Some of us have been lucky enough to explore the islands of Indonesia and the South Pacific aboard a yacht in search of tropical perfection.
It’s easy to let your imagination run wild envisaging the possibilities of sea-based exploration on the other side of the world, however, this autumn our thoughts drifted a little closer to home. So we cooked up a plan for a weekend boat trip around the ports of Cornwall, aimed at experiencing our home coastline a little differently.
We turned to the sailing community for guidance, connecting with the team at Musto to help us plot our wind fuelled adventure!
The plan was to fish, explore turquoise bays and riverside pubs by SUP, anchor up in craggy coves with empty waves and scope out bits of the coastline where land access can be long and arduous, or even impossible altogether.
We packed supplies and a small crew, including longboarding maestro and fishing enthusiast Adam ‘Bearman’ Griffiths and his wife Holly, who is also a super talented surfer, into our Swan 44 yacht.
We set sail from Falmouth harbour at dawn, the bright autumn sun breaking free of the horizon to reveal a cloudless sky as we pulled away from the coast. The swell was small, so we pointed the bow for an exposed peninsula a dozen or so miles to the south, seeking wild scenery and fun wedges.
We squinted towards shore as we neared the final strait, attempting to pick off the back of a peak, framed against the towering cliffs. In the end, we decided to drop the anchor and set off on longboards, resigned to do the last little bit of searching on arm power alone.
We found an appropriate peak nestled up against the headland and enjoyed a few hours of fun peelers with no one in sight. In the afternoon we sailed slowly back east, taking it steady and halting regularly to cast a line into the sparkling sea, our pace dictated by nothing but the gentle wind and our own sea-faring whims.
The sun was beginning to set by the time we arrived at our overnight mooring in the Helford river passage, where we docked, strategically surrounded by a selection of waterside pubs.
We inflated the SUPs and hopped aboard, headed for the best-looking beer terrace, where sundowners and a well-earned bite to eat awaited us. The SUPs felt a little more wobbly on the way back, but after stepping off-dry, we all concluded there were few better ways to transport oneself from beer terrace to bed.
The next morning we awoke and threw together an excellent breakfast spread; including continental and full English options. While sailing boasts a similar proximity to the great outdoors as a night under canvas, the amenities aboard a yacht, particularly when it comes to food prep, are far superior.
We set off for another morning of meandering in and out of coves along a beautiful stretch of coast few of us had ever properly explored. In the afternoon, as we returned the boat to her moorings, we felt secure in the knowledge we hadn’t wasted a moment of our whirlwind voyage aboard the Swan.
It is always exciting seeing a plan come to fruition. Growing up as a surfer you hear of the adventures aboard boats but it is only natural to assume that the tales are far fetched and beyond the realms of possibility. These few days with Musto were eye-opening to the simple fun it’s possible to have just off our shores.
The trip was far easier than we thought it might be for two reasons. Firstly boats have become more accessible thanks to the sharing economy – with Borrow a Boat we were able to find and rent a boat quickly, simply and cheaply in minutes. Secondly, we knew of a few sailor surfers who would make perfect crew. Ben our captain has sailed all over the world and is a very keen surfer, and with the support of Jen, his girlfriend, we always felt in good hands. Thank you Musto for pushing us to do this trip and of course helping us master the elements in the best kit around!
Photos Ben Wigglesworth