Monday 17 September: Tony picked the boat up at Malpas and took it down to Falmouth Yacht Haven, mooring singlehanded in 35 knot gusts. Dinner at the Ghurka restaurant. Forecast 5-7 from the Southwest, occasionally 8, so decided to wait till Wednesday. Falmouth has the depressed look it always assumes in rain and chilly wind, with glum holidaymakers patrolling the long narrow shopping street.
Tuesday 18 September: Rick Stein’s new Falmouth restaurant does an over 60s fish and chips takeaway special on Tuesdays for 4.95, which compares with 12.95 for grown ups to sit down and eat it. We’re not proud. Took it back to the boat, with lager to drink. Delicious!
Wednesday 19 September: A wild night, gradually cleared after breakfast, so we left just before 10, with a forecast of NW 5-6, which is perfect, because off the land. At Dartmouth, we went alongside the ferry and tripper boat pontoon, where yachts are allowed overnight, but have to leave by 8.45 am. Passage notes: 66 miles, 10 hours, maximum NW 6, min NW2, calm, good visibility.
Thursday 20 September: Moved from the ferry pontoon. After a day reading the papers and shopping, we left at 2100, when strong SW winds had gone NW and eased. Stared for hours at a clear moon over water. Wrote up the deck log without the aid of a torch.
Friday 21 September: At times we were doing 10 knots over the ground as we entered the Needles Channel and approached Hurst Castle, the narrows on the way into the Solent. The wind died, and we were back in summer – out came the sun cream. We arrived at Cowes as the tide turned against us.
Passage notes: 90 miles on the log, 14 hours, max wind NW 6, min Variable 2, sea slight to moderate, visibility very good.