I have just had the pleasure of spending a weekend in the Isles of Scilly, courtesy of jimi (boat owner and sole licensee) and ParaHandy (catering consultant and resident expert engineer). What a fabulous place it is.

In my usual style, I nearly loused things up by changing the arrangements a couple of weeks beforehand, but on Friday morning, Douglas (Para) was knocking on my door at 6.30 am and we reached Chateau Jimi in time to set off for Falmouth for a 10.30 am arrival and 11.30 am departure. For the first couple of hours, we were motor-sailing but, once we'd emerged from the shadow of the Lizard, the breeze sprung up and we had an absolutely stonking sail to St Marys. To give you some idea, we were moored up by 9.30 in the evening, and in the Pub (bit of a recurring phrase, this ) by 10.00 pm. Speed very seldom dropped below 6.5 knots and for much of the time was well over 7. Not bad for a 35 footer.

St Marys is beautiful (this, too, was a recurring theme of the weekend).



After spending a slightly rolly night in Hugh Town harbour, we resolved to move on, and headed over the Tresco Flats (eek!) to pick up a mooring in New Grimsby Sound, between Tresco and Bryher, for lunch.



At this point I felt compelled to send a text to Morgana, extolling the beauty and sunshine of our location. I thought he'd probably appreciate it, what with the rubbish weather they've been having on the East Coast. I may, however, have miscalculated the extent of his appreciation of this altruistic deed.

Anyway, after a long, leisurely lunch, we headed round the top of Tresco, down Old Grimsby Sound and then up again into Tean Sound (even more eek!). It was just about low tide and there was, to put it frankly, not much water about. Douglas performed the role of Ancient Mariner, standing at the bows and pointing frantically in the direction he wanted us to go next, whilst I stood next to jimi in the cockpit, holding the chart upside down, and forgetting where we were, every few minutes. Amazingly, we remained afloat and unconnected with the seabed, and moored at St Martin's, off Lower Town, close to the Hotel and the Seven Stones Pub. After a walk to Higher Town in search of the legendary fish and chip restaurant (we found it, but it was fully booked for the night) we consoled ourselves with a couple of pints in the Seven Stones and then a very nice dinner at the Bistro in the Hotel.

St Martin's is fab - peaceful, picturesque and with its very own atmosphere.



It also has its very own fire engine, a magnificent machine at the cutting edge of modern technology.



The next day was a bit foggy and jimi suggested that I might like to helm the boat around the various rocks, sands and other obstacles to take us to the Cove, between St Agnes and Gugh. The phrase "Not that way, you fcecker" was repeated several times, and is still ringing in my ears. However, despite my expert attention to detail, we made it in one piece, and anchored up. By this time, I was beginning to run out of superlatives.



After spending a few hours chilling out, we decided it was time to go to the pub. This was a decision spurred on by the knowledge that ScillyPete, of this parish, was joining us for a quiet, civilised drink at the Turks Head.



Pete is a great guy, and possessed of that mysterious thirst that seems to afflict every Forumite that I have met. My recollections of the evening are slightly blurred, but I do recall jimi performing what we moboers call "a stuff" with the dinghy on the way back to Glen Rosa, with the result that we all got a bit wet.

Morning dawned and jimi emerged, bleary and troglodytic from his cabin. I will now - and forever - know exactly what is meant by the phrase "eyes like pissholes in the snow" . The two of us upped anchor and set off, to be joined in due course by Douglas, who was awakened by the sounds of (a) the engine (b) the anchor winch and (c) a little light swearing. Conditions were foggy on the way back, and we motor-sailed the entire way, keeping a close eye on the radar and listening out for the AIS alarm, which turned out to have been a bit of a wasted effort (see jimi's separate post on this). Past the Lizard, the fog lifted and we came back into Falmouth in brilliant evening sunshine.

Huge thanks to jimi and Para, who are great company on a boat. Brilliant sailing, too much beer and a number of large, "fat-boy" fried breakfasts: Who could ask for more?