Seriously. It’s cold. I know I’ve been living in the UK for 5 years now and should probably just learn to man up and get on with it, but when I check the weather for Falmouth, and then the weather for Adelaide, and the two are EXACTLY THE SAME despite having opposite seasons, I can’t help but feel a little short-changed.
Anyway. I should actually be feeling thankful right now, because the supposed 50 knots of wind that was forecasted never materialised. Or, if it did, I slept through it. We’re tucked into the Falmouth Yacht Haven, a small visitors marina, and have pretty decent protection. So maybe we were just lucky. I was speaking to a gentleman in the laundrette the day after the night before- he had been at anchor and had spent a sleepless night checking that he wasn’t dragging.
Falmouth is one of the UK’s most popular yachting centres. There’s several marinas in and around Falmouth, as well as plenty of opportunities for anchoring upriver- something we would have loved to do, but, well, refer to the moaning above. At the moment, things are particularly busy, and I suspect this is just the beginning of a season full of sailing- related events. On Monday the AZAB (Azores and Back) departs, so there’s loads of yachts coming in for that event. Falmouth is also a convenient jump point for Biscay crossings, and a lot of the people we’re meeting are preparing for passages south. Several have already left, taking advantage of the high pressure system creeping in. Alas, we’re unable to follow as our crew don’t arrive until Sunday.
There’s certainly an international flavour to the yachts here at the Yacht Haven. Everyone is extremely friendly, and Nick- probably desperate to talk to anyone that isn’t me- has done the rounds and come back full of gossip and other people’s plans. It’s exciting hearing what other sailors have done, and what adventures they’re planning. A lovely couple from NZ and Holland popped over to have a nosy around our boat, and, when I said that I was from Australia, they casually mentioned that they’d also been to Australia.
“Lovely country, Australia,” said the Kiwi bloke.
“Yes, yes it is. Nice and hot!”
“Yeah, you must miss that.”
“I sure do. So. Where in Australia did you go?”
“Oh, everywhere. But our favourite thing was cycling between Darwin and Fremantle.”
“Yeah. Fantastic country.”
“I’m sorry… Darwin to… Fremantle?”
“On your… bike.”
“Took us three months. Went through the centre. Had to carry all our food and water- we wouldn’t see anyone for days. But we soon learnt! If we saw a pack of gallahs flying in the early evening, we followed them, because they’d lead us to water!”
“Wow…. Just. Wow. That’s hardcore.”
“Oh, that’s nothing. This one-” (points to his Dutch wife) “- she cycled Amsterdam to Amsterdam. Went right around the world on her bike.” Wife nods modestly.
“Anyway! Thanks for the tour! Good luck!”
Really puts what we’re doing into perspective, right? People think we’re being daring and adventurous, but I’d never be crazy enough to cross the Aussie desert on a bike with nothing but a couple of panniers of water. Hell, I’d be reticent about doing it in a car!
So, once the clouds started to break up a bit, we went for a walk along the coastal path. More energetic souls than me can choose to walk the South West Coast Path all the way around Devon and Cornwall. Nick and I managed about an hour. But we have high hopes for round two on Saturday!
To be honest, as beautiful as this part of the world is, we’re ready to get going. It’s just too cold to do many outdoor activities. Just sitting in the cockpit is uncomfortably chilly. The paddle board is strapped to the foredeck and hasn’t seen any action since we were in Salcombe. Our staple diet is still hearty fare, such as porridge and chilli con carne, we’re in hoodies and woollen socks every evening, and I’m desperately missing my winter boots, which I optimistically left in our storage unit.
Still. I must remind myself. We’re heading south to the tropics, and have no intention of leaving them until we’re good and ready. Eternal summer awaits, and soon we’ll be looking back on these chilly British summers with fond nostalgia.