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Travel with Taransay Mhor
In 2015 we have cruised slowly from North Brittany down to South Brittany and beyond.
On passage to Dale Bay
19/06/2012, Milford Haven

Castlemartin Range boat diverts us 3 miles offshore

No one wants to mess with a live missile firing but those 3 miles added two hours to the trip and put the wind on the nose. In addition it was through an area of rough water we had wanted to avoid and we almost missed the tide to Milford Haven.

A very pleasant night on a free pontoon in Dale Bay followed

Caldey Island
18/06/2012, Bristol Channel

Sailing on to the anchor at Caldey Island

Looks idyllic? The sun shone on golden sands when we went for a walk ashore that afternoon but at dusk thunderclouds darkened the sky. The wind got up and started to send a really uncomfortable swell in to the bay that lasted all night. Caldey is owned by the Cistercian monks who live here and we did wonder if the weather had anything to do with the sign we saw after our walk on the Beach.

Take a look in the gallery to see why.

Penguin gains his Helmsman's Certificate

Concentrating hard on his compass course.

Penguin is becoming a valuable member of our crew


Enjoying a once in every 50 years weather pattern

Can you believe the weather, we can't, our third severe gale forecast in a six week period. This is supposed to be June!

Completing our Round Britain voyage feels a long way from being completed.

Lundy Island

Taransay Mhor anchored off Lundy while we rest after a pub walk

Eventually Padstow and the weather allowed us to set sail for Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel. Stopping overnight here is very weather dependant, we were lucky and managed two nights at anchor in the hook created by Rat Island.

A step track winds straight up to a small hamlet where we found the island shop and Marisco Tavern but it was early and we had an island to explore. At 3.5 miles long and less than a mile wide there is enough room for summer visitors who stay in the National Trust cottages and a lot of livestock. Sheep, deer, ponies and goats were everywhere. The puffins live at the very furthest northern end and despite the perfect June day we didn't get that far.

Bristol Channel Dolphins

Around 50 played round the boat for an hour on passage from Padstow to Lundy Island.

The Camel Estuary

Extreme Walking, Chris, John and Colin on the beach we sailed over on the way in here

Life did not stay quiet for long, this morning we took an extreme walk in a gale along the sands of the estuary, the views of coast and countryside are extraordinary.

St Ives & Padstow

Padstow Harbour in sunshine
A rough exit from The Scilly Isles became a fair sail as we closed the Cornish coast, reaching St Ives by early evening. Another anchorage where we had to hang on to our tea cups, otherwise they would have been on the floor. Colin found a leaflet we had picked up in Penzance 'Visit St Ives by Train'. Good idea.

Our entry to The Camel Estuary, Padstow was greeted with a Jubilee gig race, and a crowd of local boats covered in flags zig-zagging across our bows. "Yacht in the approach channel, Padstow Harbour" Our VHF sprang to life and it was calling us. "Make best speed I have to close the harbour gate" The sea was about to flood the streets of Padstow.

We were thankful for a quiet harbour and fish & chip supper.

Tresco & Bryher

Bryher looking towards the west.

Whilst moored off St Mary's we took a ferry over to Tresco and spent a day admiring the famous Abbey Gardens and getting sand between our toes paddling on the beaches.

Later in the week New Grimsby Sound between Tresco & Bryher offered better shelter for the SW F6- that was expected. It was raining as we threaded our way across Tresco Flats, they look like a beach at low tide and a lake at high. The moorings were sheltered from the wind but the swell still found its way in making Taransay dip & sway for the two nights we stayed here.

Bryher's winding lanes and magnificent scenery took our breath away, we would have liked to stay longer. Such a shame that the 07.10am forecast indicated a severe downhill trend in the weather, we left by 10am aiming to anchor off St Ives in Cornwall for the night.

St Mary's, Isles of Scilly

Taransay Mhor moored in St Mary's Harbour
Two years ago our visit to The Scilly Isles was put on hold due to inclement weather, in early May it was still in doubt, when will summer arrive. However on Tuesday we had a good sail from Penzance, managed to navigate in through the rocky approaches to St Mary's Harbour, mooring up at 17.30pm. The weather has held and we plan to explore other island anchorages after today.

From the pilot books you would imagine supplies were hard to find or expensive in The Scilly Isles, we have not found that to be the case in Hugh Town on St Mary's where there is a Co-op, fuel, water and showers available, what more does a cruising sailor need, a pub maybe, we found several of those too.

Wednesdays, the ladies gig racing can be watched from the quay. The gig sheds are on a beach near our mooring and the ladies rowed out past us to lots of encouraging cheers. Then it was a mad dash ashore to see them race across the Bay. Tonight we have a repeat performance for the mens teams.

I have been beguiled by The Isles of Scilly and do not want to leave, they are on our 'must visit again' list.

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