Onward to Falmouth

Falmouth Leg

Note on the past: The Penlee lifeboat, the Soloman Browne, was lost with all hands whilst endeavouring to rescue crew from a stranded freighter near St. Michel’s Mount on 19th December 1981 in Force 12 winds and 60 foot waves!  Since then the people of Mousehole, who lost several of their men, turn the village’s Christmas lights off at 8 pm for an hour, on the anniversary of this tragedy.

Fowey exit

Fowey exit

A sleepless night in Fo(we)y drove me out, bound for Falmouth next morning though the forecast of F5 -7, on the nose and rough seas was not encouraging.  Age has taught me that when very tired, take things slowly … talk yourself through a task.  Something like:  “kneel, two three, undo clove hitch, two, three, stand, two, three..” this means less cussing and less chance I find, of missing something and so it was that we were in pretty good order as we headed out into a grey morning.

I cannot remember seeing any boats bashing westwards since leaving Weymouth, but some going the other way running comfortably before the strong winds.  Today I had for company a racing fleet surging East, scattered like frothing, colourful counters across a huge chequer board.  Some skippers were taking it very seriously and sailed their boats beautifully.

Frankly I won’t bore you with details of another “crash, two, three; rock, two three; roll two three; splash, two three …” journey.  Tedious for you and for me, as we ploughed our furrow through 3 metre waves with an irritatingly short fetch.  Anyway my chinograph pencil marks inched inexorably across the chart; Mevagissey Bay, Dodman Point (where my nosebag was immersed), Gull Rock, Nare Head, Manacles Buoy (left to port) – all came and went and at last, 5 hours later, St. Anthony‘s Head which sits opposite Pendennis Point and hides the entrance to Falmouth and St. Mawes.   In the rainy greyness it was a little difficult to pinpoint the way in, but Black Rock and the huge towering grey flanks of two RN Fleet Auxiliaries to port served as excellent marks.




Closing Falmouth

Closing Falmouth

As I closed the Falmouth Yacht Haven I saw a boat I thought I recognised from salty articles in Yachting Monthly, so I smiled and waved as we puttered past.  I must have looked sufficiently dead beat and useless as the charming mature lady crew member came over to take my lines, with a welcoming smile. Mind you I suspect her smile might have been caused by the sight of my crash helmet under-which lurked my woolly hat, which had slipped rather fetchingly down over my eyes.  The Falmouth Visitors’ Yacht Haven was almost empty because none of the boats that had pre-booked had turned up because of the weather.

He didn't look too well!

He didn’t look too well!

Next day we refuelled before the weather made it difficult and I was lucky enough to meet Martin, a Falmouth resident, moored next door.  Having spent too long trying to repair my shore power system, he took pity on me and cheerfully volunteered to take over and made a much better job of it than I, all for the price of 2 cups of coffee.  I offered him one of my bully beef sarnies, but he apparently hadn’t eaten breakfast or lunch since he was 18, 48 years ago!  I just could not do that!  Talking of bully beef, I was disappointed to note I had purchased the lean variety – very bland.

Falmouth is a great place to be storm bound and the marina is equipped with the usual mod cons such as showers.  It is amazing what one sometimes finds in public showers – like the very posh pair of bright green gentleman’s trousers with a set of Calvin Kleins, which sadly were not my size.  The overnight charge, inclusive of VAT and electricity was £23.64, which seems par for the course, but makes me grateful that A-Jay is a relatively petite lady, though she does have a big bum.

He's been here a while!

He’s been here a while!

My other neighbour has a much larger yacht of similar shape and there isn’t much to spare between the posterior of each yacht.

Two big bummed ladies

Two big bummed ladies

Guest book entry J:

05&06/05/2015                 Falmouth                                                            Cousin Peter, wife Jo and family

It was great to catch up with fellow Willi, Peter, Jo, Michael, Mary, Anna and little Luke and we shared a lovely supper at their home and tonight will dine this evening at the Chain Locker where they serve Cornish ales such as Doom Bar, Honey Heligan and Cornish Knocker.   Of these three, one is the odd one out –   Doom Bar is also the name of the bar I have to cross at Padstow.  I am only slightly less alarmed, to discover that its name is derived from the word Dune, rather than deadly danger.

Lovely Falmouth

Lovely Falmouth

I have this thing about Aussies and Kiwis; I have an unshakeable belief that they are all tough, no nonsense capable types – a bit like the ‘Aussie’ dressed in T shirt and shorts who emerged out of a New Year blizzard at the top of a Lake District pass and helped push us out of the snow, a few years back.  Today a huge slab sided sailing catamaran rocked up.  The Aussie skipper politely refused my offer of help as he was an instructor and, with the nearside bow attached to the pontoon and the boat streamed out at 90°, his crew member put the helm over and reversed against the warp and amazingly the monstrous boat swung obediently alongside despite the stiff breeze.

Yanni stripped bare

Yanni stripped bare

It is important to thoroughly check bilges and engine regularly, a job I dislike but I felt I could put it off no longer.  My check revealed 1.5 gallons of diesel tainted liquid, most of which had oozed from the fuel tank top fittings when filled to the brim – something to keep an eye on.  Having removed the engine box, my check list went something like:

Oil level –check

Coolant level – check

Pipes – check

Pipe joints and connectors – check

Fan belts – check

Water pump visual – check

Engine mounts – check

Leaks – check

Sail drive gasket – check (the boat might sink if this fails)

Sail drive sea cock open and not seized – check

Raw water strainer – check

Oil filter – check (from water)

I believe in a rewards based routine on-board, so a real Cornish pasty was consumed with gusto.

The Met Office says tomorrow will be F4 W/WSW (booo!) and the sea will probably still be lumpy from these gales – but hey!  What’s new?!  So unless things change drastically, we’ll set forth for Penzance, about 35 nautical miles to the West……


Toot toot!!



The wind blew his strawberry plants over

The wind blew his strawberry plants over







By ajay290

5 comments on “Onward to Falmouth

  1. Now getting your blogs on a regular basis.Great narratives, enjoyable reading and excellent photography – thank you. One small question, did you load any fishing gear before departing Guernsey ? You should be dining regularly on delicious Cornish mackerel ! God speed old mate and keep those fascinating blogs coming. Eric

  2.  Hi John


    always great to read your despatches – the adventure of a lifetime! Sounds like typical English weather and really heavy going. I'm not sure I'd venture out of harbour with force 7 and heavy seas. I suppose it's difficult just to turn round and go the other way… Here it's been not so bad, but north Germany has just had some hefty storms and poor old Rostock was hit by a tornado. Luckily I doubled up the mooring lines on Rajas at the weekend, have heard nothing from the harbour master so assume the boat's still there. 


    Your adventures are widening my horizons somewhat. I was planning on Copenhagen and back, but now it's going to be longer…. just the question whether Denmark or Sweden needs to be solved….  When are you planning on being in Dublin?


    Here's hoping the winds change for you and do take care!  Nigel


    Gesendet: Mittwoch, 06. Mai 2015 um 16:55 Uhr Von: ajay290 <comment-reply@wordpress.com> An: nigel.willis@gmx.de Betreff: [New post] Onward to Falmouth

    ajay290 posted: "Falmouth Leg Note on the past: The Penlee lifeboat, the Soloman Browne, was lost with all hands whilst endeavouring to rescue crew from a stranded freighter near St. Michel’s Mount on 19th December 1981 in Force 12 winds and 60 foot waves!  Since then th"

  3. Glad to hear you made Falmouth safely and thinking of you as you wend your way to Penzance. Go and see St Mary’s if time and tide allow.


    Paul and Lindsey

    Sent from my iPad


    • Hi Lindsey and Paul,

      Just got to Penzance and likely to be stuck a while for weather to improve. I’ll definitely take a look at st. Mary’s 🙂

      Thank you

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