22 July 2013 – Sutton Harbour, Plymouth
Safely tucked away in inner-city Sutton Harbour – except that the wind has now ceased! What wind there is, from the south, and not helpful. It’s still warm, but humid. The high pressure is moving away, and the forecast is unsettled.
The sea fog has sat over Plymouth all day, and it’s only now, 6pm, that you can see across to Mountbatten from the Barbican side. This morning, the lighthouses on the Hoe had their lights in the cloud, and the “Plymouth Eye” big wheel was invisible above hub level.
The plan was to go into Queen Anne Battery marina. But at 11am, when I called on VHF channel 80, they had no spare berths – although they asked that we try again at midday. Not a helpful response! So instead we called the Sutton Lock on channel 12. What a difference! The lock-keeper was very friendly and helpful, relayed our message to the marina guys and the rest is history. So here we are on berth B39, in the heart of the city, at a cheaper cost than QAB (although still expensive at £43.50 a night! Even here, the prices exceed those in the Solent! ) The facilities are immaculate and modern; the staff helpful to a fault. No free wifi.
The lock-keeper was very complimentary about Magnetic Attraction. It was a well found boat that was a pleasure to welcome into the harbour (sub-text – most of the boats he looks down on he wouldn’t give sea room to.)
As we left the lock his voice came over the VHF, speaking to the marina staff. There is a very nice couple coming into the marina with a proper boat. They would appreciate someone coming to take their lines. (!) One of his colleagues is i/c of hanging baskets and geraniums; the team has clubbed together to pay for a self-watering system.
As I said, a great welcome.
The marina is very convenient. After lunch, we walked up to the big Marine Bazaar; and then on to the Chinese supermarket where I got by small sack of and 2 litres of soy sauce. Roger carried the sack of rice back to the boat on his shoulder. He’s a bit if-fy about the sack, being a-feared that there might be cockroach eggs. He’s never felt this way about the sacks that have come from Tesco! But I’ll wash it all down with Milton, in line with Chris’ advice, before stowing in the veg locker. Or perhaps I might try to find some more big airtight plastic containers. How many will I need to hold 10kg of rice? (It was a small sack.)
And on the subject of provisions, I’m making a list of the essentials that we have to get here. The leading item is (at least) 350 tea bags, to see us and crew to Christmas. In true uber-geek mode, I’m tracking how long dishwasher liquid, toothpaste etc lasts. Roger is reviewing his requirement for Plymouth Gin; I’ve been to get some re-proofing stuff to wash into the anoraks. So many things to think of – and inevitably lots of essentials will be forgotten!
So, here are the inner city views in the evening calm…