Skippers' Blog | A week in the life of the Place Ferry...

From 8 May 2013

Catch up with all the goings on aboard the Place Ferry in this weekly round up of the Skipper's Blog.

Our Skippers will be blogging throughout the season, giving you an insight into the day to day life of the Cornwall Ferries fleet. The following is from Place Ferry Skipper, Simon Hammond.

April 29

The low tides at the moment do really disrupt the Place Ferry service and tide stops have been a feature of this weeks service. 

Use of the Ferry steps at St Mawes can get quite crowded and busy as the Duchess of Cornwall and the Queen of Falmouth, the Falmouth to St Mawes ferries, navigate low water around the St Mawes harbour. Place Ferry has to move quickly to load and unload passengers. The problem will go away next week as we move to neaps.

Quite a few customers were making the journey to continue on with the South West Coastal Path. One young man was 21 days into the walk and doing it on behalf of an Alzheimer's charity. Others were celebrating a 60th birthday at Place Manor, and had dinner at the Tresanton Hotel.

A number of journalist were also staying at the Tresanton and arrangements had been made to take them on a charter aboard the Duchess.

Here is an impromptu planning conference taking place on the St Mawes Harbour wall prior to the journey. I feel sure that the shorts and wellies look will catch on!

Place Ferry

April 30

It was one of the most stunning days in St Mawes today and one that had many interesting moments.

The blue sky, aquamarine coloured water and the customers all made the service such fun. We started off with a high tide and here are my first two customers and the Duchess in the background waiting at ferry steps for the 9.45 service set against the bluest sky we have seen this year.

My customers on one trip were listening to a women who had been across to Place some 40 years ago and talked about visiting the Manor and entering the chapel through an internal door. You can see us al listening intently to her story.


Place Ferry


The colours of the water around St Mawes are really very special. I met two retired army colleagues during the day, one I knew and one I did not, but we had acquaintances in common.

An un-programmed tide stop meant a delay to the causeway pick ups. A combination of a high pressure system and a strong northerly wind made the Place causeway an interesting challenge for the skipper.

One trip ended up with a journey up the Percuel River to await the tide's return, but my awaiting customers assisted me admirably and in particular a charming German couple and very many thanks to a South African who was running the coastal path from Plymouth to the Lizard with two friends, who helped me to land. He has also read the blog!

Here are two Falmouth University students spending some time on the slipway. I think that they were studying photography?

Place Ferry

Great day and improving weather for the Bank holiday weekend.

May 2

This morning was one of the best so far this year. Clear blue skies and little or no wind, and this picture hopefully captures St Mawes in the early morning.

Place Ferry

The cormorants and shags roost on the moorings when it is not busy in the bay and one can get quite close before they get spooked and dive.

The party of Dutch enjoyed the trip across and were staying in Portscatho for the night. They have walked the coastal path before and were doing it a second time as a group. They were all in very good spirits, whilst on the journey across with me, but then they had been to the Victory Inn.

I also had Australians, Italians and Germans so it was again a very international day.

May 7

A very busy weekend for the Place Ferry as Alan and Simon skipper Livingstone over the Bank Holiday weekend. As the weather improves, then the more people venture across to Place.

I took a walk on Sunday along the coastal route and although it started off a little overcast, the sun appeared by lunchtime. We arrived at Portscatho in time for a beer at the Plume of Feathers pub before returning via Froe House and the woodland walk along the Percuel river.

Primrose, blue bells and blackthorn blossom provide the dominant background colour at the moment.

A beautiful day and a good walk, which took up most of the day. Place to Portscatho is some 2.5 hours at a good pace. A congratulatory ice cream in St Mawes before returning home.