Sunday, June 24, 2018


Cruising Reports


2017 Cruising Annual Summary

A cruise to smaller ports in Brittany by Richard Stevens

River Exe Cruise


2015 Cruising Annual Summary


Report of a Viking Adventure by Ian Gibson

Read about Ian's cruise with Simon Farley from Copenhagen to Oslo in June of 2014 in his Drascombe Drifter Damson.

Cruise to Salcombe 6th/7th September 2014

Four Boats set out from the Dart for a cruise to Salcombe on the weekend of 6th/7th September. The boats were Dochas crewed by Peter and Suzette Symons with two friends Phil and Jane, Harmony sailed singlehanded by David Horne, Kiwi Pat with Phil Unitt and Rob Adams, and Sancerre IV crewed by David Thompson, Richard Hayes and Chris Taylor.

The weather was benign, i.e. windless but very hazy with occasional drops of rain. On went the engines and we puttered across Start Bay. Every now and then, a puff of wind threatened to make us put the sails up, but it disappeared as soon as it came. Around Start Point, the seas swirled and splashed and let us know this was not a place to mess around with, but the tide gushed us round and we were well on our way to Prawle Point. By this time, the tide had turned against us and progress became a little more relaxed. All too soon, we were entering the harbour, lining up the leading marks to avoid the Bar. We were guided onto a mooring by the jovial harbour staff, and awaited the arrival of the rest of the fleet.

Saturday night saw us in the Fortescue, a pub which had enough room for us all. Food and drinks were ordered and summarily dispatched. A convivial time was had by all, but all too soon we had to leave in order to catch the water taxi back to our craft. A late night coffee, and then to bed to sleep off our over indulgences.

Next morning, up early to catch the tide, we headed off down the estuary, the engine running on the dregs in the bottom of the tank. No wind, how would we get back? As we left the harbour mouth, the wind freshened, sails were hoisted, the boat gently leaned into the wind and we were sailing. There was sufficient slant to the wind to enable us to round Prawle Point, but by then, the tide was starting to turn against us. On went the engine again, away went the genoa and we motor sailed round Start Point. Once past the overfalls at Start, we were able set a course hard on the wind for Blackpool Sands. The wind gusted up to 15 knots, the boat made 5.5knots over the ground, despite a foul tide and a dirty bottom. Off Blackpool, we had to make a couple of tacks, each one taking us back towards Start Point, but eventually, we got a lift from the wind and were near to the Homestone buoy. Here, the wind was directly out of the harbour, but at least we had a fair tide. Gently, we motored up to the fuel barge with the last drops of fuel in the tank. A very satisfying sail!

Chris Taylor

Mid Season Cruising Report 2014

The Fitting-out Supper in April was very enjoyable, with a selection of curries and some very tempting and tasty puds, all organised by Pam Macey. Ian Gibson presented those present with coffee mugs commemorating the completion of the new pontoons at Kingsbridge, and it was decided to visit these on the forthcoming Salcombe weekend cruise.

April also saw the arrival of Chris Taylor’s ‘new’ Westerly Griffon Aurora on the Dart, and John Phillips’ Cornish Shrimper Froya, followed in May by Sancerre, David Thompson’s Sun Odyssey 40.

Unfortunately the spring weather was boisterous with frequent gales, and the cruise to Salcombe, and subsequently the midday cruise to Stoke Gabriel, had to be cancelled.

For similar reasons the early May cruise to Brixham was curtailed but five yachts – Aurora, Froya, Harmony, Phoebe, Thea - did reach St Mary’s Bay, just this side of Berry Head. The surf breaking on the beach and a general feeling of queasiness discouraged us from going ashore, so we remained aboard our anchored boats till it was time to leave.

In early June the Commodore’s Picnic was held at Ashprington Point on the river, superbly arranged and hosted by Richard and Mary Hayes, and well attended by both cruisers and racers. See the Gallery for photos.

The evening cruise to Bow Creek for supper at The Maltster’s Arms, Tuckenhay was well attended with 7 boats and approx 20 people including those arriving by road. 5 boats stayed overnight, either at the mouth of the creek or alongside the quay, and then breakfasted at the BBQ site at Crownley Wood, opposite the pub. A beautiful sunny morning!

Dittisham SC Cruisers have also of course been arranging their own trips on the river and along the coast, and making the most of the excellent weather we have enjoyed in June. Hopefully we will be hearing about these before long.


Daysail to Scabbacombe on 13th July

Summer finally arrived and DSC cruisers enjoyed it on Scabbacombe beach, with picnics, mackerel caught and cooked by Anna and Pete, swimming and snorkelling, and the satisfaction of having arrived by sea. Six boats attended, including Nikita and the Bo’sun on a battery maintenance run. The original destination of Brixham was ruled out by the lack of wind, but there was enough of a sea breeze after lunch for a gentle sail in the bay and for exploring the coves at low water, before returning to the Dart. A delightful outing.

Evening cruise to The Maltster’s, Tuckenhay on 25th June

A light breeze and a fair tide took six boats upriver to the quay at Tuckenhay in Bow Creek, for supper at The Maltster’s Arms. The river was looking lovely and the challenge of negotiating the tortuous channel in the creek gave us all a good appetite. The pub provided a room for our convivial party of 16 and prompt service enabled our departure just on high water, about an hour before sunset.

Midday cruise to Stoke Gabriel on 4th May 

Despite the blustery wind there was an excellent attendance of 8 yachts and dayboats for the first cruise of the year. Ian and Susan lead the way in Phoebe and Gil and Carolyn showed off their smart new Gaffer, Mary Hay, which beat upriver to Stoke Gabriel in fine style. Kiwi Pat came to the head of the creek and moored alongside the dam wall, thus avoiding the trip in by tender from the moorings outside. The crews of boats that had decided not to brave the conditions came along anyway as guest crew, and others came by road, so there was a large gathering at the River Shack for lunch in lovely spring sunshine. Preparing to return home, Kiwi Pat’s engine failed to start, but a tow back to her mooring was provided by a DHNA launch that was luckily on hand. Chris had a Westerly Owners rally to attend and sailed Shanwin out of the river and on to Torquay harbour. The rest of us enjoyed an excellent downwind and downtide sail home to Dittisham.

Fitting out supper on 19th April

The members’ room on the top floor of the clubhouse was again filled to capacity for another of Chris Taylor’s renowned cruising suppers – this time the menu was a varied selection of curries and trimmings followed by mountainous desserts, and much appreciated by the two dozen cruising skippers and crews who attended.

See more Cruising Group photos in The Gallery  

This Year's Cruising Programme



 St Mary's Bay
 St Mary's Bay

Arrival at The Maltsters 

Relaxing at the River Shack, Stoke Gabriel
 Fitting Out Supper


Copyright 2017 by Dittisham Sailing Club   |  Privacy Statement  |  Terms Of Use