June 08, 2010
Tuesday 8th to Wednesday 9th June 2010
The forecast isnt giving any favourable wind direction for the forseeable future so time to move on or be stuck here for quite a while. What wind there is supposed to be is light NW or W possibly SW later. So it could be a motor sail again. St Ives is 32 miles down the coast and I could anchor off the harbour or in Carbis Bay if there isnt too much swell. Winds are due to go SE or E during tomorrow so might just press on for Falmouth and get around Lands End and the Lizard headlands in one big push of 87 miles. Well rested after my stay in Padstow so the latter will probably happen as I probably wouldn’t get much sleep anyway if I am rolling at anchor in St Ives bay. Should keep up a reasonable speed motor sailing as I follow the wind around tomorrow and hopefully get past the Lizard before it goes SE.
Departed Padstow at 1337hrs as soon as the gate was lowered followed by the catamaran who I had been rafted to. He was heading up the coast to Bideford. I negotiated the entrance channel and hosited sail in the Pool where the channels split to either Rock or Padstow. Some local moorings here and a couple of buoys used by visiting boats too early or too late for the gate at Padstow.
Its a beautiful sunny day and a light westerly wind is blowing. Manage to sail out past stepper point but the wind drops away and after a hour playing around trying to make headway against the last of the flood tide pushing me north I give up and start to motor sail. I cut into the bay before Trevose Head with the intention of going through the gap between the ‘Bull’ and the headland but the swell was big and the tide runs fast causing a disturbed sea. Lots of pot buoys between Stepper Point and Trevose Head most well marked, some sporting England football flags! Lovely sunny weather and the tide and disturbed water subsides once past the ‘Bull’. Visibility is good and I can see right down past Newquay to St Agnes Beacon. Heavy rain showers are forecast and ther is lots of cloud moving up from the West over the land. Small showers are coming along the coast but I am now 5 miles offshore and it remains nice and sunny. Its going to be a long trip so I keep the engine revs a bit lower than usual while the tide is with me now and averaging 4.5 knots. This should give me a good reserve of fuel for pushing around Lands End and the Lizard later. The impressive cliffs along the coast are lit up by the evening sun and what with the cloud and showers over the land makes for a fascinating view. Ticking off the towns and villages as I move steadily and comfortably onward adding another 5 litres of petrol to the main tank every four hours. Rainbows are forming between me and the coast and a great sunset is on the cards.
1955hrs A solitary Dolphin joins my bow wave with 22 miles to go to my waypoint off Cape Cornwall. Ten minutes later I am in the middle of a big pod of twenty plus dolphins who take it in turns to ride my bow wave in small groups. I even manage to get some photos and footage this time. What first looked like an oil rig being towed appears on the starboard bow and as I get closer it becomes apparent it is static and not under tow. It is in fact a ‘jack-up rig’ that is in position over the site of the new ‘Wave Hub’ that is being constructed off St Ives’s. The Lands End shipping lanes have actually been extended to protect it from any shipping cutting the corner. Strangely though as it gets darker it appears to be very poorly lit by a low white light. A structure of this size should surely have lights on the top of huge legs that tower above it? The sun has set and the air is getting damp and cool so on with the foulies for the night. The cloud has been getting heavier ahead as my course takes me closer in towards the land and showers I had been watching earlier. Looking decidedly black behind the loom of Pendeen light house ahead. Hope to round Longships light house around midnight. Close inshore off Pendeen the tide is strong and eddies collect rubbish into little small patches here and there.
I spot a pot buoy in my nav lights dead ahead and alter course sharply just as it takes off! Sleeping birds always catch me out like that, still it keeps you alert. I hate motoring at night when there is a good chance of being near pot buoys. I didn’t want to be coming around here in a south easterly tomorrow though. 2350hrs Heavy drizzle once past Pendeen light which continues until clear of the Longships light house off Lands End at 0202hrs. I had intended to save a few miles and cut inside of Longships but in the dark and with the heavy drizzle bringing visibility down I chose the more sensible option of following the lights and not relying on a chart plotter. I passed about 1 mile outside of Longships and although a pretty flat sea there was still a significant slop and tide. A miserable couple of hours but nice and dry behind my sprayhood as the tiller pilot took the strain. All the lights unfold in order before you and the only one that might fool you is ‘Wolf Rock’ light house which appears to the left of Longships as you appraoch and then quickly glides past behind it and to starboard as you round. The Runnel Stone Buoy light is visible as you pass Longships and then te Lizard Light as you pass or approach the Runnel Stone. Its June the rain has stopped and it will be getting light soon as I push on across Mount’s Bay towards the Lizard 18.6 miles ahead. The wind has turned Land’s end with me and is now Easterly right on the nose. Passed the Runnelstone Buoy as a cruise ship glided very slowly past well to starboard, heading for Scilly no doubt. 0400hrs The first signs of the sky lightening, 13 miles to Lizard Point.
0717 Abeam Lizard point in a rolly 2-3 metre sea and swell doing 2.5 knots. Well I couldnt expect to get the tide right for all the headlands but this was a slow rounding of the Lizard with a foul tide now all the way to Falmouth. Its a warm morning though and speed improves to four knots once past the Lizard. Pretty tired and looking forward to a sleep. Tempting to pull into the Helford River and anchor up but with the winds now being ESE and forecast to go NE fresh to strong by tomorrow I will press on into the assured shelter of Falmouth. 1100hrs dropping sail just inside St Anthony’s Head light house at the entrance to Falmouth. St Mawes was where I had thought to anchor but on looking in there I decided to go a few miles further on to the end of the Carrick Roads. Channal’s Creek under Trelissick House is one of the best anchorages for some peace and quiet and a good sleep you will find. 1200hrs at anchor Channal’s Creek, Phew! Its a bright and sunny with a few clouds and the wind is already NE. The picturesque scenery here makes the long night all worth it. Glad I didnt anchor at St Ives last night and have to face beating around to Falmouth today. A long trip but the right decision in the end and now I can relax here for a few days with a choice of sheltered anchorages.