Fowey - 50° 20' 16" N 04°37' 49" W

It was upwind and bumpy but having Arriën onboard kept us cheerful and stopped us turning back and running for cover!  The weather improved and the sea settled as the tide changed so we ended up having a great sail.  We entered Fowey (pronounced Foy) Harbour and pulled up at a pontoon across from the main town.  

Kate stays aboard Chinook

Arriën left to catch his bus back to Plymouth and a pre-race dinner commitment and we settled into a couple of days to explore.

On the river, right across from the town

Fowey is just lovely, a deep harbour with steep sides lined with pretty houses and trees.  We were rather surprised when a very large ship chugged past us and headed around the corner out of sight.  We later learned that Fowey is the port from which china clay, mined in Cornwall, is exported. China clay is kaolin is a fine, white clay used in the manufacture of porcelain, paper, paint and rubber.  It gets its name, not from its use in the porcelain industry, but from Kao-Ling in China where it has been mined for many centuries.

It was disconcerting when this LARGE clay freighter motored up
the river two boat-lengths away

... and there it goes.  Where IS it going?  That looks quite narrow! 

The town predates the Norman invasion and its natural harbour made it an important seaport.  Fowey Gallants were a group of privateers (state sanctioned pirates) who operated out of Fowey in the 14th and 15th centuries.  The entrance to the harbour was guarded by 160 archers who rained arrows down on any invaders.   Such a long and colourful history.

Up.  It's always 'up' away from the water.

Narrow alleyways

You can see the Spanish architecture influence on the church

Nice day for a walk

We wandered the picturesque streets, narrow and winding, lined with shops catering to the tourist crowd,  Galleries, bakeries, fancy homewares and, of course, The Cornish Shop!  We voted the Cornish pasties the very best we have eaten.  We bought pasties and the yummiest looking cream donut and plonked down on a seat overlooking the harbour.

Can't you just taste it!

I put the mouth-watering donut on the seat between us and a bloody HUGE seagull wrestled it through the slats on the back of the seat and made off with it.  Greedy bugger gulped it down with a 'ner ner na ner ner' glinting in his eye. 

Later that day, we discovered that Daphne du Maurier lived in Fowey and wrote her short story "The Birds" there.  This was what Hitchcock based his movie on.  It was one of the movies we kids terrified ourselves watching at the Lawsons while our parents partied yet again in true 70s style. Bet Daphne was also scarred by a bird stealing her donut that inspired her to write the story. The tragedy of the whole saga - it was the LAST donut in the bakery so I couldn't buy another.

Best pasties to date...

Scarred as I was, it in no way detracted from Fowey.  We had such a delightful visit.  We explored the river by dinghy - so many boats.  Literally hundreds of boats, both motor and sailing, moored in the river.  And the vast majority of them look well maintained and used.

At the Fowey cemetery, we discovered misogyny at its finest in the 'And Also' on the grave stones.  Headstones engraved to the memory and glory of him, with her being an afterthought, an 'And Also' and usually in smaller letters.  Imagine being relegated as an And Also for perpetuity.  This occurred even when she had died first so we can only imagine her grave remained unmarked until he also carked it and the headstone could be raised in glory to him.  Damned if I'm going to be an And Also on my grave! Sean has had a stern talking to!

All the glory to William with Caroline relegated to an after thought!

The entrance to Fowey Harbour sported the ruins of Saint Catherine's Castle.  Built by Henry VIII in the mid-1500s to protect against the French and the Holy Roman Empire who were a bit unhappy about his life choices, leaving the Pope and annulling his marriage to Catherine of Aragon.  It was used in later skirmishes - English Civil War, the Napoleonic Wars, the Crimean War and WWII. The castle now lies in ruins but well worth the hike up.  The views over the harbour were magnificent.  We then followed the South West Coastal Walk along the top of the cliffs for several kilometres. Wonderfully rugged and beautiful.

St Catherine's Castle (or what is left of it!)

When we returned to our boat, we found a beautiful pilot cutter.  We chatted with the the skipper/owner, Luke, and found that he was also the builder.  She's a work of art.

Alongside ...

From the bow

Foredeck detail

Aft deck detail

You can charter a berth as a guest, too.  Pellew has her own web page.

Fowey at night

We will continue west from here.  Ireland isn't far away!


  1. You both look fabulous! So love your blog posts and amazing adventures. The Birds! I saw that at a drive in movie, scared the bejesus out of me! Lol 💕


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