Next stop was to be somewhere on the West side of Start Bay. This meant getting past the dreaded Portland Bill without being caught in the tide race. We had to be at the tip of Portland Bill catch the tide as it turned to the West. We could then creep close to the ‘Bill provided that the wind (a) not strong and (b) not from the anywhere between South and West. Otherwise it meant adding another 10 miles to the 45+ mile journey, as we would need to several miles offshore of the ‘Bill to miss the tide race.
|Let's form a convoy!|
And that’s how it was for about six hours (apart from heaving to for a spot of lunch). No photos, because the land was so far. No wildlife. Just sea and sky.The sky looked lowering, so the wet weather gear was donned. A small light shower of rain fell for half an hour and the sun reappeared. A container ship appeared crossing my path and that of the yacht a couple of miles ahead. I though it would cross our course between us – it must have been huge because it crossed well in front of our “leader”.
Around five o’clock, we were 3 miles south of our track and I thought it was time to turn northwards to regain it. The wind now seemed to be nearer force 5 than 4 (there were streaks of foam starting to appear on the water); it seemed wise not to risk another gybe, so we turned round into the wind rather than allowing it to cross our stern. During this manoeuvre, I realised how strong the wind really was; had we been beating into it, We would have to had at least one reef in the main to be comfortable.
We carried on with all sail, consistently achieving a speed over the ground of more than 6 knots, with the track taking us in almost the right direction. At 18:00 (a little later than forecast), it started to rain. Not English gentle rain buttropical “beat you into submission” rain. And it kept it up without let up until we arrived in Torbay. I had had enough. Brixham was the nearest port of refuge and I could just make out it’s lights (even though it was only 7 o’clock) through the gloom. Turning into the wind, I started Freddie, lowered the sails and more or less felt our way into the harbour. We found our alloted berth, secured Vagabond for the night and put the kettle on. I was wet through, but at least it was with soft fresh water.
The weather for the next couple of days looked foul, so I decided to return to home, take the Owners Agent out for dinner and assist with both house hunting and house clearance. It’s amazing how much stuff has accumulated in the 39 years we have lived in the place. Houses viewed from the roadside: 4. Houses viewed from the inside: nil
|Brixham is quite a pretty place - in the Sun!|