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, 17 July 2021

The end of a brilliant trip

We sailed into Dartmouth yesterday, slightly overwhelmed by the number of boats out sailing and motoring! After two and a half months away and over 1820 nm sailed, it is good to be home, though we absolutely loved our time in Scottish waters so there's a tinge of sadness, too.

A little celebration on our return to our home mooring

The experience of crowed south-coast harbours did come as a shock; seeing yachts rafted three-abreast in Fowey and Dartmouth is a sign of how many people are cruising here rather than going to France, the Channel Islands and Ireland. These ports are, of course, fully geared-up to managing lots of yachts and will be enjoying the sudden financial bonus that all these visitors bring.

One harbour on our final few days stood out as being rather different, however. Newlyn, close to Penzance, is the only port offering access at all stages of tide on that stretch of the Cornish coast so it makes an obvious stop-off for boats heading between Falmouth and the Isles of Scilly. It could be a seriously popular sailing destination, an ideal place for a new marina to cater for the needs of those sailors who only feel comfortable when berthed somewhere that offers pontoons, electricity hook-ups, smart showers and a nice bistro. However, Newlyn's unashamedly a serious fishing port, home to fishing boats of all sizes and a very large wholesale fish market to manage their catches. Visiting yachts are tolerated rather than welcomed (and some yachties find this hard to deal with) but we managed to squeeze into a space and enjoyed the place.

Room only for a dozen or so yachts, surrounded by hundreds of fishing boats

Dartmouth, by contrast, is dominated by leisure craft; its fleet of perhaps twenty fishing boats, mostly small, is housed on a single pontoon, surrounded by yachts.

We've returned, of course, just as the hot, settled weather arrived so we've rarely seen the river so busy with visiting yachts.

Someone didn't get the memo about boat colour!

We'll be sad to be leaving Maunie after such a brilliant trip but we're looking forward to returning home to catch up with friends and neighbours and to enjoy the garden in full bloom. We'll get some shorted sailing trips in over the rest of the summer but, for the moment, this is Maunie signing off. Hope you've enjoyed the voyage.

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