Monday, July 05, 2010

Monday, 5th July

Barn Pool - the smallest yacht is 'Ladybird'

Plymouth Lifeboat

Bolt Head at the entrance of Salcombe


Of all the anchored yachts at Barn Pool, ‘Ladybird’ was the first to make a start. Using the engine and the sails we powered through the Bridge, that’s the passage way through the old submarine barrier to the SW of Drake’s Island. A Royal Naval Frigate beat me to the entrance at the western end of the breakwater. I tried to make to the entrance before a second frigate arrived, but I had to turn around and retrace my track. The Police launch crew were on the mark and sped in our direction to warn us off.

When we were clear of the Breakwater I shaped a course for Bolt Head. The wind was coming from behind and it gave us a good 4 knots. The flood tide was in our favour from our time of arrival to the south of the Great Mewstone. Other yachts, all using their engines overhauled ‘Ladybird’. As yesterday, these bigger and faster yachts had the wind and the tidal current with them. I find this puzzling. I can only assume they need to keep up an average speed; hence the use of their engines.

The colours of the scenery were fabulous. The sea was sparkling silver blue and the rugged cliffs were brown and ochre; above them the fields and rolling hills were hues of greens. We slipped along at fine speed. I had taken up the anchor at Barn Pool at 0730 and the boat was anchored at Salcombe at 1400. We had covered 20 nautical miles in 6.5 hours at a speed of just over 3knots. On the way I watched the Plymouth lifeboat and a rescue helicopter practice taking a man aboard from the lifeboat. While this was happening the frigates were engaged in exercise further out to sea. For the first time during the cruise I saw a porpoise. Seeing a lone porpoise is very rare, because they are gregarious creatures.

Altogether I had to anchor ‘Ladybird’ three times at my favourite Salcombe location by the sandy beach where the ferry from Town lands passengers on a wooden slipway. The first time I couldn’t anchor exactly on the best spot because a motor launch was there, but when she moved I tried to anchor where she had been. This was not in deep enough water, so that when the wind changed direction and came from the north, ‘Ladybird’s’ rudder only had 6 inches of clearance when there was more than two hours of falling tide. The third time I anchored further off the beach, and as I type, I think the boat will keep clear.

There has been some sort of Merlin dinghy racing event taking place at Salcombe, and most of boats had to pass by where ‘Ladybird’ was anchored, so I managed to get some good photos. It was a bit hairy, because two or three of the dinghies came rather too close to my yacht.

I’m hoping to have a shower at the Salcombe Yacht Club this evening, as I did when I was here on 25th june.

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