|Poole to Weymouth
||Sailing Derek H's new boat back towards the Exe. Stage 2 of the journey from Poole to Weymouth. The boat is a rather nice Westerley Fulmar.
Fairly large tides so we took the offshore route around the overfalls at St Albans Head.
|St Anthonys Head
||On to Trewince camp site and one of Liz's favourite walks - around St Anthonys Head.
Stunning views - some of the early photos could be of the Mediterranean.
After going past the light house at the end of St Anthony's Head the walk is then along the eas
|St Anthonys Head
||Liz's second favourite walk. Around St Anthony's Head on the east side of the Fal Estuary. Scooby enjoyed himself immensely but had to be reduced to "two paw drive" when passing a herd of cows on the cliff edge,
|St Anthony Head hound walk
||Too windy for canoeing (F5/6 from the east) so a yomp with the hound around St Anthony Head. Top walk with just about the right amount of up and downiness.
|Cawsand to Rame Head
||Lizzies favouritist ever walk and by default Scoobys too. From the carpark in Cawsand to the hermits house on Rame Head and then back to the Devonport Arms for lunch.
|Lizzie bike ride
||First ride ride for Lizzie for some time after a period off due to lurgies.
||A new take on another of Liz's favourite walks - to Rosemullion Head (between the Fal and the Helford).
Scooby allowed us to just sit a read for a hour or so while watching the strange floaty things out to sea).
Then back via Mawnan Smith with the walk extended a bit as Scooby couldn't be trusted to cross a field full of cows - even on a lead!
|Cawsand to Rame Head
||A drive from one side of Cornwall to the other to do Lizzies favourite walk.
The rain and fog from north Cornwall didnt make it down to the south coast to affect this walk from Cawsand to Rame head and back again.
|Brixham to Exe
||A lovely day sail on Derek H's Fulmar.
First a quick trip with Liz on board round Berry Head. Mostly motor sailing and watching the wildlife.
Then, after dropping Liz off back in Brixham, a sail back up to SYC on the Exe. Light winds - but enough to sail most of the way. A chance to "play" with some of setup on Thalmia including the cruising chute and a think about how a preventer might be rigged.
|Maenporth Beach, Rosemullion Head and the Helford
||A walk from Maenporth Beach via RoseMullion Head and the Helford. Summer finally arrived on the last day of our summer holidays! Beautiful views from Rosemullion Head including some of the C Class catamarans preparing for their race series out of Restronguet.
||Liz's favourite walk and Scooby was quite keen too.
Protected from the strong westerly winds until finally climbing to the hermit's house at the end of Rame Head
||Liz's favourite walk! A visit after a weekend in Lostwithiel with Richard & Helen to take in Motorhead and The Stranglers at the Eden Sessions.
As I was wandering along the coastpath, I was idly wondering whether I've seen Motorhead more times that Liz has "dragged" me along the coastpath to Rame Head.
It's a difficult one to call but I would guess I've been to Motorhead about 20 times (19 times with Richard T). I would guess that I've walked the Cawsand to Rame head path about 15 times (15 times with Lizzie W). So Motorhead are just in front. After the Motorhead performance on Saturday at the Eden Project, I'm guessing that Rame Head walks are going to catch up soon.
Dog tried to eat cliff top ponies - ponies disagreed with concept - I had to explain error in thinking to dog.
|Rame Head - again!
||The "Tribby" (our camper van) hadn't been moved for a couple of months so we too it on a road trip down to Cornwall. Liz's favourite walk - from Cawsand to Rame Head and back again.
|Sabbacombe Head to Kingswear
||From Coleton Fishacre (actually Coleton Camp) down to Sabbacombe Head and then along the coast path past Froward Point and on to near Kingswear. A lot of ups and downs - big ups and downs!
|Cawsand to Rame Head
||Lizzie's favourite walk - again!
After driving through a torrential downpour in Plymouth, the walk from Cawsand to Rame Head was mostly sunny with about F5 winds.
||Four beaches in one walk - Scooby in doggie heaven.
In the campervan at the very nice Trehias Parm Camping - near Trevose Head (just west of Padstow).
Walk via Treyarnon Bay, Constantine Bay, Long Cove and Harlyn Beach - all dog friendly beaches.
|Maker to Rame Head
||The usual walk from Cawsand to Rame Head - only slightly longer as we had the campervan up on Maker Heights. A gloriously hot sunny day at the start of April.
|Cawsand to Rame Head
||From Cawsand to Rame Head and back. Scooby pulled like a bxxxxxd much of the way especially when trying to say hello to the horses by the hermits cottage on Rame Head.
|St Mawes - Falmouth
||From St Mawes up to where it starts to get muddy and then back towards the Fal estuary
|St Davids and back
||Into Exeter St Davids with Liz to pick up some train tickets. Coffee on the Quay on the way back (where police divers were searching the river for a missing person).
|CI & France 2015 - St Malo to Guernsey
||A sail back from St Malo to Guernsey. Quite a hard sail as there were some short steepish waves that slowed the boat speed considerably for quite a time. The wind was also from the north meaning that we were "pinching" for quite a lot of the time. As we passed Jersey the wind picked up and freed a little making for an excellent 2nd half of the sail into St Peter Port on Guernsey
|Rock, Padstow and Stepper Point
||Staying at the rather nice (but rather expensive) campsite directly overlooking Polzeath beach, we drove down to Rock and caught the ferry over to Padstow.
Padstow was heaving with tourists as expected (even on a Thursday in the middle of September). We then walked on past the famous Doom Bar and on to Stepper Point (on the west side of the entrance to the Camel Estuary).
Then back along the sands of the Doom bar at low water to give Scooby hound a run.
|In St Peter Port
||After the previous day's exertions, this was a "rest day" in St Peter Port ahead of the next day's early set off back to the UK.
Did the one-pound-round-the-island bus trip and got off at the south west corner to have another look at the fearsome rocks near Les Hanois light house.
Dinner at The Boathouse - top fish soup.
|Lizzie birthday walk to Rame Head
||From Cawsand to Rame Head on a Lizzie big birthday. Drinking champagne at the end of Rame Head in a hail storm in January!
|St Just to Lands End
||An excellent walk from St Just to Lands End. Lands End was just as tacky as I remember it from many years ago and the cost of 2 singles and a dog on the 300 bus service back to St Just was just breath taking. But top walk overall.
Gwenver Beach which is a short walk from Sennen Cove makes it into Scoobys top 3 beaches list
|St Peter Port to St Helier
||A really good sail from St Peter Port on Guernsey across to St Helier on Jersey.
Along the south coast of Jersey where the usual past times of spotting the German 2nd World War defences and avoiding the Condor fast ferries passed the time nicely.
|St Peter Port to St Helier
||A lovely sail from St Peter Port on Guernsey across to St Helier on Jersey. Ideal winds and weather.
|Cape Cornwall and Cornish mining
||Cape Cornwall is where the tides divide between the English Channel and the Bristol Channel. Apparently.
The post industrial Cornish mining landscape has been the subject of thousands of photographs but is still very impressive if somewhat melancholy.
||Back to Rock (opposite Padstow) for a slightly soggy walk along to the mouth of the Camel Estuary.
Visited St Endoc Church - the last resting place of John Betjeman - and considered his lifetime's regret!
Expensive lunch in the cafe above Rock Beach lifeboat station!
|2011 Channel Islands trip - Brixham to St Peter Port
||From Brixham marina across to St Peter Port Guernsey. Across the traffic separation scheme and down the Little Russel arriving at St Peter Port at about 2300
||Another new take on a favourite walk. From Treen, via St Levans, Porthgwarra and on to Gwenapp Head (just along from Lands End and happily not touched by the awful tat at Lands End).
We could see the rain showers getting blown in from the Atlantic - but as they were mostly horizontal it was possible to keep mostly dry by sheltering behind lumps of granite.
|Malpas and St Clement
||A shortish walk round Malpas and St Clement. Found a good canoe launching slipway just south of Truro at Sunny Corner Quay. Seafood platter for lunch at The Heron in Malpas was good.
|Rosemullion Head and Mawnan
||Round Rosemullion Head and back via Mawnan Smith. Lovely walk but the plan was slightly spoilt as the midges on the Head put paid to the idea of reading there for a couple of hours.
|CI & France 2015 - St Malo to Dinan
||From the Port des Sablons marina at Saint Servan (next to St Malo), a sail up the river Rance to the medieval town of Dinan. The trip took us through the hyrdro-electric barrage lock. Anchored near St. Suliac for a spot of lunch (OK - to wait for the tide to rise) and then up through the lock at Chatelier. After this lock the river becomes a bit more canal like. Moored up at Dinan and explored the well preserved walled medieval town of Dinan.
Dinan is twinned with Exmouth! No idea why...
|Channel Islands - Brixham to Guernsey
||A south about sail round Guernsey to St Peter Port. The wind couldnt have been better such that we got to St Peter Port Victoria Marina beforer the sill closed meaning that dinner at La Perla was on.
Unfortuantely only the 2nd half of the track was saved on the GPS. Average speed an estimate as GPS time data lost.
|St Helier to St Quay Portrieux
||After a light wind start, a lovely sail down from St Helier, Jersey to St Quay Portrieux on the Brittany coast. Sailed under cruising chute for most of the way. St Quay has the huge advantage of being an "all tide" port (i.e. no need to wait for there to be enough water over a marina cill).
|St Quay to Ile De Brehat
||Up from St Quay-Portreaux to Ile de Brehat. The Ile de Brehat is a small island on a rocky shore. Somewhat similar to Sark (no cars and a very small population like Sark but no cliffs).
|St Peter Port to Sark
||A lovely sail from St Peter Port, Guernsey across to Dixcart Bay, Sark.
Having seen, from the sea, the high, narrow path from Sark to Little Sark (La Coupee - Google it) I'd never have thought that I'd actually walk across it. Worth it though for some of the photos taking looking back to Guernsey and Herm. The ship that can been seen in some of the photos of the yachts at anchor is believed to be the Patricia seen two days previously off Torbay!
|Iles Chausey to St Helier
||Out from the Iles Chausey via the northern passage. Look carefully at the chart and you'll see that the passage dries to a height of up to 4.5 metres! However, with a tidal range of 10 metres and the excellent French navigational markers and transits (which again can be seen on the chart at higher zooms), the passage pilotage was fine.
Iles Chausey was exceptional - a truly stunning place. What wasn't so good was all the flies that migrated from the rocks that were covered at high water and hitched a ride on the boats all the way to Jersey.
At Jersey, we anchored in St Aubins Bay waiting for enough water over the cill at St Helier marina.
|St Mawes to St Just In Roseland
||A circular walk round part of the Roseland Peninsula in Cornwall.
From St Mawes up along the estuary to the old churchyard at St Just In Roseland. Then back inland to St Mawes. Stopped at Pineapple bay - at least that's what the sign there called it!
|St Peter Port to SYC
||A very fast sail back from St Peter Port, Guernsey to SYC on the Exe. For most of the way the wind was quite strong - maybe a force 5 - but was on the port rear quarter. This meant that most of the sail was done with just a small amount of reefing and lots of sailing down the following waves. Long and tiring - but fun! The speed meant that we were unexpectedly back at the Exe before low water so we were able to sneak in and be back on the mooring at SYC just before it got dark.
|To St Davids and back
||Slightly longer cycle ride today to make up for doing the last 2.5 miles yesterday by car (due to having broken three spokes on the rear wheel).
So it was on the "spare bike" today which I hadn't ridden in about a decade. That's a Ridgeback Genesis Day 2. I stopped riding it as the estuary path used to be too rough for it. With the new cycle way its an ideal bike.
At maybe a couple of stone lighter than the normal bike (with its panniers etc) and with no breeze at all, it felt like cheating.
Keeping up with Liz was much easier than the last couple of time!
|Treguier to St Peter Port
||A long, hard "slog" back from Treguier to St Peter Port. The trip started with some wind against tide coming back down the river/estuary from Treguier to the sea. After this, the progress past Ile de Brehat was, as expected, very slow as we fought the now Spring tides (needs must to make the Guernsey tidal gates). The plan had been to again go between the Plateau des Roches-Dovres and the the Plateau de Barnouic. However, as we got close another look at the tidal atlases led to a re-plan and we eased off to go north of them and, as the wind picked up, we flew along with the stanchions and toe rails under water. With the wind just off the nose we didn't want to reef the genoa so we bounced along happily making progress towards Les Hanois. Getting close to Guernsey we changed to motor sailing to "make" St Martins Point and then up the Little Russel to St Peter Port. A long day's sailing!
Met up with Jonathan G (back from Gorey and St Helier) for a second night at La Scala. SYC yotties will be shocked to hear that the owner is selling up!
|CI & France 2015 - St Peter Port to SYC
||A stonkingly fast sail back from St Peter Port to Starcross Yacht Club on the Exe. Plans changed late as we were concerned about getting back to SYC before predicted high winds late on the Saturday night (also trying to miss low water on the Exe). So up at the hideously early hour of 02:30 and up through the Little Russell channel in the dark. The Little Russell was just a tad "bouncy". After a couple of hours of motor sailing (to keep up the average speed as required), the wind picked up a bit and started to back round to the west. The final third of the sail was with 14 to 20 knots (force 5ish) of wind aft of the port beam and with full sails up. Derek's Sadler averaged over 5.4 knots - way ahead of what we could have hoped for. Back on the mooring by about 18:30 - maybe 3 hours ahead of planned.
|CI & France 2015 - Gorey to St Malo France
||From Gorey on Jersey down to St Malo in France. Along the Violet Channel and then straight on through the rocky shallows that extend from the south east corner of Jersey. As soon as the motor was off we were joined by a pod of about 6 to 8 large dolphins who stayed playing with the boat for about half an hour. Then between the Minquiers and Ile Chausey reefs and on to St Malo.
Note - the pictures that appear to be blank sea are actually photos of dolphins if you look hard enough!
|CI & France 2015 - St Peter Port to Dixcart Bay
||A lovely sail across from St Peter Port on Guernsey to Dixcart Bay on Sark. Climbed the path to the village on Sark but the ice cream shop was shut! Had to make do with a pint in the pub. Spent the night at anchor in Dixcart Bay
|St Peter Port to Starcross YC
||Back from St Peter Port to Starcross Yacht Club on the Exe.
Up the Little Russell at about 08:00 with just a little "wind against tide bounciness" at the top end.
Then across the shipping lanes with very good visibility.
The sail started with an excellent wind from the north east at about F4 to F5ish but died away a little after crossing the second shipping lane.
So it was on with the motor for maybe the last third of the journey reaching the Exe at about 23:00 and on to the mooring just before midnight. I don't think the Exe is a good place to try to navigate at night without local knowledge (it's our "home port") - too many unlit channel / lateral buoys and moorings very close to the channel edge.
My "top tip" for navigating the Exe at night is that if the red / green channel buoy you are navigating for doesn't flash occasionally then you're heading for Brunel's railway line!
|St Helier to Granville, France
||From St Helier on Jersey across to Granville in France.
We were joined by dolphins briefly - very large ones - but as they disappeared quite quickly it became more fun watching the people watching for dolphins!
Then on via the Ilse Chausey - more later on them in this blog - and then on to Granville in France.
Played with the cruising chute for the first time on this cruise.
Granville is an old walled town - a little like St Malo along the coast - but not so crowded. The marina, like many on the French coast, has a cill and at low water the approach to Granville completely dries out.
|CI & France 2015 - Dinan to St Malo
||Back from Dinan to St Malo. Via the locks at Chatelier and the Rance hydro-electric barrage. Light winds.
|Dittisham to QAB Plymouth
||Round from Dittisham on the Dart to Queen Annes Battery marina in Plymouth. With the wind forecast to be F4 to F5 from the west and most of the trip being westwards, this was going to be an interesting trip. Start Point planning was spot on - we arrived just at the very last of the flood tide meaning little adverse tide but, more importantly, no wind over tide. So Start Point was a pussy cat. Prawle Point and Bolt Head made up for this though. With wind over tide by then, the seas there were "interesting" as the wind gusted to 22 knots (low end of a force 6). Some of the biggest overfalls I've been through for quite some time! As we got to Bigbury Bay the wind was a better angle and we got to sail rather than the motor sailing we did from just past Start. Into QAB about 8pm.
|Brixham to St Peter Port
||From Brixham across to St Peter Port on Guernsey.
Overall a good crossing with reasonable visibility until just after the shipping lanes. Then the fog came in with a vengeance! Having the luxury of both AIS and radar on Derek's Fulmar made a huge difference.
If you look at the photos I've left one in that looks like "just grey" but see if you can see a yacht. When we reached St Peter Port (via the Little Russell) it was still very foggy but actually not quite as dense as a previous year. We could see the "gates" of St Peter Port harbour well before we would hit them!
|Brixham to St Peter Port
||After a delay of 12 hours waiting for the weather to improve a little, we set off at lunchtime for the channel crossing to St Peter Port. The wind was a fair bit stronger than forecast making the first part of the journey much harder work than expected. A decision was reached (as the wind started to ease a little) not to abandon and return to Brixham. This turned out to be a good call as the wind continued to drop. The TSS crossing at night - with no moon - was eerie. We had to stop at one point to allow about 5 boats to pass ahead while allowing one to pass behind. The completely dark night (no moon) made this TSS crossing very different to previous night crossings. Also the tide was very strong - as can be seen from most of the track across the TSS where we end up being taken down much of the TSS while still maintaining a boat aspect at right angles to the traffic!. The last part of the crossing was under motor arriving at St Peter Port just at first light (with an easy trip down the Little Russel).
|Beaches on the Roseland Peninsula
||Three beaches and four visits - Scooby was in heaven. Along the eastern coast of the Roseland peninsula for a change. Timed right for a falling tide so Scooby got maximum "ball action" on several beaches (including Porthcurnick and Portbean). Then back inland looking for the footpaths that had been moved.
|CI & France 2015 - Stuck in harbour
||Some big gusts of wind were predicted for this Friday so we sat the day out in St Peter Port marina. A wise choice as the few boats that did go out came back in fairly quickly. Some chandlery browsing and lunch at Guernsey Yacht Club
|Sark to St Peter Port
||Round from La Greve de la Ville anchorage on the east side of Sark to the Saigne Bay anchorage on the west side. The Saigne Bay anchorage has some rather dramatic rock stacks (think James Bond / The Man With The Golden Gun - but smaller).
The on - via the Gouliot Passage and one of the passages north of the Lower Heads cardinal - to St Peter Port marina to meet up with lots of other Starcross Yacht Club "yotties" for the traditional meal in La Perla.
|St Helier to Sark
||From St Helier on Jersey up to Sark.
Along the south coast of Jersey where some wind against tide made the sailing a little bouncy but gave us 8.8 knots over the ground as we went round La Corbiere (as a very blurry photo shows).
Then up to La Greve de la Ville anchorage on the east side of Sark.
Suprisingly the wind gusts got up to 25 knots as we were getting close to the pilotage in to the anchorage. Once within the anchorage - and about 30 yards from the shore - the anchorage was very still.
Went for a stroll around Sark - including across La Coupe which I'd promised myself I wouldn't walk across again.
|St Peter Port to SYC
||Up at the hideously early hour of 03:00 to catch the first of the tidal flow up the Little Russel at 04:00. A lovely clear night at 4am with all the navigation lights clearly visible. After Platte Fougere we "turned left a bit" to allow for the strong Spring tides. For much of the time the weather forecast was correct and what little wind there was was on the nose. However, the visibility was good making crossing the shipping lanes a lot easier than on the way out.
The photos of the Channel Light Vessel show an absolutely flat sea. The wind did pick up for a bit after this which made for a lovely sail with flat seas. A while north of the shipping lanes we were joined by about 6 to 8 dolphins for about 20 minutes. An hour or so later a much smaller porpoise made an appearance.
Amelie's engine held up well and we were back on the mooring at SYC by about 19:30.
|Brixham to St Peter Port, Guernsey
||A very foggy sail from Brixham in Devon to St Peter, Guernsey in the Channel Islands. The photos give an idea of how foggy it was.
Left at the hideously early time of 03:30 (to make the tidal gate for the Little Russel channel off Guernsey).
Left in thick fog that continued all across to the east going lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme off Casquets. This would have been more scary without the two AIS sets and radar spread across the 3 yachts. AIS data meant we had to alter course for unseen ships before the TSS but not actually in the TSS. By the time we got to the east going channel the fog had lifted to maybe a mile or two's visibility. This visibility continued until we started the tide assisted "sleigh ride" down the Little Russel at which point the fog came in with a vengeance. At this point the two, independent GPS chart plotters we had on board (one a hand held Garmin) were very reassuring. Roustel Tower came into view exactly where expected with just 100 yards visibility. The "pier gates" for St Peter Port harbour weren't visible until we were between them! Twenty minutes after tying up on the SPP waiting pontoon, the fog lifted!
In time for dinner at La Scala. The SYC "cruise in company" events are getting popular - there were 16 yotties from SYC at La Scala.
|St Agnes and Wheal Coates
||On to Beacon Farm Cottage camp site and the only day of the two weeks that was really lost to the weather.
As soon as we got to the campsite and sat down to admire the view, the fog and mizzle came in with a vengeance.
So we only did a short walk to the Wheal Cotes mine - very atmospheric perched on the cliff side and appearing out the gloom. The photos of fog and mist may not be the most exciting if you weren't there...
|Ile de Brehat to St Peter Port
||After getting up an hour too early (confusing French and English first light times!!!), we sailed from Ile de Brehat for St Peter Port on Guernsey. The sail around the north east corner of the Ile de Brehat was notable for two things. First, we hit some fairly strong overfalls. It was neaps and a middling wind so we weren't expecting much. Given how lumpy it was, this is one to avoid at Springs. Secondly, Peter S caught a bunch of weed and plastic around his prop while going through the overfalls. Peter was able to sail on OK and got enough motor back to be able to motor into St Peter Port later. The rest of the sail was lovely - under cruising chute for a large part of the journey.
|CI & France 2015 - Brixham to Guernsey
||A sail across from Brixham Marina to St Peter Port in Guernsey. Quite foggy when leaving Brixham, not so foggy crossing the shipping lanes (phew) and very foggy making landfall on the Guernsey side (having more than one chart plotter available amongst the various nav aids made this easier).
Note - the photos may be rubbish but they are not that out of focus - it really was that foggy). Stare hard and you'll see things in the photos!