Sunday, 31 May 2009

Rowing Defiant of Lyme Regis in Devon

We spent two very enjoyable days last week rowing Defiant of Lyme Regis. On Thursday, my partner, Rae and my two children, Tom and Matt spent the day rowing from Dittisham to the mouth of the River Dart and back. This was the first proper row we have enjoyed. Defiant is a beautiful boat to row and we all enjoyed every minute. On reaching Dartmouth we moored to a pontoon and went and walked into town to buy ice cream. We then rowed to Dartmouth Castle where we picked-up a mooring and waited for the tide to turn. A tourist boat circled us and the skipper shouted out beautiful boat! This obviously was a fantastic compliment to be paid and it kinda made me, Rae and my children feel pretty proud.

On Friday we went and met the man responsible for producing Defiant's lines, Malcolm Darch, Shipwright and renowned model shipwright in Salcombe. Malcolm suggested we rowed Defiant with two sets of oars. I was amazed at how fast she went with little effort. Malcolm put this fact down to her deep wine glass shape in the transom and her weight, she is pretty heavy which means she carries her way well and once she is going she tracks beautifully in a straight line. I was surprised at how much room there is in this 13 footer.  There was plenty of room for three adults and two children, plus picnic, wet weather gear, fenders, anchor, chain and warp.  The day was spent cruising around Salcombe Estuary. We put ashore a couple of times and anchored in a beautiful bay for lunch. The water was crystal clear and the Children loved looking out for crabs and fish. They were a bit disappointed not to have seen any basking sharks.

After Defiant was safely back ashore Malcolm took us to his workshop and showed us the amazing models he makes. These models are exact replicas of the real thing and are exquisite objects. The workshop is an archive treasure trove of boat building and nautical history. This workshop is a gem and must be a fantastic place to work with its views over Salcombe harbour.