Journeys with a 24 ft Shark

Safe Harbor on the Helford


At 0800 I was wakened by a cheery call of “’Eos ahoy!”. I looked out and there was a 70’ Customs cutter about 15 feet away. They had seen my U.S. flag and came aboard to process me in. From that moment on I met only kind and hospitable people. Cornwall, a farming and fishing county in spite of summer tourists, turned out to be a good re-introduction to England. From the harbor-master’s staff to the local residents, I received only kindness.

When I went ashore in the rain later that day and walked bearded and dirty up the main street in my yellow oilskins and black sea-boots, I felt very self-conscious, larger than life, rather like a being from outer space. (A bath and a shave cured that feeling). After two months of disuse my legs were shaky, and it took a week to fully recover. The other strange thing was a craving for brown bread and butter, readily available in Falmouth!

When I arrived I was only 2 lbs under my normal weight, and had had no ill effects from my canned diet. I had enough food only for another three days, but could have stretched it out for a long time. I had 11 gallons of water left, as the cold weather had drastically lowered my consumption.

Early on in the trip I had decided against my original plan to sail back a month after arriving, and so a week later the boat was out of the water for the winter in the Tregatreath boatyard on the Fal River.

(con’t on page 8)