RIB Cruising To The West Country – Part 3
My first port of call would nearly always be Torquay. Torquay has a reputation for being slightly faded and tatty seaside resort but the area has some great spots for the RIBster and to ignore the area is to miss out on some real treats.
Just around the headland from Torquay’s main beach Tor Abbey Sands are a succession of picture postcard coves that are well worth dropping the pick for diving, fishing or just admiring the lush green and red cliffs that define this part of South Devon. Close to Meadfoot beach is Daddyhole Cove, a brilliant fishing spot and further round the cost you have two real gems. Babbacombe and Oddicombe are good spots for novice divers to get minutes in and putting a few feathers out of the back of your RIB at tick over speed is a sure fire way of hooking mackerel without too much effort. Once you’ve bagged your catch you’ll find it perfect for a late afternoon BBQ on Babbacombe Beach where Wayne, the owner of the café will be happy to serve you a cold drink and some top notch chips to go with your Devon mackerel. For those wanting some easy and quite rewarding diving, the café on the beach also doubles as a dive school and they’re a friendly bunch down there and well worth hooking up with.
Heading further south from Torquay is the River Dart. One of the most picturesque rivers in the UK, there are plenty of moorings available for visiting RIBS – call Channel 11 to check availability first. There is a great selection of pubs and restaurants in Dartmouth, including the Dartmouth Arms and The Castle for good local ales and for those staying overnight on their RIB, the Spice Bazaar is one of the best curry houses I’ve been to. Continuing on a food theme, be sure to make time to visit Sharphams Wine and Cheese just a couple of miles down river from Totnes.
Further south still and Salcombe is another RIBsters paradise. The beaches are fantastic and like Dartmouth, there are plenty of shops, bars and restaurants to satify every need. The Winking Prawn is a great place to relax after a day on the water – located on North Beach, the buffet breakfasts and fresh fish served for lunch and supper are legendary.
If time allows, a couple of hour’s leisurely cruising time is Plymouth. Our second Naval city, she is crammed to the gunwales with nautical heritage. Entering Plymouth Sound and proceeding up to Devonport is also a great test of your pilotage skills, especially at night if you’re feeling brave!