trip logs

Trip log: up the Fal to Truro

The weather turned out exactly as forecast, and the wind picked up considerably in the night, with occasional showers. We had planned to follow the morning tide up the Fal river to Truro and had arranged to pick up Ben, Max and Piran from custom house quay in Falmouth. This meant an early start, so with family asleep, I made ready for sail, pulled up the pin and motored down the Percuil to St Mawes. The waters of the Carrick Roads were pretty rough, as the southerly F6 was blowing straight in, but with Mr Honda harrumphing, we eased across he worst of it in a quarter of an hour or so. After a smooth pickup, with additional crew aboard, we put the sails up for our adventure up river.

The combination of strong winds and dead downwind track soon paid to the main sail, so we proceeded on staysail and motor as far as Turnaware Point, after which we hoisted the reefed main again. This gave us a spirited run gybing down the river, with some fairly exciting turns around the King Harry Ferry when the wind decided to perk up even more.

As the river narrowed on its wooded banks, the sails were eventually furled and we motored slowly towards Truro. The river makes many turns, and offers a number of inviting creeks, but only one leads to a harbour. After passing the waiting quay at the flood gate, we trickled though the continental-style bow-to moorings along the shore.

The navigable channel finally ends in a fork by a nice old stone quay. We rafted against an old ferroconcrete boat of indeterminate age and type. The fender boards were pressed into action and after some mud measurement with the trusty bean pole, Aurora was allowed to settle onto the embrace of the mud.

I was pleased see how level Aurora ended up, helped by a line from mast to shore. After a morning of fairly sunny weather, the awning was pressed into service for lunch, as a series of heavy showers passed overhead. However, after we had eaten and cleared up, the weather had cleared up too. Ben the gave us a walking tour of the town he grew up in, taking in the Cathedral, Victoria Park (where we listened awhile to the excellent St Stythians brass band) and a home made ice cream shop.

Our guest crew returned to Falmouth by train, to be replaced in the morning for the return trip down river.


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