A day in Falmouth
The English Channel – a passage of approximately 400 nautical miles. Sounds like a relatively easy task, right? Well, in our case sailing the English Channel brought along a few problems: Because of a big area of low-pressure above England there have been very strong southwestern headwinds, which prevent us from moving forward, even with the assistance of the engine.
So, after anchoring next to a few other English towns like Brixham and Portsmouth for only one or two days, our captain decided to do a longer stay in the English town of Falmouth to wait for better wind and weather. In comparison to the other cities we anchored next to and which we didn’t visit, we got the permission to go on land from the English government here in Falmouth.
On the 29th of October, the two dinghies we have on board the Thor Heyerdahl brought us to the harbour of Falmouth so we could walk around town in little groups of three to seven students. There was just one problem: Before my group and I were able to get food or buy postcards and souvenirs, we had to change our euros into pounds first. Since the stop in England was not part of our plan of fixed destinations, nobody had brought British pounds with them. The bank was closed after noon, so my group and I decided to just ask people on the street if they were willing to change our money into pounds. Immediately, I was impressed by how friendly and welcoming the people in England are. Every person we asked wanted to help us and even if they didn’t have cash on them, they still gave us directions, showed us around or were generally interested in the ‚classroom under sail‘ project. This friendliness and openness of people is something that I wasn’t used to at all from my hometown in Germany.
Anyway, after solving our money issues, we started to explore Falmouth. In my opinion, Falmouth is a very beautiful city with typical Cornish architecture and old houses, narrow streets and cobbled roads. Additionally, Falmouth has a really nice harbour with a lot of sailing boats, where we are anchoring as well. Downtown, I bought a few postcards for my family and friends, a nice bracelet for myself and a few bags of chips to eat during the next few weeks when we continue our journey.
Another important step on our to-do list was to get something to eat. You see, aboard the Thor Heyerdahl, the food is delicious, but fast food and street food is only rarely served, so of course we had to use the opportunity to buy something to eat. Like many others, I got something typically British which I had never had before: fish and chips. Very delicious! For 5 o’clock tea, I bought myself some scones with clotted cream and jam. I really enjoyed trying something new and getting some international variation in the food I eat.
After doing all that, it was almost time to return to the ship. There was just one final thing left to do: Take a hot shower. You can’t imagine how good it felt to take a long and hot shower after having to use a limited amount of water for a few weeks. On board, you have a maximum of two to three minutes to wash yourself, so we really appreciated the opportunity to use the washing facilities at the yacht harbour of Falmouth. After round about four hours in town, we headed back to the Thor Heyerdahl in the late afternoon.
All in all, a very beautiful day in Falmouth!