‘Bessie Ellen’ 6/10 – Cornwall

The sea has been ‘moderate’ – (slightly lumpy), during the night, but has settled to ‘slight’ – (that’s calm to you and me), at breakfast. The sun shone and Pendeen is in sight, soon to be followed by Cape Cornwall. Some days are perfect.

We pass the Longships light off Lands End with Gwennap Head beckoning


The crew are relaxed


A lug-rigged craft, the sail-plan reminiscent of a Scottish Zulu (type of fishing boat), sailing well, heading Northward


Then we round the Runnel Stone buoy.


Further along the coast, The Minack Theatre at Porthcurno has a full audience. Then the Tater Du light


and Lamorna (also here).


I was born at the diagonally opposite end of Cornwall – Bude. Steeple Point is just north of there. We were approximately 60 nautical miles due west of there early this morning. Whichever end of Cornwall, this is coming home for me – and for ‘Bessie Ellen’. Not the sentimental Cornwall, nor the pretty Cornwall, nor the ‘branded’ Cornwall, but, as I mentioned in my first post on this, the raw Cornwall that carries its own long history, containing deep wells of human experience – much good, (some brilliant), and much bad, (some terrible).

We pass Mousehole and the navigation stage is over, it’s time to pilot her into Newlyn. No bow thruster here. Karina takes the dinghy in.


Nikki takes charge and gently turns ‘Bessie Ellen’ away from the quay,


and, with a nudge from Karina and judicious use of the throttle, turns us into the berth.


We make fast . . . and relax. We have safely navigated the Irish Sea and rounded the land, from Oban to Newlyn, as planned, before the weather changes.


The next stage is to offload and go to the pub.

(To be continued)

Images by Bill Whateley