Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall. After a six-year adventure sailing from Dartmouth to Australia, we are now back in Britain.

Saturday, 12 September 2020

More gentle sailing and some old friends reunited

 A period of prolonged, settled and sunny weather has meant that the sailing hasn't been great but it has allowed us to explore and enjoy the wonderful Cornish scenery. A couple of days at anchor in Falmouth allowed us to catch up with our Best Man, Simon, plus Kerry and their daughters Belle and Charlie.  We also saw a familiar vessel in the docks:

The World - a ship co-owned by about 200 residents who buy apartments or 'studios' (costing from £800k to £7.5M, if you're interested) to live full or part-time aboard the ship while it circles the globe. We last saw her in Sydney but Covid-19 has brought the whole show to a halt. The owners, guests and most of the crew had to disembark in March and the ship has been laid up in Falmouth since May. 

In perfect sunshine, we motored up the Fal to Restronguet creek, home to more millionaires with their awesome waterfront properties plus the lovely Pandora Inn. We anchored between the permanent moorings but it was a tight squeeze so were delighted when a couple came over in a dinghy and offered us the use of their empty mooring.

Restroguet Creek
Alfresco drinks and lunch on the pontoon at the Pandora Inn

Our next stop was St Mawes where the anchorage was very quiet. We could re-provision in the tiny but well-stocked Co-op store and then enjoy the sunset.

We then moved on, all of about five miles, to the Helford River - another memorably beautiful spot.

On a visitors' mooring on the Helford River

The pretty hamlet of Helford

Of course, we had to have a cheeky beer at the Shipwrights Arms

Our sailing adventures always seem to involve an improbable coincidence so we shouldn't have been surprised when we were hailed by a couple in a dinghy as they passed our mooring. Sally and Mike sailed their boat, Jacaranda, around the world in a very quick two years and we watched them sail off towards Panama when we were in St Lucia. They now have a new boat and a dog, so it was wonderful to catch up with them over a couple of drinks. 

We also arranged to meet up with Melaine and Chris, whom we first met in New Zealand several years ago. They live locally, so we had a great pub lunch with them and they came aboard for coffee. It's good to keep these contacts going!

To bring things up to date, today we had a gentle sail back across to Falmouth and up the river to a visitors' pontoon about 2 miles from Truro. It's a magical spot but the river delivers some surprises as you get into the narrow but deep upper sections:

The King Harry chain ferry

A couple of moth-balled car transporter ships moored in the river, waiting for an upturn in international trade

The visitors' pontoon, with a lovely wooden pilot cutter moored up

Traditional wooden gaffer to the right and a modern fibreglass one to the left

A perfectly calm evening

All good things must come to an end, unfortunately, so we have to start thinking about heading back to Dartmouth. The long-range forecast threatens strong easterlies in a few days, which wouldn't be great for us, so we'll probably start heading east on Sunday to stay ahead of them. We'll be sorry to leave this part of Cornwall, though.

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