Saturday, July 10, 2010

Saturday, 10th July

Thatcher Rock and The Ore Stone
Boys jumping off the Harbour wall at Torquay
UK Border Agency vessel
'Mary Ann' Brixham trawler

It was a late getaway this morning - purposely because I did not want to arrive at Exmouth too early. Low water there was at 1207 and I needed to be at the entrance of the Estuary about half tide, i.e., around 1515. There had to be enough water over the bar for ample clearance for ‘Ladybird’ with her 2’ 8” draught to allow for the swell and the troughs between the waves. The wind easily reached force 6 from the south; therefore I deeply reefed the mainsail beyond the lower batten which I removed. She was easy to handle like that and she wasn’t going more than 3 knots against the ebb tide.

Early this morning there was quite a bit going on at Torquay marina. Some boys were jumping off the quay at the entrance of the Harbour, and on the other side of the entrance a large grey vessel with the words UK Border Agency was tied alongside the jetty. The Brixham motor trawler, the ‘Mary Ann’ went to sea. I had took a photo of her on Friday evening. She’s an example of raw function, designed specifically for catching fish - an amazing boat with great character, but not at all graceful like the old Brixham sailing trawlers.

About 3 miles to the northeast of Thatcher Rock and the Ore Stone I heaved the boat to for shortening sail. Later I repeated the manoeuvre to take in more sail. At 1220 I hove to ’Ladybird’ once again so that I could make lunch. Another yacht passed by making to winward, presumably heading for Torbay. The single-handed crew seemed oblivious of my presence. I could just as well have been lost over the side of my boat, for all the interest he had in her. I was, of course below, making lunch while keeping a watch on the approaching yacht.

Between Teignmouth and Dawlish ‘Ladybird’ was overhauled by a larger yacht with full sail and a spinnaker. Her crew must have been wondering why the tiny boat on a course for the Exe Bell Buoy had so little sail.

The wind moderated to a force 5; therefore I kept sailing until well into the Exe moorings. Fortunately I found a suitable one near the spot where I had stayed on the outward leg. So there am this evening. What tomorrow will bring will be revealed. I have no plans for moving on just yet, even though the weather looks to be OK. I love this part of the world. Starcross has real atmosphere. There’s always a sense of adventure here for me. I suppose it’s because I kept my first proper yacht here, a Torbay Class 2 Racer. I also had a mooring for a Hillyard 2 ½ tonner.

I should sleep well, unless I’m woken by the owner of the mooring because he wants it for his own use.


Bursledon Blogger said...

And as I recall Starcross had a fantastic pub - was it called the anchor? Haven't been there for 15 years or so, but it was a great place including the nicotine stained paintwork - we're been in Fowey all week, must have just arrived as you left, sorry we missed you.

William Serjeant said...

Yes, thanks. I doubt I would have recognized your yacht, but you would have been able to pick out 'Ladydird'. Starcross is a favourite. I'm still there as on Monday 12th july. Visiting Exeter again, as I did when going down channel. Hope you have a great cruise.