Sunday, April 15, 2007

Worbarrow Bay to Dartmouth

Following a really enjoyable day at Mupe Bay we weighed anchor on Tuesday morning and drifted in the slightest of breezes and warm sunshine, further along the Jurassic coast past sweeping chalk cliffs and rocky shores to Durdle Door where we dropped the hook again for lunch. Have to admit to feeling just slightly smug as we watched the people on the beach baking in the midday heat while we sat in the shade in the cockpit and enjoyed a chilled beverage or two from the fridge.

After lunch we got into the dinghy, now becoming known as 'Baby Ayesha', and rowed down the beach to explore the rocks at the western end, and back through the Door. I imagine that most days this would have been quite dangerous but in this flat and balmy weather, with near neap tides and a big high pressure hanging over us, the sea was almost glassy. As a Birthday treat, Jaime also let me disturb the peace for a while by starting up the outboard!

Lady Ayesha through Durdle Door

Sailing ship passing Lulworth Cove

Unfortunately we had to start the engine up in the afternoon to get us on to Weymouth Bay where we briefly anchored for the night, outside the harbour. Didn't make a landfall there. The sounds of the seafront drifting across the bay reminded me of Brighton, and we were keen to get an early night before crossing Lyme Bay on Wednesday morning.

We were up and away by 4am on Wednesday as the passage was about 40 miles and we had to make the best use of the tide since we weren't expecting much help from the wind. We rounded Portland Bill with the fishing boats in the morning haze and several of Her Majesty's warships keeping the nation safe. The coast guard's reports warned us that there may still be containers floating in the area following the recent grounding of the Napoli, but despite a good lookout, and my desire for a slightly salty BMW motorbike, nothing was seen.

In the end, with just a few knots of breeze we had a good chance to practise using the cruising chute which up until now had only been aired once or twice. Jaime was particularly chuffed when we managed to gybe it without a hitch, a manouvre which in slightly stronger winds would require more than just two crew of our experience.

A visitor rests his wings. Not sure if it was a warbler or pipin perhaps. Our guide book left us unsure, but he looked very tired and happy to have somewhere to land for a while.