Albert has spent the last week in Baxter's dry Dock at Yardley Gobion having the hull blacked. All appears OK. The last blacking was only two years ago and the "new" anodes appear to be in good shape.

New blacking and gunwales repaint

We did appear to have picked up quite a bit of rubbish around the prop. It must have happened on our trip to Stoke Bruerne. I must admit I wasn't aware of any change in performance. Took some hacksaw work to remove it -it included a hose pipe!

Interesting collection of rubbish around the propeller

It was also interesting to line up the new stern fender arrangement with the rudder to see just how much protection we have. It appears three fenders wouldn't have been enough.

Fenders and rudder

Trawler Racing

Yes, we've been away and not on Albert - that may happen next month. We spent the last week in July at a great holiday house that overlooks Mevagissey harbour. Unlike St Anthony, where we spent a week in 2009, the seas around St Austell and Mevagissey are relative quite for shipping. However, there is an active trawler fleet based in the harbour and the village still revolves around fish and the sea. It was pure coincidence that we chose the week we did, but we were very pleased to find that we had chosen Mevagissey Feast Week - a long established festival loosely based on the sea and originally set to celebrate the villages patron saint - St Peter.

Throughout the week there were numerous activities, including bands performing on a stage on the harbour, parades, food events, concerts, fish auctions and, of course, a floral dance.

Fish Festival stalls

However, the one event that really grabbed my attention was the trawler, or more accurately fishing boat racing. It consisted of a handicapped race around buoys placed in the bay. The local fishing boats were dressed overall and packed with friends and family all having a great time. There was the usual winners prize and also a prize for the "best dressed boat".

Dressed Overall

Complete with sponsorship

The weather whilst were in Cornwall was dry and bright, but the day of the boat racing a sea fret came in and visibility was very poor. The foghorn on the harbour wall sounded all morning. The race was postponed until the afternoon when the mist lifted.

Testing Visability

The racing was quite exciting even viewed from the land but being handicapped it was very difficult to establish who were the leaders. Turning around the buoys was a cut throat bussiness with nobody giving way without a fight. Amongst the entrants were the usual array of different size fishing boats and some visiting classic lifeboats. They looked particularly great. Apart from their design it was difficult to tell that they were not currently commissioned. A close examination by binoculars revealing the tell-tale "former RNLI lifeboat .." was the give away.

Waiting for the start

Negotiating a buoy

Not much freeboard! - note the classic lifeboat in the background.

Lots of flags

We had a great time over the week. We can recommend Mevagissey and its Feast Week. We shall try and come again, and if so, at the same time.