We left Plymouth in thick fog at 0700 on Fri 7 Apr and headed out towards the breakwater. I’ll admit to being a bit apprehensive due to the poor visibility, but there was no need to worry as the fog began to clear as the breakwater came into view and by the time Cawsand Bay was abeam, visibility at sea was good.
We motor-sailed most of the way to Falmouth as the wind was light for the majority of the day, only picking up as we passed Dodman Point, at which point the engine was stopped and we sailed the rest of the way into Falmouth Harbour and up Carrick Roads to Mylor Yacht Harbour. The Staff at Mylor were very friendly and welcoming and, unlike other Falmouth marinas, they allowed us to pre-book a Visitor Berth. Also, the facilities at Mylor were excellent as was the meal we had on Saturday night at Castaways Restaurant.
During the day on Saturday we sailed up to Malpas, passing Trelissick Gardens, the Tregothnan Tea Plantation and King Harry Ferry amongst others. Sunday saw us head over to the Helford River which was an enjoyable sail despite the blustery weather and overcast skies. Helford was very quiet and the majority of the moorings were still vacant which allowed is to pick up a mooring for lunch just to the East of Frenchman’s Creek.
On Monday we headed home and what a sail it was! Leaving Falmouth at 0600 it was just getting light and the wind was gusty from the SW at approx Force 4 – 5. Under just headsail and engine we were making 6 knots over the ground in a lumpy following sea. As we passed Dodman Point the wind increased to Force 5 – 6 with the occasional gust at Force 7. I estimate that the swell was in the region of 3 metres with the odd breaking crest from the starboard quarter. Wash-boards were firmly in place and we were both clipped on with life jackets. Other than trips below for snacks, drinks and to update the log, we both remained on deck for the deck for the duration of the passage. I think we were both a bit apprehensive about the conditions and I did consider diverting to Fowey, but this would have resulted in a 4 – 5 mile passage with the sea on the beam, so standing on to Plymouth seemed more favourable. From about 1100 onwards conditions remained steady and despite the swell and breaking crests, Chione remained dry on deck throughout. The worst of the conditions were experienced off Penlee Point when the waves became quite steep and we had 10 minutes of surfing down the front of them. We were both relieved to get back alongside King Point Marina at 1400 when we had a well deserved (late) lunch. Storm Noa hit the following day and the wind and sea state that we experienced on the way back from Falmouth would have been a precursor!