Uphilldowndale

Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England


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Welcome Home Ocean Valour

Salcombe gave a warm welcome home yesterday,  to two young me, Tom Rainey and Lawrence Walters, who had been at sea since May, rowing across the North Atlantic, from New York to Salcombe. It’s a long way in a small boat, that’s them in the centre of the shot

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There were about 200 boats out on the water to escort them into harbour, Mr uphilldowndale was amongst them.. He is easily identifiable in the photos as the only small sailing dingy in the flotilla,

He assure me he wasn’t as close to the lifeboat as he appears to be

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Mrs Ogg and I joined the  watching crowds on dry land, and whilst we kept our feet dry, our eyes were not;  it was very moving.  Tom and Lawrence, set out on this epic adventure, in memory of Tom’s Dad, Luke, who died of a brain tumour and to raise funds for The Brain Tumour Charity. They broke two world records en route, for the youngest pair to row the north Atlantic and for the distance rowed in twenty four hours

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I can’t start to imagine how good a nights sleep might be after such a voyage, but I’ll bet they slept well, and that their families, especially, Tom’s mum, slept just as soundly, knowing they were home safe.

The expression on Tom’s mums face, (in the white jacket) say’s it all.

Ocean Valour Tom's Mum_

Donations can be made to The Brain Tumour Charity at Tom and Lawrence’s Just Giving page.

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the press with the Royal Marines

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A seaside assortment….

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On the tide

An elegant arrival in the harbour yesterday afternoon.

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A ship with presence Mrs Ogg and I decided, galleon like we thought (you can tell we are the none ‘boaties ‘ of our party). Which in turn brought to mind to our minds  the Joyce Grenfull’s sketch

 

Tall ship 2

It is the Stavros S Niarchos, part of the Tall Ships Youth Trust, signing up on ships like this can be life changing events.

In has a draft of over 15 feet, so there is not  a lot of space to spare in the harbour. She was deftly manoeuvred into place by the crew and two harbour launches

Tall ship 4

This afternoon Mr Uphilldowndale and I walked around the coast path, just before high tide she glided out, past Bolt Head, back out to sea. 

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Sea and Sand

We’re back again, in south Devon, for the 14th consecutive summer. Its just as beautiful as ever

East Portlemouth ferry

Mr Uphilldowndale snapped these fish on his way to get the morning paper.

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As ever we have joined with a large extended group of family and friends, our children are growing up now, they come and go, but they all want to get here if they can. Which is just lovely.

silver light_


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Delivery Failure

I glibly promised more posts then disappeared off the the blogosphere.

All is well with us, but our Internet access has been rather dire.

Spud the dog is concerned his fan base might be diminishing. So I’ll post a laid back photo of his Devon Holiday.

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Return to normal connectivity is anticipated next week. Watch this space.


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I’ve Never Seen

A seahorse, I used to think they only lived in  warm, tropical seas, but apparently they live here, amongst the seagrass  beds in Salcombe harbour (when the tide is in, obviously, when the seagrass would be all floaty and a nice place to hang out if you were a seahorse.)

Seagrass beds 3

The other thing I couldn’t manage to capture on camera, were water spurts, from razor fish, shooting up in front of me, from the sand, some twelve inches or so high. They  hide in the sand at low tide, all that was to be seen was the hole in the sand. Not very exciting is it…

Seagrass beds_

I tried to find a video of such a thing, but I couldn’t see that either. I did manage to find a little more about them though.

However some folk have for more success at capturing natures more elusive moments. Watch and enjoy.

 

Oh and here is another animal that has been elusive, Spud the dog, enjoying the sea, wearing his smart harness, purchased to replace the one trashed in the sledging foray.  It’s an all together beefier little number than the previous one; Spud thinks it makes him look like a proper working dog, even on holiday

Sea Spud


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Have Crab Will Travel

Mr Uphilldowndale and I found ourselves down at the fish quay in Salcombe one morning. It was a bit of an eye opener.

Salcombe crab live export 2

 

There aren’t the vast numbers of fishing boats I imagine there were in years gone by. But none the less there  was frenetic industry.

One boat was tied up at the quay, The Emma Jane, her crew of six were busy unloading some  their catch of crab in to floating ‘fish boxes’ and getting ready to sail.

 

Unloading Crabs

She goes out for up to six days at a time, and her catch of crab and lobsters are kept alive and in good condition in vivier tanks on board (more about that in a moment).

 

In addition a larger floating fish box was being unloaded of its live cargo.

Some crabs seemed not best pleased and were making a break for freedom.

 

I'm out of here!

 

We were a little stunned at the quantity of crabs ( this isn’t just one layer of crabs, there are  many many more below). The box had been hauled up the slipway (or maybe the tide had fallen as they worked, who am I to know about such things, I live about as far from the sea as you can get in the UK. I just imagine it’s best to work with the tide not against it).

 

Salcombe crab Live export-2

 

We were also surprised to see that the crabs, once out of the fish box and weighed were put into a articulated lorry, with vivier tanks  of well oxygenated sea water (vivier means ‘fish tank’) 

 

Salcombe crab live export

to keep them alive and in tip top condition for their onward journey to Portugal, yes Portugal, mind they could have also have gone to France Spain, Hong Kong and mainland China. You can see the size of the floating fish box in the shot above.

 

Salcombe crabs are obviously a very valuable catch, they are also very labour intensive one.  We were told by harbour staff they are caught in crab pots, the muscle in their main claw is cut to stop them attacking each other in the fish box. The smaller fishing boats return each day with their catch and add them to the fish box.

 

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The aim is to keep them in the fish box the minimum amount of time possible as they are not feeding whilst in the box.

 

Unloading Crabs into floating box

 

And if you are wondering what happens to all those crab shells, in a moment of serendipity, I stumbled across the answer today, when looking for felting wool, who would have thought it; apparently you can make fibre from the chitosan in the shells. not to mention anti-fungal treatments for seeds and in medical dressings to reduce bleeding.  My, blogging is so educational.


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Drifting

Drifting_

How long have we been home from the seaside? It seems like an age, the blog has been drifting, we’ve been rather busy.

I’ve just about managed to stuff everything back in the cupboards from whence it came. The airing cupboard* was a particular challenge. Mr Uphilldowndale (Mr Uhdd) if far more competent at such things than I am, its all that folding of sails he’s done over the years. He can make it look like an up market shop, I  can only ever achieve something at the jumble sale end of the retail spectrum

 

On holiday Mr Uhdd had an exciting time sailing his new boat, watching him from the beach it looked more like he was playing Buckaroo than sailing.

RS 

The general consensus of the deck chair critics was that Mr Uphilldowndale needs to eat more pies (or Devon pasties) as a little weight for him, unlike the rest of us** would be a good idea as it would help him keep the boat, an RS100, upright, she’s a feisty little number. (There  did seem something inherently wrong in the suggestion of a weighted lifejacket)

I would add, that we, the deck chair critics know very little about sailing, and that our extensive knowledge of the state of the tide is only founded in the need to know if it is low enough to make it possible to walk along the beach to the Venus cafe to buy ice cream, or if it is so high its necessary to take the less picturesque route along the road.

 

*Not sure why I’ve bothered, the whole lot will have to come back out again in a few weeks time during the installation of our new  central heating system, a ground source heat pump, watch this space.

** How annoying is it that Mr Uhdd lost weight on holiday, however he did gain a lot of bruises.

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