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Sailing Fowey to Falmouth

After a few days in beautiful Fowey we had some blustery and wet conditions coming in so we decided to head on down to Falmouth and hold up there for a while. We set about planning our route and setting our waypoints as follows:

WP1 – 50˚14.486N 4˚45.378W close to Gwineas Cardinal
WP2 – 50˚13.030N 4˚47.911W Dodman Point
WP3 – 50˚10.954N 4˚53.681W The Whelps
WP4 – 50˚8.267N 5˚0.456W Zone Point
WP5 – 50˚9.295N 5˚2.373W Falmouth

We filled up with water in Fowey before raising the main and heading out of the harbour. Heading over towards Mevagissey our plan was to anchor for the night in nearby Portmellon Cove. This bay is rather pretty and we enjoyed a close hauled sail across it, passing the ‘The Cornish Alps’ – a mound of waste clay from the china clay industry near St Austell, also known as Great Treverbyn Tip or Scredda Mountain, and ‘Anny of Charlestown‘ – a topsail schooner that operates tall ship adventures from Charlestown.

However on checking the forecast again the predicted bad weather was coming in earlier than intended. Our choice was either to anchor and leave early the next morning, but in wet and windy conditions or to punch against the tide now and continue on to Falmouth in calmer conditions. We decided to make our run!

Though ‘run’ it was not! 🤣 Whilst everyone else was motoring we were attempting to sail. With a full main and head sail we tacked our way out but getting around Dodman Point was a slow process. Even when we past it the tide seem to be taking us back towards it – we were getting rather fed up looking at Dodman! The wind picked up to 15 knots but was coming directly from Falmouth, making the sail even more challenging. Despite our attempts to tack our way across, it started to feel like a case of one step forward, two steps back. By position 50˚10.891N, 4˚50.559W we gave in, turned the engine on, furled away the head sail and punched against the tide and wind. For the next two hours we motored our way towards Falmouth.

The entrance to the harbour is pretty safe to enter at any time however it was race night for the Falmouth Working Boats so dodging these was fun, and they do like to come close! But it is a pretty impressive sight to watch these colourful boats sailing by. The only other real obstacle is Black Rock, however this is marked by an isolated danger beacon.

Falmouth Harbour is the third deepest natural harbour in the world. On entering you have St Mawes to your right and round to the left is the main port of Falmouth. Passing the main commercial docks you will find visitor moorings and the marinas of Port Pendennis and Falmouth Haven. There is also the main anchorage, just east of Falmouth Haven visitor pontoon, which does incur a charge unfortunately 😡


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