Speedwell of Rhu Ship's Log

4 th to 10 th of July 2009 - Delivery

Crew : Andy, Helen, Anita and Gerry
Destinations : Lymington, Brighton, Dover, Ewarton Ness and Ipswich.
Distance : 193 miles

Delivery Trip

4 th July Lymington

We drove down to Lymington with Anita and Gerry, our delivery team, and settled on the boat. Gerry very generously offered to go up the mast. However, after checking out the halyards and blocks Andy wasn't confident we could get him back down again so he used the binoculars to check out the rigging. It is worth pointing out that our insurers wouldn't insure the rigging so it was fairly important that it would get round to Ipswich.

5 th July Lymington to Brighton

62 miles

We set off fairly early heading for Brighton, where we knew there were other Oyster435s which we wanted to check out again and make sure we bought the right one. Weather was OK. We decided against the short cut up the Looe channel as we didn't have the charts, instead giving Selsey Bill a wide berth. As usual we had to motor for the latter part of our journey with the wind on our nose. We eventually found the correct berth where we rafted up against a lovely new 56 foot Hallberg Rassy, making us look very small.

6 th July Brighton

Storm bound in Brighton. We headed off into town, taking a walk on the pier and visiting the very bright and colourful Royal Pavilion. When we arrived back at the marina we bumped into Gerry and Anita, Anita of course, having found somewhere to buy herself a new pair of shoes.

7 th July Brighton

Forecast Force 8 set to improve in the next day or so. Had another day in the Marina and found the other Oysters. Fortunately we agreed we had bought the best boat for us.

8 th July Brighton to Dover

65 miles

Set off around 08:30, leaving the Hallberg Rassy behind. They were a retired Dutch couple and the woman told me she didn't like too much excitement so would be waiting a bit longer before heading to Ramsgate when the sea would be less choppy. We sailed for the initial part of the day with just the genoa. It was a bit rolly and, without a pole, the genoa was all over the place. By midday the engine came on again. We got to Dover around 19:20 where we were given a berth in the tidal marina. This meant the lock opening times wouldn't determine when we could leave.

9 th July Dover to Ewarton Ness

55 miles

We had a leisurely start today. Anita and Gerry went for some essential provisions (see below!) and we left around 11.00 in order to get the tide with us most of the way. Leaving the berth was rather exciting. Andy seemed to think Speedwell could just be driven out like a little dinghy. As it happens this wasn't the case and Speedwell proved not to be a nifty mover in tight spaces. It was fortunate that a Scotsman from Rhu just happened to be nearby as he took pity on us and managed to stop our gelcoat being damaged as we sprung off.

As usual Fisherman's Gap was choppy but Speedwell did well with nowhere near as much banging as Ocean Mist. (Anita trying to sleep in the forecabin might disagree). As we entered Harwich Harbour I headed toward what I thought was Harwich Shelf Buoy, near to a dredger. As we got close I shouted to Andy “that buoy looks red and black to me” he didn't hear so I tried again “THAT BUOY LOOKS RED AND BLACK”. This time Andy looked up and his response was “DON'T GO ANYWHERE NEAR IT!” I gave it a wide berth but was very worried as my diversionary tactics took us toward shallow water and I thought we would go aground. Fortunately we didn't. We still don't know what they were doing there. After avoiding a ferry we headed up the River Stour, found a nice anchorage at Ewarton and finished off the wine.

10 th July Ewarton Ness to Fox's Marina

10 miles

We sailed up the Orwell. Fortunately Andy and Gerry were on the winches as I suspected they hadn't been serviced for a few years (the winches not Andy and Gerry). I tried one tack before I found something more useful to do. Andy took the helm as we entered the marina. We had help to raft alongside a number of boats before finding a little cranny to tuck ourselves into and remove the sails. After the usual stressful deprovisioning, we said good bye to Anita and Gerry who headed off to see David Gray. We took down the sails and left Speedwell in the hands of the experts, having a quick pint before hailing a taxi for the train station.

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