1030, Sunday 13th December
My first sail since the end of October.
Blue Mistress has ridden the storms reasonably well.
The forehatch has sprung a small leak. The sail bags are wet.
We have lost not one but two shackle pins on the stern lines.
Poor mousing on my part – (yes, I did use wire), and not helped by the vastly increased run-off of water from Dartmoor into the Plym.
The wind was easterly this morning and gusting. I left the Sound through the eastern entrance and sailed happily south – course 180 degrees (M), until Dodman Point opened up in the west.
I turned for home about 1330.
There were one or two boats sailing and a number of small fishing boats. Mostly I had the sea to myself.
Looking towards Devon in the east to Great Mew Stone and the entrance to the Yealm
and towards Cornwall in the west – Rame Head with Kingsand and Cawsand on the right of the picture.
The wind decided to back towards north which was exactly wrong for re-entering the Sound.
I was concentrating on clearing the eastern end of the Breakwater, when four dolphins appeared from nowhere . . .
They were intent on play, appearing randomly around the boat, racing passed or lazily rolling under the keel.
As they levelled with the cockpit, I could have touched them.
Delighted, excited and entranced, the tiller in one hand, the camera in the other, I took lots of images – mostly of freshly disturbed water.
They lead me on – (note the rapidly approaching conical mark on the end of the Breakwater), and, when I looked up, I had missed the entrance and had to tack very quickly.
My new friends immediately disappeared, and I was reminded of the Sirens of Greek Mythology.
“OK, guys, joke over.”
250 yards on, I tacked back and there they were again.
They escorted me to the entrance to the Sound, before swimming off – no doubt chuckling all the way back to sea!
I was asked last week why I hadn’t taken my boat out of the water for the winter.
There’s your answer.