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Time on our hands

We wave goodbye to Fowey and proceed to Plymouth where we we will shelter for a day due to strong winds. We spend our time during the storm warm and dry on board, whilst Leontine dashes out between showers to do the laundry and Roland writes another blog. Due to the fact that we have skipped the Isles of Scilly we are faced with a new challenge: we are nearly a week ahead of schedule on our routing. Luckily we have an excellent ships library containing all the relevant pilot books for the coast we are sailing. Roland reads each section meticulously scanning for little "gems" we could visit/explore. The plan is as follows: River Yealm, Salcombe and then Dartmouth before proceeding to Torquay where Roland's sister Kate will join us on board.

The actual distance from Plymouth to the River Yealm is negligible however the difference between both places is immense.

The pilot describes the entrance to the river as tricky due to a sand bar at the entrance. We plan our arrival just before flood and have ample water under the keel. The entrance itself is very hard to spot from the open water but by following the leading lines to the letter we sail up the river with jaws dropped in amazement at the beauty of the spot.

The harbour master allocates us a mooring buoy which we pick up with no problem and get settled in for two lovely days exploring the little villages on each side of the estuary.

It is very hard to believe that such a beautiful village is literally just a stones throw from the busy metropolis of Plymouth.

One of the important logistical requirements when at anchor or when on a mooring buoy is transportation to land. We of course have our dinghy WR4-tje, but just like in a busy city actually getting on shore at the dinghy dock can also be a challenge.

After a good nights sleep we set off on a coastal walk with great views before having lunch in Noss Mayo at low water.

We seriously have marked the River Yealm as a true gem on the English coast still unspoilt by tourism - let us hope that it remains that way. One of our friends has a theory that as long as a town does not have its own beach it won't become commercialised. Let's hope that our friend's theory is correct.

After a lovely stay on the Yealm we slip our lines and head off to Salcombe. Salcombe in many ways is similar to Yealm: only mooring buoys picturesque also in an estuary - however it does have several beaches and is certainly commercialised.

We arrive before lunch and pick up a mooring buoy and proceed into town to celebrate Leontine's birthday with a good lunch with a bottle of Viognier.

We decide to move on to Dartmouth and are warned that due to the Dartmouth regatta it might be very difficult to get a berth in the marina there. After some perseverance however we manage to get a decent berth in Darthaven marina where we can hook up to shore power and recharge the electric toothbrush!

We enjoy a lovely walk out to Dartmouth Castle. In the evening we pop round in the dinghy for drinks on board Never Can Tell which is sailing the same rout as we are ever since Lundy.

The Dartmouth regatta is a big event with bands and all the trappings. Culminating in a fantastic firework display for which we had front row seats on board.

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