RNLI Website

RYA Website

Admiralty Easytide

Met Office

BBC H2O podcast

Booze Cruise - Falmouth September 2009

Updated: 12-11-2009

Report from Lis Jones:


It was that time again - "Booze Cruise" time!

<i>Polbream</i> reflected in the Helford River "Polbream" reflected in the Helford River

For some of us the trip down to Falmouth started pretty early - 07.00!   It was worth the early start however as 3 out of the 4 crew of "Chantan 11" were able to do the victualling en route and were able to pick up the boat shortly after midday. In fact most of the crews arrived early-to-mid afternoon.

After the formalities of the handover, the skipper of "Chantan 11" (Mr Commodore aka Steve Worner) decided he wanted to go sailing. ‘Good idea’ thought the rest of "Chantan 11". In the absence of our 4th crew member who was to join us later that evening-we went sailing. We were out for a couple of hours and had a very pleasant sail out in Falmouth Bay where there were 4-5 big ships anchored. We managed to miss all of them and didn’t frighten any off. After having blown the cobwebs off our fine sailing skills we returned to the marina.

For evening repast the crew of "Chantan 11" and "The Raymond" walked into Falmouth and ate in a local hostelry. The crew of "Polbream" had home made food on board and decided to head down river to pick up a visitors’ mooring in Falmouth-where they spent the night.

The Lizard light The Lizard light


Chantan 11 left the Marina 08.00ish the next morning and with the weather forecast and tides being favourable for a trip to Penzance-off we went. We passed "Polbream" on her mooring and bade her crew good morning. "The Raymond" was soon under way too.

After clearing the ships in Falmouth bay "Chantan 11" began sailing and headed for the Manacle Buoy-aiming to keep it to starboard of course. The overfalls at the Lizard were a bit lumpy and after sailing through some eerie looking eddies we sailed on down to Penzance. The aim for the fleet was to lock into the wet harbour for the night. You can get in 2hrs before HW and 1hr after HW. This meant that we could get in from 15.30-18.30hrs. "Polbream" and "Chantan 11" arrived about 45mins before the lock opened. "Chantan 11" moored up outside the harbour on the ‘waiting’ moorings (seemed like a good opportunity to put the kettle on!) and followed "Polbream" into the wet harbour shortly after the lock gates opened. "The Raymond" arrived a little while later and the fleet rafted up alongside each other and when all lines inc. shorelines were secured we all relaxed. I’m sure I heard bottles being opened and corks popping at that point! Nigel Owen and Lis Jones went for a run to Marazion and back. It had to be a quick run however as a table for supper had been booked at The Dolphin for early evening. A stroll along the promenade followed a hearty meal-and a few beers of course.

Tired from a day out in the fresh air, the crew members took to their sleeping bags ready for an early start the next day. Apart from some adjusting of slapping halyard lines all crew slept well.

Spinnaker aboard <i>Chantan 11</i> Spinnaker aboard "Chantan 11"


The fleet left the wet harbour shortly after the lock gates had opened-05.30. It was dark. "The Raymond" headed for the Lizard and "Chantan 11" and "Polbream" picked up visitors moorings and had breakfast whilst watching dawn break. Nigel Owen (RYA teacher you know!) pointed out that six vessels that had left the harbour after us had been showing incorrect lights.

After a good breakfast"Chantan 11" slipped the mooring and we too headed for The Lizard. "Polbream" stayed moored up for a bit longer because of some engine problems."Chantan 11" had a spinnaker on board and with the winds light and ‘behind us’ we passed The Lizard flying our ‘European Union’ spinnaker. Steve and Nigel were in charge of guys, sheets and poles. Hilary helmed beautifully and the fourth crew member did a very good job of observing the proceedings. We had a call from "The Raymond" who said that we looked magnificent.

"Chantan 11" anchored in Coverack for lunch whilst "The Raymond" and "Polbream" carried on towards the Helford. The fleet tacked passed the Manacles and into the River entrance. We all moored up and prepared the dinghies for a short trip to the Helford Sailing Club for supper.

Early morning, Helford River Early morning, Helford River


"Chantan 11" set off shortly after daybreak to ensure a full days’ sailing was had. Off she went to moor up in St Mawes for breakfast and then on up the river Fal via the Carrick Roads, past the King Harry chain ferry to see the big ships moored up. "The Raymond" and "Polbream" also made the most of the day too. After refuelling and handing the boats over mid-afternoon it was back to the land and into our cars for the onward journey back to reality!

A good time was had by all-so I am lead to believe although David Gist may have a different perspective on the trip as "Polbream" seemed to be somewhat troubled during the weekend. David kept his patience and was as gracious as ever throughout the trials that befell him and his crew. ….can’t wait for next year!.....