The Helford River

Tuesday 21st & Wednesday 22nd August 2012

We had four hours sleep to top up the rest taken during the night.  We had some breakfast, and cleared the debris from the night’s passage.  Around noon, I thought I saw Little Dove at the mouth of the Helford.  It was Tim and Sally!  The Scilly Isles would have to wait; Helford was the place to be.  They came past us, and said that they were heading up to see if a visitor’s mooring was free.  They then radioed us that there were two free next to each other, so we upped anchor and motored all of the 200 metres up the river.  And so this became our spot for the next two nights.

On Tuesday, we took the river taxi to the Shipwright for lunch.  It turned out to be a very long lunch, but not of our own making.  We’re at springs, and very springy springs, meaning that the tidal range is greater.  A very low tide meant that the water taxi couldn’t get to the quay for three hours.  What were we meant to do?  We had to sit in the sun, having scrummy lunch and drinking beer – or Guinness in my case!  We were swapping news and stories, and it was a really great few hours.

We also shared supper, us having a collection of bits to make a Remoska Chicken Provencal!  Yummy! Sally created the most amazing Crème Caramel, so it was quite a feast.  Much wine was consumed, with banter levels high, and much laughter.  A wonderful evening with friends.   Each of the last three nights have followed a similar pattern.  On Wednesday night, we ate aboard Little Dove, where we “the cob do the job”!  A cob BBQ, which we’d looked out for, after Tim had messaged us, giving Pete gadget envy.  It’s a remarkable little device, and cooks beautifully (or perhaps that was Tim’s touch), and we will be looking out for one, I’m sure.

On Wednesday, I woke early and was rewarded by the most amazing sunrise!  No editing at all of the following photo, as I shivered in the cold, damp morning to take photos of the amazing skyscape (and Tim’s boat).  Anyway, our day was a shore day.  Pete got us all ashore on our dinghy and we walked and walked.  Tim was skipper of the walk, having the walk mapped on his iPhone (although during the few hours that we walked, it sucked the life out of his battery).  The route was about 13km, taking us around Frenchman’s Creek, and then inland.  We stumbled across the most amazing gallery, with a sculpture exhibition and gorgeous gardens.  It’s called Kestle Barton, a rural centre for contemporary arts (www.kestlebarton.co.uk), and is well worth a visit.  I have completely fallen in love with the sculpted birds in glass, by Matt Durran, as shown in the photo below – giving more ideas for our garden at home….

Our walk took us inland, I think, via the village of Manaccan where we stopped for lunch.  This was another gem.  The South Cafe.  Pete had the best looking lunch, a mackerel sandwich (watered with a pint of Betty Stoggs).

The final leg of the walk was 5km back to Helford, with Tim’s battery having almost died, I was in the lead, and my instruction was simple.  “Keep the water on the starboard side”!  We were on the coastal path, and walking up and down overlooking the Helford.  It was glorious, and after our days on the boat, it was great to have a decent leg stretch.