It has been a beautiful September day at The Captains House. An energetic cold front passed though last night and the rain was so heavy I got soaked just in the three minutes it took me to walk down to the Harbour Lights Café for my favourite dinner of fish and chips. After a front has gone through the air is normally crystal clear, as it was today. The passage of the front also brought sunlight and strong northerly winds blowing the yachts I can see from the bedroom window over on their sides. I watched all this weather and sail traffic from the comfort of The Captains House.
I love to watch the toing and froing in the harbour and today decided to use my binoculars but they didn’t seem to work any more. They are a very good pair of binoculars and they had, until today, worked perfectly; but when I first tried to watch a classic yacht sail by, or the RFA Argos set out to sea, being pushed and pulled by the three orange and white Falmouth Harbour tugs that dutifully follow the Pilot Boat out into Falmouth Bay, everything seemed blurred. I then realised that the obstacle was the window glass. Most of the glass in The Captains House large sash windows is very old. It was made before float glass techniques were introduced so it doesn’t have the optical qualities of modern glass and it slightly distorts the view only when using binoculars. As soon as I opened the window my binoculars started to work again and I was able to see two of the world’s most interesting ships right in front of me.
Dan Swift and James Cook are moored alongside each other on the Falmouth Dock pier. I find it fascinating to see the ships and then to find out more about them. This is what I found online about both ships:
Royal Research Ship James Cook – is a ship is designed to carry scientists to some of Earth’s most challenging environments, from tropical oceans to the edge of the ice sheets. RRS James Cook is fitted with some of the most modern scientific systems available. She is one of the quietest research vessels currently afloat, has a Dynamic Positioning system, enabling the ship to hold station in all but the most violent weather and is able to deploy a remotely operated vehicle that can descend to depths of 6500m – all of which make the RRS James Cook one of the most advanced research vessels currently in service.
Dan Swift – is an off shore support vessel built in 1985 and currently sailing under the flag of Denmark. She is outfitted to a high standard with 291 berths (excluding crew/catering) and designed to work adjacent to fixed structures, platforms and floating units.
It’s amazing to think where these and other ships who moor in the Falmouth docks have come from and to imagine their travels across the oceans as we enjoy the view from the The Captain’s House.