Sailing my Paradox and country living

More recent sailing – part 4. Return to the Dart

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Where were we?

Ah yes, cruising in the Plymouth area in my mighty Paradox and had just failed to get up the River Lynher to Notter for a pub visit..

So, as the winds were likely to remain very light – which they’d  been for some time now, I thought that a return to the Dart would be sensible, as a longer sea passage would turn out to be a slow drift, being wafted up and down along the coast by the tides, rather than a brisk sail..

Starting to make my way along the river towards Plymouth Sound, to get in position for the trip along the coast, I passed some nice places to show you.

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Anthony’s Passage – just a hamlet of old cottages along the Lynher.

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These allotments are a good distance from the water, on the side of a hill and overlook the R Lynher. It would be a nice spot to while away some hours looking out over the river valley and one could even grow some good veggies on that south sloping ground.

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Heading down river at the junction of the Lynher and Tamar

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Barn Pool. A well known Plymouth anchorage

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This Victorian naval barrack block has been nicely converted into apartments and still looks like it did 150 years ago.

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Sailed in company with this boat from Cremyl to Cawsand Bay. The boat is concrete and built in the 1980s and the owner- Richard- lives on board summer and winter.

We both arrived together in Cawsand Bay and Richard kindly gave me a lift ashore in his tender after we were both anchored. This obviously called for another visit to the pub…. Richard said that he’d had no structural issues with the concrete construction of his boat which is good news as there are so many horror stories going about here in UK about the shortcomings of this type of build.

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At anchor off Cawsand.

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This boat arrived at Cawsand Bay latter in the afternoon and anchored nearby. A Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter?

So, spent the night tucked in Cawsand Bay ready to leave at first light for the coastal trip to the Dart. The forecast for the next day was very nice – Northerly force 4 to 5 .The main tidal constraint was to arrive and get around  Start Point before the tide turned against me. For the tide runs strong there and I’d struggle to make headway against it if I got there too late. So important to get sailing early to get the  timing right

We started off in fine style. The wind behaved as forecast and I romped across Bigbury Bay at top speed. I even reefed at one point – the first and only time during this entire cruise….resized_september trip 2015 081

Reefed the sail

Still going well as we got to Bolt Head but the wind faded after that and I made frustratingly slow progress to the Start. A light wind is  what I could have done without just then and a bit disappointing  in view of the good forecast…

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Start Point just after rounding in a light wind.

I managed to round the the Start – just, before the tide turned, but after that I struggled to get across the bay towards the Dart. as the wind became less and less. At one stage I became sure that progress had completely stopped. I fished out my new handheld GPS and turned it on. Sure enough we were going backwards at one and a half knots.

There is an anchorage just behind Start Point just off the Hallsands deserted village, where perhaps I could have waited for six hours for the tide to turn again in my favour,  but I succumbed to temptation, took the easy way out and started the Honda.. I fancied getting into port as soon as I could and hopefully before dark.

I made it into Old Mill creek at dusk and was pleased to arrive after a long day.

The remainder of the cruise was spent meandering on the Dart, mainly in light or nil wind.

Some pictures of Old Mill Creek.

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Plenty of firewood

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A graveyard for tired abandoned boats

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There’s an old boatyard towards the top of the creek. Someone likes vintage lifeboats

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A Dutch Botter style houseboat

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And this ancient boathouse. A shame about the lean- to.

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I wonder if those lee boards would fit mine?

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And this curious little tower. It looks like a fortification but it’s in a very strange place for a castle

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The Royal Navy officer training establishment is just beyond those trees.

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The steam train crosses a viaduct behind the old tea house

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Greenway Quay. Agatha Christie’s old house is just beyond.

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Approaching Rocket, the gorgeous gaff cutter belonging to David Dimbleby and moored at Dittisham

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Anyone who’s British will know of David Dimbleby, a serous political commentator and a celebrity here…  The boat is just beautiful and tasteful, just as you’d expect for DD  but has a very short abbreviated cabin and a huge cockpit. Looks like it’s to suit someone who always sleeps ashore in a hotel rather than staying aboard…..

Musing that it must be a strange life being a celebrity. Everyone you meet would know who you were without you knowing them. Must be off-putting when you’re going about your everyday life …

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This double ender is moored near Rocket.  I like.  Notice that there was bit of wind blowing then, just for a change.

That’s all for now.


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