Holiday take 2 – Torquay to Falmouth

I think we both slept pretty soundly after our 15 hour day yesterday.

Trina awoke questioning her passion for the sea. Something I’ve found myself doing many times after a hard slog. I’m not 100% sure why anyone would want to spend 14 hours in wind and rain, feeling sick, travelling at 5 miles an hour, sometimes 3. For me it’s just the fact the boat is there, it’s designed to be sailed. If I see a door that needs painting, I paint it (eventually). Cars and campervans need to be driven, motorbikes need to be ridden, banjo’s, fiddles, guitars, snare drums and harmonicas need to be played (eventually). It’s as simple as that for me. The reward of a good sail, an amazing sunset, or smooth sea is all it takes to wipe away those grey miserable trips. My memory is pretty terrible, but I can remember more good sails than bad, which confirms I have a terrible memory, as I’ve definitely had more bad sails and mediocre sails than good ones. Still, a good sail is worth 10 meh sails, and it’s more likely that this will keep my pockets empty, and the Force4 in business. Today is another day and I’m sure Trina’s spirits will be lifted by a good sail.

Torquay marina is huge! Just going for showers took up 10-15 minutes of walking!

We prepped the boat with a view to heading out in the morning to Falmouth, but after a bit of passage planning we realised we’d left it a bit late, so opted to take the second tide at 6pm. I’ve heard of most of the infamous headlands such as Selsey Bill, Portland Bill etc, but hadn’t appreciated Start Point was another headland to be respected. Deciding to head out later was a good choice, and gave us the day to relax before heading out again. My regret was that Dave had now overtaken us and was closing in on Falmouth whilst we tucked into our chips, gravy and mushy peas (well Trina did. I still don’t get it!).

We had a slow day in Torquay, a bizarre melting pot of cultures. The fashion in Torquay is to walk around with your shirt undone and your gut hanging out. Perhaps it’s a throw back to the days when obesity used to be a display of wealth and prosperity, but I doubt it. I only saw the kiss me quick side of the place, but Trina did find the posh part of Torquay on her run so I shouldn’t give it too much stick (even Reading has it’s rough parts…)

Another thing I noted, in the marina there’s a lot of massive motorboats with lone old guys, sitting high up watching tv and eating their dinner. Curious.

I really wanted to catch fish on the trip, and after a disappointing trip to a fishing shop in Weymouth, we found a more engaging tackle shop in Torquay. The guy was great, he checked out all my gear, was impressed with my rod, and put a proper knot in my line for nothing.


Come 6pm we  were refreshed, our minds reset, so we slipped our lines and headed out. We were told sunrise and sunset are good times to catch mackerel, so no sooner as we got out of the marina we put the line in. Then no sooner as we got the line in, we caught our first edible fish! I gutted the thing and then Trina popped him in a sandwich bag into the fridge for tomorrows dinner.

The evening was still, and we motored across mercury seas around Torquay bay, we were blessed by a golden sunset. The pink skies reflected in the sea. I put the autopilot on, and we enjoyed a sundowner on the bow. It finally felt like we were on holiday.


The night sky filled with stars and far off galaxies. We took turns doing our shifts as we motored on through the stillness of the night. Our head torches were set to red light mode, and the new nav table red light reminded me of my Atlantic crossing with Oliver and Will. We’ve both done Atlantic crossings before, so we slipped into our night time routine with ease. We saw shooting stars, Trina saw phosphorescence, and dolphins joined us for a night time swim. They raced to and throw under the boat like ghostly figures from the deep.

The Eddystone lighthouse shone, and guided us through the darkness below a star studded sky, it felt like an age before we finally left the lighthouse behind.

We took 2 hour shifts throughout the night. I didn’t get much sleep until my last kip. I awoke to what I thought was golden sunshine pouring into the forepeak where I lay. With my eyes closed a vivid yellow light shone through, but once awake I realised the light in the forepeak was on. I must have inadvertently switched it on in my sleep. The saturation was drained out of my vibrant dream once fully awake.

By morning we were in sight of Falmouth. I’d managed to avoid the only shower of the night, soggy Trina hadn’t. More dolphins joined us for a short while.


I managed to catch a mackerel on the way in, and gutted it like a man who knew how to finally gut a fish. In the fridge he went!

Once in to the Falmouth area, we discovered marinas fill up fast. The wind picked up and we spent time dilly dallying back and forth, from Falmouth to Mylor looking for a berth. Tired and wanting to just get in somewhere safely we headed back to Falmouth, and using an elaborate set of instructions, found a boat to raft up to in Falmouth Haven. The wind completely died, and we were able to raft up at a snails pace. My kinda pace!

I jumped on board the neighbours boat, and after saying “Ah I thought that was going to be stressful”, had a nose bleed. Unable to let go of the warp to tear off a bit of kitchen roll. I just held the whole thing up against my nose whilst trying to tie off, looking like a right wazzack!

Our new neighbour was very pleasent and we had a good chat, and heard about his fishing exploits, the highlight was catching a bass (biig fish!)

Tired but not tired enough to sleep, we headed into Falmouth for supplies.

We came back and closed all the curtains, hatches and washboards for a well deserved snooze.

Just as I fell into a deep slumber there was a knock on the boat. Squinting away I opened the hatch to see my new neighbour with his ipad out, ready to show me a video of his prized bass catch. I had a quick look and then, slammed the hatch shut. I couldn’t get back to sleep.

I ate my mackerel for dinner.

We watched a shit film that night called The Exception. If you’d like to waste your life away watching complete drivel this is the film for you. I could only find one negative review on IMDB, so I guess a lot of people do like watching complete drivel. After watching this and Dunkirk, I have little hope I’ll see a good film again soon.

This movie is an absolute trash. It’s like a hammock, having more holes than ropes.


Author: Tim Butler

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