Wednesday: We’re off to Cornwall! Fowey (pronounced Foy!) to be precise. We had a gentle sail, close hauled, though the wind picked up after Rame Head. We saw shags fishing and the fins of a few dolphins. We passed an enormous frigate, the Tiderace and a trawling fishing boat. We arrived at Fowey just before 5pm and moored on to one of the visitor pontoons. Right behind us was a huge cruise ship. The harbour master said she was the biggest they’ve ever had come in to their harbour. It looked distinctly out of place.
Shortly after 6pm Toby and Janette came in their boat Jacobi II and moored up behind us on the pontoon. They’d sailed from Falmouth to join us for a bit – fun! With a cup of tea, we watched the cruise ship very slowly set off with the help of a tugboat. We had a lovely evening together eating, chatting and playing scrabble as couples. We were rudely defeated on our own boat!
Thursday: We dingied over to the quay on the Fowey side of the estuary and got into our taxi, off to the Eden Project. This is a big day, I’ve wanted to go there ever since it opened more than 16 years ago. And it didn’t disappoint! We had such an interesting and fun day! We went into the Rainforest and the Mediterranean biomes with their spectacular plants and trees. The plants are thoughtfully intermixed with anthropological excerpts on people who lived and live in these environments and insights into their economy and culture. Art and sculpture sit easily within the habitats. It was vibrant and thoroughly enjoyable for both mind and soul! We strolled round the many outdoor planting areas, and I particularly enjoyed the bee meadow and the sunflower patch. We ended our day at the Project at The Core and the invisible world exhibits. I spent a very long time enraptured with Infinity Blue, a huge ceramic sculpture celebrating cynobacteria.
I love the whole ethos of the Eden Project, how it’s built and managed, and their local and social engagement. Click here to read about the Eden Project
Back in Fowey we walked around the town a bit. It has more shops than I had expected. We had a drink at Galleons Inn, watching the world go by, followed by a very tasty dinner on Toby and Janette’s boat home. There was a very persistent owl near our boats, quite a nice sound. We also heard the peel of bells for almost an hour from the church up the hill. You notice sounds when they’re new to you.
Friday morning: I googled Fowey, to read its history. Obviously china clay, the ‘white gold’ has been a big part of commercial life in this area for a long time, but Fowey itself has been an important port since the Middle Ages. I found this website written by a former harbour master and I’m finding I’m surprisingly interested in tug boats and dredgers! Fowey Harbour: A History of the vessels, operations and The Commissioners
We took a wonderful circular walk today, the Hall Walk and the surprise sunshine made it even better! We crossed the river on the car ferry, and landed just by Ferryside, the whitewashed house with bright blue shutters in Bodinnick where Daphne du Maurier wrote her first novel The Loving Spirit. It was the first of many novels set in Cornwall, from Jamaica Inn on Bodmin Moor to Frenchman’s Creek by the Helford river. We walked high above the water, with amazing views over Polruan and Fowey, passing two monuments to Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch.
When we reached the footbridge at Pont we had our lunch sitting in the grass in blazing sunshine. Wonderful!
Upwards again (our legs are getting stronger!) to the very quaint St Wyllows church which mostly dates to the late 14th century. We were stunned by the beautiful wood work on the bench ends and rather intrigued by the rood loft stairs.
We continued our walk back along the estuary on the Polruan side, before taking the foot ferry back to Fowey.