Our thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives in yesterday’s extreme weather.
In Teignmouth, we were on the edge of it.
Blue Mistress was snug, but the wind was blowing downriver and the incoming tide made for choppy water. In these conditions, there is a tendency for the boat to ride onto the mooring buoy. This has damaged the bow in the past. Padding the shackle and swivel has helped.
The two rows of moorings in the centre of the stream are swing moorings, the shallower moorings at the edge of the stream are fore-and-aft. The long keels of the Folksong and the Contessa 26 are holding the vessels more or less to the tide, whereas the three fin-keeled yachts beyond them are being swung by the wind.
The effect of the wind against the tide is more obvious here. The wind is pushing the two bigger yachts side on to the tide, hence the heeling. The gentleman aboard the far boat is waiting for it to float.
On Saturday, the wind was still heading me, although a direct tack out to sea allowed a long tack back into, and west along, the coast. An approaching front appeared as forecast as the long tack took me into Beer Roads.
(Click on image for short slideshow)
Beer in sight over the post bow. The approaching front – high cloud, then middle layer cloud followed directly by low cloud.
The constricted entrance to Axemouth harbour
The beach at Beer
In ‘Sailing for a Living’ by Basdil Greenhill, Percival Marshall, 1962, theres is a photograph of a three-masted Beer lugger – (“Beatrice Annie”), which would have been launched from this beach.
Beyond the white cliffs around Beer lies Branscombe and the familiar red cliffs of Devon.
I tacked close to the beach and headed out to sea again. The next tack would have taken Blue Mistress all the way to Teignmouth had the wind not veered when we were off Straight Point, between Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton. I lost interest in photography at this stage and concentrated on the beat along the final 10 miles.
The following day, the sun shone, the wind headed us at a steady 2-3 bft and I returned to Lyme Regis, tacking off then on to the coast, no great distance (about 7 nm), no time to keep, a perfect morning’s sail. I sat back, enjoyed the sailing, took only a few photographs.
(Click on image to start slideshow)
Golden Cap on the left
Shadows and morning sun
The lower cliffs a clear grey with erosion. I am no geologist but I can appreciate the geology.
Chideock. In the days of merchant schooners and ketches, vessels would have taken the beach here to unload at low tide.
It’s not always easy to estimate the scale from the sea, however . . .
On Wednesday, I sailed from Teignmouth towards Lyme Regis on a planned four-day visit along the Jurassic Coast. The object was to view the coast from the sea – to see red cliffs, white cliffs, yellow cliffs, grey cliffs, and the small communities in between – to try and photograph them regardless of the weather.
The windvane on Blue Mistress was damaged at the end of last year. A small yacht misjudged leaving the visitors’ pontoon in Dartmouth and ran onto it – “altering the shape” of it. This year I have been watching it closely in different conditions to check there has been no lasting damage. I took these short clips off Teignmouth earlier this month.
The wind was gusting strongly – (note the untidy lines), and I thought I’d record the effect of the gusts on the self-steering gear. In the second clip, the boat is heading higher than I wanted. In the third clip, I have adjusted the windvane to correct direction. A stronger gust then brings the boat up into the wind. In the fourth clip, I have adjusted the sails slightly. This works.
Blue Mistress and I left Plymouth early on Saturday morning.
The wind was favourable but the tide was still ebbing at the Great Mew Stone . . .
. . . and would be against us until Bolt Head, where the tide would turn but the wind would begin to head us. Both wind and sea rose at Start Point and pushed us further out sea before we tacked back towards Dartmouth, arriving just over nine hours after leaving Plymouth.
Overnight in Kingswear, looking across to Dartmouth, then the following morning . . .
. . . with little wind, and joined by my son, we motor-sailed to Teignmouth, an amiable passage, arriving around 1400.
Monday morning, we have a swing mooring – and a fresh start.