9 – 11 September – The River Helford

Sunday: We set off in two boats just after 9am, heading out from Mevagissey going west past Falmouth and on to the river Helford.  Toby and Janette have been there before and say it’s lovely.  And looking at my guide book, it certainly looks like another river paradise!

Another close hauled and gentle sail, though we got up to 8 knots at times.  We sailed past Dodman Point (or Deadman’s Point!) which we never reached on our walk yesterday.  I would have liked to see this, seeing it has the remains of an Iron Age promontory fort, an earthwork nearly 666m long and over 6m high enclosing the headland.  Something for another visit!

Dodman Point, the highest headland on the south Cornish coast

Dominic took the opportunity to put in a few extra tacks to try to calibrate the wind sensor, but no luck.  I saw a dolphin, but again only briefly.  Outside Falmouth there were a load of merchant vessels anchored, waiting for something or other.  A large ship came out of the harbour in front of us, Raysut, 244m x 42m of rather stinky tanker.  The pilot was just being picked up by the pilot boat which was really quite exciting to see!

A rather large tanker, and you can see the pilot boat ready to pick up the pilot

We anchored off Durgan Bay just inside the river mouth but found that we had no reception nor 4G, but luckily we could anchor on the other side of the river as well so we moved to a lovely spot with full communication facilities!

Monday: We’re in a beautiful spot, just off the mouth of the river, before the pool where the majority of moorings are situated.  We feel so lucky to be able to just go up on deck in the morning and all we can see is the sea and riverbanks of trees, fields and the odd home.

Our morning view on the Helford river

We met up with Toby and Janette midday and went for another spectacular walk in the dappled sunshine.  We strolled along the river through gorgeous woodland and along recently manured fields out to the headland where we had our packed lunch.

Idun anchored in the river

We continued down over the fields to St Anthony in Meneage.  It’s a tiny costal village and I read that the church was built by shipwrecked Normans washed ashore here, in this beautiful spot next to the waters of Gillan Creek.

Beautifully illuminated list of vicars of St Anthony-in-Meneage from 1266 -2006.

Our walk continued along the peaceful Gillan Creek at low tide.  We saw several people fishing and collecting their dinner from the riverbed.  It is easy to understand why people choose to live here.

Mudbound boats; withies outlining the deepest channel in Gillan Creek


Enchanting Gillan Creek, Cornwall

Our next stop was Manaccan where Toby had hoped we could visit the South Cafe, but it was unfortunately closed.  I had some lovely quiet moments in the church before we headed back to Helford where we had a drink and later a very tasty dinner at the The Shipwrights Arm. Dominic’s step counter measured 19,435 today!  We ended the day sitting on deck with a cup of coffee listening to the hooting owls – magical.

One of the beautiful stained glass windows in Manaccan church
The Lord’s Prayer in Cornish
Trying out the local brews.  Cheers!
View over the river from The Shipswrights Arms


Tuesday:  We woke up in the middle of a cloud today.   We listened to the weather forecast (I love the way the forecast here includes the tides!) which confirmed that this is a day for staying in, which is what we did.   Toby and Janette came over for dinner and a competitive game of scrabble (I won!).  A very relaxing day!


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