Fowey - at last

St Barbara's Web Diary
Peter & Sue Goldsmith
Fri 26 Jun 2009 12:59

50:19.90N 4:38.00W

16.00 26th June

We left Fowey on the 8th of September 2003. It was a damp Monday morning and
a cruise ship was landing bemused passengers on the quay as we were leaving.
We were asked if we had our boarding cards! The Blue Water Rally was
to keep us away some 2 years. Now almost 6 years later we are back and with
so many stories to tell.

None of this would have happened without the encouragement from the
beginning and support throughout of my Admiral Sue. My heartfelt thanks go
to her.

Not that it was always easy, as the last 24 hours have proved. Yesterday we
were basking in the French sunshine and pleased with ourselves that we made
a classic passage of the notorious Chenal de Four. All we had to do was
cross the English Channel. The start was fine as the tide pushed us towards
Fowey and we settled in for a quiet night.

Wrong again. Hardly begun, with the First Mate recently turned in and
skipper on watch than we descended into thick fog. This was the beginning of
the traffic separation scheme off Ushant that is designed to organise ships
in to the equivalent of a dual carriageway. We were first to expect ships
from the north east but none came near. Must be our lucky night, but then
came the south west lane and just like buses, they all came at once. With
visibility just a few hundred yards at best we began to hear the fog horns.
Fortunately we have radar that can see in the fog, because we never saw a
single ship. Some passed within a quarter of a mile and some we had to slow
down for, or for others it was alter course. By the early hours of the
morning we had cleared the shipping lanes and visibility improved somewhat
but it was not a relaxing night.

And so with a rather grey morning we finished our crossing and return to
Fowey. In round numbers some 3000 miles covered this year from Turkey, 9000
miles from Turkey and 30,000 from Fowey. It feels really good to be back and
it just needs someone to ask us for our last UK port.

PS: On behalf of all the Crew who had the pleasure of sailing on St B with
Peter on the homeward bound legs from Thailand to Turkey in 2008 and from
Turkey to Fowey in 2009, we thank the skipper for his enduring patience,
expert seamanship, fortitude and determination to make the legs both
enjoyable and challenging. and above all, safe.