St. Ives from the boat
We thought we would have to clear Lizard Point too, then discovered that the marinas were all full in The Fal, it was Regatta week and consequently very busy, the first time ever we had been refused a berth in a marina, and not a good start to our South Coast passage. It had been difficult to get information about Penzance and Newlyn in Mount's Bay, but a call to the harbour master secured us a berth for a few nights, fantastic, we were so glad to be able to spend a bit of time there. Access to Penzance Harbour is restricted to two hours pre and an hour post high water, we anchored off St. Michael's Mount for lunch while we waited, rather a lovely picnic spot.
Cool as a cucumber, having negotiated Land's End in flat calm
Nice picnic spot...
Penzance has an interesting, working harbour, basic facilities, lots of boats rafted up, some in various states of repair. We were initially put outside another yacht on the far wall, the opposite side of the dock has four yachts abreast and on the south side seven or eight boats. Like Padstow there are no pontoons, no electricity either, a rather rickety ladder. We quite like the ramshackle, down-to-earth character of the place, I don't imagine they ever turn anyone away.
Following two days of sailing we needed to get out and explore and get some exercise, a plan was hatched..... we could walk the coastal path to Land's End, about 16 miles then catch the bus back, which is exactly what we did, it was fantastic. We set off on Monday morning as early as we could, there had been no-one aboard the yacht we were lying outside, so were concerned that if they were to return and want to leave we'd be blocking them in, apparently not a problem as harbour staff would move us, which is exactly what happened, when we returned inside boat had gone, we were up against the wall and a different boat outside us.
Our walk took us out of Penzance along the promenade to Newlyn, where we bought freshly made-to-order crab sandwiches for our lunch and blister plasters for Chris as his trainers had started to rub. On leaving Newlyn the path got interesting, winding it's way along the coast past the little harbour villages of Mousehole and Lamorna Cove, both of which I had spent holidays in many years ago with my family, felt quite nostalgic.
Swim at Porthcurno, busy, but worth it.
We stopped for our picnic in a tiny, gorgeous cove called....actually I can't remember, in fact it was so perfect perhaps it doesn't actually exist, maybe I dreamt it! Had a swim in the surf at Porthcurno and climbed up past the open-air theatre at Minack, amazing, we had seen it from the sea and wondered at the Ancient Greek amphitheatre appearance. Wow!
Onwards and upwards, always, we reached Land's End in time to catch the 17.40 bus back to Penzance, an interesting encounter between bus and combine harvester delayed our arrival back at boat, where a friend was joining us at 7pm. What a fabulous day. A bit of a downer was to discover on our return that I'd lost my watch, I took it off to swim and thought I'd put it in the back-pack, only to find it missing when we got back to the boat.
Tuesday morning, up early, bus to Porthcurno to search for watch, futile I know, but had to be done, and guess what....found it, where we'd hidden behind lifeguard hut to change. A happy ending!