Tuesday, September 7, 2021

2021 Late Summer Cruise, Days 21 & 22, Fowey - Salcombe.

Monday dawned with Fowey still as foggy as it was the previous evening, but certainly with radar not bad enough to wait further, not that surprisingly there was no fog once out of the estuary.

Achilles 9 metres "Sancerre" At Fowey
Leaving Fowey.
Achilles 9 metres "Sancerre" At Fowey
Sunrise over St Saviour's Point, Polruan.
The wind came up to F3 and I was sailing shortly after clearing St Saviour's Point but it did not last long so on went the engine.
Visibility down sun was now a couple of miles but to the east
glare was a problem until mid morning, spot the lobster pot marker.
I had planned to anchor in Plymouth Sound to ride out strong easterly winds due late on Tuesday but decided that if I was going to have to use the engine, arriving in Plymouth before lunch I may as well motor on to shorten the distance for the next leg that would include acrossing Lyme Bay. My usual anchorage at Hallsands, behind Start Point, would be untenable in a strong easterly wind so I decided on Salcombe.

The wind came up to a decent sailing breeze at lunch time but it was dead on the nose to within a few degrees, with 1.5 to 2 knots of tide against I would even with a calm sea make little progress untill the tide turned and it would be well into the evening before I got in so I carried on under engine cruising easily at 5.5 - 6 knots and was entering by 14:30.
Achilles 9 metres "Sancerre" entering Salcombe
Bolt Head, sheltering Salcombe from the west.
Achilles 9 metres "Sancerre" entering Salcombe
Salcombe has a sand bar across the entrance that is very dangerous
in certain conditions, even sinking a lifeboat, with light winds and at half tide
it is not a problem but, at least for the visitor, you want to be on the leading
marks from at least a mile out and in practice 1.5 miles when coming
from the west to avoid over-falls close in Bolt Head. The water (2021) is
a little deeper than shown on the charts west of the transit.
Achilles 9 metres "Sancerre" entering Salcombe
Spot on! You line up the two pole markers behind the boat,
good binoculars are needed to see them far out but the house helps.
This picture is an enlarged section of the previous one.
Achilles 9 metres "Sancerre" entering Salcombe
Entering Salcombe, it is not actually an estuary, there are no
rivers, but a series of flooded valleys.
Achilles 9 metres "Sancerre" entering Salcombe
Achilles 9 metres "Sancerre" entering Salcombe
Achilles 9 metres "Sancerre" entering Salcombe
Turning to enter the next section, no pics of that as I was too busy
I will probably leave before dawn on Wednesday so, with lots of boats moored or anchored further inland and no well defined and lit channel, I decided to pick up a buoy close to the town for an easier exit. That was a mistake, the mooring is fine overnight but during the day it is noisy with boats and tenders going in all directions and kicking up a wash so the boat is constantly in motion. 

Getting onto the buoy was a bit of a challenge single handed with about 1.5 knots of incoming tide and a strongish crosswind.
Achilles 9 metres "Sancerre" at Salcombe
Achilles 9 metres "Sancerre" at Salcombe
Lots of boats in land with no well defined channel.
Achilles 9 metres "Sancerre" at Salcombe
Achilles 9 metres "Sancerre" at Salcombe

I'm not sure where the next stop will be, if I have to motor much of the way across Lyme bay I will have to go into Portland for more diesel, a conservative estimate shows I have enough for 125 miles and its 123 miles to the Hamble!  I could get some here but I will be replacing the fuel tank next month so want to arrive with a safe reserve, preferably the 10 litres (7 hours worth or 30 - 42 miles depending on sea conditions) of white diesel I have in a can and that I can put in the car if not used (only red is available here), and / or 10 litres in the tank. I don't want lots in the tank as it will be a pain to get out and may require more storage cans than I have leaving enough cans to completely fill the new tank with exact amounts of fuel to calibrate the gauge.

Otherwise it will depend on the time of day, the tide (it looks good if I can keep up a reasonable pace) how I feel and the wind, Portland, Studland, Hurst or straight back to Hamble are all possible with at least Hurst and Hamble requiring a full overnight sail.

Slide show of all my pictures of Fowey & Salcombe, page through by clicking the arrows or click in the centre of the pic to view from Flickr in a new window or full screen: 
2021 Fowey - Salcombe

38 miles in 8.5 hours.

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