After completing my first circumnavigation of Britain – for which I also thank Neil Penman, Principal of SWMT together with the instructors Alastair, Merv, Duncs and Tank as well as my fellow crew members, Neil, Allan and Vera – we berthed for a short while on the town pontoon in Salcombe, scrambled ashore for a Full English and a shower before slipping lines there and hooking onto a mooring buoy in the Harbour for a well-earned rest after our overnight exertions.
Salcombe is, well, Salcombe. A beautiful harbour lined with, I guess, multi-million pound houses, just as so many rivers, harbours and inlets are nowadays. Later browsing in the estate agents’ windows confirmed those sky-high prices. I suspect that they are DFL’s and wonder how the locals feel? Mixed blessing I assume as they bring in investment but also place a lot of pressure on house prices.
Those houses here include one formerly used by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. He of the ‘Charge of the Light Brigade’ , that singularly British celebration (?) of crass military leadership combined with the heroics of the individual. Other residents include, apparently, several members of Led Zeppelin – now were talking.
From Salcombe we sailed on toward Dartmouth but not before anchoring at Blackpool Sands, just along the beach from Slapton Sands. Slapton Sands made famous, of course, for being one of the locations of intense preparation for the D-Day landings and also infamous for being the scene of a major ‘friendly fire’ incident in which many Allied troops lost their lives at the hand of their brothers.
We did not stay long at anchor as the swell and wind were picking up. So, having raised the anchor, we had a session of practicing our techniques for mooring onto a buoy. During this the weather turned a little spiteful and drenched us via a squall that lasted, maybe, 20minutes but (almost) got through to the skin. Nevertheless, we carried on in true, salty sea-dog, fashion. Maybe 8 weeks’ ago we’d have been cowering below? Who knows.
After the practice, we sailed into Dartmouth – the second time round on this RBE – and berthed up on the Town Pier for the night. Dartmouth Yacht Club were gracious enough to allow us to use their facilities – at only £1 a shower. Hot and high pressure. Just the ticket for washing the salt off.
After which a dinner of Spag.Bol. – hopefully for the last time for quite a while.
Tomorrow we get back to Brixham, marking the end of the ‘holiday’ sail and the start of 2 weeks’ prep for our Yachtmaster exam.
June 26/27th Day 82/83