Cruising West. Portland, Exeter, Dartmouth.
After Chichester we went to anchor at the Isle of Wight for a night in Newtown Harbour, then to Poole and onward to Portland Harbour. Portland is to be the venue for the Olympics and I was concerned that there may be restrictions now about anchoring in this enormous harbour. I emailed the harbour master and
found them to be incredibly helpful. Yes it was fine to go and anchor and as a gale approached and we wanted to get in close they arranged for us to pick up a mooring for the night.
There is a new marina there but like the rest of the South coast is very expensive (but half empty). There is also a brand new sailing academy who were also terrific to us, letting us use their pontoon to land and leave the dinghy while we went shopping.
There is an hourly bus into Weymouth but beware as it finishes late afternoon and the other which doesn’t stop at the academy stops at the village, a long - long walk with shopping.
After Portland it was on to the river Exe and up to the Exeter canal. This is a very secluded spot with the shops a couple of miles away and cars can not park close. However it is close to our family and we really like it. You have to lock in and have to spend two days there. The staff are really friendly but need warning of your arrival, call the harbour office on 01392 274306 to arrange things. There are visitor moorings just outside. Water, electric and showers etc. are available and so we stopped for three days.
Leaving the Exe with brisk NE forecast to go to Plymouth for the Junk Rig Rally next weekend there was no wind and a very lumpy sea so progress was slow to start before the wind finally arrived and we chose to go into the river Dart. This is a beautiful place, very popular with yachts but we had only been on a mooring for a few moments before we were asked for harbour dues of £8.60 a day and to pay for the mooring on top of that. We go to anchor the next morning but will still have to pay the harbour dues.