Archive for July, 2010

Round the world in a few minutes

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

This is about the largest contrast in ship size that is ever seen in Dartmouth harbour.

The World - cruise ship

Picture by Tim Freeman


Scabbacombe and Berry Head

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

We four set out to camp at Scabbacombe. Tim F, Suzanne and Eugene, with tim P behind the camera in the green boat.

Us three of four

We landed in light drizzle and set up tents. In the foreground is a Hennessy Hammock, beached through lack of trees, but supported by a pair of Greenland paddles, demonstrating the versatility of this ancient style of paddling plank.

Scabbacombe camp

Photo by Tim Freeman

After a fish sauce pasta we relaxed as the drizzle increased and the light faded.

After supper

We awoke to sunshine and calm sea. Scabbacombe is not accessible by car, so is usually a peaceful place with occasional coastal path walkers resting from the repeated rise and fall of the path between Dartmouth and Brixham.


Tim P and Eugene continued towards Brixham. The sea was calm and the tide falling – an ideal time to explore the innumerable sea caves along this stretch of coast.

Eugene in cave entrance

The rock strata become steadily more twisted as one approaches Berry Head. The folded limestone of Sharkham point provides dramatic scenery.

Sharkham point

The massive coral reef limestone of Berry Head is flanked by layers of coral detritus washed down the reef slope, mixing with silt from the rivers draining into the shallow Devonian era sea. The strata are now strongly etched by weathering.

Berry Head strata

We turned Berry Head on the slack tide and paddled past the vast quarry towards lunch at the beach cafe at Brixham. Our return to Dartmouth was helped by a light following wind which pushed us against the tide.


Welcome aboard Mr Bond, we were expecting you!

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

We passed by the Skat, a fine modern example of an oligarch’s toy as the crew were meticulously cleaning the sides. The side bays towards the stern were open to release the concealed motor boats. The helicopter was being prepared for take off, the multiple dome covered antennae tuned to the master’s broadcasts from the planet Krypton.

Grey ship

Further upriver the Nahlin, a graceful relic of the 1930’s, finely restored, provided contrast.

1930's ship

Further upriver still we passed the scorched evidence of a recent fire along the railway line, caused by a spark from the coal fired engine.

Fire line

We paddled up with the tide, and sometimes with the wind, to scrape over the tide mill dam at Stoke Gabriel and then took a leisurely tea break until the rush of water over the dam became still, so we could return to Dartmouth with the outgoing tide.

tim P

Coleton Fishacre

Sunday, July 11th, 2010

The ruins of the sea water pool on the beach beneath the National Trust house Coleton Fishacre was the setting for our Sunday lunch.

Coleton Fishacre swimming pool

Our departure was delayed by a successful surgery by Adrian on a seagull with a fish hook snagged in its mouth. It was not co-operative and prompted me to note to add two items to my first aid kit – a wire cutter and a beak clamp. The bird was already weak and may not survive. The beach is covered with discarded rope and netting and plastics. A miserable reminder of our trashing of the earth and its other inhabitants.

tim P