At 07.45 I left Starcross and hurtled out to sea. The ebb was running strongly, causing rapid-like waves. The mainsail was set, but most of the power for steerage was from the engine.
Beyond the bar buoy I hoped to find smooth water, but the choppy sea continued, on top of the swell. An easterly Force 3 had us moving fast, often above four knots. Dawlish was soon abeam, followed by the red cliffs of Teignmouth.
My intention had been to put into Torquay or Brixham, but the going was very good; therefore I continued beyond Berry Head where a trawler caused me to change course.
The tide was zipping over Nimble Rock. From there I could see the Dartmouth Day Mark indicating the entrance of the River Dart.
Entering Dartmouth is always exciting because the flood or ebb speeds through the narrows where Dartmouth Castle is to port and Kingswear Castle to starboard.
The wind funnelled between the two, and I confidently held full sail until before the Kingswear moorings where I handed the main. At that point I tried starting the outboard, but it was as dead as a dodo.
With the jib still drawing I headed for the Dartmouth Yacht Club's visitors' pontoon. There I drew alongside a Westerly yacht, and a lady took my bow line and made it fast to her yacht's mooring cleat.
I've spent most of the afternoon being jigged and thrown around by the swell and washes from passing vessels. As I write, considerable loads are being exerted to 'Sandpiper's' cleats.
I have thought about anchoring to have a more peaceful berth and perhaps a quiet night. I had hoped the uncomfortable swell would die down, but the motion is worse than ever.
I have yet to work out what to do tomorrow. With these easterly winds my thoughts are to make good use of them for making westing.
I am really surprised that you are having so much trouble with your outboard. I was under the impression Honda's were the way to go?
My very old, original Honda 2 HP on the whole does pretty well. This time the cause was a dirty spark plug. Since I have cleaned it the engine has started first or second pull.
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