We’re in Brixham, one of the major fishing ports of Devon. Apparently this is very much a working fishing harbour, although the only trawlers we’ve seen have been the ones that take tourists on a jaunt around the bay. Also- only one fishmongers in the entire town! Which is a ten-minute walk from anywhere! Most odd.
Brixham is very pleasant. The town clings onto the hillside, a jumble of pink, blue and yellow terraced houses. The main action is centred around the small drying harbour in which are moored many small fishing boats and dinghies. And, inexplicably, a replica of the Golden Hind. Needless to say, you can’t move for fish and chip shops or ice-cream parlours. On the weekend the place was absolutely heaving, creating a buzzy atmosphere. The sun even made a couple of appearances, which was an unexpected boon.
The high street is less appealing- lots of charity shops and old fashioned cafes. I think the proprietors know their crowd though- I hope it’s not too rude for me to observe that almost every person sitting in the sun enjoying a crab sandwich and cup of tea were also likely enjoying their retirement.
The sail here from Lyme Regis was bracing, but not too awful. We had winds of around 18 knots about 50 degrees off starboard, and were heeled over, but it was only four or so hours. I think it’s also worth mentioning that our mooring was absolutely text book. Nick ferry glided the boat in (sensibly ignoring my calls of, “Watch the bow! Slow down, watch the bow! A metre at the bow!”) with admirable precision. And our bow, of course, was ideally placed half a metre from the pontoon. For my part, I managed to sort out our lines without any major catastrophes. Once again we had an audience, but this was the variety we actually like: sailor-y types who not only come and help with your lines, but then compliment you on a job well done, before clearing off and letting you get on with things.
For the eensy weensy percentage of people reading this who a) don’t know what ferry gliding is, and b) actually care, the best way I can describe it is thus: you know when you’re driving a car, and you find a space along a road which you need to parallel park into? Well, imagine you simply drive up to the park, position your car next to it, then use the current or a strong wind to blow you sideways into the space. That’s what it is. If only that worked in a car, right?
The marina here is full of very well cared for yachts; every time we step onto the pontoon, we pass several people (well, men of a certain age) crouched down beside their beloved boat, with a paintbrush or a bucket, or some other unidentifiable implement used for sprucing up their vessels. The boats are all immaculate.
I was also delighted to discover that we have a new contender for Best Showering Facilities. Brixham draws first with Plymouth (which we are visiting next week, so I’ll come back to you with an up-to-date comparison). You get your own little room, which is quite the novelty- it’s usually cubicles. In your own little shower room there is a shower (obvs), a loo (we all love a private loo), a SINK (we’re getting spoiled now!) and, finally, the ultimate: a hair dryer. It’s clean, you can spend as much time as you want without the water turning cold, or having to listen to everyone else’s inane chatter. You can sing in the shower, shave your legs, apply a 10 minute hair mask, lather yourself in various lotions and potions that are hugely expensive and probably do very little- it’s perfect.
Very pleased about the showers.
Moving swiftly along, we’ve been stuck here waiting out poor weather. Once the weekend was over, the clouds descended and dumped a load of rain on us, the winds picked up and the temperature dropped. Nick has used the opportunity to try out a variety of culinary delights: beef ragu with spaghetti (or spag-bol to you plebs); lemon roasted chicken with stuffing, roast potatoes and greens; plaice fillets with lemon, butter and capers, served with boiled new potatoes and asparagus tips.
You know what, excuse me while I get a snack.
Okay, that’s better. So, apart from napping, switching between Judge Judy, Homes Under the Hammer and BBC 1 o’clock news, and checking the weather forecast with a frequency bordering on obsession, we’ve just been chilling! Catch up with you in a couple of days- tomorrow we’re heading to one our favourite places: Dartmouth.