Our initial plan when leaving the Solent was to sail to Salcombe, somewhere where Matt has very happy memories of a week spent competing as a nipper crewing a National 12. Well ok at that point Matt was possibly more interested in the ice-creams that his helm fed him up to twice a day, either way it holds good memories. The wind and our cautious sailing did not play ball though, so we diverted to Dartmouth (somewhere that was new to both of us) as it meant we would be moored up before midnight.
We followed the river Dart up to Dittisham and anchored just below the Anchor stone. The area is a steep sided valley, heavily wooded and very pleasant to look out upon from our new home. We stopped for 3 nights to rest and re-charge ourselves. We had not realised how run down we had become preparing for this trip. We have been working non-stop every day evening and night on this project since October last year without any time off and it has taken its toll. Thankfully the weather played ball and we had a couple of days of lie ins with exploring in the tender under sail and walking the Dart trail in the afternoons. Wandering around Dittisham with its picture post card perfect cottages and church made us talk about quitting our jobs and moving down to this area. Then we realised that a) we had already quit our jobs and b) those beautiful houses probably come with eye watering prices, unobtainable to two aspiring sea gypsies.
We left the Dart in no wind and ended up motoring round to Salcombe, It wasn’t too bad, with the engine on we have hot water so we could have a shower and Amy did some clothes washing. This meant we looked real sea gypsies anchoring in Salcombe with underwear drying on the guard rail. Salcombe was beautiful as Matt remembered it but crowded, we had a wander along the beach and then around the town but only stayed for one night.
From Salcombe we headed for Plymouth where you can anchor for FREE. We stopped in Cawsand bay where we indulged in swimming, a walk to Rame head and general wandering around being tourists. One evening when ashore we got chatting with some of the locals who were fishing for mackerel, they had also netted a large amount of white bait and were kind enough to give us some as they could not eat it all. Back on board Amy fried up the white bait for a tasty supper which gave us inspiration to improve our fishing skills (with the tips garnered from the locals).
By now we had also been getting through the jobs list and were feeling more and more ready to leave the UK so we thought we had better move on down to Falmouth. Unfortunately the forecast was for headwinds for the next few days so we would have to beat there. This however gave a good excuse to go and have a look at the Eddystone rock lighthouse on the way. The 12 hour sail was nicely broken up by two separate, curious pods of dolphins who came to play in our bow wave and have a good look at us.
It was dusk and the drizzle had set in by the time we reached Falmouth, where after much research we anchored in one of the few remaining free anchorages in the area. As we were packing the sails, we heard fish jumping near the boat and Amy thought it was worth trying our luck with the mackerel line. After about two minutes, she had one. The plan was that Amy would gut and cook it as long as Matt killed it, however this was easier said than done. The process of getting the fish onboard and into the pan involved lots of screaming (not from Matt), and although it tasted great, had Amy thinking of returning to her vegetarian roots. Who says fishing is relaxing???
3 thoughts on “The Solent to Falmouth”
Hi your Grandma gave me details of your blog last week I have enjoyed reading your adventure so far looking forward to the next instalment.All the very best on your travels hope the weather is kind to you and you both have a fantastic time ⛵️⚓️
Good luck and best wishes with your trip most of us dream about but few actually do something about it, hopefully I can keep up to date with your progress on this site.
Phil ( STRIDER 11 laid up alongside you at Trafalgar wharf for couple weeks )
I really enjoy reading about your progress on Florence, and wish you All the Very Best in your wonderful adventure. Love you Both.