Dartmouth, England

Our ship anchored offshore from Dartmouth, England, a lovely resort town on the western side of the south coast of the English Channel, at the mouth of the River Dart, giving us a nice view of the River and Dartmouth Castle

Our ship anchored offshore from Dartmouth, England, a lovely resort town on the western side of the south coast of the English Channel, at the mouth of the River Dart, giving us a nice view of the River and Dartmouth Castle (on the left in the photograph) on the tender ride into town

 

Dartmouth, England, is a lovely resort town on the western side of the south coast of the English Channel, at the mouth of the River Dart (which gave the town its name), in South Devon.  We anchored offshore, just beyond where the River Dart flows past the old fortified Dartmouth Castle as the River meets the English Channel.  With three days in port, we had the opportunity to explore the resort town and journey by boat up the River Dart to Totnes, at the mouth of the River, and by bus to the eastern fishing and resort town of Brixham, source of much of London’s seafood (especially local crab in season) – see our forthcoming blog posts.

With a population of only about 5,000, Dartmouth was easily explored by walking and a local three-minute ferry took us across the River to the neighboring town of Kingswear where the buses to the coast and the steam train, heading north to Paignton, originated.  We hiked to the historic Dartmouth Castle that was the fortified protection for the city against pirates trying to sail up river from the English Channel.  Agatha Christie’s home on the River Dart, Greenway National Trust Holiday Home, is only a short bus ride north – we passed by it on our boat trip to Totnes and could see it from the River.

The town of Dartmouth has a long tradition of strategic importance for sailing ships.  We were a year ahead of the town’s upcoming celebration of the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s sailing in 1620 from Plymouth, England (just to the west), its layover for the week-plus repairs to its sister ship, Speedwell (which was declared unfit and did not make the Atlantic Ocean crossing with the Mayflower) on the River Dart in Dartmouth prior to its crossing the Atlantic and landing the Pilgrims in Massachusetts at Cape Harbor (now known as Provincetown Harbor) – it was the next month (in December 1620) that the Pilgrims relocated to Plymouth Bay, Massachusetts.

 

The town of Dartmouth has a long tradition of strategic importance for sailing ships, and next year celebrates the 400th anniversary of making repairs on the Mayflower’s sister ship, Speedwell, with the Mayflower also in Dartmouth

The town of Dartmouth has a long tradition of strategic importance for sailing ships, and next year celebrates the 400th anniversary of making repairs on the Mayflower’s sister ship, Speedwell, with the Mayflower also in Dartmouth, before the Mayflower sailed solo to America in 1620

 

Picturesque shops lined the street across from the “Boatfloat” marina which goes dry when the strong River Dart tide recedes (see photograph, below), Dartmouth, England

Picturesque shops lined the street across from the “Boatfloat” marina which goes dry when the strong River Dart tide recedes (see photograph, below), Dartmouth, England

 

We had an excellent dinner at Bayards Cove Inn, whose Tudor-style timbered building dates back to the 14th century, originally built as a Tudor merchant’s house, Dartmouth, England

We had an excellent dinner at Bayards Cove Inn, whose Tudor-style timbered building dates back to the 14th century, originally built as a Tudor merchant’s house, Dartmouth, England

 

In the foreground in Dartmouth, England, is Bayard’s Cove Fort, a 16th century fort, built by the Borough of Dartmouth, that contained heavy guns to protect the town from enemy ships, trading rivals and pirates

In the foreground in Dartmouth, England, is Bayard’s Cove Fort, a 16th century fort, built by the Borough of Dartmouth, that contained heavy guns to protect the town from enemy ships, trading rivals and pirates; it was the last line of defense for the town, that was also protected by an iron chain across the estuary and guns at Dartmouth and Kingswear Castles at the river mouth. Kingswear, a separate town, is visible across the River Dart.

 

Set opposite the town of Dartmouth, Kingswear, England, is a charming character village that has some of the most beautiful views across the River Dart

Set opposite the town of Dartmouth, Kingswear, England, is a charming character village that has some of the most beautiful views across the River Dart

 

Homes in Dartmouth, England

Homes in Dartmouth, England

 

What do you notice about the propulsion of the car ferry between Dartmouth, England, and Kingswear, across the River Dart?

What do you notice about the propulsion of the car ferry between Dartmouth, England, and Kingswear, across the River Dart?

 

“A ferry has plied between Dartmouth and Kingswear since at least 1365.  This view spot is a great place to watch the two quirky car ferries that have developed here.  The Lower Ferry below you consists of a pair of platforms pulled and pushed by little tugboats.  Half a mile upstream is the Higher Ferry or Floating Bridge.  It was first opened in 1831 as a platform attached to either bank with two chains and operated by steam – and later by horses on a treadmill.  These days two cables provide power and direction.” – sign at the view spot in Dartmouth, England

 

A beautifully decorated Tudor-style building in Dartmouth, England

A beautifully decorated Tudor-style building in Dartmouth, England

 

Freshly baked take-away Cornish pasties at The Cornish Bakery in Dartmouth, England; we bought several with some friends for lunch on the river boat to Totnes

Freshly baked take-away Cornish pasties at The Cornish Bakery in Dartmouth, England; we bought several with some friends for lunch on the river boat to Totnes [see our upcoming blog post] and they were delicious and filling; note that the bakery’s motto is “feed your soul”!

St. Saviour’s Church’s interior, Dartmouth, England

St. Saviour’s Church’s interior, Dartmouth, England

 

Dartmouth’s Old Market was built originally on land reclaimed from the old Mill Pool as a pannier market, where eggs, poultry and fresh produce from local farms were sold

Dartmouth’s Old Market was built originally on land reclaimed from the old Mill Pool as a pannier market, where eggs, poultry and fresh produce from local farms were sold; today it has a number of bric-a-brac, china and clothing stalls along with an outstanding fish monger’s stall where we bought a considerable amount of fish and seafood, stocking up our freezer for our upcoming 24-day voyage across the Northwest Passage (from Greenland across far northern Canada to Nome Alaska)

 

Dartmouth, England’s Visitor Center is home to the Newcomen Engine – believed to be the oldest preserved steam engine in the world

Dartmouth, England’s Visitor Center is home to the Newcomen Engine – believed to be the oldest preserved steam engine in the world

 

Thomas Newcomen, who was born in Dartmouth in 1663, designed the world’s first successful atmospheric steam engine in 1712.  His invention – which pumped water using a vacuum created by condensed steam – enabled mines to be drained to greater depths than had been economically possible.  Dartmouth’s Newcomen Memorial Engine (pictured above) is believed to date from 1725, when it was initially installed at the Griff Collery near Coventry.  Three hundred years after Newcomen’s birth, it was re-erected in his home town.  Newcomen worked in Dartmouth about ten years to perfect his engine.  His fundamental innovation was to use a piston moving up and down in a cylinder (mounted directly on top of the boiler) to produce a reciprocating engine – which could be coupled up to do useful work.

 

Dartmouth, England’s Visitor Center is home to the Newcomen Engine – believed to be the oldest preserved steam engine in the world

Dartmouth, England’s Visitor Center is home to the Newcomen Engine – believed to be the oldest preserved steam engine in the world

 

Our ship at anchor at the mouth of the River Dart in Dartmouth, England, between the Kingswear Castle (on the left), an artillery fort constructed between 1491 and 1502, and the Dartmouth Castle (on the right)

Our ship at anchor at the mouth of the River Dart in Dartmouth, England, between the Kingswear Castle (on the left), an artillery fort constructed between 1491 and 1502, and the Dartmouth Castle (on the right), an artillery fort that was first constructed in the 1380s

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2019 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Greenwich, England

One of the main shopping streets in Greenwich, England, notable for its maritime history and the home of the Royal Observatory that houses the Prime Meridian Line, longitude 0 degrees – also known as the Greenwich Meridian

One of the main shopping streets in Greenwich, England, notable for its maritime history and the home of the Royal Observatory that houses the Prime Meridian Line, longitude 0 degrees – also known as the Greenwich Meridian

 

Resting on the Prime Meridian, Greenwich, England, is the gateway, via the River Thames, to London, the United Kingdom’s cosmopolitan and culturally captivating capital city [see our two previous blogs].  Notable for its maritime history,  Greenwich (technically part of the County of London) is known for the sailing clipper ship Cutty Sark (after which is named a popular blended Scotch whiskey from Glasgow), the Royal Observatory (the actual home of the Prime Meridian Line, longitude 0 degrees – also known as the Greenwich Meridian), the National Maritime Museum, the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich Market and Greenwich Royal Park.  This year, instead of docking south of London on the English Channel at Southampton, our ship docked in Greenwich, which is closer to London with access by water taxi, the “Underground” (subway), taxi, Uber and private car.  The local tender boats from Greenwich from and to our ship (anchored offshore nearby in the River Thames) sailed to, and docked at, a pontoon almost within spitting distance of the Cutty Sark.  Our last day in port, we explored some of Greenwich, beginning with a 2 hour walk in the rain through Greenwich Park with a visit to the Royal Observatory.

 

The National Maritime Museum of the United Kingdom is located in Greenwich Royal Park, forming part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site; Greenwich, London, England

The National Maritime Museum of the United Kingdom is located in Greenwich Royal Park, forming part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site; Greenwich, London, England

 

 

We enjoyed the peace and quiet and beautiful plantings on our rainy walk through Greenwich Royal Park; Greenwich, London, England

We enjoyed the peace and quiet and beautiful plantings on our rainy walk through Greenwich Royal Park; Greenwich, London, England

 

At the top of a hill in Greenwich Royal Park lies the (former) Royal Observatory, through which passes the Prime Meridian (longitude 0 degrees), also know as the Greenwich Meridian; Greenwich, London, England

At the top of a hill in Greenwich Royal Park lies the (former) Royal Observatory, through which passes the Prime Meridian (longitude 0 degrees), also know as the Greenwich Meridian; Greenwich, London, England

 

“Greenwich Mean Time was at one time based on the time observations made at the Royal Greenwich Observatory, before being superseded by Coordinated Universal Time.  While there is no longer a working astronomical observatory at Greenwich, a ball still drops daily to mark the exact moment of 1 p.m., and there is a museum of astronomical and navigational tools, particularly John Harrison’s marine chronometers.” — Wikipedia

 

A close up of the (former) Royal Observatory; Greenwich, London, England

A close up of the (former) Royal Observatory; Greenwich, London, England

 

The Shepherd 24-hour Gate Clock is one of the earliest electrically driven public clocks, whose dial always shows Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), and was installed at the Greenwich Royal Observatory in 1852

The Shepherd 24-hour Gate Clock is one of the earliest electrically driven public clocks, whose dial always shows Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), and was installed at the Greenwich Royal Observatory in 1852; being a 24-hour clock, the hour hand marks noon (XII) at the bottom of the dial and midnight (0) at the top, with a time accuracy to 0.5 second; Greenwich, London, England

 

These British Imperial Standards (public standards of length) were first mounted outside the Royal Observatory main gates some time before 1866 to enable the public to check measures of length; Greenwich, London, England

These British Imperial Standards (public standards of length) were first mounted outside the Royal Observatory main gates some time before 1866 to enable the public to check measures of length; Greenwich, London, England

 

The Prime Meridian of the World (longitude 0 degrees – also known as the Greenwich Meridian) is mounted on one of the buildings of the (former) Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London, England

The Prime Meridian of the World (longitude 0 degrees – also known as the Greenwich Meridian) is mounted on one of the buildings of the (former) Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London, England

 

The Old Royal Naval College, with the skyline of London behind it, viewed from the Royal Observatory on a hill in Greenwich Royal Park, Greenwich, London, England

The Old Royal Naval College, with the skyline of London behind it, viewed from the Royal Observatory on a hill in Greenwich Royal Park, Greenwich, London, England

 

Our ship (our home away from home), with the skyline of London behind it, was anchored in the River Thames in Greenwich -- viewed from the Royal Observatory on a hill in Greenwich Royal Park, Greenwich, London, England

Our ship (our home away from home), with the skyline of London behind it, was anchored in the River Thames in Greenwich — viewed from the Royal Observatory on a hill in Greenwich Royal Park, Greenwich, London, England

 

The Cutty Sark, the sole surviving British tea clipper ship, was built on the River Clyde, Glasgow, Scotland in 1869, and was one of the last tea clippers to be built and one of the fastest; Greenwich, London, England

The Cutty Sark, the sole surviving British tea clipper ship, was built on the River Clyde, Glasgow, Scotland in 1869, and was one of the last tea clippers to be built and one of the fastest; Greenwich, London, England

 

The Cutty Sark’s time of sailing as a fast tea clipper ship came at the end of a long period of sailing ship design improvement that halted as sailing ships gave way to steam propulsion; Greenwich, London, England

The Cutty Sark’s time of sailing as a fast tea clipper ship came at the end of a long period of sailing ship design improvement that halted as sailing ships gave way to steam propulsion; Greenwich, London, England

 

Cutty Sark is the world’s only surviving extreme clipper.  Clipper ships are marked by three design characteristics — a long, narrow hull, a sharp bow which cuts through the waves rather riding atop – and three raking masts…  Cutty Sark takes its name from a poem by Robert Burns called Tam O’Shanter.  It refers to a short nightie worn by one of the main characters in the poem, a young, attractive witch called Nannie…  Cutty Sark was built for the China tea trade but would carry a vast array of cargoes during its career.  Cutty Sark carried almost 10 million lbs of tea between 1870 and 1877…  The opening of the Suez Canal marked the end for sailing ships in the tea trade and so Cutty Sark had to find new employ.  It transported a variety of cargoes, including over 10,000 tons of coal, before finding its calling in the Australian wool trade.  It would transport more than 45,000 bales in its career… Cutty Sark survived storms which ripped its rudder off on two occasions, survived a dismasting in the First World War and a terrible fire in 2007.  In the year before the fire, the majority of Cutty Sark’s original fabric had been removed.  This meant that, while devastating, the fire was nowhere near as destructive as it could have been.  Over 90% of the ship’s hull structure is original to 1869.” — www.rmg.co.uk/cutty-sark/history

 

Sailors on the Cutty Sark climbed the rigging (rope ladders, known as “ratlines”, were scary as they swayed with the movements of the ship) to the yard arms to unfurl and furl the giant cloth sails; Greenwich, London, England

Sailors on the Cutty Sark climbed the rigging (rope ladders, known as “ratlines”, were scary as they swayed with the movements of the ship) to the yard arms to unfurl and furl the giant cloth sails; Greenwich, London, England

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2019 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Shop local: Borough Market, London, England (2019)

The entry to Borough Market, the most popular daily market in the city, located on the south bank of the River Thames, London, England

The entry to Borough Market, the most popular daily market in the city, located on the south bank of the River Thames, London, England

 

Before we left London to board our ship in Greenwich (about an hour’s drive in bad traffic to the east of Covent Garden in central London), we spent the morning shopping for provisions at the famous Borough Market located on the south bank of the River Thames, London, England.

The Market’s web site has a good history and description: “BOROUGH MARKET is rich with history, but it remains as relevant now as it has ever been.  As London’s oldest food market, it has been serving the people of Southwark for 1,000 years, and that extraordinary heritage is an important part of its appeal.

“But this is not a museum piece—it is a dynamic, ever-changing institution; a participant in the wider debates around what we eat and where it comes from; a place where food is talked about almost as enthusiastically as it is consumed.

“First and foremost, though, it is a source of genuinely exceptional produce. Many of the Market’s stallholders are themselves producers: the farmer who reared the animal, the fisherman who caught the fish, the baker who baked the bread.  Other traders have built their reputations on seeking out small-scale artisan producers and bringing their wares to Borough.  Together, the Market’s stalls, shops and restaurants reflect London’s status as a truly global city, with traditional British produce sitting alongside regional specialities from around the world.

“Borough Market is a riot of colours, smells and human engagement.  The traders — a vast repository of culinary knowledge — are only too happy to share their expertise with shoppers, or else just pass the time of day.  Their voices are added to by the chefs, food writers, campaigners and teachers who help make the Market’s cookery demonstrations, publications, public debates and educational programmes so highly regarded.” – http://boroughmarket.org.uk/

 

A cheese vendor selling Gorwydd Caerphilly cheese in Borough Market, London, England

A cheese vendor selling Gorwydd Caerphilly cheese in Borough Market, London, England

 

A sausage vendor with breakfast and lunch buns for immediate consumption in Borough Market, London, England

A sausage vendor with breakfast and lunch buns for immediate consumption in Borough Market, London, England

 

Mushrooms cooking in a huge vat for walk away snacks of “mushrooms on toast” at the green grocer, Turnip’s, stand in Borough Market, London, England

Mushrooms cooking in a huge vat for walk away snacks of “mushrooms on toast” at the green grocer, Turnip’s, stand in Borough Market, London, England

 

“Borough Market has transformed since I first knew it, but it has always been one of the best examples in the world of not just good produce, but of culture and a growing, sustainable economy.” — Carlo Petrini, founder of Slow Food

 

A vendor with a variety of meat pies – featured here are the Melton Mowbray pork pies -- in Borough Market, London, England

A vendor with a variety of meat pies – featured here are the Melton Mowbray pork pies — in Borough Market, London, England

 

Just outside the stalls in Borough Market, London, England, is a permanent cheese store, one of several outposts of the famous Neal’s Yard Dairy, where we bought a bagful of cheeses, fresh yoghurt and crème fraiche

Just outside the stalls in Borough Market, London, England, is a permanent cheese store, one of several outposts of the famous Neal’s Yard Dairy, where we bought a bagful of cheeses, fresh yoghurt and crème fraiche to take to the ship for snacks, cooking and eating in our apartment

 

“Neal’s Yard Dairy is a London artisanal cheese retailer and (formerly) cheesemaker, described as “London’s foremost cheese store.”  The store is considered as a forerunner of the British wholefood movement and an important part of the revival of London’s Covent Garden district.  Founded in 1979 by Nick Saunders and Randolph Hodgson as a cheesemaker’s shop, one of their first customers was Monty Python’s John Cleese.  The new owners were still learning how to make cheese, and “had only managed yoghurt that day, so it all rather descended into a ‘Monty Python sketch.’  Despite this rocky start, the store grew from a cheesemaker into a retailer of artisanal, mostly British and Irish cheeses (including farmhouse Cheddar cheese and varieties such as Stinking Bishop), spinning off the cheesemaking operation as Neal’s Yard Creamery in Dorstone, Herefordshire.” — Wikipedia

 

A beautiful and bountiful selection of fresh fish at a fish monger’s stall in Borough Market, London, England

A beautiful and bountiful selection of fresh fish at a fish monger’s stall in Borough Market, London, England

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2019 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

London, England (2019)

Carnaby Street is a pedestrianised shopping street in Soho in the City of Westminster, Central London, England, that is home to fashion and lifestyle retailers, including a large number of independent fashion boutiques

Carnaby Street is a pedestrianised shopping street in Soho in the City of Westminster, Central London, England, that is home to fashion and lifestyle retailers, including a large number of independent fashion boutiques

 

“A tireless innovator of art and culture, London is a city of ideas and the imagination.  Londoners have always been fiercely independent thinkers (and critics), but until not so long ago people were suspicious of anything they considered avant-garde.  That’s in the past now, and the city’s creative milieu is streaked with left-field attitude, whether it’s theatrical innovation, contemporary art, pioneering music, writing, poetry, architecture or design.  Food is another creative arena that has become a tireless obsession in certain circles.  This city is deeply multicultural, with one in three Londoners foreign-born, representing 270 nationalities and 300 tongues.  The UK may have voted for Brexit (although the majority of Londoners didn’t), but for now London remains one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, and diversity infuses daily life, food, music and fashion.” – http://www.lonelyplanet.com

 

Kingly Court (off Kingly Street in Soho), City of Westminster, London, England

Kingly Court (off Kingly Street in Soho), City of Westminster, London, England

 

Delicious sandwiches for lunch at the Bread Ahead Cafe in Kingly Court, Soho, City of Westminster, London, England

Delicious sandwiches for lunch at the Bread Ahead Cafe in Kingly Court, Soho, City of Westminster, London, England

 

We were very impressed by how contemporary London has become, from its diversity to the broad range of lifestyle options and a big focus on sustainability -- taking care of the city and the environment

We were very impressed by how contemporary London has become, from its diversity to the broad range of lifestyle options and a big focus on sustainability — taking care of the city and the environment

 

Liberty of London department store, Soho (off Regent Street), City of Westminster, London, England

Liberty of London department store, Soho (off Regent Street), City of Westminster, London, England

 

All Souls Church of Langham Place, London is a 19th-century, working evangelical church, designed by John Nash, with an ornate galleried hall

All Souls Church of Langham Place, London is a 19th-century, working evangelical church, designed by John Nash, with an ornate galleried hall

 

A residential building beautifully adorned with flowers in Soho, City of Westminster, London, England

A residential building beautifully adorned with flowers in Soho, City of Westminster, London, England

 

Wimpole Street, Marylebone, City of Westminster, London, England

Wimpole Street, Marylebone, City of Westminster, London, England

 

“The most famous resident [of Wimpole Street] was the poet Elizabeth Barrett, who lived at 50 Wimpole Street with her family from 1838 until 1846 when she eloped with Robert Browning.  The street became famous from the play based on their courtship, The Barretts of Wimpole Street…  Virginia Woolf memorably describes Wimpole Street in Flush: A Biography, beginning: “It is the most august of London streets, the most impersonal.  Indeed, when the world seems tumbling to ruin, and civilisation rocks on its foundations, one has only to go to Wimpole Street…”.  The street was also given as the address of Henry Higgins by Bernard Shaw in his play Pygmalion and in the musical adaptation My Fair Lady, 27a is given as the address.  22a Wimpole Street is referenced in the Monty Python sketch ‘Secret Service Dentists’. — Wikipedia

 

The Royal Opera House is an opera house and major performing arts venue in Covent Garden, central London, England, whose large building is often referred to as simply "Covent Garden"

The Royal Opera House is an opera house and major performing arts venue in Covent Garden, central London, England, whose large building is often referred to as simply “Covent Garden”, after a previous use of the site of the opera house’s original construction in 1732

 

A pianist playing as background for the afternoon (cream) tea and high tea served at the Savoy Hotel, London, England

A pianist playing as background for the afternoon (cream) tea and high tea served at the Savoy Hotel, London, England

 

“Afternoon Tea at The Savoy is an enduring custom that has been a feature of the hotel since it opened in 1889.  The restaurant terrace was a popular venue, as it combined The Savoy’s usual impeccable service with a panoramic view of the Thames.  English weather being what it was, the terrace was soon glazed in and incorporated into the body of the main restaurant, where fashionable couples enjoyed mid-afternoon refreshments.  By the 1920s, Afternoon Tea was a firm tradition at The Savoy.  Surviving menus show that today’s sandwiches, followed by patisserie were then established parts of Afternoon Tea; other offerings included toast, English muffins, ice cream, fruit salad, and boxes of chocolates.  Hot gaufres (a thin sweet waffle) were made to order if requested.  Tea itself might have even be substituted by coffee or hot chocolate.  Such sweet indulgence was offset by a little gentle exercise: The Savoy offered thés dansant, where the house dance bands provided a background of popular tunes, and professional dancers demonstrated the latest steps and danced with the guests.” – www.thesavoylondon.com

 

Afternoon tea at The Savoy with a range of JING teas, finger sandwiches, homemade scones with clotted cream and jam, and a range of delicate and imaginative pastries and signature cakes, London, England

Afternoon tea at The Savoy with a range of JING teas, finger sandwiches, homemade scones with clotted cream and jam, and a range of delicate and imaginative pastries and signature cakes, London, England

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2019 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.