Bowsprit damage week.


On the 13th June a small motor vessel collided with the end of Lucy’s bowsprit as she lay on her mooring. The guys at Mylor called me to say that it wasn’t too bad, but they’d send pictures. I was dreading the thought that she’d need to be lifted out for a month or so of repairs, so was relieved when the images arrived to show a glancing blow to the end which had only really split the timber on the end. The cranse iron, a hefty stainless steel fabrication near the end of the bowsprit, had stopped it splitting further. Thankfully, the skipper of the offending boat had informed the marina staff, and since he’d immediately admitted responsibility I ceased being overly concerned. However, I’d obviously need to go and have a look at it, wouldn’t I?


It was only a week or so since Tony had missed the Cape Cutter 19 week with his infected foot, and the weather forecast was ‘scorchio’ for a few days. We made plans and were enjoying breakfast in the sun at 9am the next day – 19th June. Thursday was a work day for me, so amongst calls and emails I had Lucy alongside for the Mylor team to check her out close too. There was nothing which couldn’t wait until next week, and it could be repaired from the pontoon. The wind was in the north, so in the afternoon we sailed to St Mawes and anchored alongside Steve and Carol in Aeolus for the night. It was quite breezy, and we were very well placed to watch the Falmouth working boat fleet off the St Mawes start line for the evening race. It was quite a spectacle, and once the race finished they insisted on sailing circles around us whilst shouting ‘cheers’ to the victors. There were also smaller dinghys and Shrimpers racing, and gig crews out rowing, and we dragged our anchor.

Steve called me to say that we were dragging. We had plenty of chain out, but raised anchor and came back in for another go, but this caused a major problem at 3am when we decided to move to St Just as the wind had screwed east and picked up. We weren’t sleeping and I was worried that our swing had put us too close to rocks, so we were up and ready to move, but not before I’d had to hang over the bow to untangle the anchor from a line of unmarked lobster pots. I carried the bruises for days. By 4am we were anchored in a much calmer, nay still, St Just. When we woke we saw that Steve and Carol were there too.

That Friday was lovely. Dad and I went ashore for a walk to the beautiful church of St Just in Roseland. Apparently, if you believe this stuff, it’s where legend says that Jesus landed. I’d never realised that he used to come to Cornwall for his holidays, but couldn’t blame him. Lucy lay to anchor, it held this time, and looked lovely under a blue sky on shimmering crystal clear water. That evening we went back over to Mylor and spent the night on the mooring.

It was now Saturday and the weather remained superb, so we thought we’d go for a good sail, but not before popping into Falmouth for supplies. We anchored just off Admiralty Quay, as I did many times with Zephyr, but again the anchor took some time to hold. We must have dragged 8m or so, and I was getting concerned about this, so laid all 30m of chain in what was just a light breeze. Once supplied, and having had lunch, we set off sailing, making good speed out beyond Black Rock where the breeze was turned off. We drifted east as far as Porthbeor beach, then headed for Helford with the assistance of the engine. As neared land there was a line on the water where the breeze kicked in again, and Tony helmed us on a four sail beam reach into the entrance. I sat forward with my feet hanging over the side enjoying the occasional splash of cold water.

We spent the night at anchor just south of Calamansack Wood and west of the moorings. The anchor held well here as there was very little breeze. The views were stunning, and we enjoyed a great meal cooked by dad. It was very still overnight, and in the morning too. Dad was in awe of the place. After breakfast we set off for Mylor – the breeze had kicked in from the north east, so that pretty much meant motorsailing back to Black Rock, then easing sheets for a lovely sail to Mylor racing against a Crabber 22. We didn’t overtake, but certainly put a hundred metres into her. Since the sailing was so good we continued all the way to Pill before dropping sail and motoring up the Fal to Ruan for a look around and then heading back to Mylor.

It had been a really special weekend. Dad was getting more confident on the helm, and he can get into and out of the new dinghy more easily than I thought he would. Here’s to his next trip.

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