(Click on pictures to enlarge)

Two dedicated herfers (Andy and Peter) drove and herfed through the night to attend the inaugural HITS in Falmouth, Cornwall, meeting with Andy Connew and his friends. Co-incidentally the Cutty Sark Tall Ships Race starts from Falmouth this weekend, with over 100 of the finest sailing ships gathered to begin the first leg from the UK to Lisboa in Portugal. Huge crowds are expected for this unique event and some people might even turn up for the ships!!

Andy sitting on the Herfmobile
Andy sitting on the Herfmobile, with the Tall Ships at anchor in the background.
A view of the Harbour
A view of the Harbour showing some of the Tall Ships in the background.

Hits continued with a meal at a local pub where we were joined by Julian and Rowena de Sola Pinto. The publican is a converted cigar aficionado, after being a 40 cigarettes a day man for many years. The joy of being actively encouraged to light up, rather than to be shunned as a social leper was such a relief! We herfed happily away for a couple of hours listening to tales of cigar shops of old from Julian, whose family owned Robert Lewis (the cigar shop now part of JJ Fox of St.James) until only a few years ago. Julian is now semi-retired but remains involved in one or two cigar related ventures.

We made our way back into the centre of Falmouth just in time to see the fireworks light up the night sky over the tall ships in harbour. We fought our way into to a crowded bar lit up and magically cleared a space (!) with a view. Seven herfers-a-herfing with navy rum chasers.

Fuente Fuente Opus X
Fuente Fuente Opus X just for proof of herf!
the crowd at the pub

The crowd at the pub, Back l-r Chris, Andy (Connel), Peter and Julian. Front row l-r Hilary, Georgina (Andy C's wife), Andy and Steve

Andy C .
Andy C lighting his cigar using the cedar wrapper as a splint.
Andy's humidor
Andy's humidor

Bliss... We finally left old Falmouth with revellers from all over the world continuing to dance and sing into the night and retired to Andy's porch for a couple of Monte 2's before bed at 3.30 am! A solid 24 hour herf!

What a day, what a night, what a herf

Peter & Andy

Peter and Andy at the Porch Herf!

Another Report

What a weekend!!

For those who were there, you *know* how good it was. For those who were unable to make it, boy... did you miss a great time.

First and foremost a massive thanks to Andy Connew for hosting us and sharing the contents of his 'dor so freely. Thanks very much, Andy.

Andy Wright drove from Leeds at 11.00 pm Friday night, picking me up in Chelmsford around 1.30am. We drove in the "Herfmobile" through the night, crossing Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor as dawn rose. An appropriate time to be herfing the first of many, a Punch Punch. That lasted until just north of Truro, when we tried a Partagas Lisitania. That monster took us all the way into a just-coming-to-life Falmouth. We had a wander through the streets, deserted save for a few delivery vehicles and Festival staff begining to prepare for the crowds arriving for the Tall Ships events. We drove to the headland to take a picture of the vista for the unlucky ones who were not there and apart from a few hardy campers we only met one other person, some poor chap who'd lost his dog. Andy posed on the Herfmobile for the picture that appears on the web page as we enjoyed the the Lucy's. McDonalds next.

One Quick Breakfast later it's round to Andy C's for the intros. We did the decent thing and let him lie in - 'till 7.00. Andy and his wife Georgie welcomed us with open arms and black coffee. We chatted, herfed, chatted some more, then finally finished off the Lucys'. Andy gave us the first of many gifts, in this case a LGC Wavell. Wonderful! We sent a few pictures off to Paul Dixon to add to the web page and then a quick 40 winks before going to meet Steven at the station.

First hiccup, Truro station had 20,000 people waiting to get to Falmouth, so Steven was running an hour late. Just time for a beer, then. Couple of beers later its now time to go back for Steven, who turned up on the later train looking none too happy with our train service!

So it's back to the pub, via Andy's so Steve can drop his stuff off and allow Andy to ply him with samples, for a few more beers before the Red Arrows performed their display over the bay. We meet some of Andy's friends who will join us later, Chris, Heather and John. Andy Steven and I are on a H de M Governor in Maduro now. Another untried one and really good too.

As the Governor is allowed a dignified end so we light up a LGC Torp. Another great smoke, and I'm really begining to wonder why the Americans crave Havanas quite so much!

At dinner we meet up with Julian and Rowena de Sola Pinto. Julian's family used to own Robert Lewis, before selling out to Fox's a few years ago. He tells some great stories!! (The kind it's really better not to put into print.) Dinner, good friends and a good cigar - in this case the fabled Opux X, yet again from Andy's 'dor. At the end of dinner Julian gives the three of us (Me, Steve and Andy W) a 1975 Upmann Lonsdale from his own collection. Save that for another time, I think!

We returned to the town centre to stroll through the crowds near the harbour and get nearer to the ships. An Astral kept the mood going as we walked. Last orders at a Quayside bar, met Roger Taylor in a "who the hell are you?" sort-of-way. (He and his 9ft minder were at the bar with me, so I'm told)

Seem to remember being entertained by local girls (not our local girls but jolly nice ones anyway!) relieving themselves of the party spirit as we walked back to the cars. Smoked something else on the way home which I really can't remember. Probably a cigar.

2.00am on Andy's porch/patio and the three tourists are comparing notes

Andy W and I have smoked eight each in the 27 hours we've been going, however, Steven has also smoked eight, but in only 12 hours! There is some talk as to whether whiffs count, but we agree to allow them. So with ravaged throats, dreary eyes and flagging bodies we.... yup, light up another one!! For Andy and I it's a Monte 2, for Steve it's a LGC I think. I start typing up the web page stuff to mail over to Paul, but give up after taking 10 minutes to type a dozen words. We do manage to load the pictures down from Andy's digital camera, though.

We finally give up at 3.15ish and head for bed. Steven then keeps me awake for hours by insisting on talking to me. (Sorry Steve ;-) )

Sunday morning. Toast and coffee on the patio. NO CIGARS!!


We head into town to see the ships set sail, and it seems to be appropriate that we start with a LGC Minuto Maduro. Very tight draw, but worth persevering with for the taste. Follow that with a Fuente Double Chateau. Very mild, in fact a bit too mild for me, especially after a dozen stogies in just over a day. Beer's good though.

Drop Steve at the station to begin his journey home, and the rest of us head to the pub for lunch. Fabulous scenery, I'm in love ;-) Light a Mexican Conquistador in honour of the Mexican boat leading the Tall Ships race for the first few seconds. Watch a bit of the race on telly at the pub. Coffee and the Conquistador were perfect. In fact the perfect end to a perfect weekend, because Andy and I soon had to fire up the Herfmobile for the long journey home.

We bade fond farewells to Andy and Georgie, and headed up the A30

Trouble free journey all the way, but we were really herfed out by now, but felt in true HITS spirit we had to have "just one more". The final herf of HITS, for us anyway, was a RyJ Churchill for me and a Punch Punch for him which lasted from Swindon to Chelmsford. A fitting finale to a really, really good time.