Posted by: Ray | August 26, 2009

Dartmouth to Salcombe to Torquay.

Passage: 63M, 3 new harbours visited, Max wind F5. 

 

Yes, I know, I’m going backwards!! 🙂

The River Dart towards Dittisham

The River Dart towards Dittisham

 

Marion and I left Kingswear on the River Dart on Monday and made a trip up river to moor off Dittisham. We caught the water taxi to visit the Ferry Boat Inn for a very enjoyable pub lunch. To call the water taxi after lunch I ‘donged’ the church type bell alongside the quay. 🙂

 

Leaving Dartmouth

Leaving Dartmouth

 

 

Back on board we made passage back down the River Dart, where the Regatta rowing races were in full swing, to exit the river and set sail for Salcombe. We had a brisk F4 from the SW, so headed out to sea close-hauled on starboard tack to clear the Skerries bank, Start Point and Prawle Pt.

 

Marion at the helm, Start Bay.

Marion at the helm, Start Bay.

 

 

It was a lively sail and Marion enjoyed getting the feel of Christine Marie’s helm again.

We passed a tall ship making its way towards the Dartmouth Regatta, a lovely sight sailing with full sails set before the following wind. 

Passing Tall Ship, Start Bay

Passing Tall Ship, Start Bay

  

 

 

Several miles out to sea we put in a tack and set course for Salcombe. We had to dodge several lobster pots on passage that only appeared close to as they were part submerged and hidden by the tide and swell. I think getting caught on one is enough for this cruise!! … although these had lines that appeared to go straight down!! :-). 

The Bag, Salcombe

The Bag, Salcombe

  

 

It was a great sail and by 1900 we were navigating the entrance to the harbour and passing South Sands where my friends Brian and Barbara were staying on holiday. By 1930 we had rafted up alongside another yacht on the visitors pontoon in ‘The Bag’.  

Salcombe from the town.

Salcombe from the town.

  

 

 

Tuesday morning we met up with Brian and Barbara for a stroll round Salcombe, the ladies dragging Brian and I into clothes shops on route to the pubs! 🙂

  

 

Brian, Barbara and Marion at Small's Cove, Salcombe.

Brian, Barbara and Marion at Small's Cove, Salcombe.

 

 

We had lunch at the Ferry Inn overlooking the harbour before catching the ferry across to Small’s Cove for a walk along the beach towards Southpool Creek in the sun. 

 

 

After dinner coffee, South Beach, Salcombe.

After dinner coffee, South Beach, Salcombe.

  

 

In the evening Marion and I visited Brian and Barbara at their hotel at South Sounds for a lovely dinner. The hotel overlooks South Sands beach and the entrance to Salcombe harbour, a lovely setting to end the day.

We caught the last water taxi back to the yacht at 2300. Winds were starting to increase as a depression approached. As I write this Wednesday morning 26 August, we are sitting out a F8 gale on the yacht.

Thurs 29 August: Wednesday was not pleasant with squally F7/8 winds and rain. We spent the day on board Christine Marie with two other yachts also sheltering from the storm rafted alongside us. I had planned to visit the River Yealme but the forecast was for strong F7/8 winds later in the day and for Friday. I decided early in the morning that the River Yealme was not on for this trip and that I would make for Brixham before the bad weather came in again.

Departed the pontoon, Marion and I left Salcombe at 0800 two hours before high water with plenty of water across the bar and with a fair tide round Start Pt and Berry head until 1400. Wind was from the SW and F2/3 when we left. With full sails we were ‘goose-winged’ and sailing slowly at 3kn as we passed Prawle Point, Start Point and to seaward of The Skerries. Crossing Start Bay I decided to try my hand at fishing again and set a trawl astern of Christine Marie. It was not long before I caught a mackerel, the second in 2-years and both in Start Bay! 🙂

The third crew member.  :-)

The third crew member. 🙂

 

 

It was a lovely sail in the sun as we headed for Berry Head in the distance. I did seem to have gained an extra crew member who kept appearing around the yacht keeping an eye on things!  🙂

 

 

Rounding Berry Head

Rounding Berry Head

 

As we closed Berry Head on the last of the fair tide the wind started to increase and to veer to the west. We reefed the main and headsail in good time as we were soon sailing briskly in F5 increasing winds as we rounded Berry Head and made our final approach to Brixham Harbour.

 

Night falls on Brixham Harbour

Night falls on Brixham Harbour

  

 

By 1430 we were moored in Brixham Marina and enjoying the mackerel I caught with salad for lunch with a glass of wine.

By evening the bad weather had arrived with the forecast strong winds, poor visibility and rain. Marion and I visited Brixham and enjoyed a meal at the ‘Poop Deck’ fish restaurant on the quay. 

 

The strong winds are forecast to continue through Friday into early Saturday, so we will make the short passage across to Torquay Saturday afternoon.

Saturday 29 August:

Brixham Marina

Brixham Marina

 

A lovely day with good wind from the SW. Marion and I left in the morning to sail the short passage across to Torquay.

We decided to make passage for Babacombe, where we would anchor for lunch. 

 

 

Marion with the Ore Stone and Thatcher's Rock in the background.

Marion with the Ore Stone and Thatcher's Rock in the background.

 

 

We had a great sail, passing to seaward of Thatcher’s Rock, The Ore Stone and Tucker’s Rock. These brought back memories as I used to fish off them regularly in the Fairline Vixan motor cruiser I kept moored at Torquay Marina for several years. 

 

Babacombe Bay

Babacombe Bay

 

 

Passing Anstey’s Cove, we sailed into Babacombe Bay and dropped anchor in sight of the cliff railway in 5m of water. It was a glorious day and we relaxed with a meal until late afternoon. 

 

 

Babacombe from anchor in the bay.

Babacombe from anchor in the bay.

 

 

We made the sail back round to Torquay in the evening. Passing between The Ore Stone and Thatcher’s Rock we were close hauled and having a lively sail in the F4 wind. 

 

 

Approaching under sail to pass between The Ore Stone and Thatcher's Rock.

Approaching under sail to pass between The Ore Stone and Thatcher's Rock.

 

 

We made several long tacks to round the coast, arriving at the marina by 1900. A great day to finish this leg of my cruise. My thanks to Marion for helping me on this section of my cruise. 

 

 

Approaching Torquay Harbour entrance.

Approaching Torquay Harbour entrance.

 

 

 

I have now booked my sailing club (Lymington Town Sailing Club) for my welcome home get together in the evening Friday 18 September. Friends, family, charities, press and all those who have sailed with me on my 2-year adventure are welcome to meet me on arrival and to join us in the evening at the sailing club. I will send out more details by email later.  

Lending a helping hand.  :-)

Lending a helping hand. 🙂

  

By the time I arrive back in Lymington I will have sailed over 3000M, visited over 100 ports and harbours around the UK and Ireland on my 2-year figure of eight, circumnavigation.

A great adventure, fulfilling the dream I set out to achieve when I started sailing in early 2004.

 

 1 September 2009:  With time on my hands here in Torquay I have started to relax and to catch up on jobs around the yacht, adding photos to my recent BLOG entries and making contact with the many amateur radio stations that have supported me throughout my cruise.

I have started to walk daily to get in shape for my dancing that starts the week after I return to Lymington, 2 hours of ballroom dancing is like a good workout at the gym ….. but more fun.  🙂

Ground floor flat I owned in Torquay.

Ground floor flat I owned in Torquay.

 

Yesterday I walked around Torquay, visiting the location of a holiday flat I owned here between 1987 and 1995.  I lived and worked in Bristol at the time, but had my small fast motor yacht moored here at Torquay Marina.  Mark and Darren were born in the early years and enjoyed the seaside visits and firework displays in the bay during our frequent stays at the flat.

 

New Bridge at Torquay Harbour.

New Bridge at Torquay Harbour.

 

 

I walked along the seafront, passing the new bridge that now spans the harbour since I last visited, walking through the attractively planted gardens along the seafront. 

 

 

Torquay seafront gardens.

Torquay seafront gardens.

 

I was looking forward to a walk through the cliff gardens that are usually lit with colourful lights at night, but extensive work is being carried out to make the cliffs safe from rock falls and they are enclosed with protective fences at the moment. 

A pity as the lit walkway is a significant attraction for Torquay, but when work is complete and the gardens replanted, the walk through there should be lovely.

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