Pembroke Haven Yacht Club

Hobbs Point, Pembroke Dock

Foulmouth to Fowey

Having left the Isles of Scilly we were still slightly undecided as to our ultimate destination for that day. So much for passage planning!!!. Penzance or Falmouth? Early on, the weather decided for us and we were enjoying what was an excellent sail.  Decision made it' was Falmouth. Money Penny was skipping along and had found her grove, she was content to sail on. We passed Wolf Rock light house enroute, and continued towards ‘The lizard’. This headland has a reputation for reducing seasoned sailors to tears, with its wind and currents, but on this day we were blessed with calm seas and a good wind.


Once around the headland we made good speed up the Cornish coast and eventually into Falmouth bay. Unfortunately, we were head into wind so it was a zigzag route for the final part of the journey into the river Fal.  We had reserved a berth for the night in Pendennis Marina which was located near the town centre. A very expensive nights berthing with toilet / shower facilities which were not up to the standard of the cost incurred. However, we were moored up alongside some exclusive company one of which was ‘Gloria’. A beautiful ‘superyacht’ owned by Pete Townsend lead guitarist with ‘ The Who’. His other two yacht are down in the Med and this classic yacht is for sale. Apparently the list of rock aristocracy who have slept on ‘Gloria’ include such famed persons such as Keith Moon, Oliver Reed et al.


I wasn’t impressed by Falmouth. Maybe I was tired but my overall impression of the town was one of a seaside resort having seen better days. Being a University town, and a Friday night, the centre was full of ‘youngsters’ who seemed to be in a competition as to who could swear the most as a sign of their virility. I’m not a prude but there used to be a time when males standing outside a pub and seeing a woman approach would desist from discussing last nights conquests in a graphic tone until out of earshot. Foulmouth is different. Rant over!!!!!!

Jude and I decided that we were not prepared to pay for what was an unimpressive marina and facilities so decided to move up the River Fal towards a village called Malpas. We meandered up the river under sail carving our way around a large yacht race in the river and eventually reached a tranquil river not dissimilar to the upper reaches of the Milford haven waterway back home. To our surprise, as we rounded a bend in the river, we were confronted by three very large vessels moored in the middle of the river . It would seem that the vessels, two bulk carriers and a trimaran research vessel had been ‘mothballed’ until some unknown future deployment somewhere on this planet. We continued up the river and eventually found the village we deemed our destination for the night. Due to the lack of water in Malpas, we were forced to anchor downstream from the village and spend a night on-board.

20170716_095913   20170716_100132

Early the next morning it was departure time and we set sail for the picturesque village of Fowey. Down the Fal and back out into the briny we headed some 22 miles up the coast.


Again a good sail we enough wind to push Money Penny along at a reasonable pace. On the approaches to Fowey there was a fleet of four to five yachts in front of us heading for the same safe haven. Race on and we caught the majority of the smaller boats up and headed into Fowey mid fleet. Reaching for the radio we made contact with harbour master who turned out to be a very friendly individual who it would appear had become very excited at the sight of sailing ships approaching his port on mass , had decided to man his official ‘harbour master’ launch and come out of the river to greet us and direct the fleet to our respective overnight berths. Jude and I decided we would prefer a pontoon berth and eventually came alongside our allocated berth across the river from the main town. Roll out the dinghy to get anywhere. We decide to stay two night in Fowey on what was a peacefully located berthing pontoon. Best time to take Judith shopping in Fowey – late on a Sunday afternoon!!!!!.

IMG-20170720-WA0018     IMG-20170720-WA0019

The following day we spend the morning doing small jobs on Money Penny before venturing across the river into a tourist packed Fowey. We walked through every narrow street, and ended up at a small beach near the river entrance. Being located in a valley we had no alternative other than to walk back through every narrow street back to the dinghy. Back on Money Penny  the fishing lines saw action and it became a small competition between Judith and I to catch our first mackerel.  I couldn’t believe it when Judith shouted to me that she needed a bucket. My instant though was that she was going to be sea sick again, but she soon clarified that she had a fish on the line. A nice sized mackerel was brought aboard and into the bucket. Game on and within the next five minutes I landed another two fish at the same time. Ok, bored now with no more fish and a crew member decided enough was enough and a swim was now  in order. It was a beautiful summers evening (not had many of those yet) and with trepidation, I eventually lowered myself into the cold water. Once in, with flippers and mask on the water became bearable and I enjoyed a lovely swim. Whilst in the water I realised that the pontoon floats had a mass of mussels attached. Judith provided a knife and a bag and I embarked on farming mussels. In very quick time the bag was bulging to overflow and a big smile appeared on Judiths’s face at the thought of a free meal of mussels and Mackerel. A couple on a yacht behind us looked on with apparent interest and quickly seized upon the invitation of their own bag of mussels which we duly provided. Judith gave herself the job of mackerel gutter and mussel cleaner whist I enjoyed a warm shower.

IMG-20170720-WA0020    Mussels (not Muscles)

The next day we sought adventure and decided to visit the village of Polruan by dinghy. Polruan is situated on the opposite side of the river to Fowey and appears to be the poor neighbour to the better known and affluent Fowey. You have to endure a very steep walk up the hill through the village if they want to enjoy the magnificent view across the sea and the villages of Polruan and Fowey but worth it in the end.  Lunch beckoned and we set off in the dinghy upstream of Fowey having been recommended a café in Towmix. We got there to discover the café was shut! OK back to Fowey quay and we found a cafe called ‘Pinkies’. What an absolute delight, with wonderful food and great friendly staff.

The weather forecast for the following day wasn’t good with high winds and rain forecast. Decision made we stay in Fowey for another night, well not quite right as Mr Lindsay insisted we venture out just to see what the sea conditions were like for a quick 23 mile hop up the coast to Plymouth. OK we all make mistakes. Taking Money Penny out of the mouth of the river Fowey we were met by a 32 knot Easterly wind and a mounting sea. Which way did we want to go, you’ve guessed it, east to Plymouth. Not on your nelly!  We turned around and headed straight back onto the pontoon we left some 40 minutes earlier. We then endured the longest single thunder storm I have experienced for many a year. The storm lasted some 6 hours of continuous thunder and lightening, which included a 30 minute squall where the wind speed rose alarmingly and the whole 12 ton of Money Penny vibrated in the unrelenting force of the wind. Extra lines were quickly deployed to ensure Money Penny didn’t become detached from the pontoon. What if the pontoon became detached from its anchor points with the force of the wind?.


Eventually all returned to peace and tranquillity and after a good nights  sleep we headed out of the river Fowey and turned left towards Plymouth. End for now.

View User Profile for ALISTAIR

Isles of Scilly–At Last!!

Unfortunately Rock Marine were unable to repair the part until Friday afternoon.  It now looked like we would be leaving Padstow on Saturday Morning.  The wind was almost non existent but we needed to leave for the sake of Alistair’s sanity!  Saturday it was……

5.30 Saturday, we headed out of the Harbour on the second leg of our adventure.  A number of boats left with us, and for the first few hours, towards Land’s End, we followed in convoy.  At Land’s End we were the only boat to carry on towards the Isles of Scilly with the remaining four boats turning South.  The first part of our trip had been with the tidal flow and we were getting excited as to the possibility of a very short passage.  How wrong we were!  The tide changed and we finally arrived at our destination (New Grimsby Sound between Tresco & Bryher) at 19.48.  The engine had worked hard and the sails had not!  but to arrive in such a beautiful destination was well worth it. We picked up the only mooring left in New Grimsby Sound and settled down for a relaxing evening on a sea of glass

New Grimsby Sillies                  20170709_112715       20170710_123844

Sunday morning dawned, the dinghy inflated, the out board hoisted down on our new derrick (little crane especially for the outboard motor!) and we were off to explore our surroundings.  

Tresco, the largest of the two islands was our first choice.  We landed on the small quay, secured the dinghy and headed up towards the group of pretty stone built cottages.  On our way we spotted an arranged group of decorated shells with an honesty box to the side, this was to be a common feature as we continued our walk around the island -  a number of honesty boxes for various items from garden produce to art deco items popped up in the most remote areas.  We purchased mint for the Pimms and delicious home made fudge.  


We had stocked up on food products before we left Padstow as we were unsure as to the shopping facilities on the islands.  We were amazed to find the most fantastic shop/deli on Tresco with a large variety of high quality items to tempt us, be it a little expensive.   No, not Tesco on Tresco!!

We had woken up to cloud and drizzle but by mid day the sun broke through and the sky was blue.  We walked from New Grimsby Quay, passed the Abbey Gardens and then back across the middle of the island before returning to the boat for lunch and then heading over to Bryher.  

On Bryher we walked up to the small fisherman’s cottage, Dawn Vue, to purchase lobster for dinner but unfortunately it was closed as it was Sunday.  We will return!  We then headed across to a small, exclusive hotel which overlooks one of the main shipwreck areas of the Island. Hell Bay Hotel.  The views were a stunning place to enjoy a coffee before continuing our walk.  Why had we never visited these islands before? 

IMG-20170720-WA0008          IMG-20170720-WA0006

This island is smaller that Tresco with less visitors and a number of small hills, hence Bryher, ‘land of hills’.  We continued our walk – off road so to speak as we lost the path at one point until we found our way back to the beach and dinghy.   One of us was mad enough to take a swim before returning to the boat!!!

As we returned to Money Penny, Suki of Shuna (our neighbour in Milford Marina) appeared in the Sound.  We welcomed Jackie, Stuart and his parents and headed back for dinner – not lobster!!!

On our second day we decided to remain in New Grimsby as there were heavy winds forecast over the next 24hrs and this was as safer place as any!  We therefore decided to explore the remaining areas of Tresco.  We had coffee on Suki of Shuna on passage to New Grimsby Quay and then walked out to Cromwell’s Castle, a lookout post at the entrance to the Sound. We had been recommended to Ruin Beach Cafe at Old Grimsby so we made our way across the headland reaching the Cafe just in time for lunch overlooking Old Grimsby Sound and it’s Quay.

20170710_130832     20170710_130559   20170710_125611


A change of scenery.  We followed Suki out of New Grimsby Sound, carefully making our way over Tresco & Samson Flats towards the Cove between Saint Agnes & Gugh.  These Islands are smaller than Tresco & Bryher.  We anchored in the bay with a number of other yachts before launching the dinghy and heading off to explore.

20170712_103419     IMG-20170720-WA0010       

The flora and stunning views as we walked around both Tresco, Bryher & St Agnes continued to thrill us throughout our time there.  A coffee in a cafe in the middle of the Island of St Agnes, followed by a Cornish Troy Town home produced icecream and a quick pint in the Turks Head Pub!  plus a quick walk through the most amazing tent site on the waters edge at Troy Town Farm.  On the return walk we sighted what we thought was a snow man in the middle of a field. On closer examination it turned out that the snow man was actually a stone man complete with a stuck on carrot for the nose, coal eyes, and a colourful scarf .

IMG-20170720-WA0011           IMG-20170713-WA0001        IMG-20170712-WA0000

We returned to Money Penny for lunch and decided to pump up our Kayak before kayaking to the beach for an afternoon swim.  The water was much warmer than in New Grimsby Sound so both of us ventured in.  Throughout the day the sea had been like glass and the flora and stunning views as we walked around both Tresco, Bryher & St Agnes continued to thrill us throughout our time there.

Night time arrived and the wind picked up meaning Money Penny was rocking & rolling all night long!  Early Friday morning we moved to Porth Cressa, Saint Mary’s, closely followed not long after by Suki of Shuna, before returning to bed to catch up on some sleep!!!!

St Mary’s was not our favourite island.  We had arrived on a Friday at the same time as a cruise ship!!  The streets were full of people, the weather was not so good and we were tired!!  The Island didn’t stand a chance really.  We visited the local WI market and walked around Hugh Town before having lunch overlooking a sandy beach and then returning to the boat.   

We knew that Vikki and Brett on Questing, had left Milford at 9am on Wednesday on passage to the Isles of Scilly and we had heard nothing since.  We finally contacted them at 16.30 on Thursday afternoon, they were 2 hrs out.  What a journey!  When they appeared in Porth Cressa we certainly let out a cheer!  They anchored and then visited us for a quick drink before going to find a well earned meal. 


Friday Morning looked good for our departure.  We were unsure as to whether to head for Penzance or Falmouth but as soon as we left the beautiful Isles of Scilly, the conditions were perfect for a superb sail to Falmouth.

View User Profile for ALISTAIR

Padstow Harbour

Monday, 26th June

Two days of relaxation and we are now awaiting Gabriel (Alison & Neil), Bennanchie (Stephen & Karen).  Departure time from Milford Haven – 2.20am.    It’s 5pm and still no sign!     Finally we make contact, they are at the entrance to the Camel River.  They enter Padstow harbour at 7.000pm no worse for their journey but needing a well earned cuppa and good nights sleep. 

Stephen & Karen only have 48 hrs before their return trip but we have plenty of time for a Cornish Cream Tea onboard and a great meal out.  Early departure for them.


A trip to Padstow would not be complete without a bike ride along the Camel Trail.  Neil, Alison and ourselves decided to try out a tandem.  Not one between us all obviously!!  Great fun, although the Camel Vineyard was closed as it was a Sunday, meaning a slightly further cycle along the trail to the Tea Rooms.  Well worth a visit for Lunch or refreshment.

IMG-20170706-WA0002     IMG-20170706-WA0000     

The unsettled, wet and windy, weather means we are unable to carry on with our journey.  What else can you do when you find yourself in Padstow for more than a few days in wet and windy weather?   A Rover Bus Ticket!!!!  £13 for two  for unlimited travel around Cornwall.   It was a good idea at the time but having decided to leave the bus at Bodmin for a walk around, we blinked and missed it!  On to Liskeard and a connecting bus to Looe and Polperro (a pretty little fishing village).  A very long day with probably more time spent on the bus than off! but an enjoyable one.

Thursday, 29th, the weather is still not good but it looks like we may be able to continue our journey to the Isles of Scilly on Sunday.  Saturday morning checks unearth a problem with the raw water pump so we again decide that we should remain in Padstow until a part can be sourced and delivered.  Delivery expected Wednesday(5th July) before 1pm, Engineer booked.    Hurray!!! We will be leaving Thursday.   Alison and Neil make plans to leave at the same time.

Tuesday, 3rd July

A fabulous day.  Hot, sunny and not a cloud in the sky.  Time to launch the dinghies.  A trip across the River to Rock with a brisk walk and then a quick pint with lunch in the Sailing Club.  Not forgetting we must return before the harbour gate closes around 5pm.  When  we said to Neil ‘let’s head for the Bar’, we didn’t mean the sandbar!   The sandbar halfway across the River proved a ‘sticking point’ !!! 


Not the best picture in the world but proof that Neil has gone for a paddle in the middle of the Camel River!!

We had booked the engineer to repair the water pump as soon as it arrives tomorrow.  Extra cost for overnight delivery, guaranteed by 1pm and a promise from Rock Marine that they will do the job as soon as the part arrives on Weds afternoon.  12.45pm Wednesday and no sign of the part!  A tracking number reveals that it has visited Plymouth twice via Truro but is now on the way back to Plymouth!  It has been placed into the wrong delivery bag by Royal Mail!!!!    NO Parcel until Thursday!!!

Thursday, 5am and Neil & Alison are underway.  A good day for a sail!  The whole harbour seems to have emptied leaving Money Penny alone on berth no 10!   Heavy mist but forecast to clear soon.  Bon Voyage, see you in September if not before X 


9.42am – check Royal Mail Tracker …………DELIVERED!! 9.40am   Yay!!  We collect the parcel and head over to Rock to deliver it to Rock Marine.  Now we wait patiently (or not in the case of Al!!). 

View User Profile for ALISTAIR

Day 1 - Milford Marina to Padstow

Hi everyone and welcome to the blog for ‘Money Penny’ a Dufour 43  yacht crewed by Alistair (Captain/ Skipper/ Navigator/DIY man and general dogs body) and Judith, crew/chief cook and bottle washer/ chief arranger, et al)

We left Milford Marina on free flow at 5.00am on Saturday 24th June 2017 after a huge amount of boat prep and waiting around. had to motor down the Haven to the heads due to the incoming spring tide. Near Thorn island the captain instructed the crew to hoist the ‘Main sail’. Well not strictly correct, as the boat has ‘in mast’ furling so technically you pull the sail out along the boom using the ‘outhaul’. Ooops, it became evident that said Captain Al hadn’t been very good with his knots and the sail refused to move, the knot came undone and the rope very nearly disappeared into the end of the boom. Ok, try again, with a bowline knot securing the sail to the rope.

IMG_0924                     IMG_0925

Out of the Heads, (Heads in this case means - entrance to the Milford waterway not to be confused with Heads- the loo on a boat!) and the sails ‘hoisted’ in a 20 knot wind with a 1.5 metre sea swell. Ok, not ideal but here goes. We set the compass co-ordinates for 180 degrees due South, passing Linney head (yet another Head – this time a rocky outcrop to be avoided in a boat). It’s true to say we had a roughish passage in company at a distance with two other yachts which left Dale just ahead of us and kept us company all the way to Padstow or should it be renamed Padstein. It is always a welcome sight to see dolphins dancing in the pressure wave on the front of the yacht, and we weren’t disappointed. Their presence lifts dampened spirits and always brings a smile and an excited anticipation of more to come. I’m not sure if its the same dolphins visiting the boat time after time but fair play they always put on a great show. Lundy some 15 to 20 miles to our Port halfway through the journey seems to be there for a very long time until it eventually disappears into the sea mist. Next rolled up the coast of Cornwall in the form of Trevose head. At last after some 10 hours, sight of where we wanted to be. I spoke too soon. In came the mist and rain and Trevose head and Newland Island at the entrance promptly disappeared into the mire. The last hour of the journey into the Camel river wasn’t very pleasant, we had to avoid lobster fishing buoys and flags, as well as try to avoid some unsavoury rocks…… Cornwall. Note to self – need windscreen wipers on my glasses!. A large swell greeted us at the entrance to the river and in hindsight we should have taken the sails down before navigating the gap between Newland island and Pentire Point. Sails down when clear of any known rocks and we motored up the river towards Padstow avoiding the infamous ‘Doom bar’ sand bank, which is well marked with buoyage. Turn right at the next mark, sorry turn to starboard at the next buoy brought us to the Harbour entrance. A radio call on Channel 12 summoned the duty harbour berthing master to the need to find us a suitable berth for a few days. He informed us in a broad Cornwall accent (probably the result of living in Padstow) to go Portside to, on ladder 10. Upon entering the harbour I looked for Ladder 10 and quickly formed the opinion that we would never get ‘Money Penny’ into the gap. As I approached ‘ladder 10’ there was a welcome face on the quayside in the form of ‘Ty’  off a yacht called Ritsy, under instruction from Jenny (PHYC organiser!). Plenty of room was the cry from the quayside. Ok challenge on! It was then that I realised that there was a smaller yacht tied up on the inner side of a 50 foot Yacht. Plenty of room, and after what was a text book berthing witnessed by aplenty on the quayside we eventually secured ‘Money Penny’ to the wall and took a well earned rest and big cup of tea. (only the second cuppa that day) On the down side and due to the rough sea Judith wasn’t very well for the entire journey. We both hope she can overcome this sickness for the rest of our adventure, as it can get lonely on a long passage. Ok, all for now. Resting in Padstow on Sunday 25th June. Speak soon.


View User Profile for ALISTAIR