15 th of July 2008 - Summer Cruise - 1
|Helen and Andy
|Wherever the wind blows us.
15 th July Shotley
Andy and I returned to Ocean Mist with a car full in order to make her our home for the next 3 months. It took several trips with the trolley to stow everything but we were set and I prepared a passage plan for Dover the next day. The weather looked good and I was looking forward to my first settled Thames crossing.
16 th July Shotley - Dover
We were out of the lock with the sails up and kettle on by 08.45. We managed to sail on and off, but due to the low wind mainly motored across the Thames estuary. We took it in turns to keep lookout for an hour at a time, whilst the other navigated, cooked and slept. There was very little shipping in the Thames so we assumed they were resting in sympathy with the coast guard who were on strike for the week. Andy saw a porpoise toward Dover to make up for him missing the sea otter whilst kayaking in May. We got to Dover around 18.30, but they couldn't let us into the marina until 21.30. We ate our supper while rafted up 3 abreast to another yacht from Ipswich. By the time we were safely tied up we were ready for bed.
17 th July Dover-Eastbourne
Because of the gate at the marina basin we couldn't get out of Dover until 09.45 which meant we were motoring against the tide with the wind on our nose for the first few hours. The advantage of this was that the wind and tide were in the same direction so it was less bouncy than when the tide turned, later on in the day. We had hoped to get to Brighton in about 12 hours, unfortunately this was not going to happen as our average speed was about 4 knots. Slamming into the waves reduced our speed to 2 knots at times and at one point I am convinced we were going backwards. We did at least get a visitor from the range safety vessel from the firing range at Dungeness. They were very friendly but suggested we stay further away from the coast as they were firing up to a mile and half out to sea. Andy did take us nearer the coast after this in the hope that we would get some protection from land but it didn't seem to work and stayed bouncy until we were in sight of Eastbourne. For the last few hours, as we motored very slowly past Bexhill and Hastings we could see a couple of other yachts and were kept company by gannets circling around us. The gannets were replaced by herring gulls once we got to the harbour. We arrived into Eastbourne very wet at 21.00 and tied up between a fishing boat and big sailing boat who had it's generator running. Fortunately they agreed to turn it off for us before we went to bed.
18 th July Eastbourne
We had a day exploring Eastbourne looking for a tea strainer and big melamine bowls to securely hold vast quantities of ships stew. We were successful in our hunt, but we hadn't realized just how far the marina was from the town so we had a 6 mile hike. We found a welcome cafe by the pier for lunch and sat watching two herring gulls asking a woman for a cigarette in a rather aggressive fashion. When we got back to the marina we paid a visit to the chandlers, which seemed to have very few boat related things for sail. We had better luck in Asda! One of the things we hoped to find was something to seal up some of the leaks which seemed to have sprung up during yesterday's journey. This will have to wait until we get to The Solent. Fortunately today was windy making it a good day to dry out the boat and our linen. Hopefully we will go to Brighton tomorrow.
19 th July Eastbourne
After a relaxing lie in I got up to seek a weather forecast. Unfortunately south westerlies Force 6 or 7 had been arranged for the best part of today so we thought we would have another day in Eastbourne, further drying out the boat and perhaps going to the cinema. Hopefully tomorrow might mean a sail to Brighton with winds coming from the north west.
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