26th of July 2008 - Summer Cruise - 3
|Crew :||Helen, Andy and George|
|Destinations :||Wherever the wind blows us.|
|Distance :||63 miles|
26 th July Weymouth Harbour-Portland Harbour
Today we explored Weymouth, walking up to eat our lunch over Portland Harbour. We stopped to watch a game of beach volley ball, which was extremely competitive and part of a 2 day tournament. It was extremely hot and sunny and Weymouth was busy. After talking to our inside neigbours, we changed our plans. They were leaving this afternoon in order to anchor and leave at 0400am tomorrow. As we wanted to head for Dartmouth early the following day we decided to do the same and anchor in Portland Harbour. We decided to leave with them, however by 3pm we were tired of the heat and bustle, and our neighbours seemed to have settled down to socialising with visitors showing no sign of imminent departure, so we headed out alone to Portland Harbour, where we found a cooler and more peaceful place to lob our anchor and spend the night.
27 th July Portland Harbour-Dartmouth
We left our anchorage at 5am today. The sun was just rising and it turned into a beautiful day. As my back had started to get sore I had a bit of a sleep and then we had a nice breakfast as we headed well clear of the Portland tidal race. Once we were clear of the risk of being swept into this dodgy bit of water we made a heading directly for Dartmouth with the tide behind us. Unfortunately there was little wind so we motored, with George's help on the helm, until we were within a couple of hours of Dartmouth. At this point we decided it was ideal weather for fishing and we had enough wind in roughly the right direction to make about 2 or 3 knots under sail, so we turned off the engine.
Andy set up the fishing rod with very little expectation of getting anything. However, within half an hour we had caught 4 mackerel for our supper. Andy killed them with the winch handle and after gutting them put them safely in the fridge. As he was finishing this I saw some dolphins in the distance. By the time Andy came up they had disappeared. What we didn't realize was that they had seen us and 5 minutes later they had come to say hello. They stayed with us swimming and ducking and diving for a good 10 minutes or so before heading out to sea doing a few leaps in the air for us as they went. They were fab! We also saw families of baby guillemots as we headed toward Dartmouth. Sadly we had to motor again for the last part. Our entrance into Dartmouth harbour was quite stunning and we were rafted up on a deep water pontoon by 17.00. I cooked the mackerel and we tried some raw with olive oil and lemon juice. The smell took some time to shift from the boat.
28 th July Dartmouth deep water mooring
Today we started with laundry and a return trip on the Dartmouth steam train from Kingswear to Paignton, first class. When we returned to Kingswear, we had lunch in a lovely run down pub right next to the car ferry with a terrace overlooking the river. We then walked up to the castle for our first (but not last) cream tea of the trip. The weather forecast was rubbish so we thought we would head up river to Dittisham the following day. When we returned to the boat we noticed the boat across from us was a Rustler 36, a boat we had been considering as a replacement for Ocean Mist. The following day the owners very kindly let us have a look and, although it was a beautiful boat, we decided it was definitely too small for us.
29 th July Dartmouth deep water mooring
Another day in Dartmouth. We found an internet cafe and picked up some more wine, before returning to the boat for a rest. As my back was still painful we decided not to move up river. Andy had also noticed that our domestic batteries were struggling to keep their charge and would need sorting out before we went the Isles of Scilly. Our need for a marina with facilities was increasing.
30 th July Dartmouth deep water mooring-Darthaven marina, Kingswear
Today we nipped to the marina where we had welcome hot showers, we caught up with laundry and Andy bought 2 new batteries which he fitted himself. We filled up with water and cleaned the boat, before heading off to the The Ship in Kingswear for lunch and a pint. My back had been quite painful over night so we decided to have an easy day of it. My sister Bec sent a text to say she and Simon had arrived in our house and it was still standing. Trevor the tree fern was doing OK on his own and to Andy's relief the tadpoles seemed to be surviving. Apparently everywhere is really hot apart from here in the South West.
31 st July Darthaven marina-Dittisham
Force 8s forecast today. Although it had been quite quiet overnight the wind and rain had started with a vengeance, making it definitely another day for the river. We were both itching to get away from the marina and out on our own. We had a very wet trip up river where we picked up a buoy in the wind and rain. Not much to do so having another restful day. We think the weather should be picking up at the weekend so hopefully we can head west again.
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