Saturday, 3 June 2006

Home at last!

We set alarms for our rashly agreed 04h45 departure, and retired to bed in Ramsgate.... I had set two alarms, one on my mobile, and one on my watch.... teh mobile went off, and I staggered out of bed, got dressed, and started getting the boat ready.... I was somewhat perturbed that my watch hadn't gone off, and as I glanced was horrified to see that it was an hour earlier than I thought!... bloody phone time had moved forward an hour when I had used it in France, and so it was actually 03h45 UK time..... so cursing, I went back to bed, and in what seemed seconds, was awakened by the alarms again..... We cast off as planned, and set off into the early morning gloom.... all my family had sensibly opted to stay in bed, so I was single handing... which I really enjoyed.... It was pretty much windless and already warm..... so we motored out to North Foreland.... I had with some optimism raised the main, but i had until now flapped uselessly... As we rounded North Foreland, we had a beautiful sunrise, and then the wind filled in to NW at 14kts... I rolled out the genny, and we romped down past Outer Tounge, and reached Long Sand Outer by 07h00... I had to motor sail through Foulgers Gat, as it was just slightly too high to get enough boat speed to avoid being swept out of the narrow channel, but as soon as we had covered the 3nm of the gat, I freed off again, stopped the engine, and we again reached down Black Deep. We reached half way down Black Deep by 08h40, and sadly, the wind dropped to less than 3kts... the sails hung, so we had to put the motor back on, and then motor sailed the whole way back to Ipswich.... it was pretty uneventful, other than the warm weather had clearly brough everyone out.... I have never seen the Orwell so busy... and we were motoring directly into it! As we had reached Harwich, a stiff sea breeze had kicked in, reaching 20 knots, but bang on our nose, so we had to continue motoring.... after 3 days of decent distances, we didn't fancy short tacking up the river in heavy heavy traffic! So thoroughly sunburned, after 2 and 1/2 days of hot weather we finally tied up.... The trip, although nothing like planned proved in the end to be a success, with everyone enjoying it.... and the last 3 days of passage making, all proving to be OK, and not as fatiguing as expected.... a good weeks cruising despite everything! We've reworked our summer plans... the 17 day cruise planned to the Solent has been abandoned in favour of a trip to Holland to see what we missed this time!

Miles logged 35nm
Miles this trip 147nm
Miles this season 243nm
Miles since this blog started 1,024nm

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