Yesterday dawned misty and miserable. When I asked the night-watchman at the marina office in Plymouth Yacht Haven for the most recent forecast, he asked if I wanted the one for Bermuda. The forecast more locally wasn’t too bad – the mist was due to clear mid-morning, so we continued with our preparations, and put our departure back by an hour.
While Julian got the boat ready, I made a loaf of soda bread and a big pot of soup that would get us through the day, and got myself and the girls ready for the day ahead. By 11.30 the sun was out and we departed Plymouth in reasonably calm seas. And so it continued for the day. It was lovely to have such an uneventful first day out.
Alas, there was no sailing. We motored all the way. But we knew that was going to be the case, and we had factored the cost of the diesel for an eight-hour passage into our decision that it would be cheaper to move to Falmouth than stay in Plymouth until we had more suitable sailing conditions.
No spectacular marine mammals to report, but we were treated to the aerial beauty of gannets and at one point saw a lone puffin bobbing on the sea. We were within sight of a British Navy destroyer for most of the day, with helicopters landing and taking off almost continuously. After a few hours we heard the repeated and unmistakable booms of firing. An hour later, we heard a voice on the radio announcing that the Navy’s LIVE firing had now ceased. Perhaps we wouldn’t have been so nonchalant had we realised they were firing live rounds!!
Lily and Katie were fantastic considering it was their first time out on the boat in nine months. Julian and I couldn’t believe that we did this when they were two years younger – when Katie was only eighteen months old! They’re cool customers now, carrying on with their reading and playing and dressing up, generally oblivious that their home is moving through the ocean!
We arrived in Falmouth just after 7pm, tired, hungry and very happy. We rafted against Dignity Too, whose owners are almost at the end of their five-year circumnavigation of the British Isles! It’s always reassuring to meet other people who have made their crazy dreams come true.
Today the girls and I have been grocery shopping and doing the laundry, while Julian’s been buying fuel and oil, making repairs and gradually getting Carina ready for a longer passage across the Channel to France. We’re heading up the river this evening to anchor for a day or two, and will return to Falmouth to make final preparations before we set sail for France, when the weather is favourable.
It feels good to be on our way at last!