Tuesday, 17 August 2010


Today at the regatta was fun. All sorts of stuff going on in the town, the boats on the water all dressed up, the passage race from Falmouth came back. A passage race is like a reverse of a normal race, where you leave when you want, but have to be back at a certain place by a fixed time.The finish time is fixed for everyone, regardless of when you actually arrive. But too late and you are disqualified. So everyone leaves as late as they can to get the shortest passage time, keeping an eye on the other boats. To make things complicated, different types of boat have different handicaps....

Finish time approaches and all the boats pour in, hoping to get here just in time. The skill is in working out your route, time and tides to the nth degree, with just enough margin for the vagaries of the wind.

A brief visit by tender to Polruan, the more traditional un-gentrified cornish village facing Fowey across the river, before back to Catabout for  our evening meal and wait for the highlight of the day, the fireworks. At 9:30 the display began, and we were in a prime site, sitting on Catabout's coachroof and watching the spectacular effects. Watching fireworks from the water is magic.

Because of the shape of the harbour, we got a triple bang, as the sound echoed off the hillside behind us and off the slopes of Fowey. As the glow of the last rocket faded away, all the boats sounded their horns and hooters and the sublime madness filled the harbour.

Well worth staying for.

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