Bobbling across Lyme Bay to Brixham

Summary: Portland to Brixham. 58 miles in 8 hours and 55 minutes. Started in fairly murky weather and gradually improved though wind dies a couple of hours before the end.

Entering Brixham

With a particularly grotty forecast for several days, I headed back home for a while and Anne and I came back down to the boat yesterday at Portland. We then got up at 4am having debated long and hard about whether to head over to Guernsey. Given another low coming through later in the week and a forecast for poor visibility, we decided to keep heading west. We took the ‘cautious’ (probably over-cautious) route round East Shambles and then headed down on about 235T to keep over 3 miles off Portland. The race was clearly visible to windward, but didn’t seem to affect us 3.5 miles off. Then headed up on the wind and were just making due west towards Brixham. Gradually let more jib out, then shook the reef out, but finally, about two hours out, the wind died and we had to motor the rest of the way. Arrived at Brixham at lunchtime – a total trip of just under 9 hours.

We arrived in the sunshine just after 1pm, but it soon started to rain. Brixham is a fishing port and in the Middle Ages was the largest fishing port in the south west. In fact it was boats from Brixham that helped to establish the fishing ports of Hull, Grimsby and Lowestoft. In the 1890s there were over 300 boats but, as with most fishing ports, the numbers have now declined significantly.

Brixham was also the location where William, Prince of Orange (who became William III of Great Britain & Ireland) landed in 1688 with his mainly Dutch army as part of the Glorious Revolution. His army left its mark as many local people still have Dutch names being directly descended from soldiers in that army. There is even a road called ‘Overgang’, the Dutch for passage. This is the road that leads up a steep hill to where the Dutch initially made their camp.

There is also a replica of Sir Francis Drake’s Golden Hinde in the harbour.

The Golden Hinde – Brixham Harbour

See the Brixham picture gallery for more photos.