The fleet of Tall Ships parades out of harbour to open sea. It really is the most amazing spectacle, especially considering that lots of these ships are built relatively recently and equipped for disabled and able bodied crew to work together. So many ships were offering opportunities for life changing experiences to youngsters under 25. We'd have jumped at it. *cough* 25 years ago.
All of these photos were taken by my talented cousin and I'm grateful for every one of them, they saved me from the embarrassment of having to use my phone because I'd forgotten my old point and shoot. Stupid huh.
So in time for an on board coffee, we joined the gentle melee in the harbour. There was a slightly more dignified entry into the launch and a very gentle motor to the yacht mooring. Do you know that very often there's a lower part at the back of a yacht that is almost level with the water (and therefore the launch in which you approach). It's called the 'sugar scoop' which is such a nice name. And I was looking forward to being part of the maritime world by concealing my excitement and casually stepping aboard via the scoop. Gripped with invisible strength of course, by Mr Dunnit, who would look as though he were casually taking my elbow in a Mr Darcy inspired politeness.
It didn't happen. Robin, our Captain, felt it was all too complicated and unnecessary. Far easier to bring the launch 'alongside' and just climb on. Oh OK. Did I look up at the 4foot of yacht side above me and the little wire fence running around the yacht edge which allowed no more than a foot hold on the outside edge and think 'oh no...it's OK people, I'll stay in the launch'? No sir I did not. I looked up, took a deep breath and erm, let Mr Dunnit go first. And then I did it. because I had to. And do you know, the help from Mr Dunnit was actually more of a hindrance. We somehow ended up holding onto each other without either of us being able to move - me forward and over the fence and him backwards to make room on account of the cabin.....so we hugged while we worked it out. It was good!
The flotilla was huge, the papers say about 1000 small vessels. There was no trouble, and of course, because we were on the water, it seemed quiet. The atmosphere was just plain relaxed and smiley. Or were all the friendly waves becasue of my amazing sea-going outfit, I now wonder? The landlubbers that knew the best lookout points were in such numbers that the fields and points above St Mawes, Pendennis Point and places whose names I cannot remember were like multicoloured mosaics.
Thanks to our Captain, we pursued the fleet under our own sail - it was really thrilling. The tall ships approached open sea and halted for the start of the official race, and within about forty minutes, the number of littler craft bobbing about became so much less that it was almost as if we had imagined it. We quietly made our way a short distance up the Helford River, weighed anchor and sat in the cabin with mugs of tea and ate chocolate. Technically we were waiting for the tide to change so that we could get the yacht back to its mooring. But really we were allowing the adrenaline and vision overload to settle. We had much to say about how hard it would be to name your own yacht. This conversation based on some shockingly named vessels that sailed past us. It seems popular to make a single name out of a couple's two names. We couldn't settle on that...which half of who's name should be first. And anyway, it sounded awful. I wouldn't mind an acronym (surprise), just to make people guess as they sail by. But I don't want anything cheesy - YWorri and Better than Work don't appeal. And then of course, there's the reality check....the name of a yacht is not really likely to be one of our future dilemmas.
Remember London 2012 - the best Olympics ever?
The Post Office painted letter boxes gold as a nod to our gold medallists.
This one, set in the wall of the Pandora pub, celebrates Sir Ben Ainslie's record achievement.
It caused some controversary though...he was born locally, but trains and lives in Lymington, Hampshire.
So I believe he has two gold letterboxes that honour his achievements. And why not, say I.
And so gentle reader, despite the embarrassment of land lubber type embarkation, the embarrassment caused to my cousins when I felt the need to wear navy and white stripes to erm, 'fit in', the embarrassment that the boys gamely bore as Jane and I giggled like children over not being able to say proper words properly....Truro and Brewery to name but two..OK and Aurora - no longer a potential name for a yacht; the greatest embarrassment really is the incredibly wind and sun burned faces that we had to endure. For the first time in our lives we were truly burned through carelessness. Despite years of getting used to being embarrassed, my face has never been so red. Totally worth it.