From the Isles of Scilly it was another overnight passage to the river estuary of Falmouth Harbor, which proved to be a great place for us to visit friends, day sail, and as our intrepid instructor Ian likes to say, “pootle about”. This is a proper English phrase, you can look it up. Once again Diana took us in to anchor in the wee hours of morning. She was quite chuffed to have done this solo in the dark using the lights of navigational aids, and set the anchor all by her #womenwhosail self. Yeehaw!
We spent our nights peacefully anchored in St. Just Pool along a rural stretch of shoreline. Over the next few days we throughly criss-crossed the Carric Roads, exploring and practicing with close quarters maneuvers. A few friends from Diana’s time in London made the trip out to see us, but mostly we kept things on the down-low due to COVID. (Everyone was tested before coming aboard.)
Bow thrusters are so trendy these days, it seems even dinghies have them fitted, and suddenly, like smart phones, no one feels safe operating a boat without one. We decided against the thruster with Randonnée and it is not hard to be honest why – another huge expense. It sounds naive to even type this, but there is also an argument to be made for practicing seamanship that is reduced when one can toggle to spin their vessel around in circles. That thruster will undoubtedly decide to malfunction or fail right at a critical moment! Well anyway, we don’t have thrusters so to avoid causing damage when coming alongside, we decided to get really good* with spring lines and fenders instead. Also it should be mentioned that we are not fighting a traditional long keel. (*really good.. not quiiiiite there yet but working on it!)
With friends Heather and Corey aboard, Skipper Ian Thompson also joined us for an afternoon to run us through our paces with a series of docking and maneuvering drills as we pootled up the river Fal. We also reviewed crew overboard procedures while sailing downwind.
Along the way, we passed Tolverne Cottage, built in the 17th century for fishermen, it is said to have been the residence of General Eisenhower during D Day preparations. The Fal was one of the assembly points for American troops.
Our next visitor was Helen, another friend from years back in London. This was her first “real” time on a sailboat, and she was a champ on board. It was great to see her again.
We enjoyed the River Fal and can see how it magnetically pulls sailors to its shores. Cornish pasties, beer, friends, and sailing – who can complain? More pictures from our time in this fun spot:
Finally, as an extra it’s-such-a-small-world bonus, friends Finbarr and Jo (who had seen our posts on Instragram) realized we were all in the same area! As we departed to cross the channel again back towards France, they escorted us out of the bay in their RIB and took some great photos of Randonnée, including this post’s cover shot. We didn’t really get to visit but it was sure fun to yell and wave across the water. Until next time, folks!