Ok then lets call it the Exe/Exemouth second post and beginning to explore more of my new temporary home river.
On the way home from the boat last time i took a driving detour to go and see the Exemouth side of the entrance from the land having seen some of the waterfront on the way in. With a big spring tide ebbing and a moderate southerly breeze i could both sides of the entrance bar breaking and it looked quite ‘busy’ out there. This little green Wharram seemed to be going out to play , a good little boat for the estuary i feel. Later in the day i could just see him heading towards Torbay.
On the way in during the trip we could see what looks like a long terrace of ? Georgian style buildings , which then changes dramatically just on the narrows to the modernist flats built around the ‘marina’ which i guess is the old commercial and fishing dock. The actual town is quite separate from the seafront . Today with hardly any change for parking all i had time for was a quick look at the immediate waterfront so at some time i will jump on the local diesel-choo and have a wander around the town.
On the way in i couldn’t really pick out the marina entrance and even studying the area with my bino’s i couldn’t pick out any masts and that’s because there aren’t any : its all small modern motor boats that go with the depressingly garish and modern ‘developments’ which i may add all have have pretentious names like ‘ropewalk’ and sailmakers way. I bet there never was a ropewalk or sailmaker here but call me cynical eh. There is a similar development in Topsham sadly called ‘Halyards’ and that made me think about applying a real halyard to some part of the developors anatomy.
That dealt with, the beach and waterfront is quite a nice place in an english’y seaside kind of way although definitely not a good place to swim . Even today there was a good 2 knots of current just a few yards offshore. The place gets a lot more interesting for me as the sailor on the inside of the estuary where the channel quickly divides into the main section which we used to get up to Topsham and a smaller branch off the Exemouth town side where there are moorings and a sailing club.
After a very quick look at that side of the entrance to the estuary i had to get home due to having to do that work thing and with the boat solidly neaped until higher tides had to wait a week until i could go back and explore properly….by boat.
Given the dire weather that we have had it was a huge surprise to go back to the boat just before some very big spring tides and find that i would have one really good day to get out on the river. I got out of the inside berth with some difficulty : wind against tide and with help got alongside a small outside berth for the night.
Stunning full moon at 0600 the next morning.
After what had been a noisy start to the evening : wind, motorway and those bells again it was a very cold ,clear and quiet start going down the river just before the sun came up. What i did was quite deliberately mooch about in the various moorings taking photographs of anything that caught my eye . As part of this series i will do a post just about the various boats on the river that have caught my attention.
What i had in mind though was that i wanted to dry WABI”’ out on the central sand bank near the entrance and give her a scrub as the waterline had got very weedy again. I moored down in the main channel for a bit while the big ebb sluiced past and then about an hour before low water did a nifty ferry-glide over to the sandbank and sat the boat on clean soft sand. After about an hours fast scrubbing and with the tide still just dropping i went for a walk across the bank to get some photographs of the Exemouth side.
I kept a very careful eye on boats in the channel to watch for them turning into the new flood and at that point made a hasty retreat back to WABI”’, walked the anchor out into deeper water and waited to lift off. The combination of a fast flood and a gentle nor-westerly breeze then gave me ideal conditions for a gentle beat back up the river : i admit to ‘finding’ the bottom a few times but eventually anchored for the night just outside the Topsham channel and just at a fiery sunset.
Stephen Mundane : “You’re cynical Steve! Seriously, that was an entertaining read with some good photos too, especially that very rare October Harvest Moon (if the photo was taken a few days ago that is) and that sunset — thanks.”
Me : moi….cynical ! not a bit. I was only saying to Jackie this morning how smart the apartments look with their modernist white leather sofa’s and how satisfying to see the number of small model sailing boats in nearly every window : usually things like the J class in at least one window per flat. Now seriously if i had say once crewed on a ‘J’ class (nearly happened with the pre-refit Velsheda) then i might have some justification of having say a hull half-model pinned to the wall : as it is i have no sailing ornamentation here at all except for my sextant and chronometer although when i do my ‘wunderkmmer’ i might add genuine things from my sailing .
Ted : “Hi Steve. Pleased to learn that you are enjoying the Exe. Hope that you will not mind me pointing out that Exemouth is actually spelt Exmouth. Keep up the good work. Btw, not sure what your boat draws, but there is a way across Checkstone Ledge/Pole Sands close by Warren Point, known as The Western Way. Obviously dependent on state of the tide, and wind and wave conditions, but caught at the right time especially when heading west, cuts out the 3 kilometre long slog down the entrance channel.
Me : i thought that there might be a channel there from what i saw coming in that first day. When i get the ideal conditions i intend to park the boat on that side and have a look around on foot. Thanks.