• Christine Grosart

Kerensa Kernow

Fowey Estuary, Cornwall

Who doesn’t love Cornwall?

Stunning scenery, wild places, mysterious history and turquoise seas.

I’ve been visiting Cornwall ever since I was child, including one infamous family caravan holiday where we had to take the kitten, Whiskey, along too as he was too young for his jabs and couldn’t go into a cattery...

We’d stop on the A38 to let him have a wee in his litter tray (on a lead!) and had to hide him in the Sennen caravan when the campsite man came round for his money.

Animals weren’t allowed!

During the Covid-19 crisis earlier in the year we stayed away from all tourist traps and apart from work, didn’t venture further than our home on Mendip.

It wasn’t fair to Cornwall for people to descend en mass, so we waited until the county was happily open and ready for business.

We packed Agnetha to be as independent as possible and booked some very nice campsites in Looe, Fowey and Porthkerris.

Agnetha - my spacetourer - on holiday.

A month of lockdown when I returned from Atlantis, meant working on my new wheels. Agnetha is my Citreon Spacetourer. With 6 rear seats removed and a wet floor out in, she has been fitted out with a removable rock 'n roll bed, curtains and now the most important thing in covid times: A Porta potty!

Now then, skip this part if you already know about campervan toilets....

A porta potty is possibly the best thing I have ever invested in. Make sure you get the green toilet chem as it is better for the environment and smells better....

Read the instructions on how to use it and NEVER put wetwipes down the porta potty (the same way you would NEVER put them down an actual toilet).

Keep a plentiful supply of bog rolls in the car (I use beautifully wrapped ones from Whogivesacrap)

These were areas I didn’t normally frequent, typically gravitating towards places I knew well such as Marazion, Penzance and The Lizard.

This was a little adventure. We packed our hiking gear, recreational diving kit and of course, our cameras.

We had a decent walk to Looe and swung by the extremely pretty fishing village of Polperro.

We treated ourselves to a little shore dive at Talland Bay with a convenient car park and a café that sold prosecco.

Image: Christine Grosart

After an hour or so I scared Rich as he lost me. I was in 1 metre of water eking out the last scraps of gas, taking photos of snails… There is probably a reason why underwater photographers often dive solo!

After a couple of nights we moved house and set up at a campsite near Fowey. I’d never been there and found a lovely walk in glorious weather, from the app iwalk cornwall. The scenery was stunning, the water sparkling and we wrapped up a perfect day at the Old Ferry Inn, with Cornish sardines and dressed crab overlooking the Fowey estuary.

I also highly recommend a visit to the Fowey River Gallery which is full of stunning artwork, plus a trip around to Readymoney cove, close to St Catherine’s Castle.

An absolute godsend was my decision to buy a proper camping cooker - rather than just a single burner.

With two of us, we needed a decent cooker and went with the trusted brand campinggaz and it didn't disappoint. It also took up very little space.

I decided that kayaks were the best way to explore the estuary, so we hired some for the day and set off up the river, paddling in amongst the yachts and exploring the boat graveyard.

Rich was surprised to come across Loyal Watcher, now used for commercial diver training. It was a vessel he was very familiar with when he was tech diving in the late 90s, when she was then owned by Richie Stevenson.

We wrapped up the day in Jo Downs Handmade Glass shop. I left with a mirror that I’d had my eye on for about a decade! I’m a huge fan of her work and I was very proud to trot off down Fowey high street with my prize in hand!

We had been to Porthkerris before, albeit only for diving with Ghost Fishing UK. We managed to set up in a nice spot on the cliff edge overlooking the beach and had super easy access for diving and the facilities.

Cuttlefish and shrimps at Porthkerris. Images: Christine Grosart / Richard Walker

I set about the local dive spot with underwater camera in tow. I was a little disappointed by the lack of wildlife and the poor visibility. I think the latter was caused by other divers, but we couldn’t find an explanation for the critters - there was barely anything there!

Then we went on a night dive.

In typical fashion, the cool stuff came right at the end. A super cool and very friendly cuttle fish was hunting right in front of us, using our video lights to home in on his kill.

Once done, he investigated our Paralenz which made for some pretty awesome viewing.

I was sad to leave Cornwall early and head back offshore, but work is work and it was a welcome short break in the sun.

About the author

Christine Grosart is a Paramedic, working offshore mainly on diving vessels. She started beach cleans around 2011 and has gone on to be a trustee, secretary, instructor and underwater photographer for the charity Ghost Fishing UK. She wrote the first training course for scuba divers to remove lost ghost nets, in the world.

In 2020 she became a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society for her work with Ghost Fishing UK as well as her cave diving exploration.

In the same year she was included in the BBC Radio 4 Women's Hour Power List.


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