Helford River to Falmouth Marina. 15th July

Today we were going to enjoy the shortest passage on our circumnavigation, just 4 miles or so to Falmouth Marina. We were still bouncing about on our buoy as it was still blowing an easterly straight into Helford River. We had a discussion about inflating the dingy but fortunately, inertia got the better of us and it was decided to use the river taxi for the two items scheduled for this visit ie go to both pubs, one on the north bank, the Ferry Boat Inn for lunch (excellent seafood) and the other on the south bank, the Shipwright Arms for a digestif.  

The Ferry Boat Inn

This was comfortably achieved by mid-afternoon and having said thank you to Ian Tolchard, the moorings officer, for asking us to donate the berthing fee to the charities, we slipped our buoy and made our way out of Helford River heading the few miles to the Black Rock and it’s cardinal buoy which stands ominously at the entrance to the magnificent Fal estuary. 

The Black Rock

What was obvious to us both was that we were solidly back in pleasure boating nirvana, in one broad sweep of the view coming out of Helford River up the Cornish coast towards Fowey, and in the approaches of the Fal estuary itself, we saw more sailing and motorboats underway than in the whole of the trip prior, other than when we left the eastern Solent. Oban and the Inner Hebrides had been busy but nothing like as busy as this. 

We entered Falmouth harbour and made our way up the Penryn River to the previously booked Falmouth Marina. We refuelled the diesel tank and located our berth. It was indeed a pleasure to be in the peaceful environs of this marina, having had a rather bumpy overnight in Helford River and the goldfish bowl atmosphere of Padstow. I had already visited this marina a couple of times before and therefore knew that it was a bit of a hike back into Falmouth town, it was time to break out the electric scooters and make them earn their keep.    

Firstly a shopping trip to a supermarket nearby to replenish our stocks of water, beer and sausages. Then we took advantage of the finest showers of the entire circumnavigation, indeed ‘showers’ do not do them justice. These are proper shower rooms, beautifully tiled, with a seat, sink and lavatory. Start Me Up has got an electric loo and handheld shower in a small but functional room, but it’s true to say that I have claimed this home comfort and Nigel has had to use what’s on offer at the various harbours, marinas and visitor facilities, which hasn’t entirely been the high point of his trip. 

Nigel enjoyed this Falmouth bathroom heaven but intends to write a blog detailing his now comprehensive knowledge of what’s available shower wise around the shores of Great Britain and Ireland for the boating fraternity. 

Freshly scrubbed up, we set up the scooters and wafted our way into Falmouth town centre all the way to the National Maritime Museum some 1.5 miles distant, via a couple of pubs for beers and solids on the Customs House Quay. Once replenished we made our way back causing, the by now familiar to us, amusement or occasional conversations with mostly admirers of these eco-friendly and liberating modes of transport. Make them legal!!!

After a nightcap back at the very impressive Upperdeck Bar and Restaurant in the marina, it was time to turn in. There were still two good days of very settled weather to take advantage of, and we had decided to use them to get Start Me Up back to her home berth in Gosport.