top of page

Seasick and we run aground

Padstow is one of the few harbours on the north coast of Cornwall which offers shelter to sailing vessels with a draft of 2 meters. For that very reason although being very picturesque in its own rights it is also an agreed place for guests to join us on our adventures. Our dear friends Willem and Irene undertake the journey from Muiden via Bristol to Padstow and fortunately have no delays in their complex journey and arrive an hour earlier than planned. After settling in on board Roland serves a delicious roast leg of lamb with veggies as a welcome dinner. The following morning we walk up the hill to the local Tesco to buy our provisions for the coming days on board. Padstow is the home of the famous TV chef and cookery writer Rick Stein, who is such big business in Padstow that we have given the town the nickname Padstein. As the Rick Stein seafood restaurant is fully booked for evening dinner we manage to get a table for a fantastic lunch in the Rick Stein Cafe.

After lunch we walk to the water front where a cricket match is in full swing on the Padstow sandbar - everyone seems to be taking the match quite seriously, however I believe that the players were drinking beer during the rest periods and not the traditional cup of English tea.

Our original onward routing from Padstow is directly to Saint Mary's on the Isles of Scilly a passage of 75 miles (approximately 15 hours at sea). We decide that this is too demanding for our guests on their first trip on board. Roland draws up plans for a shorter trip to an anchorage in the bay at Saint Ives only 35 miles - 7 hours at sea. For all concerned this turns out to be a very good decision as both our guests are seasick within two hours of departing Padstow. 7 hours is an eternity for anyone who is feeling seasick. Finally we reach the shelter of the bay in Saint Ives and drop the anchor in good holding.

As we sit together recovering from the trip we amend our plans and agree that we will no longer sail on to the Isles of Scilly. Instead Leontine and Roland will sail the next leg together around Land's End which can be very choppy indeed, and Willem and Irene will travel by bus/train from Saint Ives to Newlyn where they will join us again on board.

Our passage to Newlyn starts in fantastic sunshine, but changes abruptly into thick mist sinking us into a white world whereby keeping watch - looking and listening is essential. Fortunately the mist clears and we sail round Land's End safely and dock as planned in Newlyn, where our guests rejoin us on board.

Before we depart to Falmouth Leontine gives Irene one of her special anti-seasick plasters (Scopoderm) and we set off in much more friendly breeze and sea-state for what turns out to be a very comfortable passage. We worm our way through the massive mooring field and find a berth in the Falmouth Marina.

Before leaving the following morning Roland checks with the harbour master as to whether their are any depth restrictions we should be aware of. The harbour master confirms that all is fine for a 2 meter draft. As we leave the marina towards the buoyed channel 15 meters away we run aground! In no time the harbour master appears in his motor boat and tows us back to deeper water, he then explains that we should motor on beside the buoyed channel and not in it for the next 100 meters!

During our trip we are treated to a great show of wildlife: porpoises, dolphins and minke whales. After a lovely downwind sail we arrive in Fowey, which is in the middle of its annual regatta and is alive with a buzz of activity. We are shown to a mooring buoy by a friendly harbour master, and settle down to enjoy Fowey, the town where we bought our boat in April 2017.

As is true in so many towns Fowey has its own history and traditions, one of these traditions which in fact on the day of our visit is celebrating its 50th anniversary: the Fowey Town band. One of the key conditions to become a member of the band is that you must not be able to play any musical instrument at all. Band members are issued with official Fowey Band tin drums but members must supply their own drum sticks, these are often sawn off broom handles. An incredible sight and cacophony.

The following day, while Willem and Irene go for a long walk, Roland picks up Lucy, David and Stan in WR4tje and we welcome them on board before being taken out for a yummy pub lunch in town, after which we go and explore Padstow further.

On Saturday morning it is time for Willem and Irene to return home and Roland brings them to shore in the WR4tje. After a few preparations we are ready to slip our lines and say goodbye to Fowey, a beautiful town.

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page