Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dartmouth, Cawsand and Crabs

After a shower, a laundry and a very good curry we left Weymouth and headed for Dartmouth. The entry to Dartmouth is very dramatic, with huge castles on either side. We pulled up to a quay in the middle of town and settled in for a two-day stay. Seb and Adam had time to speak to the local fisherfolk and came back with new tricks and tackle, followed up with a visit to the local pub to hear some more of the local fishing yarns. Leonie and I were able to sneak in a secret ‘knutsel’ session and Emma and Mees (with the support of Peter and Macsen, Macsen least effectively) created fabulous paintings for father’s day. They were both strictly instructed not to tell the papas about this surprise but both excitedly disobeyed this instruction almost as soon and the papas returned.

The Elena family then spent the morning exploring the Dartmouth area on a really cool steam train while the Pjotter family went to the local doctor to get their last injections. We had done all of our injections except Macsen’s standard 12-month MMR (measles, mumps, rubella, because he was too young) and our yellow fever (because we didn’t want to get sick just before leaving). We were unable to convince Emma that our program was as interesting as Mees’ steam train but she took it very well.

The trip from Dartmouth to Cawsand was unpleasant and uncomfortable. Only 15-18 knots of wind but it was a long and bumpy upwind beat with current against for most of the trip. We arrived in Cawsand at about 2000 and dropped the anchor in the well protected bay with relief. We went to bed early and were greeted next morning with a happy whoop over the radio from Adam. The crab pot that they had set the night before had 8 crabs in it and at least 2 of them were enormous!

The villages along the Southern coats of England have a few things in common: the people are friendly, they are charming, they are full of lovely little houses clinging to the side of the hill/ cliff, and there are amazing views from the top of the village…but there is always a very long, steep and tiring climb (particularly carrying children and bikes) before you can enjoy them. After such an invigorating walk through the village of Cawsand we returned to boats, opened a bottle of wine and cooked up two enormous crabs and had a most delicious lunch. Yum!

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