All the pilot books warn about the headlands in the English Channel. The tidal currents are strong and in the wind against the tide situations there can be quite rough seas. We had experienced this already in southeastern corner of Ireland and were not in a mood for experiencing it again. Thus we calculated that we’d pass one of the most famous capes in the English Channel called Lizzard Point during the slack. Even better was that we could depart late morning and still arrive in daylight. The Tresco – Falmouth sailing was smooth in favourable current and after 62 miles we arrived to the entrance of the river Fal just before the sunset.
Many local sailors have recommended staying at the Helford River near Falmouth but we decided to visit the town by boat. It is one of the places every long distance sailor should visit. Many record-breaking voyages have started or finished here in Falmouth and we wanted to experience the feeling.
For example Sir Robin Knox-Johnston chose Falmouth as departure and arrival harbour when he became the first man to circumnavigate the globe non-stop and single-handed on his 32 feet Suhali boat. When he returned 313 days later in 1969 and the customs agents asked about his last port of call, he replayed “Falmouth”.
Also Dame Ellen MacArthur made history by sailing from Falmouth around the world as fastest women. She completed her circumnavigation on 75 feet trimaran in 71 days, 14 hours, 18 minutes and 33 seconds.
There are three marinas in Falmouth. Just in front of the town is the Falmouth Yacht Haven marina and next to it the Port Pendennis Marina. There is a small anchorage between these two marinas and there is Falmouth Yacht Marina a mile upriver. The crew of Delnic warmly recommended the latter to us.
We went around both the marinas in front of the town but they were full. It is July and we can really see that the main sailing season is going strong. There were already over ten boats on the anchorage but we managed to find a got spot for Suwena.
There is a huge commercial shipyard Next to Port Pendennis Marina and for entertaining us, one of the ships was running her bowthruster for several hours on the early Sunday morning. Otherwise there was no trouble from the shipyard. There was a notice in Reeds Almanac that in case big ships need manoeuvring space, the harbourmaster might ask the pleasure boats to move temporarily. So even if it is ok to anchor close to the shipyard it’s maybe better to leave some space. We also noted later that the anchoring area is until the fuel dock of the Falmouth Yacht Haven marina. Some boats were anchoring with their sterns only a few meters from the dock during the low water and to us it looked like the best location.
On Sunday morning while sipping a morning coffee Andrus noticed that one of the 40 feet yachts in Yacht Haven was departing. We let the cups to the table and quickly started weighing the anchor. As soon as the anchor was released from the bottom, Andrus started driving towards the berth. There was also another boat that was weighing their anchor at the same time as well, but as we got close to the pontoon suddenly they were in no hurry and looked like they just checked that the anchor is still attached to the chain by putting it back immediately. Our coffee was cold but we had a good berth.
Falmouth is famous for magnificent sandy beaches and wide variety of eateries and pubs on the waterfront. Our first steps in Falmouth were up the steep hill on Quay St. Already for at least 400 years before us, the arriving sailors have climbed uphill into the harbour pub called Chainlocker. This pub has been the main sailors establishment since 1660 as it reads above low entrance door. I also found out that the pub’s owners have explored the history books. Johnatan Pearce, the boss in Chainlocker has told that according to the harbour books the pub has really been in this location already since 1660 because there are documents about the prison across the road from Chainlocker and that there have been a constant stream of customers escorted across the street.
Climbing up the hill and entering the pub we could almost touch the history in the air and imagine salty sailors arriving to England from all around the world after long ocean voyages and desperately looking for the first pint. The atmosphere in the pub is perfect. Afterall, Falmouth has been one of the major ports in British Empire where sailors all over the world have been arriving. We enjoyed our pints and tried to behave with the aim to spend the night in the bunk of Suwena.
Every day more and more boats were arriving and the rafts of boats were built. A very nice couple on their boat Blackjack made fast alongside Suwena. As we were chatting we were admiring how well kept their teak deck was. The skipper from the other boat quickly dived into the aft locker and showed a miracle liquid for keeping the deck in shape. At first time we have some green growth and we’ve been waiting for sunny days for deck scrubbing. As this was not something we would look forward, we have postponed it already several times. The wonderful stuff is called Patio Magic and is usually used for keeping the growth out from driveways and back yards. It would not damage steel or fibreglass and there would be no scrubbing involved. Altogether it sounded too good to be true.
We made according to the instructions of the skipper of Blackjack. Andrus used sprayer for getting the teak wet of 1 to 4 diluted Patio Magic liquid. The instructions said that there should be at least 8 hours for drying and after a few days the growth can be washed away by light brush. Our neighbour recommended for at least three non-raining days for drying. For our amazement the green stuff turned into black dust that can be easily brushed away. Also there seems to be no new growth at all. We should do the treatment twice a year and have a teak in the same excellent condition as on Blackjack for next sailing season. The liquid is also extremely cheap as it is not a marine product and targeted for using on home patio furniture and it is available in normal hardware stores.