Crafts,  Food & Drink,  Lifestyle,  Travel

Holidaying on a boat

Last month James and I went away to Falmouth for a long weekend with some friends. We had been talking about going away together for months and finally got something pretty special booked up. We scoured the internet before stumbling upon a spot just on the outskirts of Falmouth town centre.

What made it so special you ask? Well, it was in fact a boat.

A boat with all the necessities: the top floor was all open plan with a big kitchen, dining area, and a large lounging space with lots of glass to enjoy the views. It gave the impression that you could almost walk out onto the outdoor seating area without having to open the doors.

James and Charlie took that too literally and on two separate occasions walked into the glass, forgetting it was there. Holiday highlight for both Yuliya and I.

Below deck there was a family bathroom and three bedrooms. Having not been to many festivals, the toilet situation was a new one on me. It looked like your average toilet, however it had two compartments – one for liquids and one for, ahem, solids. They couldn’t be mixed so if you used the, ahem, solid compartment, you had to chuck over some wood shavings. For a change, I quite enjoyed using public toilets.

James and I arrived around lunchtime on the Saturday so parked up and wandered over to Falmouth town centre where Charlie and Yuliya met us for a bite to eat. We ate a pretty average brunch/lunch in the oldest Coffee Shop, De Wynns. Not that wonderful but fuelled us for the next couple of hours at the Maritime Museum.

This was something I wasn’t too excited about when Charlie first suggested it, however there was a temporary Titantic exhibition on that changed my opinion quickly.

There were also quite a few interactive elements, that always make for the best museums and keep me entertained even with subject matters that I’m not all that interested in. Yes, I’m really a child disguised in a grown-up body. Which I also didn’t hide well from anyone in the museum…

I got to pretend to be both the rescuer and the rescued. It was great.

With all that excitement, I was ready to put my sensible head on and enjoy learning more about the Titanic.

It focussed a lot on the aftermath of the sinking, the trials people were put on and how badly those that had lost people were treated by the White Star Line (the company that owned Titanic). For someone who truly obsessed over the tragedy as a child, it was interesting to learn about some of the history I didn’t know.

We stayed until closing and we were eventually kicked out, so headed on back to our boat. Including a pit stop at Sainsbury’s to get some supplies, which mainly consisted of red wine and far too much food for our short stay. One of the benefits of going away with fellow foodies, they don’t mind spending a bit more to get the good stuff and will definitely over-cater.

We settled into our first night on the boat, Charlie, Yuliya and I nibbling on some crisps and olives, taking in the view as the evening drew in. James was manning the kitchen, having already done most of the prep at home, I didn’t feel too guilty about leaving him to it (he usually prefers it that way).

He’d cooked up a wonderful plate of confit duck, green beans, boulangere potatoes and colourful carrots. The veg was buttery, the duck was crispy on the outside and pulled away beautifully on the inside. The potatoes were so moreish and luckily enough, positioned right in front of me. Ideal ‘picking at’ territory.

We spent the rest of the evening playing board games, learning some new ones, teaching others. Trying not to fall out, or ruin any marriages.

As a child I would cheat throughout board games, always playing the banker in Monopoly and managing to slip an extra £100 as I passed go, or rolling the dice onto the floor and whilst picking it up changing it to a 6. You know, all the usual stuff – but as an adult, I’m nowhere near as competitive. James and I don’t always make the best team when it comes to boardgames as he is very competitive, however we don’t take it too seriously.

We carried on playing and sipping on wine until midnight before putting ourselves to bed.

The following morning we – well I say we, all of us except Charlie woke up early (he claims he was awake) and enjoyed the most spectacular sun rise. It burst into the boat and we all just plonked on the sofa, and watched the start of a new day.

Our plans that day were going on a coastal walk and then hopefully having enough time to visit the Seal Sanctuary. But before we could do anything, we needed a hearty breakfast of pancakes and bacon. I always see crepes as an eating challenge; how many can I eat until I feel sick. Turns out there wasn’t enough to get to that stage but I did manage to eat the most. Ahhh yeah.

Perhaps my competitive side comes out when it’s about food…?

We then packed up some lunches for our walk and headed to the seaside. We were super lucky with the weather that day and it turned into a surprisingly warm autumnal walk.

The beaches were postcard perfect and we passed through fields, gardens, woodlands, even making some friends along the way.

It was nice to enjoy a walk at a leisurely pace, take some scenic pit stops for a drink or a snack.

We managed to finish the walk with enough time to spare to visit the Seal Sanctuary.

Well, quite a fleeting visit, when we arrived we hopped on the ‘train’ (trailer attached to a car) down to the seal pools. You meet a variety of species and there are short talks, along with demonstrations of them being fed and trained. Not in a circus type way, but mainly so they can check they’re healthy and on the mend before being set free into the wild.

We only wished we had longer there so that it didn’t feel as rushed, it’s worth getting there early and really making a day of it. There are plenty of grounds and woodland to walk around too.

After what felt like quite a busy day, we returned back to our boat for another relaxing evening. I poured myself a glass of red wine and slipped into my comfy clothes.

Then James decided we should take the rowing boat out.

The idea of sitting in a rowing boat was okay, it was just the challenge of getting from our big boat into the little one. Our boat was positioned a lot higher out of the water, so I had to lower myself gently into the rower without rocking it too much and knocking us both out.

I made a right pig’s ear out of it that I could hear people across the river on another boat having a good old laugh. I was definitely showing off my lack of sea legs.

Once that palaver had passed, we had a little row to some abandon boats that were really quite creepy up close. I had images of sharks flying at me from the depths of the water, ready to swallow me up. I don’t know why I like to freak myself out with ridiculous scenarios.

When we arrived back on our more secure, moored boat, Charlie had almost finished preparing dinner so we played a quick pre-dinner game of articulate before sitting down to a scrumptious plate of chicken curry. It was creamy and spicy, two great curry elements. I wolfed it down and then went in for a second helping.

The end of the evening was much the same as the last, we had some more wine and played a few hours of boardgames before heading to bed.

We awoke a little later the next morning meaning we would have missed the pretty sunrise views however there was a thick layer of cloud that wasn’t letting anything through.

We didn’t let it dampen our spirits on our last day so began it with a cooked breakfast of bacon, sausages, scrambled egg, and toast before planning our day trip to St Ives.

We packed up and said goodbye to a wonderful stay on our boat, the owners very kindly gave us a long check-out since they didn’t have anyone staying the next day, and drove an hour north to the idyllic town.

I thought it was my first visit to St Ives, but since speaking to my parents after our trip, I’d already been as a child. I was obviously too young to appreciate it then so needed a reminder.

Two things stuck out for me, firstly the sea was so blue! The beaches were still busy on a cold, October afternoon, mainly with surfers and I can only imagine how crazy this place gets during the height of summer.

The second thing I noticed was the amount of galleries there were – it seemed like every other shop. We like a gallery so we enjoyed most of them, even taking away a watercolour piece.

There were also some lovely eateries. I set my heart on fish and chips, Charlie and Yuliya picked away at places, trying some cheese popcorn, cheese scones and ice creams. James kindly went along with my needs although ruined it slightly when he started throwing chips at the seagulls and invited a whole flock of them.

We came away with a few bits and managed to make a full day of it there, even having to rush back to a couple of shops to buy some plant pots and cakes for the drive home before they closed.

I really struggled to find the motivation to write this blog post because I thought we didn’t do much, but it turns out it was quite jam-packed (and I managed to waffle on for ages).

We all loved our stay on the boat, enjoyed exploring Falmouth and St Ives. It was nice to go later in the year when it wasn’t so hectic and do a mix of all the things we love doing: eating, long walks, shopping and more eating.

We booked our boat, named Amelie, through Canopy and Stars, you can find it here.

It was a nice reminder that you don’t need to always hop on a plane when there are plenty of interesting and quirky things to do not that far away.

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