I am a dog, and even I think the sailing has been great. We are still sailing to wind, the direction and strength has been variable, but who cares when the sea state is slight and it is sunny and warm!
We left beautiful Fowey harbour as the tide turned in our favour in the afternoon and we arrived in Falmouth in the early evening. We decided to anchor off the main town and stock up on provisions before heading up river for cheaper mooring options. We have family coming to see us off on the 27th so we are going to hang around for them. I can’t wait to play with my neice and nephews!
The anchorage was not particularly pretty, sandwiched between the main town, the museum and some industrial docks, but it was a short hop on the dingy to the town centre.
All was well until 8:30pm when, all of a sudden, all hell broke loose on the cargo ship to our port side. Sand blasters, cranes and hammer drills all came to life at the same time. Just when we thought we could not take it any more it all stopped at 9:30pm just as mysteriously as it started?????
In the morning the harbour master came by to tell us we needed to move in closer to land despite the fact it was a spring tide. We planned to leave on the next rising tide, about 4:30pm, anyway to head up to Premier Marina to get our last fill of discounted fuel before heading up river to moor for the week.
A simple day…..when everything starts to go wrong. We started the engine, lifted the hook, motored in closer, dropped the hook and motored back to set it in the mud. Unfortunately it was sliding and we did not want to catch another vessels chain or anchor. Up comes the anchor and we moved in further, dropped the hook and went to motor back…..engine died! They tried to start her….coughed and died again….not good! The anchor seemed to be holding this time so down the engine they go to find the problem. It turns out to be that port tank again. The fuel filter is all blocked up. The rough weather around Portland Bill must have stirred up old slug on the bottom of the tank. There is no way to clean the tank with out removing it, so they decide to shock treat the left over fuel with additive and change the fuel filter regularly until it has all run through. On the phone again to order more fuel filters for the trip.
The human female finally finds the time to take me ashore for a run and, their bad luck still holds, she gets stopped by a man at the gate. He insisted she pay £2 to moor her dingy up and £12.50 if we wanted to stay over night on the anchorage. They obviously did not notice us the night before. She fain’s ignorance, not far off the mark, and says we have only stopped because of engine trouble and will be leaving as soon as it is sorted. The man softens with this news and lets her come ashore for free. We all come back later to get groceries with the requested £2 and are bombarded with questions of how we were able to fix the engine. But we did not have to pay any anchoring charges.
With the rising tide we decided to head up to the shallower reaches of the river to get fuel and then head up to Turo to moor up. Going into unfarmilar shallow rivers it is best if you can do so on a rising tide. If you are unlucky enough to run aground, at least you know the water level will be rising and you can probably get off later. We are still paid up until the end of the month to use any Premier Marinas for free and get discounts on fuel with them (last month of our annual contract). We heard it was impossible to get a berth at Premiers tiny Falmouth Marina, so we were just going to get some fuel before the month was up.
Engine on….running well…on the starboard tank this time. Anchor up…oh,oh! Windlass dies. Human male starts throwing all the sails out of the way to get at the anchor locker. Tries the circuit breaker….and yes the windlass works again and the anchor rises up to the surface….with a great big cable on top of it. Where did that come from and have we just cut off power to half of Falmouth. We throw it back into the sea and headed up river.
When we get to Falmouth Marina we are pleasantly surprised to find out that they can give us a berth and we crash land into a nice little slip, we will never get out of again. Seems their luck is looking up. The Marina is great for me because they have no excuse not to take me for lots of walks and much better for the family to visit. Good for their budget as it will be free until the end of the Month. Lets hope the great weather in the Bay of Biscay holds!!!
They have lots of jobs to get on with before the crossing and I have lots of sunbathing and barking at passing people to do.
If I can be bothered to move.