Truro and out

Few Clouds, 18°C

59 Alexandra Road

Truro and out

We set off about 7:30 under motor, to cruise the rest of the way to Truro at high tide. The river meanders around and is well buoyed. The minimum depth under the keel in the channel was 1m, so we were fine, but aware of sand banks all around us, some stretching across most of the river (including the great-named Maggoty Bank) . Getting grounded at high tide would be uncomfortable and maybe costly!

Truro itself wasn’t great when we arrived at the dockside: next to a Tesco with a busy road running by. It was great though to make our way up the narrowing river to get there. Then turn around,a nd come back with the start of the ebb. We ended up just before lunch back on the Trysail berth where we picked Saffron up, and learned that we could get her for the night. We motored for 15 hours, cover about 94 miles in the week according to my GPS. We used about 20 l of fuel, at least that’s what the lovely man on the fuel pontoon put in for us.

Quick lunch of left-overs on board, showers, and the headed out to the National Maritime Museum for the afternoon. Good glass-walled section to look underwater at the sea – saw limpets and barnacles on the glass and the rasping pattern that the limpets made eating the algae off the glass. Also good olympic racing yachts, and a thorough viking exhibition.

Ate a good cream tea at Dolly’s which was a stylish place for tea, and we avoided the teapots of cocktails!

Wander around town, and Michael bought a nice Musto top in the sale. Then on to CAMRA Good Bear Guide Pubs:

Drink the the Seven Stars which was a nice pub, draught Bass, but it was a bit of a daytime boozer – not the nicest setting. Then dinner in the Boat House, which Tony and Jason recommended, and the views were lovely as promised. Michael has a large and delicious plaice, and I had half a large lobster thermidor, which was also beautiful and lightly cooked, Washed down with some good local beer, Then onto s books hop pub in the centre of town, which was a nice concept, where Michael had a pint of strong beer to finish him off and I had a hoppy beer. Goof fun the book shop – managed to bag a Jackie Kay poetry book for £4 (most of the books were marked down).

We handed over the boat to Freya and Peter this morning: all well and I trust we’ll get our £1000 deposit back! We looked after the engine well, and returned the boat in good shape – were careful with everything that was on there. We never managed to dry out (the boat or us) which was shame, but probably a stress best avoided. Overall, very relaxing, slow-paced and beautiful scenery. The weather was variable: Cold at times, mist and foggy a few times, and gloriously sunny.I managed a couple of swims Helford Passage: which was colder than I expected.

Great holiday!

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Exploring the Fal and Truro rivers, under sail


Exploring the Fal and Truro rivers, under sail

Had a very nice meal last night at the Shipwrights Arms in Helston. Lobster salad was good (and a bit lavish), and Michael’s monkfish was really lovely.
We had a pint there, and then wandered on the Helford River Sailing Club for another drink, sitting on their terrace looking out over the estuary. Lovely spot, and the sun was shining.

Today we sorted out some water (and trash) at the HRSC before sailing across to Falmouth, We stopped on Peter’s buoy for lunch a short snooze, before getting the sails out and sailing up the Fal and Truro, which are beautifully tree lined. We had to motor for a bit to cope with the King Harry Ferry. We ended up on a floating visitors pontoon, just round the bend and downstream of Malpas. Really peaceful here, with the exception of the add boat travelling from Truro to Falmouth. Ate on board tonight, sitting the cockpit: and as we started to eat a gentle shower passed, which gave the meal a ‘camping’ experience, as the rain pattered onto the sprayhood.

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Great sail,  One reach

Broken Clouds, 16°C


Great sail, One Reach

Had a lovely lazy morning, long lie and massive bacon buttie for breakfast. We didn’t need to leave Fowey until about 2. We actually left after lunch, and motored up the river to see the china clay pontoons, Lovely to explore the shallow river in a bilge keel yacht: Saffron has a draught of 1.2m. We ran aground eventually and turned around and sailed back out the entrance of the harbour. Lovely sun, and great views and a great sail all the way over the Helford River. We arrived about 6pm after s really great sail – even sailing much of the way up to the mooring buoys there. We were joined by a small pod of dolphins for 5 mins, which was lovely. On the passage we ditched the beef for that evenings’ dinner, which was starting to smell pretty bad and I couldn’t stand any more. Sorry sea-life and sorry for not following the sea pollution rules.

Instead, of our beef chilli, we made a vegetable one, with a sauce thickened by gravy pots we used for the sausages. It worked out really well, so well in fact that we had it for breakfast today, baked with egg: Huevos Miguel. Breakfast was followed by another lazy morning, we inflated the tender and went across to the Helford Shop, for a few bits and pieces (including some chocolate for Michael and more of their delicious saffron buns).

We took the tender out to explore the creeks where no mooring is allowed, but we left a bit too early after low tide, and couldn’t get up Frenchman’s Creek. It was also a bit choppy with wind over the flood tide, so we only pootled about like this for an hour, and had a quick look from the water at the town on the other side of the river, where there is also a good looking pub.

I had a lovely, if brief, swim, but the temperature was already dropping by 4pm and it felt rather chilly out the water. The tide was also quite strong and I had to swim rather hard to get back to the boat at the end.

We changed out minds about going out again, and are planning dinner in the Helford Pub, with lashings of beer and using the water taxi, rather than messing about with lifejackets.

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Rocky Night in Fowey

Broken Clouds, 15°C

(50.3346645, -4.6349115)

Rocky night in Fowey

There was a bit of a swell last night that was not uncomfortable, but brought out all sorts of noises from Saffron. About 3 in the morning a fast boat went past and set up a rhythm that continued for ages as it bounced off the narrow banks. I had to get up to sort out the clanking kettle on the stove, and noticed a gassy smell. I knew I had closed the valve on the gas bottle, and the gas alarm hadn’t sounded, but I still couldn’t get the thought of gas in the bilges off my mind. In the morning it turned out the be the mince for tonight’s chilli turning rotten in the ‘fridge’. That was easily sorted, but not very pleasant.

Our plans for the day are that we need to leave our mooring before 13:00, to take F3-4 NW winds back towards Falmouth. If we stay longer we’ll end up motoring back and that would be a pity after motoring out here too. Planning to get started about 11:30, sail up the river a bit and then leave again on the last of the webb tide. All timed to gat past Dodman Point again.

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Foggy Passage to Fowey

Fog, 15°C

United Kingdom

Foggy passage to Fowey

Another 5am start: it all looked okay in Helford when we slipped our buoy, but quickly into light fog. No wind to speak of, so we motored all the way (30ish miles) to Fowey, arriving about 10:30. The fog got thicker the closer we got, and we were pleased to discover that Saffron has AIS, so we were able to check out the large shipping. As we approached the entrance to the Fowey river the fog was at its thickest: we could hear a cardinal, but not see it, and we heard the waves on the shore the same time as we could see them. We felt very close. Drama over we picked up a visitor buoy and had a rest, and some lunch. Water taxi across to town, and a walk up to see st Catherine’s Castle, and to explore the many hills of the town. Huge Cornish cream tea was called for to recover. Took the car ferry across to Bodinnick to go to the pub: and had the lovely lounge of the Old Ferry Inn all to ourselves while we rested with a lovely beer.

Sought out a place for Fowey River mussels for dinner and ended up in the Ship Inn, which was great, more beer and scallops and mussels; everything we had hoped for.

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Exploring Helford Village

Clear Sky, 15°C

Helford River Sailing Club, Helston, United Kingdom

Exploring Helford Village

We called up the Harbour Ferry at 11am, after a snooze and they don’t run at low tide, so the aimed to pick us up about 1pm. That turned out to be 1:30pm, but worth the wait as it was a quick hop on the ferry and saved us blowing up the tender and working out where to leave it ashore. Turns out that when we got ashore there were quite a few options for that, including a jetty on the Shipwrights Arms where we had lunch. The pub was changing management that day, and had a goodbye evening for the departing owners the night before. Quite a few of the staff were a bit the worse for wear, and there was only one valiant person in the kitchen coping with Sunday lunches.

So, had our lunch about 2:30: fish and chips for Michael and local cran for me, with a lovely Skinners pale ale to wash it down. We shopped at the local shop – got saffron buns, a good looking sourdough and some very nice chamomile and elderflower team bags made in Newquay. Helford Village is very smart, tiny and looks like a lovely place for the summer.

I had a swim off the boat in the afternoon, water was lovely and clear, but felt like 15°C, which was what the forecast thinks. I swam a few time round the boat: next time will wear my swimming cap to avoid getting a cold spot on the forehead.

Michael made dinner this evening: Cumberland and Garlic sausages, crushed new potatoes and cabbage, with gravy – yum. We broke open the Kraken Rum: Strong vanilla and spices.

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Picked up Saffron

Had our handover from Peter, the owner – all seems very ship-shape and Saffrom should do us nicely for the week. All the berths are 6ft or over, which is a relief. In fact the Westerley Consort is larger than we both anticipated. 

We had a change of plans and decided to spend the night on Peter’s bouy across the harbour on the Fal. That was a 20 min motor and explore of the harbour. We noticed as we approached the buoy that there was no cooling water coming through the exhaust, and indeed the engine was overheating. We took out the impellor, and the hose from the seacock, and all looked to be well. On reassembly it all worked – so a bit of a mystery, but it felt good to be able to service the engine.

We ate on baord, and washed the salmon, new potatoes and fresh peas down with some Picpoul de Pinet, which was great but a bit warm – the fridge on Saffron provides more of a gentle cool, than true refrigeration. 

We were up at 5am, as planned. Not too grumpy either, which was a shame because it was grey, raining gently and the visibility had changed. The expected Low came through earlier than forecast and we doubted that we would now make it to Fowey. We set off though, and gave it a go. The rain wasn’t too bad, but the wind was on the nose, 180° from last nights’ forecast. So once we rounded the headland and saw the progress we were making, we called it a day and headed for Helford. At least that had the wind behind us and we made about 3.6 knots on average over our day sail. We were also on a visitor buoy at Helford for 8:30! Not many day sails finish that early.
Went for a sleep for an hour, and the weather improved signifanctly so now sun shining, but some more rain forecast this afternoon. We’re planning to get the water taxi out to Helford Village once the tide rises a bit, and have lunch and explore. 

Planning our First Days of Sailing

Shower Rain, 15°C

116 Station Rd

Planning our first days of sailing

We’re off to Falmouth for a week of sailing in Cornwall. Michael’s planned a good sail to Fowey for tomorrow, with a 5am departure taking into consideration tides, overfalls, wind and the weekly outlook. It all hinges on Dodman Point where we have to approach at slack tides, and thereafter we have spring tides against us. So we’re planning to get to Dodman Pt as early as we can, whilst still having some sleep. Great that it will be light at 5am when we depart. Tides run at up to 2 knots at springs at Dodman point and we’ll have wind over tide after slack water, so leaving early and having the most exposed section before Dodman Pt behind us is a good idea.

Not sure what we’ll do tonight – either stay in Falmouth or head a couple of miles up the Fal to Mylor. We pick up the boat at 3

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The lake is getting warmer

Overcast Clouds, 13°C

Henleaze Lake

The lake is getting warmer

Early to the lake today on a mild, but grey overcast day. Water was 9ºC, which was warmer than two weeks ago, and 4 or 5º better than last December. I swam 4 lengths, 300m, then has a long sauna chatting, then another 300m. I got really chilly on the second swim so had another sauna to warm up. I was not flavour of the say because the sauna was at 95ºC and a few of us thought it was too hot. So it was dropped down in temperature, but then the sauna itself dropped to 75ºC, oops! Much chatter.

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Now <10°C at Henleaze

Light Rain, 10°C

Henleaze Lake

Now <10°C at Henleaze

The small swim area is in operation and water was 8°C, dropped 3° in two weeks. Bbbrrr! The new length is 75m, and I managed six lengths, sauna, four lengths, sauna and then a cold cycle home in the wind and the rain. Bit of a miserable day for it. Managed all this without gloves and bootees.

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