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John Boyle is one of the best-travelled boat owners i know. You may remember the series he wrote for us last year about cruising his Princess v39 from Mallorca to his home port of falmouth. Since then, he’s taken it along the south coast of the UK, crossed the channel to Belgium and Holland, motored through the Kiel canal into the Baltic and carried on north up the norwegian coast until he reached the Lofoten islands (we’ll publish the full story next year).
for someone who’s cruised from the Med to the arctic circle and most of the way back again, you’d think he’d be as familiar with the haunts and harbours of his native cornwall as he is with the view through Cecienne’s windscreen. However, like many of us, he’s always taken his home waters for granted, zipping from marina to marina without stopping to explore the many creeks, rivers and bays that used to make cornwall’s coastline such a haven for smugglers and fishermen alike.
This summer he decided to put that right by gradually making his way west from Plymouth to Lands end, taking in every nook and cranny that had enough water to keep a 40ft sportscruiser afloat – and a few that didn’t! His resulting two-part guide to Secret cornwall, the first of which starts on p54, is a fascinating read (and an even better video). The photographs alone make me want to pack my bags and head west before everybody else discovers these hidden gems.
But perhaps there’s a wider lesson for us all to learn before being lured by the greener grass and bluer water over the horizon. Maybe we all need to slow down and take the time to really explore our local area. i’ve been boating in and around Poole for the last 40 years but i know perfectly well there are many corners of this vast natural harbour that i’ve yet to visit. i’ve always dismissed them as being too shallow for my boat but at the right state of tide i’m sure they’re navigable. i’ll let you know for certain next summer!
“Before being tempted by bluer water over the horizon, maybe we all need to take the time to really explore our local area”