Second best is still very good!

July and August were quieter sailing months. Family took precedence. Thalmia and I did join in a “race” to Dartmouth in August. There was very little wind so the challenge was getting there under sail power only! We managed it, singlehanded, including a fair stretch with the cruising chute – drawing well!

I had hoped to set sail on a longer passage when the schools were back and the marinas and harbours were quieter and perhaps even go around Lands End again and visit places along the North Cornwall and Devon coasts and South Wales. The weather, however, after such a long settled period over the summer, turned against us! Maybe next year?

I did, however, get away, but changed down a gear to visit two of my favourite, but local, harbours, setting out on the Thursday and returning on the Saturday. A great downwind sail took us to Salcombe and up to an anchorage below the Salt Stone at the opening to Frogmore Creek. (Fun fact – strictly speaking, Salcombe estuary isn’t technically an estuary but a Ria – a tidal inlet with no major fresh water source flowing through it!)

Here was a chance to play with the newly acquired drone! If only I had had this with me in the Western Isles of Scotland last year!

Looking South from the Salt Stone
Frogmore Creek

The following day, a short but demanding sail past Prawle Point and Start Point brought me part way back, to Dartmouth, and a convenient mooring buoy at Dittisham – a quiet location away from the hustle and bustle of Dartmouth and opposite Greenway Quay: Greenway being the National Trust property that was once the holiday home of Agatha Christie.

I used to pass this way frequently when I stored my previous boat, over winter, at Baltic Wharf, Totnes. The upper reaches of the Dart towards Totnes provide spectacular scenery if you are lucky enough to take a boat trip up here.

Then an early morning start on the Saturday was needed to get back to the Exe and Starcross Yacht Club before the arrival of the depression (meteorological not personal!) and associated strong winds.

I’d like to think Thalmia and I might manage another excursion before laying up in October – perhaps turning left out of the Exe – but that will depend heavily on favourable winds.

Here is a link if you want to see more of the voyage and locations and my early forays into drone videos!

Published by Derek

Having started sailing later in life I have migrated from a 14ft dinghy via a Sadler 26 to a 32ft Westerly Fulmar. I sail mostly single handed in the South West from the Solent to the Scillies or across to the Channel Islands and ajacent French coast. In 2020 I planned to sail mostly single handed around Britain. Due to Covid-19 this was unfortunately not possible. I finally completed that challenge starting in April 2021: finishing in early July. You can check out my journey and experiences, good and not so good in the blog posts below or my YouTube channel - search for “voyages of Thalmia” -

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