out there were two – a real pleasure to see both Nick and Steve again especially so soon after going in the water! The time on the hard seemed to have pretty much vanished..

Nick’s Wylo II is in the background here – Steve was anchored just ahead.

2015-08-06 #01

I thought about going for a sail the next afternoon and then coming back again, but getting the anchor up proved an unexpected challenge. I was pulling against a strong wind but couldn’t get much more than 5 metres of chain in – and as well as that it looked like the anchor was probably underneath the boat in front. As they’d arrived more recentlythey offered to move, but I decided to go for a walk instead.

It was also partly a bit of reconaissance – Nick highly recommended a trip to the Random Arms in Maker on a Friday evening, but the weather looked like it might not be safe to spend the night in Cawsand, the most convenient anchorage. It would be possible to get there from this side of the peninsula, but a long walk, and finding somewhere to leave the dinghy for that long (i.e. several metres change in height of tide) might require a long row too.

Having found a climbable route up to the path it doesn’t take long to feel you’re well away from the water..

2015-08-06 #02

..especially when the tide’s out!

2015-08-06 #05

The path stays low for a while and then becomes quite a steep climb up to the top..

2015-08-06 #09

…and the church at Maker was very much a welcome sight.

2015-08-06 #10

The pub would be a further walk along the ridge, so a sail round to Cawsand and a quick climb up the hill definitely seemed the better option if it was safe for the boats. Time to head back down to report, and for a convivial evening πŸ™‚

Happily the next day the weather forecast looked fine for staying in Cawsand for the night, so off we went. Or rather, Nick did…

2015-08-07 #01

……t took me rather longer than planned to follow, as it proved just as hard to get the anchor chain in as the previous day – it was clearly fouled on something. Perhaps an old mooring chain, or who knows what? The muddy waters of the Tamar were definitely inscrutable. I was hoping it was just caught rather than properly wound around something.

The solution was somewhat unexpected. I’d tried and failed pulling it out by tacking in different directions under sail a few times and was debating the next option when I saw a motor boat heading out of Millbrook at high speed and creating quite a wake. Not something I’m usually delighted by but I shot back to the bow and tightened in the chain as hard as I could before tying it off. This transmitted the force of the waves rocking the boat right down the chain, and fortuitously this provided enough of a sharp tug to free the chain.

Just the other 30m to pull in then πŸ™‚ and then a fine sail round toΒ  Cawsand, and here we are..

2015-08-08 #03

..and in plenty of time for me to do a refreshing couple of laps swimming round the boat.

2015-08-08 #06

The next day was bright again and good for another sail in the Sound.

2015-08-08 #09

The next weekend I got an early start early Friday evening with the aim of making it up to the Random Arms again. It was a beautiful sail but with rather light winds I didn’t get to Cawsand quickly enough in the end.

2015-08-14 #01

On the Saturday I decided to continue a vague plan I have of eventually walking the whole of the southern Cornish section of the South West Coast path walking from the boat. This is probably worth a post of it’s own at some point, but for now let’s just say that some sections are very easy, but some will be very reliant on settled northerly winds to complete.

The bit I did today took advantage of the relatively short distance by land across the Rame Peninsular from the shelter of Cawsand Bay to the generally more exposed Whitsand Bay. It’s an especially nice walk as you get a wide range of views – first the rolling countryside between Rame and Maker…

2015-08-15 #03

and the views north over St John’s Lake towards Devonport and Dartmoor..

2015-08-15 #04

..and then the coastal views down to the long curve of Whitsand Bay

2015-08-15 #08

and back to Rame Head.

2015-08-15 #10

I had lunch in Portwrinkle at the opposite end of Whitsand Bay before turning back eastward, deciding to detour to the chapel on Rame Head (on the right below) before heading back to Cawsand.

2015-08-15 #20

The next day featured an even bluer sky, and a splendid sail back up the river to Torpoint.

2015-08-15 #30


September’s sailing started with another evening sail in very light winds, ghosting through the narrow clear channel west of Drake’s Island and into the anchorage at Cawsand – again too late to make it worth climbing up the hill to the pub!

However I was pretty sure I’d spied a familiar boat anchored ahead in the dark πŸ™‚Β  I was surprised in the morning when there turned out to be two of them – Nick’s Wylo II and another designed by him, the slightly larger Amanita.

2015-09-05 #01

That evening when the tide had turned we sailed round to West Mud near the entrance to Millbrook, in a gentle breeze and flat sea. Mike and Janey kindly sent me this splendid picture taken as we were sailing towards Fort Picklecombe.


Despite taking different routes we all ended up sailing up through the Narrows more or less together. Despite the calm conditions the strong current made it quite a tense and exciting sail as the speed of the tide compared to our progress through the water meant every move needed to be planned and started well in advance – and that’s not considering the whirlpools!

Here is Amanita with anchor ready to go – happily we all made it in under sail and enjoyed a splendid supper aboard with Mike and Janey.

2015-09-05 #08

And some drinks tasting too, including Nick’s rum brought back from the Caribbean and my honey rum brought from the Canaries.