Here we are in Falmouth, the point from which we plan to leave the UK and start the real adventure into the unknown (well unknown for us anyway). From here, our next port of call will be La Coruna in Northern Spain which involves crossing the notorious Bay of Biscay. Crossing Biscay comfortably and safely involves having the right weather i.e. not blowing a gale from the southwest. For some time now we have been wrestling with how to get weather information when further afield and away from a mobile phone data connection. We have finally bitten the bullet and splashed out on a satellite phone which means we can get weather information easily where ever we are in the world via ‘grib’ files (gridded binary). It also allows us to have contact the outside world (although a bit pricey for a chat at $15 per min to call us). We feel that this was the last piece in the large puzzle of getting ourselves and Florence ready to go, and now feel much more relaxed.


With the issue of weather data access sorted but no favorable weather for at least a week, we set about enjoying ourselves in Falmouth. We were lucky enough to be given a pair of folding bikes by Amy’s Dad and little brother for our trip, and we made the most of them to explore Falmouth. A pair of Sea Hippies, with a pair of Hippy bikes, we complete the look!

Whilst in Falmouth, we enjoyed an opportunity to catch up with a few people who were also visiting the area. This allowed us to enjoy a lovely walk around Pendennis point and Castle with Matt’s parents who came to visit us for a day (with a few forgotten items).

Another friend who came to visit was Simon. During the period when we were formulating a plan for sailing round the world, Simon was one of the people who was extremely helpful. A long time sailor with many years of boat ownership under his belt, he helped us to look for a suitable yacht. This year Simon is keeping his yacht in Falmouth and he came down for a long weekend of ‘cruising’ in company. (Anybody who knows Matt and Simon will understand what this entailed). We had a lovely sail up the Fal to Malpas where we were treated to an extravagant dinner in the pub, and a very enjoyable cruise to the beach at Gerrans bay the following day.

Up until now we had been enjoying great weather with moderate winds and plenty of sun, now the great British summer made a return with 30knots and a lot of rain. We scarpered up the river Fal in search of a sheltered anchorage and spent 2 days catching up with jobs onboard (oh and playing cards, watching films etc) whilst spinning around our anchor at a sometimes alarming rate. You know that feeling you get of the room spinning when you lie down after a good night out? Well for us the room literally was spinning, and we hadn’t even been drinking. The gusts of wind and the tide fought over which way Florence would point. Believe us, we could feel it even when not looking out of the window. We should probably have set a second anchor to calm things down or towed a bucket out the back to help the tide overcome the wind, but in the end we got used to the spinning and let it be.

After a couple of days the weather improved and we filled our time with walks ashore, sailing around in the dinghy, shopping for a few last minute bits and generally relaxing whilst keeping and eye on the weather. As a weather window appeared later in the week we started to feel that our days in England were numbered. So far we have really only come down to the west country for a holiday, we don’t feel like we have actually started our voyage. Once we we have crossed Biscay we think that feeling will have changed.



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