Having had a glimpse of what the coastline towards the West could offer, I was keen to take another trip to the Dart with Idris and find out if my weekend of scrubbing her bum at Ashes quay had paid off. New sailing mate Bob was keen too, so I decided to make it my first ever joint sailing venture. I’d had a fairly crappy fortnight and so was keen to get some peace once there at a nice secluded spot, rather than using  a town mooring as before. This, it turned out, was exactly what Bob specialized in and so we enjoyed a great sail down (see youtube film “Exe to Dart trip”) before feeling our way upstream and anchoring under the trees at a well known secret spot. A massive amount of early in the season driftwood lined the shore, so we did our duty by pilling it up, lighting it and cooking dead animals with it. We then lolled about drinking cider and talking rubbish until drunk enough to paddle our way back to the boats through the mist. I lit the charcoal stove and fell into my sofa bunk for a  good hearty sleep.

Enjoying our massively oversized BBQ and cider whilst gazzing out over the misty Dart.

Enjoying our massively oversized BBQ whilst gazing out over the misty Dart.

Although I can’t exactly remember what time I got up on Saturday morning, it was pretty late and so we decided to get straight on with the pre-agreed task of rowing to the nearest village for food supplies. Bob uses a kayak as his tender which makes a great deal of sense as he can carry it on deck easily. I’m still using  my increasingly patchy and battered ply cockleshell dinghy which tows on behind Idris and lends itself well to a bit of rowing. Up against a canoe though, it’s a bit of a slug. I worked up a fair thirst trying to keep up with  Bob. Some more beer was going to be needed.

Next morning dawned sunny and warm. Idris came complete with an anchor ball so I took this opportunity to try it out. Looks good, eh?

Saturday morning dawned sunny and warm. Idris came complete with an anchor ball so I took this opportunity to try it out for the first time. Looks good, eh?

Saturday morning trip down river to the shops for food and beer.

Trip down river to the shops for food and beer. Kayak proved much faster than my own rather podgy dinghy.

Another shoreside beer and driftwood barbecue evening completed my weekend of recovery. We moved the boats back down river on the Sunday morning tide to fuel up and dispose of some rubbish in the floating skip, before going our separate ways. Bob was off to the Channel islands on Erin for a week and I was heading back to my  Exe mooring before work on Monday. I felt great though, and was very pleased with this new found pleasure. I’d realized that although It’s great to be independent,  it can also be a lot of fun to share a joint challenge with other like minded folk.