Monday, May 30, 2005

Sunday, 29th May and Monday, 30th May

This cruise gets better every day. Morning brought a bright scene of sunshine and blue waters hardly ruffled by a gentle wind. Alastair’s little green boat lay to her anchor close by the beach. To the south, hardly a stone’s throw away, was a brightly coloured catamaran, and to the north we were flanked by a Westerly Centaur, name ‘Summer Wine’.

Barn Pool, our anchorage for the previous night, was this morning at its very best; birdsong echoed across the water. A flotilla of yachts with their sails hoisted motored towards the western entrance of the outer harbour where surf from a heavy swell broke over the breakwater.

At 0930 we took ‘Little Jim’ in tow while Alastair steered her from within the cabin.

By the time we arrived at the breakwater the flotilla had disappeared beyond the horizon and very few boats were out on the water, but a colourful yellow and blue chequered police launch kept an eye on our movements as we anchored in the spectator area by the western end of the breakwater.

The OSTAR multihulls were due to start their race at mid-day, and the monohulls were to follow a quarter of an hour later. By 1130 we were surrounded by many anchored yachts and motor boats while hundreds more jockeyed for favourable viewing positions.

Because what little wind there was came from the south, the OSTAR racing yachts laid their courses on the far side of the fairway which meant we were too far away for good viewing, but Alastair used his digital zoom camera to focus in on various competing boats.

When all the contestants disappeared out of sight Alastair let me have a sail in ‘Little Jim’. I was nervous at first, but after doing a few manoeuvres I felt more confident. She went a lot faster than I imagined would be the case; perhaps it felt that way because I was sitting at water level.

After saying goodbye to Alastair, Geoff and I hoisted the anchor and we set sail for Fowey. The afternoon’s sail was sailing at its best, with enough wind to keep the boat going and the most wonderful Cornish coastline for our visual enjoyment. Our conversation was stimulating.

For the final stretch from Udder Rock Buoy to the entrance of Fowey harbour the wind increased in strength and it was dead on the nose; therefore we used the engine for better progress.

On our arrival the Harbour Master directed us to an unoccupied resident’s mooring where we tied up for the night.

Monday, 30th May

What better place can there be than Falmouth were we arrived at 1745 today after a wonderful sail from Fowey? It’s so peaceful here tucked in behind Amsterdam Point, across the River Percuil from St Mawes.

At the outset of our passage the wind came from the south, and after motoring for a while we were able to sail towards Mevagissey, but when we were 2 miles from Gwineas Rock Buoy we had to turn on the engine again. The scenery along this stretch of the coast to Dodman Point is one of high cliffs which are not beautiful but strikingly impressive for their massive size.

As expected, we found several boats fishing in the area marked on the chart indicating a race, not that there was much of a race. I suppose it was because the tide was on the turn and in our favour. The sun and wind combined to make our faces glow.

From there we were able to have a fine sail on the wind across the expanse of Veryan Bay towards the impressive Gull Rock, which is a small rocky island to the east of Gerran’s Bay. In this area there are numerous crab pots, therefore a careful watch needs to be kept for their floats, but the sun at late afternoon reflects off the water making the task of spotting them difficult.

Throughout the day there were very many yachts coming and going; perhaps their owners were taking advantage of the fine weather.

At Pothmellin Head the wind died all together. Reluctantly we started the engine and motored around St Anthony Head and into the Percuil River where we hope we’ll have a peaceful night.

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