trip logs

Trip log: Up Helford River to Gweek

Today, we took a day out of the International Cape Cutter Week to spend time with friends. Having anchored overnight in the Helford River at Robin’s Cove, we bid farewell for now to Sapphire and Lucy, as they poked their noses up to Frenchman’s Creek and then turned back to return to Mylor.

We moved to anchor off Durgan beach to await our friends and there was time for some housekeeping. We checked the “sea life cage” (not a lobster pot, because we’ve caught no lobsters) and found a shore crab (as always) and an eel (immediately christened Eric by Alice). Having released our catch, I then did some DIY, drilling fixing points on the new solar panels and changing from a traditional sail tie to fixed shock-cord-and-hook system or securing the mainsail. The latter proved very successful and was an idea I had “borrowed” from Dennis on Mary Ann (who had, in turn learned the idea from the Drascombes).
 Quite soon it was time to pick the newcomers from the beach and deposit Aimee in exchange. The plan was for Ben And Zack, having dropped off Sally and Pip, to take Aimee by car back to Mylor and then sail to meet us on their Dart.
 Meanwhile, the rest of us sailed in Aurora up to Tremayne Quay. We had to stop there, as this was where the water ran out. We did actually run aground just before we got there, but the oyster fishermen soon helped us off. With time to kill, we rowed ashore and had a lovely walk in the beautiful woods. The upper part of the. Helford River is especially lovely because oak woodland reaches right down to the water line and there area is stuffed with wildlife.

We met some “Swallows and Amazons” camping on the quay, having rowed down from our target, Gweek, so they were able to give us some local pilotage. We then explored on foot to the source of the “Nile” (well the top of the creek, anyway). By the time we returned to the quay, Ben and the Dart were in sight. However, when I went to get the tender, I was in for a shock, because it was just floating away! I thought I had left it well above the expected water line, but had seriously underestimated that. Anyway, after an unscheduled swim, the dinghy was retrieved and Aurora brought alongside Tremayne Quay for afternoon tea. I don’t think that was as grand as the intended use of the Quay, which was originally built for Queen Victoria (though she did not visit it!).

With four step covered with water, it was time to trickle up river with trusty beanpole to find the top of the Helford. The trip was very pleasant indeed and was well buoyed all the way to the quay at Gweek. There was a helpful couple who helped us to tie up against the wall; however, we did. to have long to bask in the sun, as we had to bid farewell to Sally and Pip, who returned to Falmouth on the bus.

Whilst our pork casserole finished itself in the thermal cooker, we strolled through the village. It turned out to be an evening for supper on the green with a large crowd enjoying fresh fish and chips from the van. We did not participate, as our dinner awaited us on board, but we did enjoy a pint outside the Swan in the sun.
 Altogether a very pleasant day. Tomorrow, we plan to spend the day here and visit the seal sanctuary, and return in the evening when the tide has lifted Aurora back off the mud.


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