Speedwell of Rhu Ship's Log

3 rd to 5 th of July 2015 - Start of our Summer Holiday

Crew : Helen and Andy
Destinations : Ipswich and Slaughterhouse point.
Distance : 52 miles

3 rd July

The start of our two week holiday on the boat. After picking Andy up from work with a loaded car we headed for Ipswich Haven. We spent he night in the marina with the Thames Barges.

The weather forecast was for Easterlies veering south westerly so they weren't ideal, but the tides were good to aim for The Medway and would give us fair tides the following day to get to Lime House Basin at a reasonable time to lock in.

4 th to 5 th July

The alarm woke us at 4.30 am. We prepared the boat quickly and were through the lock by 5.10 am having tea and breakfast as we motored down the river on the last of the ebb with the sunrise. It was another lovely warm day. Unfortunately, after a sail to the top of Gunfleet Sands we had to change direction to head directly into the wind. We motor sailed the rest of the way to The River Medway.

We had a favourable tide for the duration so made very good time. We found a sheltered place to anchor by Slaughterhouse point. There was plenty of room so, despite the other boats, it felt quite empty and desolate. As the tide changed so our views of Sheerness and the surrounding marshes changed.

We woke the following day to the sound of rain which continued until mid afternoon. We had a cooked brunch and read for a while.

Andy then made some planned changes to the mizzen kicker to make it easier for us to open our aft hatch. He removed the kicker rod completely and replaced it with Marlow Braid D12 Dynema rope. This involved some splicing which he enjoys. This worked very well. He then used the same rope to increase the purchase on the main kicker, enabling us to remove some extra tackle that he had attached when we first got Speedwell re-rigged. This extra tackle had given us 32:1 purchase, but banged and marked the coach roof when it wasn't under tension. Unfortunately the new plan didn't work either because the new block now banged the kicker rod. So he removed it again and went back to how it was originally without any extra tackle. We find that by sheeting in the main quite hard it is possible to tighten the kicker adequately with just the original 8:1 purchase.

The sun eventually came out and we noticed we were alone in the anchorage as everyone else must be returning to work the following day and the warm weather had gone. We planned our trip up to London tomorrow.

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