Tuesday 14th/Wednesday 15th May.
How things can change in 24 hours! The forecast for the night of Wednesday 15th was for a deep low to pass over us with winds predicted to be up to storm force 10. We were glad that the Salcombe Harbour master allowed to stay firmly tied up to the Normandy Pontoon by the town to give us a firm hold on terra firma and some shelter.
It certainly blew but by about 1 AM things got quieter and we slept soundly.
Wednesday morning and the sun showed signs of coming out, the winds gradually reduced. We decide to sail to the Helford River on the Lizard peninsular some 50 miles away. Whilst waiting for the tide to turn west at midday and the seas to calm down after the previous storm, we prepared sandwiches and a sausage supper for the evening as we we likely to be sailing until about 9 pm.
We set reduced sails and set out. As the wind was from the north west we sailed a little south of west, passing about 5 miles south of the infamous Eddystone Rock and lighthouse (the fourth to be built on this rock – the first one blew down taking the lighthouse keeper with it). The sailing gradually got easier and the sun started to shine – a real welcome change.
By about 8 pm we were close to the Lizard but a bit too far south as the wind had pushed us that way, so we lit the oven and motored into the Helford and dropped anchor off Durgan in the last of the twilight. The sausage supper was hot and soon eaten with a celebratory glass of wine.
Thursday 16th May
Thursday dawned sunny with a gentle breeze.
The Helford is a delightful spot – very tranquil. Daphne DuMaurier set some of her romantic novels here, the most famous probably being Frenchman’s Creek, which is a small creek off the Helford above the village of Helford.
These days the Duchy of Cornwall derives much profit from over a million oysters from this river.
We decide to sail round the Lizard to Newlyn.
It should have been a good sail with light winds but contrary to the forecast the winds fell away so we motored round the Lizard.
Half way across Mounts Bay we were delighted to be “buzzed” by a pod (School?) of porpoises who stayed with us for some time, playing dare under our boat and riding the bow wave, whistling to each other.
After this excitement we reach Newlyn Harbour, which is a busy fishing harbour that apparently lands the biggest catch in the UK. The new pontoons were installed for the smaller fishing craft with EU Fishing Funds so sailing boats such as our take second place. That said, we get a very friendly welcome, which seems to be the norm in this area.
Tomorrow (Saturday) we plan to sail round Lands End to Padstow, which will be new territory for all of us and a long day sail starting at 6 AM.
Miles from Salcombe to Helford: 59 miles
Miles from Helford to Newlyn: 39 miles
Miles to date: 128 miles
Fair winds to you all
Yvonne, John & Paul