|Posted by yachtmoonlight on July 13, 2009 at 1:39 PM|
The weather forecast hasn't been good since we arrived in Falmouth, along with daily downpours of rain, the current South-Westerly winds are predicted to stay for at least a week, so we will be staying put and waiting for a suitable weather window to allow us to cross the Bay of Biscay. Unfortunately, that does mean the blog may be a little dull and shorter than usual, so apologies in advance!
In between the rain showers on Thursday, we went into the town to explore and hunt down a Wifi connection. We found a splendid (but slightly bonkers) café called Mango Tango, which not only provided us with a fabulous lunch, which we enjoyed whilst sitting in a giant bird-cage (yes, really) but it also had a good Wifi connection and they even let us stay for nearly an hour after they had closed so we could carry on using it.
After catching up with all things internetty, John went back to the boat while I had a mooch around the shops. I found a large second-hand shop with a huge selection of books, which I browsed for some time before emerging with a pair of snorkelling flippers. They were brand new Speedo ones for only a fiver, a complete bargain I thought but John didn't seem to agree. So what if I now have three pairs, I can always put a pair on my hands. And my ears.
We spent the evening in a superb traditional pub on the seafront called The Chain Locker, which had an excellent range of real ales to make John happy (and a little wobbly).
(View across the anchrage from the Chain Locker pub)
The weather on Friday was still showery, so we spent some time in the Falmouth Maritime museum, which is fabulous. It is one of the few museums that make interactive exhibits actually work (mostly these kind of things are hugely expensive looking creations, created by boffins but as interesting as cement and as much fun as making conversation with a cushion) and we had a great time playing with all the toys....errrrr....exhibits, which included an inflated liferaft which you could clamber into, complete with lifejackets. Once inside the raft, John got into character and pretended to be at sea, with authentic throwing-up action. He was so good, when I asked a passerby if he would take a photo of us in the liferaft, he looked surprised and said he thought we worked there and were part of the exhibit!
(John playing in the liferaft)
There is a tower at the museum which gives wonderful views of the harbour and in the basement, it has glass windows below the waterline, so you can see underwater into the harbour. This was very good and although it was low water, we could see lots of sealife including a shoal of grey mullet. As our tickets allow us access into the museum for a year (which is handy as we may well still be waiting for the wind to change in a year), we're planning to go back another time when the tide is higher.
After popping into town to buy some postcards, we returned to the boat for the evening (via the pub!) and enjoyed a dinner of Oggy and veg.
Saturday was a complete washout, with heavy rain showers throughout the day, but a little rain didn't stop me exploring the boutique clothes shops and buying a lovely summery dress that I live in hope it will stop raining long enough for me to wear one day. On the way back to the boat, I passed a pair of young hippy-looking chaps sitting on the harbour wall, one playing a guitar, whilst tapping a tambourine strapped to his foot whilst singing (although it sounded like he was singing a different song to the one he was playing on the guitar), whilst he friend sat beside him knitting dreadlocks out of lentils. Ok, I didn't see what the second one was doing but I'm sure I'm not far wrong. All this was done with great enthusiasm, in the rain. Very odd.
The rest of the way, we sheltered from the rain on the boat, read and listened to the radio and every now and then, John attempted to scare off a seagull which had landed on the boat or the dinghy, by imitating....a seagull (flapping his arms and squalking). Oh well, it kept him (and the seagull) amused.
Amazingly, we awoke to blue skies and sunshine this morning - whoooo hooooo!!!!
We made the most of the fine weather by walking to Pendennis Castle (after fighting our way through the crowd of birds that had come to see the 'human seagull'). The Castle and grounds are beautifully maintained and have a history of defending the town and coast right through the second world war, with a lot of the buildings and guns remaining intact. We explored inside and outside the castle, walked through the grounds, in and out of the surrounding buildings and admired the stunning views before being completely ripped off in the café (a splendid tuna sandwich for the price of a whale. Or possibly Wales).
On the walk back towards the town we watched three birds of prey hovering just above the trees (which I later successfully identified from our bird book as lesser spotted condors) before we noticed some fabulous rockpools on a beautiful beach below, so we headed down for a closer look.
The rockpools didn't disappoint, they were as good as the ones I used to explore on childhood (and adulthood) trips to Newbiggin-by-the-Sea (which, incidentally could show Paignton a thing or two about regenerating the sea front having undergone a stunning transformation in the past few years) and we found all kinds of crabs, fish and shelly creatures, along with a shrimp that befriended John and ran up his finger.
(A scary creature spotted on the rocks......)
In the evening we were invited onto a nearby boat for drinks and nibbles by Chris and Penny, a very nice couple who had spotted our Ocean Cruising Club flag and popped over to say hello as they are also members. We were joined by Andy and Julie who are currently living on their boat which is anchored nearby (also OCC members) and we had a very pleasant evening, before having a late dinner back on Moonlight.