Falmouth

Wednesday 17th August, we spent a comfortable night on the mooring in the inner harbour of the Fal, but were concerned about forecast of some really strong wind and heavy rain heading our way in the next few days. We were reassured that Bliss would be secure on the swinging mooring but the prospect of travelling to the shore and back in the dinghy, bailing out the rainwater between each trip, did not thrill us, so when a berth became available, rafted outside another yacht, we took it.

JPEG image



In fact, Thursday was a nice day, we had a lovely walk along the coast, a swim at Maenporth and a delicious lunch in the seafood restaurant on the hill leaving the beach, mussels and scallops, calamari, fries ...yum.
On Friday we had to leave the boat, we'd hired a car and were driving to Polzeath to meet some special friends from Suffolk. We needed to move our boat as the boat inside us wanted to move while we were away. By this time the wind had really started to pick up and navigating around the crowded marina was becoming tricky, the Berthing Master was pulling her hair out, VHF ch 12 was a constant buzz of yachts requesting moorings, the forecast was for 60 mph gusts and everyone was running for cover. Too late for a French yacht who limped in late morning minus her mast, lost when hit by a 50 knot gust the night before, the crew had had to hack-saw through all the rigging and jettison the lot, mast, rigging and sails, they were still in shock when they arrived in Falmouth, plenty of staff on hand to assist, and thankfully no injuries...a sobering thing to witness, they must have been terrified.

JPEG image



We keep bolt-croppers on board, in case this happens!

We had a few extra pairs of hands for our repositioning, I hadn't seen the space Chris had bagged and was quite surprised at his optimism, but who am I to question. He performed what I can only describe as the equivalent of a hand-brake turn into a space no more than a metre longer than the boat, whilst a woman on a neighbouring yacht was screaming "slow down, too fast, you're going too fast" he rammed Bliss into reverse and came to rest gently against the inside yacht, women swooned and men cursed his boat handling skills, unfortunately, our extra crew member had forgotten to secure his line before throwing it ashore, which lost us points, but overall, a very slick manoeuvre.
We picked up our hire car and drove to Polzeath, met Gee and Andrew on the beach, surf was up, we had a swim before heading back to the hotel. Andrew noticed he'd lost his front number plate and he and Chris went back to find it, meanwhile, spring high tide + wind had caused some bizarre conditions and a huge wave swept in from one side of the bay and flooded the far end of the beach which was the car -park! There were about 100 cars parked, and an ice-cream van, they were suddenly up to their sills in sea-water. As the water receded the car owners moved out, leaving the ice-cream van and a few others needing a team of about 20 volunteers clearing the beach, one last little car, whose owner had not appeared, but fortunately had not locked it was the last to be rescued, before it was swept out to sea. Fortunately all ended well in Polzeath. Sadly the same evening several people lost their lives around the country in these extreme weather and tidal conditions, the locals understand, but seasonal visitors don't realise exactly how powerful, unpredictable and deadly the sea can be.
We had a fantastic night, Gee had generously booked us a room, with a bed with about four times the surface area of our berth aboard Bliss, and....a bath. Sheer, unadulterated luxury. The evening, Andrew's birthday was celebrated in style, champagne, lobster, singing, it was fabulous.
Saturday morning and a thick head! Great night's sleep in our huge bed, I could hardly hear Chris's snores he was so far away. A swim in the indoor pool before breakfast and farewell to our hosts, they were returning to Suffolk and we, in no hurry to return to Bliss for now, walked the Coastal Path between Polzeath and Rock, recommended to us by Simon Rudland as the most delightful coastal walk...it was, particularly with the dramatic sea conditions.

JPEG image



JPEG image