Archive for the Dandy Hole

June 2012 – Tales Of Gales

Posted in Cornwall, Photographs, Sailing, Walking with tags , , , on March 26, 2014 by maidofmettle

My next opportunity to get away for a while was just after the Jubilee weekend in June. This featured both a lot of fun and a lot of weather.

2012-06-06 #01

It began with a severe gale forecast, leading to a hasty trip to seek shelter on the St Germans River. Calm and tranquil now, but not forecast to stay that way

2012-06-06 #03

so I carried on up to the Dandy Hole. Several other boats had already acted on the same idea, including , who I’d met the previous autumn having recognised their boat from Horta in the Azores, and another arrived in the morning.

2012-06-07 #01

It is almost the perfect anchorage for winds of pretty much any strength from anywhere from south to west, with a relatively deep outside of a wide bend on the St Germans River well sheltered from those directions by high ground and trees.

I say well sheltered – still windy enough to flip the dinghy upside down once and create a lot of baling.

However, it’s not all that big, and having spent some time worriedly watching a boat anchored near me swinging quite close I decided I needed to move for a bit more peace of mind. Although I’d been there first I felt I was more likely to be able to move and re-anchor without incident, although it was rather exciting.

I went on a rising tide just in case I got blown onto the mud, and got the engine on the anchor most of the way up before waiting for a lull.. and then pulled very hard to get it aboard before getting going with the engine.

Turning the boat in that much wind took some doing, with the unplanned side effect of trying to run the dinghy under the water. Oops…

2012-06-07 #05

In hindsight I maybe should have had it astern rather than alongside, but there could’ve been some unpredictable issues with that as well, especially since it had already flipped one then. At least it was secure! This time I didn’t bail it out as much though, thinking a little water ballast would be handy.

I’d also taken the opportunity to re-anchor in a much better place, clear of all the other boats and tucked in closer to the western as well as the southern shore of the bend, giving Maid excellent shelter from the wind (the waves are not really an issue here as you can see).

2012-06-08 #01

In fact, conditions were fine to take the dinghy (temporarily minus water ballast) for a trip to explore up-river

2012-06-08 #02

with a very easy trip back – just me and the dinghy itself needed for the sails, and one oar as a rudder!

2012-06-08 #22

Getting back upwind from visiting Paul and Mo was rather more of a workout! By the evening it was still very windy but there was a bit of sunshine to appreciate the beautiful surroundings with.

2012-06-09 #03

The next day I took a shorter dinghy trip and a longer walk towards the village of St Anthony, enjoying some fine views across the river

2012-06-09 #09

and by the evening things had calmed down to a peaceful sunset (you can just see the St Germans viaduct which carries the Grest Western railway over the river below it).

2012-06-09 #17

The next day I sailed back a little way downstream and anchored just off Forder Lake, near another viaduct.

2012-06-10 #05

There are still some remnants (such as boundary markers?) from where there was once a wooden viaduct on Brunel’s original southern alignment of the railway here.

2012-06-10 #03

The village of Forder further up is very green and leafy- I went for a bit of a walk around here before heading back downstream

2012-06-10 #07

for a walk along the river – here I was checking up on Maid from the woods near Anthony Passage.

2012-06-11 #05

The next day I sailed down the Tamar, passing Paul and Mo in the Narrows. It looked like the black clouds behind them had passed us by, but there were some ominous ones upwind as well.

2012-06-11 #10

Having decided to continue rather than anchor in Barn Pool, I rather regretted this as the rain absolutely teemed down, stinging even with sunshine still visible out to sea

2012-06-11 #12

and turning the water surface white.

2012-06-11 #13

I have very rarely got quite so wet so quickly, and was very glad to drop anchor in Jennycliff Bay on the far side of the Sound to change into some dry clothes and eventually stop shivering.

2012-06-12 #01

However listening to the evening forecast it now sounded like this wouldn’t be a comfortable place to be, so I decided I’d better motor back across the Sound past Drake’s Island

2012-06-12 #04

to Barn Pool. Humph (though incidentally, I did get told a while later that the wind had blown strongly all over the place here that afternoon causing a boat or two to drag – probably why it’s empty other than me in this photo – so perhaps not stopping here earlier wasn’t such an error after all!).

2012-06-12 #06

I spent the next day at anchor here, rowing ashore and walking on the Mount Edgcumbe estate. A good day for relaxing in the sunshine, as you can see below 🙂

2012-06-12 #08

And also nice for walking through shady woodland

2012-06-12 #09

to where I could see out to sea. Definitely a day for walking or motoring rather than sailing.

2012-06-13 #15

I stopped in at the Edgcumbe Arms on the way back – a very nice pub, though I imagine it must get pretty quiet in the winter, being one of those places that’s easy to visit by boat but relatively hard to get to by land.

2012-06-12 #23

There was time for a run ashore (though not involving a pub this time) the next morning as well, with a slightly different route for the walk, this time taking in Milton’s Temple. The inscription from Paradise Lost on the back wall is certainly apt:

“Over head up grow
Insuperable height of loftiest shade;
Cedar and fir and branching palm,
A sylvan scene; and as the ranks ascend
Shade above shade, a woody theatre
Of Stateliest view.”

2012-06-13 #04

Another slightly surprising structure in the park is the Folly Tower, which offers fine views over Plymouth and the northern part of the Sound.

2012-06-13 #10

Walking further round, the view southward became rather sunnier, and brought a fine sea breeze as well.

2012-06-13 #15

Very fine for going sailing in fact – here Maid is heading south from Barn Pool

2012-06-13 #22

before turning round Drake’s Island having decided I’d like to finally pop into Plymouth for a bit.. The Barbican area is certainly well worth a visit, with an attractive and busy harbourside

2012-06-13 #30

and some fine sculpture.

2012-06-13 #33

One of the chimneys of the Plymouth Gin distillery is just visible in the background here, in a very nice old bit of town, though I was more interested in the fish and chips.

2012-06-13 #34

Delicious eaten under way, with a fair wind and a fine sunset to go and drop anchor in Millbrook Lake.

2012-06-13 #35

The next morning, after a bit off a row up the nearby creek towards Millbrook, it was time to go and hide from the next gale in the Dandy Hole. This was a rather exciting sail on the way in, with barely any water under the keel and the already strong wind giving quite some speed with just the one jib up. I was glad I’d sailed the same way earlier in the week so had some idea of the channel from experience as well as looking at the chart, and even more that luck seemed to be with me!

2012-06-14 #07

The warm sector of the depression certainly lived up to its name on this occasion.

2012-06-15 #01

As well as catching up with Paul and Mo who’d also returned to ride out the forecast gale, I went for a (rather energetic as the westerly started building) row up to the village of St Germans, just next to the impressive railway viaduct on the London-Penzance line.

2012-06-15 #06

If I’d kept count of how many attempts it took to take this photo, I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t believe it anyway. It seems hilarious that ‘selfies’ are suddenly news now – if you write a blog about travelling on your own they’re fairly essential, whatever your personal vanity (note the artful blurring, takes years off!).

2012-06-15 #10

The next day was time to head back home


with a bit of a detour up the Tamar to Saltash

2012-06-17 #02

which happened to be having a regatta – probably good for the spectators that the gales had passed, though I’m sure no self-respecting pilot gig crew would be bothered.

2012-06-17 #06