My little family and I have just spent a fabulous week aboard the Cornish Cruising Yacht, Wheel-Go. A 48ft Bavaria, Wheel-Go is an absolute beast. Sleeping up to 10 comfortably, she is roomy and has lots of luxuries.
I had actually booked a considerably smaller boat (32ft) I believe, so it was a great surprise to find that we had been upgraded free of charge. I took my 3 young children with me (twins of 4yrs, and a 5yr old), so pre-planned and took lots of activities with me to keep them busy. The children are well used to spending time on boats and know the safety drills. i.e, never go up on deck alone, if you’re on deck you must always wear a life jacket, etc. Their behaviour was exemplary on board and made me feel quite proud.
Also on-board was our fabulous skipper, Jim Goddard. He was an incredible skipper, very very experienced, with a safety first attitude and also a caring nature – thinking of the whole crew, and particularly the needs of the children. He was excellent with the children, teaching them about the boat and getting them to take charge of simple tasks, like pressing the anchor button when we wanted to drop anchor, which the children absolutely loved doing. The boat was a twin helm, which also worked out very well as it meant that we could always have an adult on one helm, and a child on the other – with the children believing they were in charge of the boat. They absolutely loved it.
The boat was moored in Falmouth, and was victualled for our arrival (with more than enough food for the week). Upon arrival we received a fairly standard boat briefing and agreed our objectives for the week (Ideally I wanted to complete my day skipper course) as well as making sure that everyone else, especially the children had a great holiday.
The weather was ‘ok’. Falmouth seems to have its own micro-climate… fog in the morning, which lifts in the afternoon, but remains fairly cool. This seemed to be the general pattern every day, while the rest of the UK was apparently basking in July sunshine and heat!
From Falmouth we set sail and headed to St Michaels mount where we dropped anchor and went ashore for the day. Exploring the town and the mount, honing our kite flying skills on the empty beach, and of course trying some creamy Cornish ice cream! The next day we had planned to head down to the Scilly Isles, but after 2 hours of sailing (at 4am while the rest of the boat slept) we decided to head back to the coast as the swells were quite large, the sailing would have been tough and I didn’t want the boat to succumb to sea sickness and effectively lose a day. So we had a slow and fun sail back up the coast to Penzance where we dropped anchor and went exploring. The rest of the week, we pottered along the coast, spending a night back at the Marina in Falmouth and visiting the beach there, and then another day/night at Fowey (pronounced Foy). Fowey is highly recommended, the home town of Dawn French, Fowey is a beautifully charming traditional Cornish seaside town. Packed with fabulous antique shops and boutiques, we also visited a small local aquarium where the children got to see and touch some of the local marine life.
Life on-board was comfortable with excellent food, 4 cabins, 2 heads, and a spacious saloon. We took it in turns to cook, and we were very well catered for.
I learnt a lot during the week, and got to hone some of my sailing skills. And at the end of the week was awarded with my Day Skipper cert. Which was an excellent bonus to a fun holiday!
In terms of wildlife, the biggest thrill was seeing pods of Dolphins leaping in our bow, and racing the boat. We saw a few different pods, and each time there were cheers of excitement aboard. The children slightly confused as to whether they were Sharks, Whales, or Dolphins, but smiling and shrieking with excitement at this natural wonder. And I for one felt incredibly lucky to be seeing these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat.
I will do a proper review on Cornish Cruising, and also share more details of my day skipper on separate posts.