UK - Torquay
12 June 2012
Torquay - what the hell happened to you ?
The sailing bit :
Leaving Weymouth and heading for one of the most prolific headlands on the Uk south coast - Portland Bill - you have to be sure of your route and the timings as Portland on spring tides and strong winds will take no prisoners. We had decided on the inshore passage and left with time to spare , we rounded the bill with the last of the weakening flood tide against us , the water barely ruffled as we slid over the granite rocks that lay 20 meters under our keel.
Once the Bill was firmly in the rear view mirror, i relaxed a little into what isnfor a lot of coastal sailors the furthest off shore sail they will do , for to follow the coast line into Lyme bay and its drying harbours will add around 12 miles to the straight line route across the bay, but at the mid way point you are 14 miles off shore.
It was dark by the time the admiral and myself could see the lights of Torbay , which contains three towns Brixham, Paignton and Torquay, all of which at night seem joined by the strings of bright multi coloured lights that illuminate the promenade.
Not wanting to make a night entry into either of the harbours I chose to drop the anchor for the night just outside Brixham as the wind was from the west and Brixham had the best shelter, i would then sail the two miles to Torquay in the morning , in hind sight - I wish I hadn't bothered !
NEWS FLASH: Child hood memories have rose tinted specs , my god this place is a mess ! Sammy and my self (Admiral got left behind) went for a visit to the cinema.
Directions to the cinema : from the harbourside, walk North past the lovely new and fancy stainless steel bridge (like it) walk into town , past the drunks on the street, carefully step over the puke on the floor , walk past the boarded up shops and dead flower beds, look for a building with a drug dealer outside.
The cinema was equally as delapidated inside with areas cordoned off due to the ceiling colapse, which was atributed to the amount of rain water running through the roof.
The harbour toilet facilities are communal - communal that is with all the drunken assholes on stag nights and hen parties, screaming and shouting all night long , I couldnt wait to leave the place !
Even Nelson looked a little sheepish when some scottish girl tried to stroke him, whilst fumbling with her micro skirt and flashing her ass to all ensemble, god Im old !
Who who hesitates is lost - wise words indeed , slow in deciding to get out of down town Beirut I found myself staring at another gale , so i though id sit it out where i was on the harbour masters visitors pontoon - STUPID !
The waves started rolling in around 03:00 and by first light they were so bad that I really feared for the boat , but knew I couldn't get off the pontoon it was just too risky, so took all precautions and listened from down below as my rubbing strake met the pontoon as we were thrown skywards by wave after wave of white water INSIDE the "harbour" .
Surveying the damage in the morning , there were four big fenders blown (new in january) and the additional headlines tied to the post of the pontoon was snapped - 24 mm rope , the rubbing strake was badly broken in two places.
So to recap , in just 60 miles or so , the transom was trashed (Lymington) and the starboard side was damaged (Torquay ) , getting across the channel doesn't look to good at this rate !