Our September Sail

The Boss and the Skipper have been planning this sailing trip in between everything else for some time. On Thu 6 Sep, we collected various bits of food from the fridge and plenty of other stuff and headed to the boat at Cargreen to load up and set off down river with the tide towards Newton Ferrers for the night. We hoped for a sail but with just the genoa and not much wind, there was not much hope for that.

As is usual, we have the debate whether to go West or East, on Fri 7 Sep, we chose East towards Salcombe. In the prevaling westerlies, we managed a fair sail in rolling seas, however, the tide was only with us for the final couple of hours while we went past Bolt Tail and Bolt Head. We moored near the town, however, every motorboat going up or down the river came very close to us and our boat was always moving around. It only stopped at 11:00 at night when the water taxi stopped work until 08:00 the next morning. Salcombe is a much better place to stop than it was several years ago; the prices are reasonable, facilities are fine, it lacks an extensive shop in town, but it has a very good butcher and plenty of places to eat. It still isn’t a good sheltered harbour, we always had swell coming up the channel, especially on the ebb tide.

Our walk on Sat, found us going towards Bolt Head (with many others!). The day was fine if a little cold and windy, the temperature was a foretaste of what was to come!

Walk along the Cliffs above Stairhole Bay near Salcombe

On Sun 9 Sep, we set off bright and early (for us) towards Dartmouth (09:20), sailing downwind with both sails, however, not for long as the wind dropped again and the cast iron genoa had to help … Eventually, the wind sorted us out and we had a good sail under genoa alone until the entrance to the River Dart where we moored on inside of the Lower pontoon where we were very close to the quay.

Despite the traffic, there was little wash except the water taxi (again) cutting through the gap between the pontoon and the nearest fore-and-aft mooring buoy. One tender actually missed that buoy but hit us instead, they did say “sorry”! Unlike Salcombe, Dartmouth had no swell coming up or down the river, although the tide was running very fast mid-tide.

There was much to look at:

Sail Training Ship Royalist was in the harbour overnight

The Steam Paddle Passanger Ferry Kingswear Castle

The view of Kingswear from our Pontoon

On Mon, after a litte debate, we walked along the coast towards the castle (around the corner in the image above). Followed by an excellent, if expensive, cream tea in town. Later, we had an excellent meal in the Rockfish restaurant on the front. The Skipper had haddock & chips with curried mushy peas – they are very much better than it sounds! The Boss had hake & chips.

We decided to return a day or so early and missed out a visit to Brixham/Teignmouth; now we we going to have the tide with us but the prevaling wind against us. On Wed, we departed towards the River Yealm, as it turned out, too early! The forecast was for Northerly winds which, until we got to Start Point, we didn’t get, afterwards we were on a beam reach (fastest point of sailing) together with an extra high spring tidal current we were regularily managing 8 knots over the ground (6 knots through the water). The good stuff couldn’t last so it started to drizzle in very little wind, so we put the engine on again! The Boss was happy as she found her store of Mars bars!

We arrived early at the Yealm, despite, slowing down to a crawl. The Boss made the Skipper take the helm into the river so she could blame him when we ran aground! We didn’t, so we picked up one of the visitor’s moorings.

One of our favourite walks in the Yealm is the Duke’s Drive:

Looking West on the Duke’s Drive towards the Mewstone and Rame Head

That black cloud didn’t drop anything on us, but the wind was very cold as it had been over the previous 2 nights.

On Fri, we were waiting to set off back home to Cargreen when we were hailed by Solo – a very old friend ‘J’. We hope to meet up with his wife during the Devon Open Studios week.

We are very bad at waiting so we set off early (again) instead of waiting for the tide and motor-sailed past the Mewstone (above) in quite rough water (what a difference a day makes!) Instead of running aground on our way into the R. Yealm, we ran aground twice in our home water, managing to do some underwater landscaping judging by the quantity of mud that the propeller threw up while trying to drag ourselves out again!

It was a great week or so away sailing and walking. We had plenty of time to talk about our future travel plans for next and subsequent years.

We woke up on Sat at Cargreen almost unable to see the boats next to us. Eventually, the mist started to clear …

Mist rising at Cargreen looking South towards Plymouth

Mist almost gone from Cargreen; our boat is behind the mooring barge

 

 

 

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