Back in Cornwall

It was great to spend a few days near Falmouth, even though the weather was not great.
We had planned to walk some South West Coast path and drove to the North Coast to walk from Port Isaac to Rock. But it was so grey and dismalĀ  we drove there instead.
We visited Trelissick and went inside the house for the first time.

Grounds and gardens of Trelissick

We enjoyed a unexpectedly sunny sail around the creek to St Mawes and Falmouth.

Working boats on the Fal estuary.

St Mawes

We enjoyed a walk around the Lost (but definitely found) Gardens of Heligan.

Sculpture
Happy pig

We then drove on to Mevagissey and wandered around the harbour.

Boats in Mevagissey harbour

Summer sailing- Falmouth, Salcombe, Guernsey, Sark, Guernsey, Ile de Brehat and Trebuerden

We had a great two weeks sailing along the English coast from Falmouth to Salcombe, the Channel Islands and the North French coast.
We could not believe our luck weather wise, a perfect sunrise welcomed us as we set sail early Sunday morning.

Mylor sunrise

Eddistone lighthouse off Plymouth

We sailed along the English coast to Salcombe.We arrived during the regatta week with small sailing vessels cutting across our path at every angle.
Salcombe arrival

Busy Salcombe

Our next destination was the Channel Islands. We were welcomed to Guernsey by our 4th pod of dolphins. We have never seen so many dolphins in one sailing holiday.
St Peter Port, Guernsey
Walking along the Guernsey coast

From Guernsey we visited a surprisingly quiet Sark. This small rugged island seemed a little out of sorts compared to previous trips. After a steep climb from our mooring we enjoyed exploring this eccentric island.
Our Sark mooring
The causeway to Little Sark built by German soldiers after the Second World War

A rocky cove
Sark Henge (seemed to be made from old fence posts)

From Sark we travelled to Jersey. The Port at St Helier is guarded by Elizabeth Castle.
Sailing towards the harbour and marina, St Helier Jersey

We wandered along the coast towards St Aubin. The pictures show the terrific tidal ranges experienced for most of this holiday. Every departure and arrival had to be carefully planned.
Tide out looking towards Elizabeth Castle, lots of green seaweed

Walking along beach to St Aubin
Tide in and the aquatic bus was still ferrying passengers.

From Jersey we sailed to Ile de Brehat on the Northern Brittany coast. We are fond of this french island. It is very popular with French tourists who arrive daily aboard vedettes. It never really feels crowded though and the day trippers depart early evening.
Ile de Brehat
More massive tidal ranges

Galletes (in a cardboard box??) et boule de cidre.
Le Moulin (water mill)
Leaving Brehat. The white specks on the tree are egrets (birds)

We sailed along the french coast to Trebuerden.
Trebuerden marina
Walking along the coast, tide out
Trebuerden sunset

102 mile journey home (20 hours)
The English Channel looking like a millpond
Ripples
Dolphins
Water was so clear, here you can see the bubbles created by the dolphins blow hole
Sunset over glassy sea
Tanker floating between sea and sky
Back on home mooring

Isles of Scilly sailing in early June

St Mary’s in the morning

Weather forecast thankfully turned out much better

St Mary’s harbour from Star Castle

St Mary’s sunny afternoon

Walk around Tresco, grey start over Cromwell’s castle

Old Grimsby, Tresco

View from Tresco to St Martins

Walk around St Martins


Bracken control

Devon cattle grazing

Sunny beach, St Martins

Our anchorage

Cape Clear Island, Schull and Crookhaven

Cape Clear Island was easy to reach from Baltimore. We did several circuits of the little harbour as all of the walls had no berthing signs. The space for yachts was at the harbour entrance and after our initial misgivings turned out to be a comfortable spot with water on tap and access to the shore by a steep ladder. We enjoyed a walk around the fairly steep lanes. It is a relatively undeveloped island with a bar, shop, school and heritage centre. A ferry arrives from the mainland each morning with visitors. It is a Gaeltacht (Irish speaking) area and home to artists and writers.

Cape Clear Island
Cape Clear Island

We had seen high winds and rain forecast for the weekend so we headed for Schull on the mainland with the intention of mooring in Crookhaven to see out the impending storm. Unfortunately the weather closed in a little quicker, and we found ourselves moored offshore in Schull harbour. It became difficult to access the shore as the winds increased.
The storm with no name
The storm with no name

Kinsale to Baltimore

Kinsale marina
Kinsale marina
The entrance to Kinsale is dramatic. Lush green hills, Charles Fort on the right and the remains of James Fort on the left. We walked to Charles fort the following day. It is a 17th century star shaped castle (a design to resist attack by canon). It was named after Charles II and was built to protect the harbour and town of Kinsale. It was important in the Williamite War 1689-91 and the Irish Civil War 1922-23. It was occupied by a British Army garrison for 200 years. It was declared a National Monument in 1973.
Charles Fort
Charles Fort

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Courtmatsherry harbour
Courtmatsherry harbour

Fuschia hedge common in South-West Ireland
Fuschia hedge common in South-West Ireland

We sailed on to Courtmacsherry (locally known as Courtmac), a small seaside town. We walked along the Seven Heads path which included woodland, coastal path and a fuschia walk. The friendly locals helped us to moor on the small pontoon there.
Glandore
Glandore

Glandore (Cuan Dor or harbour of the oaks) was our next stop. A pretty village where we enjoyed a good meal in the bistro by the harbour. We walked to Drombeg Stone Circle where excavations in 1957 revealed a central pit containing the cremated remains of a youth.
Drombeg Stone Circle
Drombeg Stone Circle
Especially interesting was the fulacht fiadh. There was a trough filled with water from a well. It was heated by rolling fire warmed stones into it. In an experiment in 1957 they heated 70 gallons of water up to boiling point in 18 minutes. Meat could be cooked in it and it could remain hot for 3 hours. The adjoining hut appeared to contain the remains of a roasting oven. Very civilised for 1100 – 800BC.
Drombeg Fulacht Fiadh and Hut Site
Drombeg Fulacht Fiadh and Hut Site

Our next port of call was Castletownshend, which as the name suggests is a village that developed around a castle. We walked up the hill to the one small shop followed by refreshments in the castle cafe by the waters edge. The Mary Ann pub served us a good meal and a sup of guinness.
Castletownshend
Castletownshend

On our journey to Baltimore we stopped at Loch Hyne. This is an unusual seawater lake. We walked partially around it and climbed a nearby hillside. Water from the sea rushes into the lake with the tide causing a section called the rapids. We took the dingy over these at half tide, which was great until we tried to get back. Fortunately a friendly family of kayakers helped to pull us against the tide.
Misty view of loch Hyne
Misty view of loch Hyne
The rapids
The rapids

We took a bus to Skibbereen from Baltimore. It was a characterful town with a high street of brightly painted buildings. No chain stores here, we were told that the supermarket ‘Fields of Skibberrean’ was famous (there are lots of apparently famous places in Ireland though). The visitor centre was interesting with lots of information about the Irish famine and Loch Hyne that we had visited the previous day. We had a lovely lunch in The Church restaurant, a tastefully restored building.
Baltimore
Baltimore
Skibbereen High street (Wikipedia)
Skibbereen High street (Wikipedia)

Southern Ireland coast- Cork to Kinsale

We had a good crossing from Scilly to Cork (23 hours), meaning the winds were a little too exciting at times. It was a very quiet crossing with no sightings of other boats, a little disconcerting especially at night. We checked the AIS just for reassurance. On Richards watch we passed two gas rigs then saw little else before glimpsing the Irish coast.

Last view of Scilly from the Irish Sea
Last view of Scilly from the Irish Sea
All at sea
All at sea

The Irish coast, a welcome sight
The Irish coast, a welcome sight

After mooring the boat in Crosshaven Marina we caught a bus into Cork. We wandered around, saw the sights and really enjoyed stretching our legs.
Cork
Cork
The English Market, Cork
The English Market, Cork

We left the boat in Crosshaven and flew home to England the next day.
Crosshaven
Crosshaven

On our return to Crosshaven, two weeks later, we replenished our supplies. There is a good supermarket in Crosshaven, these become a rarity as you travel west.
Leaving Crosshaven
Leaving Crosshaven

We sailed over the bay to the colourful town of Cobh. This was an interesting place because of its links to the voyage of the ill-fated Titanic.
Cobh
Cobh

Third class cabin
Third class cabin
First class cabin
First class cabin
The Titanic exhibition was well presented. Our tickets held the name of a titanic passenger. At the end you found out if they were one of the survivors, Richard survived and I didn’t. There were reconstructions of cabin interiors which looked quite luxurious, with proper furniture and running water.
Virtuelle, first class of course.
Virtuelle, first class of course, not sure about the cruise liner behind?.

We also visited an exhibition describing the mass emigrations from Ireland. The sheer the scale of it was shocking. The desperation that motivates people to flee their home countries on such treacherous journeys. Very relevant when you consider the migration that is happening today.
We had moored next to a restaurant so enjoyed a good lunch before setting off for Kinsale.
Coastline Cork to Kinsale
Coastline Cork to Kinsale

Back in Scilly

Sometimes we go sailing (not often enough Richard would say). We are fortunate to have the use of a 11m yacht (Rag and stick type not gin palace!) As we do not own this beautiful vessel I have decided to give her a virtual name. Having sometimes sailed in France I thought the name ‘Virtuelle’ would suit her well.

Sunrise looking back at Lizard
Sunrise looking back at Lizard
Round Island, Scilly
Round Island, Scilly
Last Sunday we cast off early from Falmouth, and plotted an initial course past the Lizard. We then changed to 275 degrees heading due West for the Isles of Scilly. We have made this journey many times and average a 12 hour crossing. We like to leave early in the morning to arrive in daylight and avoid sailing over night.The moorings at Tresco sound were fairly busy so we found a sandy patch to drop our anchor.
Men-a-Vaur
Men-a-Vaur
Our mooring , Tresco Sound
Our mooring , Tresco Sound
We had a wander around Tresco the next day and revisited Tresco Abbey gardens. This sheltered spot is home to a variety of unusual plant species. Agapanthus grow wild amongst the sand dunes bordering breathtakingly beautiful beaches of glistening white sand.
Tresco flowers
Tresco flowers
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Tresco Abbey Gardens
Tresco Abbey Gardens
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Beautiful beaches
Beautiful beaches

This was a short visit to Scilly. We sailed to Cork, South West Ireland, the next day in preparation for the next stage of our holiday.