We left our protected mooring in Porthcresso Bay on the Isles of Scilly heading off to St Michaaels Mount at 8.45 am; there was only about 8mph of wind, which is roughly 2 knots, the wind was basically easterly with an occasional south easterly, so not enough to start tacking with 35nm to go.
Initially whilst we were protected by the islands around the Scillies I thought that we had quite a flat, clam sea, it was only as we left the protection of the land that the true extent of the long swell became apparent. The Xsea forecast predicted a 2 metre wave height and I think that was being conservative. It didn’t cause us any bother because the sea was flat, so we just rose and fell on the rise and fall of the swell.
As we were leaving the islands a pod of dolphins came towards us from the opposite direction, five synchronised dolphins cresting in a line, magnificent. They were travelling at real speed, usually dolphins find it hard not to stop and play in our bow wave for a few minutes as they pass, but these were clearly on a mission.
Over the last couple of nights we have seen a large amount of effervescence in the water, especially when we were crossing from Ireland, every wave exploded in a shower of tiny stars, like miniature fireworks cascading over each wave. Then on a rather more mundane display, when we have been flushing the toilets at night, the bowls are filled with falling sparks of light. The effervescence is a really beautiful natural occurrence that only happens occasionally.
We passed Wolf rock on our starboard as we approached Lands End, the cardinal marking the Runnel Stone (a famous rock off Lands End). We then followed the coast along to St Michaels Mount, passing the Minnock Theatre, Mousehole, Lamorna, Newlyn and Penzance. I have visited St Michaels Mount on a number of occasions on foot, but seeing the mount as a distant pinnacle of rock and then watching the castle emerge as we sailed closer felt as though we could have been transported back in time, I experienced a real sense of the seafaring history associated with St Michaels Mount.
We anchored close to the entrance to the harbour and took the tender in. The castle closed at 4.15pm, so we were in a bit of a rush. Marian and Simon made it up to the castle in time, but Sean and I elected to wander around the gardens and shops, ending up with a cream tea on the lawn overlooking Marazion.
Last night we all settled down for an evening on anchor, we read, chatted, ate dinner and then watched a DVD, all under the shadow of St Michaels Mount illuminated in floodlighting, quite surreal.
It can be said our sail from the Isles of Scilly today went well almost home!
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