Heather's Boutique, picture from Getty Images

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Holiday in Cornwall

As I woke up this morning, memories of squawking seagulls, screaming children and waves crashing into the harbour wall seemed like a distant dream. I had forgotten that I would no longer be on call to crew on the Falmouth Working Boats.

It started when I happen to visit the delightful St Mawes Sailing Club. Always keen to show an interest in local ways, I took it upon myself to learn all about the world of sailing. I've already seen Titanic and read the book by Ellen MacArthur. So, over a vegetarian pasty at the 'Hawaiian - bring your own Watermelon evening,' here's what I found out.

The front of the boat is the bow, not the bonnet.

I discovered you should always try to find out your skippers favourite apres sail drink. Most skippers these days are tee total, due to European law. So don't offend them by offering alcoholic drinks.

When the boat tips sideways, it's called heeling. Resist the temptation to go all girlie and scream. Illustrated in this great photo by Colin Bradbury.

Not too may places to sunbathe on the Working Boats, so leave the bikini at home. Save that for a trip on the Shrimpers. Where you will be most welcome if you can cook as well.

Taking photos is also a bit of a problem, although with kind permission by the skipper you might be able to set the tripod up if you're quick. Asking for a group shot always brings cheer to the boat, don't forget the skip!

If you are a tidy type of person, you'll always be welcome aboard a boat. All ropes (sheets) should be coiled, and put neatly out of the way. A woman's work is never done!

You'll see the most manliest of men aboard these boats, but they do neglect their hands. What about a lovely pair of sailing gloves? As a newcomer, if you see anyone without gloves, be thoughtful, and get them some from ebay or your local car boot sale.

Well done this year to Skipper P, in 'R', apart from great tactics, experience and crew, how do you do it? Skipper A, on 'D', you know where I am, should some of your heavies let you down. Actually I'm quite far away, so not much help to you there. Skipper H on 'S', who won the Fowey Harbour Race. I would love to have offered you a pint of beer,......alas I didn't want to cause offence.

Falmouth Working boat 'Demelza' racing in the Carrick Roads. Below.... football gets everywhere, even in Rugby loving Cornwall.

Some beasts of Cornwall.

If you are looking for somewhere to park your ocean liner, here are the lovely Harbour Masters you need to ask Always polite and courteous even to the most annoying of tourist. I'm afraid I may have fallen into that category though. They were more than happy to answer my questions about how salt water mooring chains decay over a ten year period.

Hope everyone else is having a fabulous summer. The football fever has started, so I'm off to a game soon. Still not sure which team to support, so the live matches will probably help me decide. The dogs are excited anyway.

More posts coming soon, including Sports to Enjoy and H'scopes, Heather x


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