May Or May Not
After a month spent hiding away in the remote and tranquil setting of Messack Creek I’m writing this at anchor up the far reaches of the Truro river. April was dry and sunny but so far May has been a let down. There’s currently a stiff South Westerly blowing and ‘Gleda’ is tugging hard on her anchor, it’s wet and cold with the thermometer just getting into double figures, we even had ice on deck the other morning. We’ve been locked into an unseasonably unsettled spell of weather with unusually high winds, It was only to avoid being neaped for a week that we came out of the sheltered creek to hide up here.
Photo above was taken from our anchorage in the Truro River. The boat in front is ‘Cape Cornwall’, she started life as a St Ives fishing boat in the 1930’s and was converted by her present owners Tony and Mary. We made friends with them whilst wintering in Falmouth marina and they are great characters.
One year ago I’d just spent my first night aboard ‘Gleda’ as I prepped the hulls ready to leave the barn and coincidentaly the weather was crap then as well, though I see from my log that by the following week we were working in sweltering temperatures, I’m hoping for a repeat in that weather pattern.
During the last weeks at Messack I cracked on with jobs and now have only a few minor sail handling issues to sort out before I can draw a line under preparations and take ‘Gleda’ to sea, that doesn’t count trials and tweaking of ‘Lewis’ the self-steering but something tells me that will only really happen when we get out there.
The work at Messack was interrupted in the nicest way by visits from our friends Adrian and Janine Hall (Building Tiki 38 ‘Kira’), they’re making great progress with their build as both hulls and the beams are complete and with luck the boat will be launched early next year. They treated us to a lovely lunch at the Rising Sun in St Mawes and the sun even came out allowing us to eat outside, it was very enjoyable and Gail and I send our thanks and best wishes to them both.
A few days later my daughter Nicole came down to see us, it has to be said that we took full advantage of her and her car to zip around Falmouth doing laundry, getting gas, buying groceries etc. There was still time for some leisurely mooching about though and Nicole stayed onboard with us for a night which was great. Thanks for all your help darling.
The following day we were visited by Jon Kutassy and his wife Julie. We’d never met, but Jon has been a long time supporter of my blog and his often humorous comments have cheered me on many occasions over the years. He and Julie are looking to buy a small boat to try out this sailing lark and I’m sure they’ll find just the right boat soon and start getting their feet wet. It was great to meet them both and spend time chatting, my thanks go to them not only for their much appreciated support but also the generous gift of a bottle of Mount Gay Rum. It’s already been opened to toast a few sundowns!
While talking about Messack Gail and I want to thank Alex, Ben and Binky for once again allowing us to moor ‘Gleda’ in their backyard. We’ll never forget the time we spent in that special place and the hospitality we were shown. Who knows maybe somewhere down the track we’ll moor ‘Gleda’ there again with thousands of ocean miles under her keel and a few stories to tell, that’d be something.
The birdlife was always interesting in Messack, below are old man heron and our friendly pair of shell ducks.
So here we are, a few days off a year since ‘Gleda’ was hauled out of the barn at Wroxhall. I couldn’t have imagined all that we’ve experienced in the past 12 months and we’ve yet to even get started. There’s nothing now tying us to the shore, a few odds and ends to sort out but hopefully they’ll be cleared up by the middle of next week and, if the longer range forecast is to be believed, so will the weather.
The ‘plan’ right now is to leave for Alderney sometime later next week once I have confirmation that Jake is able to crew for us. It’s a cross-channel passage of about 115 nautical miles from Falmouth to Braye Harbour, we’ll be crossing some of the busiest shipping lanes in the world and The Channel Islands demand high standards of navigation and respect for the tides but I’ve done it before and hopefully ‘Lewis’ will be able to take some spells at the helm. It’ll be our first proper sailing together and it’s been a long long time coming….. see you on the other side!