As I thought, a quick call to John Williams resulted in a small parcel of British Seagull goodies arriving in the post ready to revive my clutched 40+ ebay box of bits. This will probably have to be a winter project, so for now I’ve simply stripped, checked and rebuilt the (very, very simple) gearbox and drive leg and swapped it onto my original non clutched 40+. This involved undoing two nuts, removing the leg, fitting the clutched leg, doing the two nuts up again. Took 15 minutes at the most.
Our trip down the coast this past weekend was originally going to take us to Torbay, Brixham or maybe even Dartmouth if we had the time. Sadly though, I hadn’t made allowance for the past weeks worth of strong winds and the resulting confused mess of sea they’d left for us to bash through. We still had a force 4/5 on the nose when we left Exmouth on Saturday and, combined with the choppy, lumpy waves, this made progress west very slow and uncomfortable. We called it a day outside of Teignmouth, a mere 5 miles down the coast and felt our way nervously across the bar into a perfectly calm, beautiful bay.
Not knowing the area at all, I decided to gently run Macavity aground on the island at the center of the bay (it was a rising tide), dig in the anchor and leave Becks in charge whilst I located the visitors moorings and pontoons described in the guide using the dinghy. Nothing. So I went to find the harbour master instead. He was most unhelpful. It seemed that Hollywood had rented Teignmouth for the week and demanded the removal of all non period features for the filming of their latest epic based on the Golden Globe race. This, it seemed, included all visitors moorings, pontoons, and visiting boats that didn’t “fit”. Furthermore, he informed me that we couldn’t anchor anywhere either and that the locals would probably cut our lines if we picked up a vacant mooring. A warm welcome indeed.
Anyhow, he was quite wrong. I went to speak to a couple of local boat owners who had just come back in, and they couldn’t have been more helpful. After advising me of the various options, I eventually dug up an old abandoned mooring chain of massive, ferry retaining size and tied us up to that as the tide rose. Not in Colin Firth’s way and not tampering with anyone elses gear. Finally we could relax and then simply slip our ropes quietly the following morning. So we took the dinghy ashore and went for some well earned pints and some chips.