Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tuesday, 22nd June

Thatcher Rock
Laundry drying
Jetski on floating ramp - not seen this elsewhere
'Freedom', yacht for the disabled

Crème de la crème, Torquay Marina, among the rich and famous, ‘Ladybird’ is tied to pontoon D20; she lies hidden between two large motor yachts.

The day started, as usual, at 0510, in time for a cup of tea before the early morning forecast which mentioned a W or SW wind, increasing to 4 at times. There was not a breath of wind as I cast off the buoy at Starcross. Long streaky bits of weed floated on the surface of the mirror-like water, and some fouled the rudder, which made me keep the revs of the engine higher than I wanted, in the hope that the prop would not become clogged. All went well, but on the sharp bend leading towards Exmouth Marina the sun dazzled my eyes so that I could not see the buoys. Neither could I see the chart GPS because my eyes could not adjust to the low light of the screen. I kept a course dictated by memory from when I used to have boats on the Exe. A faster, more powerful yacht overhauled ‘Ladybird’; therefore I took the opportunity of following her, while periodically checking the depth sounder.

Near the mouth of the River, I noticed the buoys were in different positions to those shown on my GPS chart, which meant that the sandbanks had changed their position in recent years. As soon as we were clear of the shallows, I shaped a course for Hope’s Nose and turned off the engine. The boat just drifted along at 0.3 knots and the sun blazed down. For the first time during the cruise I was able to sunbathe and out of boredom I shaved. Dawlish and Teignmouth seemed never to move. Eventually, I turned on the engine to make progress; then the wind filled in from the SW. From there on I had a great sail to Torquay and on the way I admired the islets of the Ore Stone, the Lead Stone and Thatcher Rock. In Torbay and beyond, I counted six ships at anchor, which spoke volumes of the Country’s fragile economy.

Getting into the Marina was pretty easy, because there the wind was not so strong. I used the afternoon for doing the laundry and having a shower, before being visited by a friend who lives at Paignton. He presented me with a piece of cake saved from his eightieth birthday party; then he took me to a yacht he skippers for the disabled. She is a Hanse 35, extremely well fitted out.

I should have a quiet night here at the Marina, providing no drunks return to their yachts and wake me up.

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