Mostly harmless.

Salcombe, Dart, Torbay.

At the beginning of this most recent stage of the voyage i checked the weather forecasts, like you do, and saw that there would be a ridge of high pressure pushing up into the channel off the Azores high.  That should have given us light winds that boxed the compass and would have made it feasible to do an offshore passage over to the channel islands again.  Instead what happened and what we got was that the high collapsed and we had consistently wet and windy westerly’s from south-west through to north-west and culminating in the F7 nor-westerly’s in the Exe.

Paignton beach i think and the steam-choo.


On leaving the Dart i could see this big traditional ketch (is it a Brixham trawler ?) sailing slowly towards Berry head. In the light downwind sailing WABI”’ is in her element in that she will ghost along and pick up speed in the smallest gusts. We overtook the ketch within a couple of miles : i guess she needs a bit more pressure to get going.


Those of you that follow my blog will know that i much prefer to be at anchor rather than being in port and that most marinas come somewhere down the list of choices alongside root canal surgery.  Unfortunately in Torbay we didn’t have much choice : we beat past Berry head and Brixham in a light nor-westerly and i thought of anchoring off one of the several beaches but by the time we got up to Paignton the wind had gone around to the south-west and all of the shelter of what had been a windward shore disappeared.  We anchored for a break while i sorted the engine out off Paigntonbut what swell there was in the bay was already running along the shore . Our only real choice at that stage was to beat back to Brixham and maybe lay off a small cove there or instead go into Torquay harbour and go alongside the marina.


As marinas go its not so bad as Torquay harbour still seems to be a working harbour with mainly ferry boats and pleasure boats alongside the few fishing boats . I guess also that being out of season helps, anyway we had a couple of nights there, had showers rather than a bucket wash in the cockpit and stocked up with food.


The town though has a distinctly weird flavour , something like Brighton : all superficial holiday-esque but it looks to have a dark side. It is obviously a holiday resort and i picked up accents from all over the UK.  My partner says that drugs and alcoholism are a big problem here ; my observation that drugs , alcohol , homelesseness are all very visible if you know what you are looking for as was staggering rates of obesity amongs the holidaymakers .  My view was that it slightly reminded me of the bar scene from the first star wars film : especially the place where we went to eat !

However : mostly harmless.


  1. Mostly Harmless was the rating given to the earth in the hitchhikers guide I am not so sure the it applies currently. We too are staggered at the oversize people around I was baulked by one in a shop recently couldn’t get by either side. over the top would have required climbing gear !


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