Batson Lake, Salcombe

Report 1 - Batson Lake, Salcombe

Submitted:   Chris Turner
  Elsa (Super Seal 26)
  November 2003

On my first visit to Batson Creek, many years ago, the harbourmaster looked curiously at me and Elsa when I asked if it was OK to go right to the top. Up to you, he said, it’s very shallow and the natives might not be friendly! As it happens, just after I had dropped anchor, I saw a chap come out of one of the little group of cottages and make his way down. ‘Havn’t seen a boat this size anchored up here in twenty years! Come in and have a drink!’ I’m sure he can’t have been looking. But it was only his holiday home.

The chartlet is from a very old publication (depths in feet) but little has altered. The marked channel is roughly right (2003) but you don’t get more than a foot or two extra anyway. Enter at high water and if you anchor in the middle of the upper ‘pool’ where Elsa is pictured here it dries ca.3m. (Near the 10 mark on the chart).
This will give you only about a 4 hour window, less at neaps, to get ashore in the dinghy in very shallow water over soft mud.

On previous occasions I have anchored, fore and aft, on very short scope with ‘angels’ within a few feet of the southern bank close to the last little set of steps nearest the cottages. This allowed me to wedge or scoot the dinghy the short distance to the steps at low water (with the help of a booted foot). With a hard bottomed dinghy it would be easy. Elsa points towards that position in the low water photo. It goes without saying that you must take the usual precautions against being neaped!

The old chartlet does not show the country lane that runs along the south bank into Salcombe. It is a delightful spot away from the strong streams and it is well protected from the winds; a mere 5 mins walk from the town.