Friday the weather was pretty foul so we made short visits off the boat to get exercise and fresh air, we bumped into Nick and Lucas from our home port which certainly jollied the old man up for the day. We went out for a special meal at a wonderful French restaurant — Les Enfants Terribles, it was jolly lovely. I felt a bit under dressed but was certainly not made to feel it. The chef came to talk to us about the food, a fabulous night. Goodbye Falmouth it was fun but a weather window appeared before we got a chance to visit St Mawes. I never felt in any danger but still a healthy fear of the sea is not a bad thing!
It was a bit damp and early for us as we left Pendennis and headed out towards Carrick roads and the Black Rock.
I need not have worried the navy followed us all the way…I think we may have been used as a part of War Wednesday. Plymouth our old friend soon appeared. The breakwater almost appears, it is high tide and we know a storm is brewing, the story of our trip. The Marina at Sutton Harbour was the most expensive we have stayed at on this trip.
The shower and laundry facilities are excellent with full recycling on the pontoons. The pontoons need work though, there is a Tern, Pidgeon and Gull issue…poop everywhere, slippery and easily transferred to a deck…YUCK! Jet wash please!! We walked the city whilst the sun shone, a first for us. We have visited many times but always for events.
It has changed somewhat over the years with the growth of the university and is becoming more pleasant. The Aquarium was wonderful we thoroughly enjoyed the day, I could watch those tanks for hours…if only we had time to do a sleep over! Luisa and David Aldridge our friends popped down for a visit and we walked up to the Hoe before a delicious Greek lunch. Tuesday morning David decided he needed a walk so off we went.
I had wanted to take the ferry over to Mount Batten to climb the tower…the compromise was we walked there on the South West Coast Path. This small castle on the side of Hooe Lake was derelict but could make a fabulous home, look at the outlook below. The spring tide was very high so we had to wait until after to leave. The sea was calm in the sound as we departed, Pedro our auto pilot got a break today, Steve took the helm and steered us out of his manor. We had a visit from the military police as there was to be live firing today.
The sun shone, the autumn wind was bitter and the ground swell was long and large from two directions all a bit confused. Start point light house, we heard Solent Coastguard on the radio and raised a cheer… Home is getting closer. Steve and David talked into the wee hours, I left them to it.
We had a slow start which suited me as I saw Steve off this morning. We took the ferry across to Dartmouth. The wind had picked up as expected, the effects of Hurricane Lorenzo are present. David loaded our lines down with buckets of water again to help with the bouncing before we left. Guns trained on the river below. Chains were also used across the river between Kingswear Castle and Dartmouth to stop invading ships. The architecture is beautiful in Dartmouth and reflects it past, Medieval, Tudor, Victorian etc. We decided to take the river cruise to Totnes whilst we waited out the storm.
It was still blowing and a bit of comfort before Lyme Bay tomorrow morning was called for, Jolly Womble stayed in Kingswear bobbing around on her own. The Dart is beautiful and wide, the landscape rises on both sides meadows, vineyards and woodland. Quick trip around the museum and the town before a bus back to Dartmouth. If you strain your eyes, you can see the marina office and bar.
We were at the furthest point you could possibly be. We had a boat day washing the salt off the boat and ourselves and recooperating from the ordeal of the night before. The wind was howling but it was a gorgeous day and I walked the pontoons doing laundry whilst David swapped war stories with other skippers. He does love a yarn! We booked an early dinner in the marina bar where we had eaten breakfast, no exploring today, we were exhausted.
Sunday morning we walked into town, it was a jolly long hike so tomorrow we will move to Pendennis in the centre of town. Falmouth High Street is full of Antique shops and independents which made it great for a relaxing browse of a day. It was lovely to see them to catch up and what a wonderful surprise. We took beer and gin at the lovely Greenbank Hotel, sat in a picture window watching boats and the sun going down…far to early. All calm again once back in the harbour. We tied up at Pendennis Marina and headed out to the Maritime Museum a stones throw away.
Lots of wonderful boats to see and the staff were jolly friendly too. The sexy Crandall Hydroplane, stunning and what a wow factor. We took to the hills above Falmouth to visit Pendennis Castle. The walk took us above Pendennis Shipyard where they were working on several super yachts and a ferry, good to see them busy. The museum volunteers dressed in WWII uniforms led the tours in character bringing the barracks and castle to life.
We enjoyed Falmouth and wanted to visit St.
Mawes Castle too, but a tiny weather window appeared so an early departure for Plymouth was planned for the morning. Leaving Padstow was amazing, it was dark when we arrived and we missed this awesome landscape. It is siutated on the high ground on Dennis Hill overlooking Padstow and the Camel River and can be seen from miles around , we saw it on the way in as we crossed the Doom Bar and entered the river.
David is in his element the day is going well, I am happy as a huge pod of dolphins came to play, I saw a seal and a Basking Shark on my watch. There are no pictures after this point, things took a turn for the worse. I will let David take up the tale. Strong winds were forecast but not until the early hours of the following day.
We had a great run down to Lands End, arriving half an hour earlier than I had expected. It was quite remarkable how the breeze increased from almost nothing to Easterly 6 in minutes after we rounded. We popped 2 reefs in the mainsail and continued motor-sailing to maintain our rate of progress. We soon rounded Gwennap Head and met with a significant sea state from the east. Eventually we had to head south again to clear the Lizard and I made sure we cleared it by 2 or 3 miles to try and keep the seas to a minimum, it must have helped but they were still rough, to say the least.
We managed to stay about 3 miles or so offshore until the Manacles where we breathed a sigh of relief and bore away to run due north towards Falmouth. Amazingly, all this time there were 3 other yachts all significantly closer to the shore than us which was madness in those conditions, if anything had gone wrong they would have been ashore in minutes. Unfortunately our sigh of relief was a bit premature as we now suffered occasional knock downs with the wind and sea on the beam. I think this was mostly due to the lack of ballast in the keel, not full knock downs but enough for us to lose steerage and surf significantly sideways.
Poor Justine got a bit green at this stage, not sick but disorientated and probably a bit scared too — understandably. This lasted for a couple of hours as we closed the harbour entrance and then magically, as if someone flicked a switch, we were in. The water calmed, the wind eased and we had made it. A short motor up the Penryn River saw us alongside the fuel berth at Falmouth Marina since we were unable to reach them on the radio.
The night watchman arrived just after we had finished tying up and moved us to another berth — I was delighted as you might imagine — we finally stopped at , 9 long hours after rounding Lands End. It was an early start with a thick head but at least free flow through the lock made leaving the marina a speedy affair. The sun was shining and it warmed us up as we got on our way for another long day crossing the Bristol Channel.
We took hour long watches to pass the time and allow us to recooperate, taking care to drink lots of water and tea.
Evening came around too quickly and we came to the conclusion we should have left earlier, the days are getting shorter and the nights colder. It was dark as we approached Padstow and there was a lot going on, lots of fishermen along the shore with tilly lights, lobster pots and rocks to avoid. We had enough tide with us and managed to reach the harbour just after Tying up was a bit different being a wall and new to me.
It was made more difficult by the busker above us. We were too tired to cook and luckily got a scampi and chips in the Kings Head before collapsing into our bunks. Our friend Sam and her son Ed came to visit.
We took their dogs Bramble and Tiffin for a walk through the town via a Cornish bakery and up to the monument and down to the beaches below. These views we had passed but were unable to see the night before. It was stunning. This old house is situated on the harbour and I instantly fell in love.
As he walks out of the isolation suite, Eustace takes nothing with him. With only one limb remaining, namely, my right leg, I hopped along on my merry route, hope against hope that I might squeeze another hug out of the ever beaming bar maid. The Land of Oz would not be complete without the commitment shown by the ensemble members. I knew I was working at the coolest new place in town. We're committed to providing low prices every day, on everything.
An old gentleman stopped to talk to us, he remembered the house as a boy and recalled the old woman who had lived there. Sadly, the lady had lost her fisherman husband to the sea and became known for her meloncoly ways and foul temper.
He recalled she often swore at passers by and threw water from the upstairs window, not caring who she hit. Once the buskers leave, curfew we think, the place is calm and quiet. With only one limb remaining, namely, my right leg, I hopped along on my merry route, hope against hope that I might squeeze another hug out of the ever beaming bar maid.
After all, the bar brawls at those places are nothing compared to what the landlord at The Sheep can muster up after extended hours.