Cornwall - boats and ships

We spent last week on holiday with the family in Mevagissey, Cornwall. It was a great holiday, despite variable weather; being grandparents is a privilege and and a joy. We stayed in Mevagissey just under two years a ago and enjoyed the trawler racing. This year, being earlier in the year it was much quieter but we did manage to visit Charlestown and take a trip to Fowey on the Mevagissey - Fowey ferry.

Mevagissey Harbour

Charlestown is the base for the Square-Sail Company who run several tall ships. We have visited Charlestown a few times before, notably in 2003, 2009 and 2011. In summer 2011 we actually passed Phoenix, the  two masted barque owned by the company, while we were on our way to Sharpness on Albert. Phoenix was on its way to Gloucester for a Tall-Ships Festival.

Albert passing Phoenix near Saul Junction on the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal in August 2011

This time the dock at Charlestown was relatively quiet. In the past we have found three sailing ships in port but this time only the Earl of Pembroke was at home and ship tours were not being offered. It appears that the Phoenix is due to arrive in Charlestown from Gloucester next Friday. It would be great to see her enter the tiny dock at Charlestown because the entrance is very tight and set at a sharp angle.

Earl of Pembroke at her home port
At the moment Charlestown dock and the ships are owned by the Square Sail Company but they were up for sale last year. I don't know what the latest position is regarding ownership but I hope this wonderful little port continues to be a sailing ship base after the current owner retires.

The Mevagissey - Fowey ferry is a slick operation and very professionally run. The whole of our immediate family, daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren, went to Fowey for the day on the ferry. The trip takes around 50 minutes across St Austell Bay and on a a good day it provides good views of St Austell, Charlestown, Par, Polkerris and the Fowey Estuary. 

The Route of the Mevagissey - Fowey Ferry

On the trip over to Fowey it was calm and our granddaughter Amelia, aged three, took a turn steering MB Bessie James. Her Grandad watched on enviously.

MB Bessie James at Mevagissey Harbour

Amelia at the helm of MV Bessie James with an anxious skipper and Maggie watching on

Earlier in the week we had seen a cruise ship leave the Fowey estuary an travel towards Plymouth so it came as no surprise to see another cruise ship in port at Fowey - the MV Voyager. She stayed in port all day and we kept on spotting her crew around the town. There was quite tight security on the Town Wharf for passengers and crew with security guards using aircraft style scanners.   

Fowey Quay with MV Voyager
MV Voyager preparing to depart

We had a great day out around the town of Fowey and spent sometime on Readymoney Beach. The tide was out and sandcastle building was the order of the day. Just above the beach is the home of Dawn French.

Readymoney Beach and Poldrith Cove, Fowey
(Dawn French lives at the large house overlooking the cove)

Fishing Boat arriving at Fowey