The beautiful village of Mousehole, will be hosting her Sea Salts and Sail Festival this month (13th-15th July).
Over three days, scores of historic vessels assemble in and around the picturesque harbour to celebrate Cornwall’s rich maritime heritage. This unique, family friendly event, held every two years, recreates the sights, sounds and smells of a bygone era when Tom Bawcock and his famous Mousehole Cat would have fished these waters.
Crabbers, Beer Luggers, Pilot Cutters, Toshers, Prawners, Trawlers and Skiffs, the names of these craft alone stir the hearts of even the most hardened land lubber. The oldest confirmed boat so far, dates back to 1881, the newest traditional replicas are less than a decade old, but all ooze character from every inch of their timbers, cordage and crew.
From the Friday afternoon, majestic boats from Falmouth, St. Ives, Wales, Scotland, Brittany and beyond, arrive into the Bay, with St Michaels Mount and its castle as a backdrop. Their wooden hulls, spars, topsails and canvas, easily transporting visitors back in time.
Many of the boats represent the last authentic examples of their kind. Dedicated crews brave ‘the gaps’, skilfully guiding their vessels through the narrow 11 meter granite harbour entrance. Some, seen as the elite of classic sailing, manage this without engines (just as their forefathers would have done on a daily basis) to fill what was once an important, vibrant fishing port. For further action, there are ‘Parades of Sail’ on Saturday and Sunday.
The festival also has plenty of entertainment for children, from poetry and storytelling, to wood and stone-carving. There’s even the chance to make traditional craft models and then race them in the harbour.
As well as the music, food and drink tents, there will be marquees selling locally crafted goods. Visitors can also enjoy seashore foraging, boat trips and cooking demonstrations or simply take a guided stroll through this beautiful village.
The planning for Sea Salts and Sail sees over 100 dedicated folk from the village community coming together to share their diverse skills and passion. It’s a 100% community event and contributes most of the festival profit to local charities.