Deja Vu 1 - Fat Wendy from Pomeroy

Day 10 Brixham to Budleigh Salterton – 30th May – 16.1 nm

In 2012 I had landed at Budleigh Salterton, it had not been part of the plan but the weather decided otherwise. I remember being not too upset, it had been an unpleasant day, I was intrigued to see ‘Bud’ and there was always the chance of running into Fat Wendy from Pomeroy. Alas the last one was not to be.

Today I didn’t plan on landing there either, funny how life pans out.

From the beach at Brixham, Torbay looked as flat as a pancake. There was a breeze blowing from the south, the forecast was for mid to high teens from the south - no great drama.

But the rule is not to take anything for granted. As I ran through the plan and the bang-out options with the Team Manager I could see that she thought I was being a touch cautious, it was flat out there. But something didn’t feel quite right and the landing options after Budleigh were limited, so let’s go through the plan anyway. I had a nagging suspicion that it could turn out to be a short day. I might get a chance to meet up with the lass from Pomeroy after all.

Once clear of Torquay it got lumpy and draughty. I had a couple of visits from motor cruisers asking if I was ok, the second one questioned how safe I was out there. I reflected on this as he stood there dressed in that classic British set of immersion clothing that is jeans and t-shirt. To be fair to him he may have been wearing wellies too, but I couldn't see.

I was in full winter gear (bar pogies – I was ‘down south‘after all) - I wondered if the definition of irony could stretch to the situation as we parted ways.

Soon lumpy got steep; it was too steep to run straight with any comfort, so that meant Exmouth was now an unpleasant, only if we have to, option. It dawned that the easier running cross-sea was going to take me to Budleigh Salterton, once again.

Not ideal.

Not only was it to be a short day, but Bud has a steep shingle beach. A rather steep, big shingle, dumping beach. I couldn't see a landing on the main beach would end in anything other than kit-strewn, boat scouring, it all ended in tears, sogginess.

On arrival it didn't look good. The beach was not going to factor in this man’s plan. There was a shallower, sandy spot at the west end, with less of a dump, but it was getting too close to the cliffs.

Time for a bit of sneakiness.
I like streams/rivers on crappy beaches, they give you options. I like options too.
On a closed out surf beach a river can scour a slightly deeper channel that gives you a little longer on the green wave, getting you closer in, before it all goes white.
On deep dumping beaches they work in reverse, making things shallower, leaving a small underwater ‘delta’ that lets you paddle in through a bit of friendlier surf, rather than the dodgy dumping stuff.
Bud had a nice little stream that emptied at the east end. On the map it drains a small lagoon from behind the shingle spit – an ideal haven. The only down side is that it empties onto a rocky ledge. 

Anyway, to finally get to the point –

surf in, looking for the gap, there it is – a boat length wide of calmness, rocky breakers on the right, the brown dump on the left, committed now, don’t f*** this up, straight as an arrow, phew, TFFT, up the stream and into peace and calm, kids in swimming cozzies and dinghies looking strangely at me - dressed for immersion.