DAY 7 – Tuesday 26 April 2022 – Jenny’s Cove (Lundy Island) to Padstow

Miles logged: 40
Total miles logged: 266
Days since leaving Fleetwood: 7
Days at sea: 6

The birds’ vocal cords were were limbering up for the day ahead as we weighed anchor at Lundy and bade a fond farewell to that beautiful place. We anticipated an easy run down to Cornwall; the weather was fine once again and the wind ideal in both speed and direction. Beam-reaching and with the tide with us we had no difficulty maintaining 7 kts for over thirty miles. Once again we saw no other yachts but one showed up on AIS, sailing from Cardiff, and she joined us at Padstow a couple of hours after we arrived. The coastline of the West Country emerged early on though the morning mist and as the hours passed its grandeur came into full view. The north Cornish coast is an impressive one, formed largely of great stone cliffs. Between two of them lies historic Tintagel, so in tribute as we sailed past I played on Bubble’s stereo the Bax tone-poem of that name, for decades one of my favourite pieces of music.

The rocky Cornish coast near the entrance to the Camel estuary

Once again we enjoyed the company of dolphins, though those around Bubble were uncharacteristically camera-shy. Happily we were in these fine conditions able to sail most of the way down, resorting to engine-power only as the wind dropped as we neared the rocks surrounding the entrance to the Camel estuary which leads to Padstow. Entering the estuary we were struck by the beauty of the sandy beaches, the crystal-clear waters and the impressive houses close by the banks. The passage up to Padstow is not long – perhaps 20 minutes’ motoring – so we were soon at the harbour entrance and, our timing having been good, the gate to the inner harbour where we could remain afloat was open. 

Entering the buoyed channel leading to Padstow

I was shocked as Bubble passed through the narrow entrance into the inner harbour how small it is within and how packed with activity the little harbour was on a gorgeous sunny spring afternoon. Visiting yachts at Padstow must tie up against a wall and we were allocated ladder number 11, with Bubble to raft onto Pagets Lady. As is courteous practice when rafting I wanted to raft to Mike’s yacht with my bow to his stern and there was just room to turn Bubble to achieve this without her rudder hitting the slipway next to our allocated spot. All this manoeuvring was executed under the scrutiny of a great many curious visitors, some of them perhaps hoping that Mike or I would mess up. Happily, all went well, and Mike and I rafted in the manner that we have discussed and practised. Once safely tied up one could take in the extraordinary atmosphere of Padstow on a fine day (see the YouTube video). It felt like we were abroad in high summer. 

Entering Padstow’s inner harbour
Manoeuvring with very little space, barely enough depth and consicous that the slipway continued for some distance into the water ….
Safely rafted to Pagets Lady. Note the superyacht on the far wall

Tomorrow will be our second rest day. It would in any event be a shame to leave such a delightful place after just one night. I have a few minor jobs to do on Bubble, as does Mike on Pagets Lady, and I’ll have a run and do some shopping and perhaps enjoy some refreshment at one or other of the many rather upmarket-looking establishments around the harbour.

We were told by the berthing master that there is a big May Day festival at Padstow at the weekend and many visiting yachts are expected. It could get very busy in the harbour and even more difficult to manoeuvre. We spent some time consulting the tide times and the tidal streams around Land’s End and decided that, provided the good weather holds, we will make for Newlyn via Land’s End on Thursday, departing at 0600. That will be a significant trip, not least because Land’s End is one of the four ‘corners’ of our circumnavigation, in addition to it being a formidable navigational challenge for yachtsmen, save in the most benign conditions.

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