Idyllic weather has enabled 26 motorboats to reach St Mary's Harbour, a pinnacle in a week that has seen visits to four other West Country havens.
Idyllic weather has enabled 26 motorboats to reach St Mary’s Harbour, a pinnacle in a week that has seen visits to four other West Country havens.
Monday marked the move across Lyme Bay to Dartmouth, where boats were found moorings on the mid-river pontoons and Darthaven Marina. Wednesday took the fleet to Mayflower Marina in Plymouth, a regular haunt of MBM Cruises over the years. A foggy Thursday morning saw everyone move to the very attractive and friendly Mylor Marina in Falmouth, with some opting to lunchtime stop in the petite haven of Polperro, a seemingly tiny cleft in the cliff made somewhat tinier again by the bad visibility that marked the beginning of this visit (but fortunately not its end).
However it is today’s passage to the Scilly Islands that will long stay in many memories. A dominant high and a very slack pressure gradient have ensured calm seas all week. Combine that with 20-mile or more visibility and you have excellent motorboating ingredients. The biggest waves encountered today came from a steady stream of containerships turning the corner at Land’s End to head along the Channel. It was lazy cruising of the kind usually enjoyed by basking sharks such as the one spotted just off The Lizard by the crew of the MBM control boat, the Broom 39Calm Voyager.
A midday arrival has allowed crews to explore St Mary’s with some making it further afield to Tresco. Some found seals, all of the children (of various ages up to pensionable) found the beach and a lot of swimmers found the water clear…and somewhat stimulating in terms of temperature. The day was crowned by a perfect sunset this evening, the golden orb of the sun sliding ever so slowly behind the backlit shadow of the island of Samson Tonight the only issues are the complete lack of wind, which is allowing rafted boats to drift this way and that, sometimes a little close to comfort albeit without real drama. A little adjustment here and there revealed all was well on our last check of the day, a midnight round of the harbour with our RibEye RIB leaving a phosphorous trail in its wake.
There have been other highlights too. For example the kindness of those encountered en-route is being talked about daily. Harbour staff have gone out of their way to help and fishermen in Polperro were so taken by the arrival of several gleaming white plastic boats in their midst they even helped to ferry crew ashore.
As for the fleet there have been a few problems. On the upside the two boats not able to make it to the start line, Roger Powell’s Sealine S37Silver Seaand Norman and Natalie Nathan’s Birchwood TS37Goldiehave both caught up but Steve and Sally Harris’s Fairline Turbo 36U Floozyis out with an engine-related problem and the Pearl 43Mystique, delayed at Weymouth with a transmission problem, has yet to catch up. However that still leaves 31 boats, of which five opted to stay in Falmouth, MBM’s biggest ever fleet to visit the West Country and the highest number yet to make one of its rare Scilly landings.
Tomorrow we head back to Falmouth, where moorings await at Port Pendennis. If the weather allows we’re going to take advantage of the calm seas to take a detour to Longships off Land’s End and another to St Michael’s Mount near Penzance.