The start of our journey is here at Drym. From early January we have packed and decluttered 30 years of life into boxes, cupboard, drawers and barns.
quite a number of small canvas sewing jobs completed
Lists stretching the length of Cornwall, well not quite! Colin's attention to detail for this adventure is incredible. Every inch of Zephyr from the stern to the bow has been checked and double checked, including ourselves. Medicals, vaccinations, dentists and opticians. From hot climates to cold climates and from the Atlantic to the Pacific, nothing has been forgotten in detail.
Having Zephyr in Ponsharden Falmouth has made life much easier in getting her ready. Our launch date was fixed for 5th April 2023.
Early morning launch 5th April 2023
This deadline has pushed us to doing as much as we possibly can to getting everything on board. Probably way too much but we can always take items off again if not needed. Hopefully my little stash of craft and nic-nacs won't be spotted and can stay on board,
We are hoping living on board at anchor for a few months will test us and Zephyr trouble shooting problems as they occur. Already our first issues were rigging related with a stranded shroud and a failing furling top swivel on the genoa. ...........Mel Sharpe A2 Rigging resolved these efficiently and smoothly.
Helford has become our main anchoring spot. Sheltered peaceful incredibly beautiful.
Always something to see on the Helford
This spring has been unusually cold. This has been a great opportunity to test our thermals. With hats, woolly jumpers gloves and hot water bottles we have decided we can cope to 6 deg C, any colder then we might need to double up. Patagonia is a cold climate and something we have to prepare for.
'TIDE WAITS FOR NO MAN'
The logistics of living on board is something I hadn't prepared myself for.
Being dyslexic, I struggle with instructions. I learn by making mistakes, watching and repeating methods. This system can work well if you have the time and Colin has patience. Although the tide is no great mystery, it goes out and it comes in. Trying to calculate the amount of beach I will need to get across without wadding or sometimes swimming is a mystery. Then there are springs and neaps to add into the calculation. But over the last month I have got this all sussed. Now hopefully avoiding running at great speed across the beach on an incoming tide loaded down with bags of groceries.
Having cycled a round trip to Helston and back along unbelievably hilly back roads with our weekly shop we were pretty tired. But the tide was coming in and our dinghy was going to be afloat and we would be unable to get to it. Run!! Loaded down tired legs in sand. Although we made it this time rather then risk it again we have arranged a running line with a ketch anchor and a bag full of sand , this will hopefully be the way forward.
I under-estimated the strength of an ebbing tide, once again I needed to watch the speed of this to judge it better. But watching Colin accidently let go of the tender from our stern has helped me grasp this! It flew away at great speed towards the moorings and given the chance out to sea. Colin managing to jump into my trusted kayak chasing to fetch the tender back. With no engine working on the tender, Colin had to row towing the kayak against the tide back to Zephyr. Exhausting to watch!
My kayak has been up for debate for some time now. Is it one thing too much to take on our travels? I would like to think it has earned its space on Zephyr now.
Bec's daily commute to rowing training
Rowing has been a big part of my life. It's where I met Colin. I learnt to row on St Martins in The Isles Of Scilly over 35 years ago.
I have been lucky enough to join Helford River Gig Club. Over the past few months, I've been rowing with a wonderful group of ladies who are now good friends and teammates. We managed to get selected to row at the Scilly World Championships and representing Helford we won the famous St. Agnes race and won Silver overall in the Super Vets.
Bec's supervet crew finishing 1st in the St Agnes race
This was one of my favourite World Champs to date. It was a fantastic achievement and great fun. Many thanks Helford River Gig Club.
WILDLIFE AND WEATHER
Storm Noa hit us hard.
Storm Noa at its peak
12th April, high winds and heavy rain and it was a great opportunity to test our new Rocna anchor. It worked well, holding in 50knts of wind. Meanwhile an unfortunate situation occurred with a nearby boat dragging its anchor through the moorings. After failing to get a radio call response we decided to inform the coastguard. They put us in touch with the Helford moorings officer, after further attempts to make contact with the boat the Coastguard called the RNLI lifeboat. They arrived only to find the chap on board was well and unaware of the situation apart from his dinghy had parted company and was heading out to sea. The patient RNLI crew dealt with the situation and went on their way.
M0rGAWR [Cornish for sea monster]
The wildlife is wonderful on the Helford with owls in the woods lining the river and Kingfishers fishing off the low branches. Egrets abound with their laboured flying motion going from one spot to another. We even have a seal who pops up to investigate our neighbour's dog Mrs Nibbles who visited us. she was whining. and up he popped to see what the noise was. Mrs Nibble's soon stopped. I think she thought she might be lunch.
One day we noticed a strong bow wave crossing infront of the boat, we couldn't see what it was so Colin decided to investigate further and followed in the dinghy On closer inspection it turned out to be a Stoat. I had no idea they were such strong swimmers. Why would it need to cross such a large stretch of water?
Our next encounter with swimming wildlife was a Deer. Also, a very competent swimmer. It casually swam past heading across the river. Maybe its true when they say 'The grass is always greener on the other side', incredible to watch. My sister was on board that day. she was so excited to see this for herself. Hopefully a memory to treasure
3 girls in a boat
Homemade dinghy chaps to keep the tropical sun off