15 members in six boats set off from Normandy Pontoon promptly at 11:45, ably led by Master and Commander Ian Slade in White Shark, “Little Blue”, the rest being

A thorough journey plan prepared by Ian had been sent out in advance enabling some of us less confident coastal types to take part. We were to keep within around two hundred metres of the shore all the way there in case we had to jettison any unruly crew.

The weather was kind but the sea condition was a bit lumpy with a one metre swell running for most of the trip.

Seeing this part of the coast from the sea was a first for me, anyone else?

Familiar landmarks, Bar Lodge and Gara Rock faded into the distance as we rounded Gammon Head and First Mate Don Bell reported us in to NCI Prawle Point (Both he and Ian are watch members keeping a regular eye on the water). Across Lannacombe Bay, and around Start Point and into calmer waters.

Other sea traffic was very light, and we saw few other voyagers on the rest of the trip across Start Bay past Blackpool Sands and into the mouth of the Dart.

Surprisingly there was no twenty one gun salute to celebrate our arrival as we passed Dartmouth Castle at around 13:30 and we headed up to the visitor pontoon which being pretty full, decided us to carry on the extra mile or so up to Dittisham.

In Dittisham we found enough space for all boats, and went ashore. Some light refreshment followed while we sent the Reverend Phil out on a foraging mission. He returned successfully having negotiated the best table in the house at the Anchorstone Café with a wide view across to Greenway Quay.

Lunch enjoyed by all, we had by now decided to delay the return trip until 18:00 to take advantage of the best tide conditions around Start Point.

The return trip could have threatened some lunch retention but as far as I am aware none was wasted! We arrived back at Normandy Pontoon around 19:30 after a most successful and enjoyable trip, many thanks to Ian for the organisation and operation.

There is a proposed follow up trip, west to the Yealm on Saturday 9 th September, more news later.

Steve Arblaster.
Acting as Ballast on Little Blue.