Wandering aimlessly in Dartmouth

Entrance to the River Dart, Dartmouth (kind of obvious?)

Despite arriving at a truly uncivilized hour of the morning, I managed to remain awake long enough to moor safely on the Kingswear side of the River Dart (at the end of the Darthaven Marina visitors pontoon).

A real English pub... Cheers!

That makes two crossings of ‘The English Channel’ for Eileen of Avoca! Hip hip hurray! Now before I get too carried away with partying, it’s off to bed…

At a far more reasonable hour to be conscious (after midday), I formally celebrated my safe arrival in England with a cool lager and traditional pasty in Darmouth proper.

How nice to be back in small boat territory, and what a fabulous holiday atmosphere!

No Children!

Every man, woman, child and four legged friend was out enjoying the unseasonably warm weather. The latter having an especially good time as evidenced by some of the following photos:

Apparently children are best left at home in this town…

Sea dog and child

…or in the tender where the dogs can keep an eye on them.

Dog in a pram!

But never fear, you can still make good use of their perambulator… 🙂

My only criticism of Darmouth is that there really isn’t much to do at night other than dine out or drink (neither of which I enjoy doing alone). Restaurant or pub, take your pick because the streets are completely deserted once the sun goes down (fear of the Banshee perhaps?).

Never mind, after my winter stay in southern Spain, I’m becoming rather acclimatised to wandering about veritable ghost towns.

At least people here were making good use of their boats during daylight hours!

In fact, I was so enthused by all the boating activity, I couldn’t resist visiting all my new sailing neighbors to swap stories.

Tupny, a Colvic Watson

I may have traveled a few thousand miles in Eileen of Avoca but that often pales in significance compared with the adventures older sailors recount.

I tip my virtual hat in respect to the crew of Tupny and wish them well. What a pleasure it was to listening to their tales. If anyone else happens to come across Tupny, be sure to ask about their boats history, the sea anchor mishap and of the penguins of fortune…

Resting in Zante

Zakinthos Port

Zakinthos Port

Day 7
The storm that had been following me from the north arrived so I opted for a rest day.
As the winds rose I realised that my attempt at Greek style mooring wasn’t as exemplary as I’d initially thought so I gave it another try with considerably more scope. Much better!
I restocked Eileen with fuel (carrying jerry cans to the nearest service station) and water (borrowed from an unattended Italian super yachts berth).

A short hop from Italy to Greece

My mum

My mum

It was a trouble free 2000km drive from Belgium to Sibari via Gallipoli (where I left my mum for some R&R at a friendly little hotel www.hotelbianco.it ) but without air-conditioning in my FIAT 600 it was a somewhat viscous affair especially when the thermometer rose above 32°C.

The relief at finding Eileen of Avoca safe at her berth in Sibari was palpable. Relegating loading stores to the morning I fortified myself for the task of mounting my Aries vane gear by attempting a world sleeping record. Unfortunately the vane gear was still to be found clogging the companionway upon regaining consciousness.

St. Tropez to Cannes

Ile Sainte Marguerite

Ile Sainte Marguerite

Steady North Easterlies gave us a good run to Gulf de la Napoule.

I kept the mainsail double reefed but fears of a repeat of the previous days surprise were unfounded.

If you like to watch super yachts, this is the place to do it. Eileen would make a nice tender for some of the boats that overtook me.
By 18:00 I’d changed plans and decided to anchor in the shelter of Ile Sainte Marguerite rather than enter Cannes. I found a fabulous sheltered spot in 3m of water, set both the plow and the Danforth, rummaged for my dive mask and plunged into the clear water to ensure both were well set.

As the wind died all that was left to do was to watch the lights of Cannes (drinks in hand) while pondering the plight of the “Man in the Iron Mask” which history states was imprisoned in the very fort overlooking our anchorage.