Summer Cruise 2006

Leg 1 - Falmouth to Penzance
I hate to admit it, but yes, we’re still in Penzance! Once more history repeats itself, and after a very brief foray to the Isles of Scilly, we returned to Penzance, our tail between our legs and the promise of strong southerly winds.

 The weather did not disappoint, and so 9 days after locking into Penzance wet dock, we still find ourselves here, knawing our left arm off to get away. I’m sure you’re all aware of the obnoxious weather we’ve recently had.

 Still, I’m not really one to complain. The radio tells us of ‘Round the world yachts’ being abandoned, the ‘Santander ferry’ being damaged by freak waves, a Spanish trawler sinking west of the Scillies and various other casualties of the ‘South West 7-8 occasionally 9, possibly storm force 10 in North Biscay’!

 No, we’re very happy to be here, especially as the wind shrieks overhead, and unduly large waves form in our sheltered dock.

We are kept amused by our little, ever changing community. Next to us on our inside are ‘Tom’ and ‘Louise’, on their own built yacht ‘Selene’.  They are trying to make the Scillies where they would like to spend the summer. ‘Tom’ brews ‘homebrew’, and so is always a welcome guest over here, and it’s not a bad drop either.

 On our other side we have had an interesting range of guests;

 Firstly ‘Jaques’, the fine Frenchman also on his own built yacht. He runs cruises from ‘Brest’ to ‘The Scillies’ on his yacht ‘Lord Jim 2’ and was forced to do a crew change here in Penzance. His latest crew were a mixed bunch of middle aged businessmen from around ‘Paris’. They were very friendly, and put up with me practicing my ‘Beginners’ French on them. In retaliation, they all regularly stomped loudly across our decks (stomp, stomp stomp) as they went for their daily ‘douches’ and ‘toilette’.

We had a brief respite after ‘Jaques’ and his merry boat finally departed, but were quickly taken on by the Royal Navy on the RNAS Culdrose Yachts, ‘Galahad’ and ‘Swordfish’. Now they really did stomp, one by one over the boat for a quick ‘dobie’ (stomp, stomp stomp), and where there’s a ‘dobie’, there is generally a ‘run ashore’ (stomp, stomp, stomp).

Still, they were pretty good until deciding on an 04:30am departure. We were awoken rudely with yet more stomping, the sound of sails being dragged on deck and singling of warps. The departure was in true military fashion, precise commands were given at a level that fishermen in Newlyn could hear.

Skipper:‘Standby to slip bow line’
Crew: ‘Standing by’
Skipper: ‘Slip Bow line’
Crew: ‘Bow line slipped’
Skipper: ‘Bow line slipped ???’
Crew: ‘Bow line all slipped skipper’

 and so it went on, just at 100 decibels too loud for 04:30 in the morning.

However, all was not lost. The beauty of being a ‘cruising’ person is you can do what you like, and if a seven o’clock get up is not required, then don’t get up at 07:00. The zzz’s can be caught up, and you roll out of bed at a very civilised 09:00am.

On one occasion, the morning was so miserable that is really wasn’t worth getting up at all, so having fought about who was to make the tea, we spent the morning lounging under the duvet reading ‘The Da Vinci’ code and doing Sudoku puzzles. We eventually surfaced at 11:00am to be promptly invited over to our neighbours for coffee and bacon sandwiches. Pure decadence, and don’t we just love it!

However, don’t think we’re completely lazy. We have been a little productive. In sheer desperation of things to do, we bought a rather tacky CD rack from Argos, which we screwed under one of our shelves. We also bought some little LED automatic lights from B&Q so we can see what’s in our deepest and darkest cupboards! – As you see, a hive of industry…

Still, after 9 days we have hope. It looks like we may get away over the weekend, with the promise of light to moderate northerly winds. Sounds good, but I have to admit we just don’t trust this Cornish weather.

Anyhow, enough of this rambling. There’s so much stuff to do…

Now were did I put the corkscrew…?



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