Category Archives: Photos

Lucky in Dartmouth

Rounding Start Point and sighting the rocky entrance to Dartmouth, I wondered why there were so many sails on the horizon. The sea was thick with boats. Then I remembered that it was Bank Holiday Saturday and this was the climax of the Dartmouth Royal Regatta. I despaired of a berth.

I reckoned without the masterful organisation of the Dart Harbour staff and Regatta volunteers. We were guided to berth on the Town Quay right between the four-deep crowds on the quayside and the barge taking up position in the middle of the river to launch the evening’s fireworks.

Regatta entertainment

Sailing off Devon and Cornwall, the prevailing wind is westerly off the Atlantic Ocean. But this summer’s high pressure systems gave us several days of an easterly wind which opened up anchorages that would not normally be safe: under the east side of Gribbin Head in St Austell Bay and beautiful Hope Cove tucked under Bolt Tail outside Salcombe.

There was one last job before packing up Guiding Star in Plymouth. My yoga teacher wanted to see a photo of me holding “boat pose” on a boat. It was harder than I thought, because even when the boat is tied to a pontoon, it’s not as stable as a church hall floor. Luckily the camera only needed me to stay still for 1/2000th of a second.

Boat pose on a boat

Idyllic Helford

I wanted to go to France for the first time since the pandemic, but after several days of email exchanges to pin down the new post-Brexit arrangements for clearing customs and immigration in Brittany, I gave up. But that brought a chance to sail to one of the most beautiful places on earth, the Helford River.

On the passage down, we dodged low cloud and fog. But then the sun came out; and later, an extraordinary orange moon rose in a cloudless night sky.

Moored in Fowey on the way back to Plymouth, we climbed Polruan Hill and watched the tide flood up the river, each boat swinging as the line of darker blue reached her.

By our home marina in Cattewater, the skilled team on the Island Trust’s schooner Johanna Lucretia manoeuvred her against the wharf in Turnchapel to work on her hull at low tide as we were walking to the pub for a celebratory meal.