The depth reading is less is 2 metres and falling, the gps says I am exactly on track. Despite my resolution a mile back, I am still following the numbers – and for a moment am completely confused.
The gps says there is a straight line and just to the next waypoint and it’s just under one nautical mile away. It’s on the screen. I want to believe it but I can see it’s wrong Looking closely at the chart it says the channel crossed to the other side of the river about 100 yards back. I make the adjustment and realise the mistake. When I was entering the waypoints I missed one; even though I checked them, I still missed it . . . not good. (You have to do it to know it).
(Click on image to enlarge)
Although this is the only yacht I saw on this part of the river, part of the pleasure has been in the other boats. I will add them to the next post.
Round another bend and into a long straight. Two fisherman. Their boat is particularly noteworthy – (I can’t find a description of a Tamar seine boat but the Teignmouth boats are similar, although, like all traditional boats, they have their own slight differences). I wonder about the science and art of fishing here – the seasons, the tides, the weather – the effect of heavy rain, (the western side of Dartmoor drains into the Tamar), the changing currents, the masses of leaves that sink to the bottom of the river, the shifting pattern of the mud banks. What was it like when the mining industry was at its height and the river barges were constantly on the move? What was the pollution like? The fishing is restricted now, will there be any commercial boats in a few years time? What will be lost when they go? It’s that last question I was asking back down the river.
A final bend and Cotehele Quay appears . . .
. . . with Shamrock – and a smart small yacht waiting for the tide.
I pick up a mooring and shut the engine down. The first sound is a buzzard calling to her offspring somewhere in the woods above me.
In the evening, the gigs come out.
The falling tide exposes the mud banks and narrows the river, bringing everything closer.
I put my head out of the companionway just as they race past – a male crew racing a female crew.
They go ashore. The river goes quiet.
(All images by Bill Whateley)
(to be continued . . .)