Monday, July 21, 2008

River Avon, Devon

17 July
After another fairly grim beat, we anchored in the Avon river, about 15 miles east of Plymouth. Dartmouth charges for anchoring and we are very anti Salcombe after our last experience there – surly harbour masters, expensive mooring and anchoring, and lack of facilities such as showers do not exactly form an enticing prospect for a return visit.
It was somewhat challenging finding the entrance to the river, but we managed to creep in and find a deep pool to anchor in. The spade seemed to be holding well so we went ashore to stretch our legs and walk Pippin. Later, over dinner, the chain seemed to be grumbling quite a bit but the current in the river was very strong so we assumed we were just moving around more than usual. When I took Pippin ashore for her evening perambulate, it was a nasty shock to hear Mark yell across that we were dragging! He had the engine on already, but it took a couple of minutes for me to get back to the dinghy and get back to help pull the anchor up so we could reset it. We went for the safest option we could see, which was to drive straight into the nearest sandbank!! I then took the anchor up onto the middle of the sandbank which was still dry so we had no chance of drifting back into the strong current.
We had planned to phone home tonight and I wanted to call Marian so she had an update for the girls, but we had absolutely no mobile signal at all tucked inside the valley so no phonecalls and no chance of an internet connection either.

18 July
We woke up early hearing the boat start to lift up on the tide and turn but it settled well and we didn’t even stretch the chain out, leaving it curved on the sand and us landing next to our anchor. We’ve now moved the anchor to slightly deeper water but still well out of the main stream and it’s holding well. Today we walked along the beach right round the bottom of the cliffs and across to Burgh Island. It’s been very damp and overcast today, with fog, rain and very little sun so the view was not particularly inspiring. We made our way up the hill to the village and bought postcards, then headed back to Talia for lunch as the baguettes at the Pilchard Inn didn’t look too promising.

We’ve run the generator for another few hours to charge up again – I think we’re going to have to replace the fridge as it takes huge amounts of power though we were surprised at how much energy the lights and car radio draw. We’re going to stay another couple of days, then head over to Plymouth for fuel and water, and try to post some of this log up on the internet!