Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall. After a six-year adventure sailing from Dartmouth to Australia, we are now back in Britain.

Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Hiding up river

The forecast of rough seas and gusty winds didn't sound like the best start to our cruise, so we decided to head up the River Dart on Sunday to anchor off Bow Creek, just upstream from the village of Stoke Gabriel. It's been a great spot to hang out for a couple of days, with the birds singing loudly in the heavily forested bank close by and an inquisitive seal (known as 'Ron' to the Dart Harbour river officers!) swimming past us. After a blustery day yesterday, the wind finally calmed enough last night to allow us to fly the drone.

Maunie, with Bravo behind

Looking towards the Bow Creek entrance


Today, we went up river with Adam & Cindi in their dinghy - equipped, like ours, with a silent electric outboard motor to allow us to enjoy the wildlife without disturbing it. We walked up to Sharpham House where there's an excellent vineyard and cheese dairy; we managed to get a delicious tasting of four wines and four cheeses.

After this nice little interlude we had time to kill as the tide was only just turning and there was a lot of soft mud between dinghy and water:

Not trying to wade through that!

A hike through the village of Ashprington down to the hamlet of Tuckenhay seemed like a good idea, particularly with the bonus of an early evening meal at the famous Maltsters' Arms (once owned by the chef Keith Floyd). A good idea, perhaps, until the heavens opened, the thunder and lightning began and the pub turned out to be shut. Ah well, by the time we returned to the river the water had reached the dinghy and we motored silently down river, passing close to Ron seal. 

We're now back aboard and the rain has cleared to bright evening sunshine.

Bravo in the sunshine

The forecast for tomorrow is for light and variable winds but the longer-term forecast is still very unsettled so we'll take the opportunity to head west for the River Yealm, even if we have to motor-sail for much of the 32nm passage.

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