Spring 2007
Additional Patrol Boat
Annual Dinner
Appreciation of Banquet
Bosun's Store
Cheats Xmas Lunch
Dinghy Show
Dinghy Word Search
Extension Patio
Farewell to Leon
Going the extra mile
Ladies Night
Medieval Banquet
News of Members
Open Weekend
RYA Racing Charter
Sailing Crossword
Salcombe Sojourn
Site Clearance Division
Spar Storage
Start of Season Party
Sunday Winter Lunches
Surprise Party
Tom Field
Working Party
A Salcombe Sojourn (part 2)
     In response to an appeal made at the last A.G.M by Mike Baker for more article donors to "The Main Sheet" to relieve his over-heated pen, and as Mike is an irresistible pleader, I thought I would assist by continuing with the story of a sailing weekend at Salcombe over the August Bank Holiday 2005, memory permitting.
    You may recall that having had a super sail on the 1st Sept we had resolved to get up earlyish (7am) the next day to try and repeat the experience before the ebbing tide prevented us getting back to our drying mooring. All went well to begin with, we rose at the appointed hour, had a quick cuppa, conned Annie in to driving us down to the quayside where we once again went through the ritual of un-knitting our RIB painter from all the others.
    We then scrambled aboard and motored to our dinghy which was moored about half a mile or so away up one of the fingers of the main estuary just beyond the Island Sailing Club vessel, on a drying buoy, hence our being limited to a couple of hours either side of high tide, which by now it had already started to ebb.
    Again it was a lovely clear morning but as yet without a hint of wind, that most essential ingredient for a good sail. In fact as we looked at the flag on the Church tower it was fondly embracing its pole like a tango dancer does her partner. "Never mind", I said, "I expect a breeze will get up as the Sun rises and starts to warm up the land surrounding this sheltered harbour". This statement being made more in hope than knowledge.
    We slipped along the glassy and almost deserted waterway until we reached our 16ft Salcombe Yawl and determinedly set about preparing and rigging her - still no wind. Nothing daunted us as we cast off from the buoy which seemed strangely reluctant to let us go, but after some severe tiller waggling we eased painfully slowly out in to the main stream which carried us sedately along on the ebbing tide past lots of lovely yachts which we now had plenty of time to inspect and "ooh" and "aah" at.
    By now there were more folk about going to and fro in tenders or other motorised craft and like the boating fraternity generally would give us a friendly wave or some form of greeting. Some gave us that sort of wry smile which said "you'll not be sailing far today shipmates!". And so it proved to be, for by the time we reached the main lane leading though the harbour to the sea with still no sign of breeze let alone wind, it was obvious we weren't going to be able to do any sailing this morning.
    It was also very obvious that we wouldn't be able to get back to our mooring against the ever increasing ebb tide armed only with a paddle. So, we steered to and grabbed hold of a yacht's mooring line and waited until a tender came putting along going in our direction. We hailed him and asked for a tow which he readily gave (without penalty or salvage rights) though it was a bit of a struggle for his small engine.
    With profuse thanks we bade our rescuer goodbye as he deposited us back at our mooring buoy where we hastily put our dinghy to bed and clambered in to the RIB. And not a moment to soon, for already we could see ominous mounds of mud appearing just beneath the surface which caused us to pick a route around them and along the valleys until we reached the deeper water of mid channel where we were able to breath a sigh of relief and head back to the town quay.
    There we were met by our dutiful wives who insisted that we all go and have a sinfully large fry-up brunch  (well, it was now gone 10am) at the nearby Quay Café. As you can imagine both Rod's and my howls of protests were inaudible. Having sated ourselves on a heap of health threatening cholesterol we wandered on to the quayside and caught the ferry back to South Sands enjoying the sunshine, views and bustling harbour activities that are Salcombe, feeling at peace with the World but sorry to have to leave the area.
    What lessons did we learn from the morning's activities? Well, perhaps not to let hope overrule reality and have a reliable outboard as a standby when like most of us today you're governed by a timetable. However, at no time were we in any danger, only perhaps from that breakfast! And lastly, not to be too disappointed if one good sail is not followed by another, something which we Aquarians have plenty of practice at. Nevertheless, we won’t give up trying 'cos that's what it's all about 'aint it?! Happy sailing in 2007.
    Note: to all our regular readers - may I remind you that the first part of the article can be found on page 5 of the autumn 2005 edition.
    John R. Neale