49:36.91N 06:10.34W Shipping Lanes and land in sight

Tue 29 Jul 2014 11:34
Day 10 started in a flat, lifeless sea with the residue of fog around us. It really seemed that having lost the volume and depth of the ocean beyond the Continental Shelf it has lost its variety of life and especially the fabulous lapis blue. By afternoon the wind direction was perfect but we could do little with only 7 knots.
Signs of modern living;  the Arcadia glides gently by and a big wooden cable drum floats by worryingly close. It looks like a bed side on, from which an old gent in his white cotton nightcap might rise and wave. I am busy finishing The Lone Star Ranger and my next book will be The Little Coffee Shop in Kabul, about the lives of Afghan women. Ship spotting and PM sights fill our time nicely.
Day 11 02.30 am., I am on watch and we are off The Lizard, surrounded by lights, in fact it could be part of the RYA Offshore Practical light identifying test! Fishing boats changing course like water boatmen, another cruise liner moving at 8 knots and a coaster that passes between us. The Lizard Lighthouse flashing 3 every 15 seconds, shorelights doing their best to steel the limelight and to cap it all, a vessel showing vertical red and white lights and a portside navigation light. Aha, I think as I scan right with the binoculars and a suspicion becomes a fact when the vague outline of a smaller vessel carrying its own red, port light comes into view, a vessel being towed, well we won’t be going between those two.
In the new daylight we anchored in the area just outside the Visitors Marina after 2700 miles (nearer to 3000M over the ground) since we left Plymouth and 1220 miles from Santa Maria, Azores.
Many years ago I read every sailing adventure book on the shelf in Oadby library when I worked as a nanny for a few months. One of these was 117 Days Adrift, about Maurice and Maralyn Bailey’s experience surviving in their inflatable tender and liferaft after their yacht was sunk by a sperm whale in the Pacific. Just up from the quay there is a corner bookshop, and when I saw the book on the shelf just inside the door I thought it would be good for Rob to read it, to add to the experience of our close encounter. Further along the road we spied a curious pub up a side alley called the Bookstore Freehouse. I should mention we were on the lookout for a book on birds of the world’s oceans, instead we found ourselves seated in old cinema seats drinking Heligan Honey beer and enjoying the quirky human skull telephone and decapitated Barbie dolls hanging from the rafters. This was clearly a haunt of undergraduates from the university.
A few hours after Zoonie stopped we felt as if we had been running for a long time and then suddenly ended our race, put our heads down and hands on knees. In that first day we took two naps, one after scrambled eggs with smoked salmon for breakfast and the other after a beer and fish and chips at the Chain Locker for lunch. In the afternoon of our second day the harbour patrol came and instructed us to go into the marina, for no extra charge as the Lighter Naval Ship was going to leave late afternoon and another vessel would take its berth the following morning. They needed the anchorage area for the tugs to manoeuvre in. It was great watching the might of the little tugs making easy work of pulling The Lyme Bay out backwards.
As I lay awake early the next morning I sensed there was something big happening outside and was rewarded by seeing a naval Aviation Training Ship arrive as the sun rose above the hills of St Mawes. We continued to be steeped in maritime history as we wandered around the superb Falmouth Museum making a mental note to take grand children there at some point.