RNLI Website

RYA Website

Admiralty Easytide

Met Office

BBC H2O podcast

Falmouth Booze Cruise - "Strong Winds & Fluorescent Hens!" - September 2011

Charter from Falmouth aboard "Jester" (Dufour Classic 41) and "Tigger Too" (Dufour Classic 36)

Updated: 21-09-2011

Report from Steve Worner:

"Jester" Crew : Mick Barber, Colin Winter, David Gist and Nigel Owen (Skipper)

"Tigger Too" Crew : Lis Jones, Hilary Roberts and Steve Worner (Skipper)

Jester, slips rigged, ready to go "Jester", slips rigged, ready to go

Mid September saw the annual KPCA visit to Falmouth and all points South West on "Jester", (Dufour Classic 41) and "Tigger Too" (Dufour Classic 36) skippered by Nigel Owen and myself with crews of Mick Barber, Colin Winter and David Gist on "Jester" and Lis Jones and Hilary Roberts on "Tigger Too".

With the tides perfect for a trip across Mounts Bay and entry through the lock at Penzance at reasonable hours this was the preferred plan (for most - some are not so keen on the lack of luxury in the PZ commercial dock). As it turned out the forecast was winds from force 5 up so we scrubbed this idea and after some discussion it was decided to head to Fowey on Friday and leave early on the Saturday to beat the NW F7 winds which were indicated for the 'following 24 hours'.

And off they go ...and off they go

The crews gathered Thursday PM and with Nigel, Mick and David travelling down together and taking over the boat early afternoon, they took the opportunity for a trip around the bay before returning for evening meal aboard prior to Colin's much later arrival. Due to work commitments for Lis and Hilary having supported her heroes from the Sky Blue side of Manchester in their first ever Champions League match (football for the uninitiated) the previous night, they arrived early evening and we visited The Chain Locker for a meal and few drinks, joined later by the "Jester" bunch.

Friday morning saw a reasonably leisurely start and then off to Fowey with a slight delay on "Tigger Too" whilst we undid the sail ties which had been left in by the last charterers. "Jester" went inside everything (Gull Rock, the overfalls off Dodman and the Gwineas) and diverted to Mevagissey for pasties whilst "Tigger Too" took the more direct route (having supplies of pasties on board) but both enjoyed a great sail with winds of force 5 and lots of sunshine. After a few hours alongside on the pontoons at Town Quay in Fowey (looking across the water at survey ship, HMS Enterprise and a launch of the Fowey Lifeboat) it was off to pick up moorings prior to a return to shore aboard the water taxi and a meal in the Lugger (where else).

Saturday saw the planned early start and with F5 on the nose, "Tigger Too" motored across to Dodman with the main set complete with two reefs. "Jester" made an attempt at tacking to Dodman but only succeeded in heading for France or St Austell , eventually following "Tigger Too" under motor to Dodman. We both tried to sail, through rising wind and heavy squalls, to Helford - "Jester" managed to sail westwards although not being able to lay Helford without a tack, "Tigger Too" found it not so easy and after a number of tacks which made little progress towards the Helford, rolled away the headsail and motored. Falmouth Bay was providing anchorage for about a dozen ships, including a tug painted in bright orange and lime green, Hilary observed that it looked like it was coloured with fluorescent pens, Lis misheard and could not understand why it was like coloured 'HENS'!. After picking up moorings in the Helford it was time for a relax before taking the dinghies ashore for showers and an excellent meal at the Helford River Sailing Club, which was remarkably quiet - we almost outnumbered the locals and staff !.

Tigger Too leaving Helford "Tigger Too" leaving Helford

Sunday dawned with strong winds from the NW so the initial thought of an early start and sail to St Mawes and brunch was shelved and a fry up was followed by a cracking sail back across Falmouth Bay (two reefs and full headsail was a bit ambitious so rolling in half the headsail made for a much more pleasant time).

Jester leaving Helford "Jester" leaving Helford with small headsails (and strong winds waiting in Falmouth Bay)
With winds of 34 knots being noted as we approached the Falmouth Yacht Haven it was time to refuel and call it a day, fortunately the fuel berth and empty slot on the pontoon were ideal for 'parking' without any traumas.

Another great weekend but like most of the KP trips this year it was dogged by strong winds - never mind, there's always next year.