Up to West Cornwall Hospital for an x-ray of my spine first thing – all done super fast no fuss. I spend the rest of the morning trying to work out what I’m doing today but nothing much makes sense and I keep changing my mind and can’t prioritise. In the end I rather give up and call Volker over in Falmouth to see if he’d like to meet to talk boats. Yes! Come over, maybe we’ll go sailing too!
I drive over in the bus, winding down leafy lanes a couple of miles outside Falmouth. It’s so lush over this side, and lovely woodland and big trees. It sounds funny to say that, but weeks can pass in Penwith without seeing trees; it’s so blasted on the granite, and the air so salty maybe.
Volker gives me a tour of their building works and shows me John’s amazing garden all bright flowers and colour, views across fields and woods to the sea with sails on it…what a lovely place. We have lunch and discuss boats. Volker’s ahead of me here; he’s been sailing out of Penzance for some years and now has his boat in Falmouth and is looking to buy a bigger one. All very interesting. Then we head into Falmouth to the marina and wander a bio looking at all the yachts. It’s like windows shopping for boys. Fun! I don’t know much about modern yachts as all the sailing I’ve done has been on old gaff rigged wooden boats or sailing dinghies. But plastic boats is the way to go for me I think, much as I love the wooden ones. I want something lighter and less maintenance and there are some interesting designs from the the 70’s and 80’s that I could get into.
Well, then we take Volker’s boat Daydreamer out – Falmouth looks lovely from the water and there are hundreds of boats moored up of all shapes and sizes, and a mad mixture of smart marinas and rough and ready riverside berths where old boats go to die, sink into the mud and disappear… And we sail out to the mouth of the Fal where the wind picks up and you can feel the swell a little, then back into the Carrick Roads which is full of sails. I’m learning the ropes literally – Volker has his boat set up nicely for solo sailing with all the control lines running back to the cockpit and I’m getting the hang of it. I think a day or two and I’d feel pretty comfortable – what I’ve learned with my dinghy sailing is all directly transferable really. It’s been a great afternoon – thank you Volker. It takes the aches away doing something like this, and the business of sailing a boat fills up your head…