The Voose provided a safe anchorage, but it was too rolly the morning after, so we set off to find a better option. The wind was still very strong from the SW so we motored to and beyond Helford village, weaving through the huge array of moored boats.
At one point Skip thought of going to Gweek, but it was already high water and we didn’t want to be stuck aground. Instead we hung around Tremayne Quay, built for a visit of Queen Victoria, but she didn’t bother to go because it was raining. Or so the story goes. It’s a nice place though, and a family were camping there, their boat moored alongside.
We moved back towards Helford a little and found a lovely little spot with nice cover from the S and SW winds which were forecast. The anchor was laid, and there we sat.
Dylan Winter would have been proud. We sat and watched the shoreline change and the tide fell away. Curlews probed the freshly exposed mud, and a heron gave a masterclass in fishing – and all just 30 metres from where we sat by a distinguished tree.
At low water there must have been an inch to spare under the hull, and then the views changed again as the new flood realigned the hull to give us a new view. Then it was dark , and time for a calm night, all bar the odd heavy shower.
The Skipper’s family went home, and the holiday format turned more towards living aboard. The weather was also due to change with rain and strong winds for the next few days coming in from the SW. Supplies were loaded and we left Mylor looking for Aurora. We sailed to Falmouth. No sign. We left Falmouth amidst the Falmouth working boat race fleet, where we held position very well for some time much to their consternation.
We found Aurora anchored off Molunan beach, so rafted alongside for an hour or so, before deciding to head over to Helford for a couple of days sheltering from the weather. We had a fantastic sail across the bay, skimming the bow of one of a number of ships which had come in for protection too.
Once inside Helford we anchored in The Voose, along with a fleet of seven others with the same idea. It was a stunning evening.
It was another dodging looking day on the forecasts, but it turned into a stunner. Unusually, for the Skipper, we motored somewhere instead of sailing. Well, it was only around the corner to Restronguet to the legendary Pandora Inn. There’s a pontoon which doubles as a floating patio – so we tied up and the crew enjoyed coffees.
Coffees finished and we did even more motoring; probably a sop on the Skipper’s part as the First Mate doesn’t like “the flappy bits”. We pottered along the coastline heading past Feock, giving marks out of ten to each of the properties. Quite a few got 20 out of 10! One got a thumbs up for location, but a massive thumbs down for appeal, even though it had its own lifeboat slipway.
After further pottering the Skipper had had enough. The sails were raised and we made best course to windward in search for a lunch stop. We made it as far as St Just on the East side of the Carrick Roads. We dropped anchor close in for maximum shelter from the breeze, and sat there for some time, and the crew finished the last tin of salmon left onboard by Dodgy Knees Tony. Then it was lounging time.
As it was Friday it was race night, and we’d been invited to join in the Shrimpers and Gaffers class. We crossed back to Mylor to prepare.
The First Mate was replaced by Ian and Lyn from Mylor SC, and we made for the start line. With pages of instructions Ian was kept busy, and we eventually worked out the start sequence. Being last start helped, and we made a reasonable start in mid fleet. Much tacking took place, and it ultimately transpired that the right side of the course was shallowest and had the least tide against us. The Shrimper which went that way stole quite a lead, and we stole a solid second place when a group of Shrimpers completely spooned the rounding of the windward mark. We held position to the wing mark and the downwind leg, where the race ended. It had been fun, and Ian and Lyn had enjoyed themselves – as had the Skipper.
Another stunning day dawned; clear blue sky and a rock solid F4 from the south. We set sail with Nettie’s owner, Richard, for a blast out into Falmouth Bay. It was a brilliant sail and we had the rail dipped quite often – something which is banned when the Skipper’s wife is on board. She was on Gyllingvase beach though, and could see us racing past on our way back in.
We played out until around 2pm, then headed back to moor alongside Nettie for a late lunch, and to measure the depth of water at low tide. The berthing officer wanted to know the actual depth of the Spring low. Richard had all the kit so it didn’t take too long.
Once completed Richard was dropped at the pontoon, and since it was still a fabulous day we set off again for another foray out into Falmouth Bay. This time the breeze seemed to have picked up a notch, so we turned and headed back to Mylor, having poked our nose into St Mawes first.
It was a fairly cloudy day with F3 to 4 Southeries, so we set off for Percuil. We left a little late so had to contend with quite a but of spray caused by wind over tide. However, once round the Lugo cardinal the surface became much smoother, and we carried sail through the moorings, past Place House and in into the river.
It was now much calmer, and we dropped sails and motored into the narrows at Percuil and picked up a free mooring. A couple of swans were very quick to visit – and scare First Mate Nicky.
The tide continued to ebb and adjacent boats started to hit bottom in this Spring low. We made a sharp exit, motoring to St Mawes, raising full sail and heading directly for Mylor. It was a lovely sail back on the now rising tide.
Not too much to report today, other than the fact that the best sailing time of the day was wasted strolling around St Mawes looking at hotels and eating cream teas. The sun was out, it was warm, and it was blowing up to 20kts. I was tied to a pontoon. By the time we were ready to sail it was overcast and cooler.
Nevertheless, at least we went out. We sailed on staysail and reefed main to Falmouth and dropped anchor just off Trago Mills. It was getting on for high water, and another meter and it would have topped the walls of the port. A buffet lunch was laid out on deck for the skipper, First Mate and Buoy Racer (well that’s what was written on his cap).
After lunch we blasted back with full sail with the Buoy Racer at the helm. He did very well, and even got the hang of surfing down the swell as we approached Mylor. Well done Max! We passed Aurora on the way back too – she’d had a marvellous sail back from Helford in the morning, and was now looking for somewhere to stay for the night.
20 miles all told
We arrived in Mylor on Saturday, but Force 6 and 7 from the east kept us ashore. Today was the first chance we had to go anywhere, so we though we should do some catching up. Aurora was in Falmouth, so we headed there first to meet up. We anchored just off the first and second marina’s in Falmouth as instructed, but it transpired that Aurora was in the third, so they were able to sneak out without us seeing them.
We set off after them and we crossed close to Black Rock, just after we’d had a very close encounter with a very large seal which popped its head up for us, then swam after us for a while.
A rather large seal came to see us
From this point we made good progress to windward, passing Ghylly, Swanpool and Maenporth beaches before making a few short tacks to get us into the Helford. Aurora had loads of kids onboard, and their aim wasn’t quite a true as it might have been, so they were a long way behind. They would be staying in Helford so had few time concerns, but we needed to get back so pulled into a lovely little cove where there were a number of small boats anchored. We dropped our hook too, and enjoyed a picnic lunch.
We were leaving Helford as Aurora was making her way in. We motored for a while before the wind filled the sails and we made 4kts OTG back to Lugo Rock off St Mawes, where we gybed and made Mylor Yacht harbour in one. This was supposed to have been the hottest day in the UK since 2006, but not in Cornwall it wasn’t. Never mind, it was a good day, and even the skipper’s mate enjoyed it.