Tidal Estuaries

In Falmouth we have a couple of tidal estuaries, the biggest is the Carrick Roads. It is the end of the Fal River and is roughly one mile wide and three miles long, it has lots of tributaries such as the Percuil River by St Mawes. The Helford River is the other tidal estuary and is just around the corner but is nowhere near as big.

The Carrick Roads has many wrecks, most have been salvaged at some time but there are still things to be found. There are several large ships anchors of all ages, some with chains, and I keep finding more. Bottles, jugs and random crockery litter the bottom of the deep channel. During WWII Falmouth was an important wartime port, all sorts of ships used to moor there. Before the D-Day landings there were ships from many nations, every now and then something turns up like an American ward room officers saucer I found in the channel. A while back a commercial outfit were trying their new airlift and brought up and old Spanish sword off of a wreck known as the Queen.

In the past the Helford River has been heavily dredged which has destroyed anything small of any age. There’s always anchors and new stuff to be found around the moorings but very little of any age. I recently found a small white fibreglass upturned boat hull, it had a small hole in the side and another in the stern. I will go back and try to turn it over to see what’s inside. I also found the outline of a hull near the river mouth, it only stood up an inch or so. After speaking to locals there was a small yacht lost there in the 1950’s, the owner claimed £1500 for lost jewellery on board. A local diver had looked for it for 30 years without finding it. I need to find it again and have a rummage but haven’t been able to so far, it’s more than likely covered with sand again

In the Percuil River, a tributary of the Fal, I keep finding used 20mm shell cases. I have around two dozen so far. During WWII there was an anti-aircraft gun in the Percuil River just off St Mawes, the shell cases must’ve just ejected into the water after being fired. I’ve also found a 2” brass shell case just a few days ago. There’s been a few things of interest like a 1930’s bowl and a large Gin Jug! I also keep finding huge anchors that are being used instead of mooring stones, not found an unattached one yet. I’ve also found a small cabin cruiser, laying upright within the moorings. The engine went before it sank by the looks of it, I wonder what it’s story is?