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Situated at the western end the Western Approaches, with its extensive natural, safe harbour, Falmouth has always been the destination of choice for vessels arriving from the Americas, Africa, India, the Orient, and Australasia. "Falmouth for Orders" was the instruction given to masters of sailing ships when heading homewards from distant ports. Intrepid small-boat sailors, following 'in their wake', arrived in Falmouth after achieving remarkable feats of endurance - Robert Manry crossing the Atlantic in his diminutive 'Tinkerbelle' in 1965; Sir Robin Knox Johnson circumnavigating the globe singlehanded and non-stop in 'Suhaili' in 1969; Dame Ellen Macarthur setting the record for the fastest solo circumnavigation in 'B&Q' in 2005. Not to forget a range of unusual and unique craft, from bottles to rafts.
L’Égaré II was a raft used by a French crew in 1956 to cross the Atlantic Ocean. The expedition, led by Henri Beaudout, departed from Halifax, Nova Scotia, arriving in Falmouth 88 days later”
Robert Manry arriving in Falmouth on 17 August 1965 in his diminutive yacht Tinkerbelle after crossing the Atlantic from Falmouth, Massachusetts in 78 days. Tinkerbelle, an extensively modified Old Town ‘Whitecap’, was a mere 13.5 feet (4.1 metres) long, and the smallest vessel ever to have made the crossing at that time.
The tall ship Christian Raddich, escorted by the Falmouth tug St. Mawes, leaves Falmouth at the start of the 1966 Tall Ships Race. Christian Raddich is well known for her starring role in the BBC TV drama series 'The Onedin Line' which ran from 1971 to 1980.
Robin Knox-Johnston and his yacht Suhaili arriving off Falmouth on 22 April 1969 after the first-ever solo, non-stop circumnavigation. His reply of "Falmouth" to the challenge made by Falmouth’s Custom Officer "where from?" is on a par with those contemporary words of Neil Armstrong when he took his first step on the surface of the moon: "one small step for man...".
Photo copyright: Alison George, née Osborne