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49 degrees 55' North, 6 degrees 19' West (Isles of Scilly)!

Updated: 02-09-2009

Report from Steve Worner:

Lis Jones off Northern Rocks, Scilly Lis Jones off Northern Rocks, Scilly

20th June 2009 saw Lis, Ruth & myself joining "Rudius", a 41 ft Hanse for a week’s sailing out of Falmouth. We rather rattled around in her as we were one short as the 4th part of our team, Nigel, was unable to join us.

We stayed in the marina overnight, for a number of reasons, not least being the boat needed a bit of sorting to satisfy my thoughts on how a yacht should be (dig the liferaft from the bottom of the locker where it was buried and totally inaccessible etc) 07.00 on Sunday saw us heading out of Falmouth for all points South West but once we rounded the Lizard the wind was on the nose so we headed into Mounts Bay and locked into Penzance for the night, having passed basking sharks around Mullion Cove.

Sunrise over Mount's Bay Sunrise over Mount's Bay

Monday was an even earlier start with the need to lock out by 05.30 and we headed off, under motor, to Scilly passing Sea Scamp - a pre war yacht belonging to the Luftwaffe, which had been claim as a ‘war prize’ & sailed by HM Services before becoming the property of a consortium - which had just made the lock the night before & spent the night alongside us. Having motored all the way due to a lack of wind we picked up a mooring outside St Mary’s just as the wind began to pick up.

Tuesday was a day off & we went on a boat trip around the Western Isles to see the wildlife & visit St Martin’s but due to the very low Spring tides our 1 ½ hour trip turned into 3 with stops @ St Agnes & Tresco to drop off various people. Our return to St Mary’s saw a late lunch in the Mermaid & then retail therapy for some.

Wednesday saw us head off towards Bishop Rock Lighthouse then up around the Northern Rocks, past Hell Bay & along as far as Round Island light before turning back & heading for the moorings in New Grimsby Sound between Tresco & Bryher. You forget how small the Islands are & how quickly you get from one place to another. The evening saw a meal ashore & then a wander around Tresco followed by a walk around Bryher & Hell Bay on Thursday morning.

Bryher Bryher
We were extremely lucky in New Grimsby as there were no moorings available so we anchored only to be told ,very politely by one of the locals, that one of the big boats would be moored next top us later & this could be a problem as it is very shallow draft & it would not necessarily swing the same way as yachts, having said we were keeping an eye out for someone to vacate a mooring he offered us the use of one of their mooring which was not currently being used (you’ve never seen us up anchor so quick & claim the big Hippo buoy!).

Thursday afternoon we headed out with the intention of sailing back around the Northern Rocks & sailing down Smith Sound (between St Agnes & Annet) but with the wind again on the nose we plumped for Gorregan Neck which we eventually motored through to get away from the Western Rocks before returning to St Mary’s & tying up alongside a French Yacht on the moorings - it was extremely busy with all moorings holding two boats which were from all over Europe (France, Germany, Greece, Sweden, Denmark & others besides). We had contemplated anchoring in the Cove between St Anges & Gugh but the wind was blowing straight in, we returned to St Mary’s.

Up until this time we had virtually continuous sunshine & F3 - F5 winds from NE round to SE but this was forecast to go S & SW so we decided we would leave after lunch on Friday & enjoy a night sail back to Falmouth - Wrong ! - the wind stayed Easterly so we motored back with the lighthouses of Wolf Rock, Lizard & St Anthony’s to help navigation.

We arrived in total darkness at the Helford around midnight & edged our way up the river only to find all of the suitable moorings taken so we decided to head back out, eventually picking up a visitor’s mooring in Falmouth Harbour at around 02.00.

After a leisurely start we took the opportunity to fill up with the very expensive diesel ( thanks to our chancellor) before sailing across to St Mawes for brunch & then up the river past the laid up ships (5 car transporters & 4 tankers - two of each were due to sail shortly & one of the car transporters was due to be scrapped) for lunch before returning the boat & off home on Saturday evening.

Sunset in St. Mary's, Scilly Sunset in St. Mary's, Scilly

The week was great with absolutely perfect weather (if you discount the fact we motored to & from Scilly) in a very nice boat ( although it did have some very strange features - buy me a beer sometime & I’ll tell you about them) . It was a real shame that Nigel could not come but the positive side of that is we’ll have to go again (if ever an excuse was needed).

If you ever get the chance to go to Scilly, grab it with both hands - it really is a wonderful place.