Salcombe was full. The moorings were full. The town was full. Everything was full. We wanted to anchor, but couldn’t find space for Money Penny to command an eighty metre swing radius. Ok, we conceded once again and radio’d in for a mooring. A nice young chap answered our call and directed us to a suitable mooring buoy. The mooring buoy consisted of a big yellow buoy, obviously, with a metal ring on the top. A crew member is expected to grab the metal ring with the boat hook, hold on for dear life whilst threading the mooring line though the vertically positioned loop and grab the free end and pull back on board, and secure both ends, whilst being shouted at by the nut holding the steering wheel., and whilst battling a 3 knot incoming current. Simples!!!!!!!!. Judith in fairness was doing ok. She grabbed the buoy with the boat hook, then stuck the boat hook handle in her mouth to hang on whilst leaning over the side of the boat trying to thread the mooring line through a moving metal eye some five foot below. (action woman) To the rescue came a knight in shining armour. (shinning armour consisting of work clothes and lifejacket no less) Nice young man on the radio sprung into action and appeared from nowhere in his shinny tender, gallantly grabbing the mooring line from damsel in distress, threading it through said eye and handing it back,at the same time ensuring his little tender stayed exactly where he placed it. For that act of heroism he demanded £36 for the privilege of using one of his yellow floating balls!
View from our Mooring Buoy. Some amazing properties all along the headland!
Lets go ashore and experience the delights of Salcombe in high season. Quite frankly we couldn’t be bothered to inflate the dinghy so summoned the services of a water taxi, paid the fare and headed ashore, in the comforting knowledge that at least we should stay reasonably dry. It was just as well we took the water taxi. The pontoons ashore were at least five deep in ‘Henry’s’ dinghies. It seemed that every hooray Henry whilst on holiday with his family in Salcombe needed to have the ability to be water bound. A dinghy was the easiest means to satisfy Henry’s yearning for the briny. There were literally hundreds of dinghies in Salcombe, all secured to the pontoon whilst Henry and his family were in their holiday cottage having afternoon Pimms or otherwise in the pub. I doubt if 92% of the dinghies in Salcombe that day were used as their design team originally intended.
Money, Money, Money. We need money in Henry’s town!. We walked the main street through the town to find that even Salcombe had surrendered to the influx of so called designer yottie clothing shops. Musto, Crew, HH, they were all there, selling their wares to the non sailing general public. Instead of a quaint small seaside town with independent traders, we were confronted with a stereotypical south coast town spoilt by big brother clothing chain shops. (rant over!) Another thing missing from Salcombe is banks. They have all shut their doors and gone, taking with them their cash dispensing machines. Two other free standing stand along cash machines had been milked dry of all the cash they contained. Getting desperate we were informed there was a cash machine in the local SPAR shop. OK where is the Spar shop. Oh it’s a fair walk from here, up hill. We commenced to walk in a near vertical direction towards the elusive Spar shop. Up we walked and eventually surrendered by asking directions from a guy walking his dog . Turned out he was the shop manager on his day off and he accompanied us to the door of his beloved Spar shop. Cash machine please? In the back love came the response. After we queued a short while we were informed by the customer in front of us that the machine was knackered. He may have been doing something wrong or not have enough money in his account came the words of wisdom from my partner. No, it turned out that the only remaining cash machine in Salcombe was indeed knackered. The staff on seeing our frustration shouted ‘you can withdraw from the post office’ helpfully pointing to the post office counter they were standing by. Glory be a cash withdrawal was finally made, which allowed us to walk all the way back down the very steep hill and purchase an ice cream which I promptly dropped on the pavement. Bugger!!!
Exiting The Salcombe Estuary.
We left early the following morning , bound for the adventure of crossing the English channel and the dreaded shipping lanes.