One of yesterday's downpours in Exeter
The Exmouth/Starcross Ferry passing by a few moments ago
The diesel train also passing by
As I prepare this posting, the yacht is being buffeted by the wind; she has about 10 degrees of heel because the keels are being pushed by the ebbing tide towards the wind. I am sat in the middle of the boat where there is the least movement. There is a forecast for winds to occasionally reach Force 9! I am dubious about trying to get ashore today, as last night I had real difficulty in reaching the yacht by the use of the dinghy. Both wind and tide were against me. In the end I had to carry the dinghy for a good quarter of a mile from the railway underpass at the Starcross Fishing and Cruising Club to well beyond the one adjacent to where ‘Ladybird’ is moored. That was necessary to be sufficiently upwind of the boat to make it there before being swept up the River. While carrying the dinghy I needed to put a lot of effort into pointing the bow of the dinghy towards the wind. If it swung sideways to the wind I almost took off as if I were kite sailing. At first the going was almost impossible, because my Wellington boots stuck in the mud, but the more progress I made, the better the surface became for walking, until eventually I was walking on pebbles, but the tide was coming in, and shortly where I stood would be covered, and apart from climbing a buttress for retaining the sea wall, there was no escape.
This morning I woke to the alarm and routinely listened to the forecast, but I didn’t need to hear it to know I would not be sailing for Weymouth - south or southwest 6-8, occasionally 9. I’m thankful to be on a substantial mooring obviously made for a larger boat than ‘Ladybird’ because of the length of the strops and the size of the buoy. Tomorrow morning I’ll need to find another mooring because the owner of this one wants to put his own boat on it. I just hope the wind will have lessened by then. Trying to pick up a mooring buoy by oneself in very windy conditions can be difficult. You point the bow of the yacht to the buoy, but by the time you have walked forward with the boathook the buoy is beyond your reach, or the waves bounce the buoy and the boat around so much that you can’t get the hook to engage.
Well, my plan is to stay on the boat until the wind abates, or if there is a lull I may be able to get ashore; the problem then is finding another lull for returning to the boat. Gale force 8 and the occasional 9, make this a risky business. It looks as though I’ll be confined to the boat for more reading and a buffeting.