After deciding to start a day later than planned, we were keen to get away on the Sunday, and so after a bleary eyed start when the alarm went off at 04:45, we slipped out of the lock (via the fuel pontoon) at 05:45.
The forecast was a reasonable 12kts, gusting 18kts... which sounded great, other than the direction, a south westerly, which meant it would be on the nose...
Which it proved to be..
Crossing the Thames Estuary was a non event, with us having to motor the whole way (well, bar 15 mins off Walton headland where we just had to try the new sails)... and we rounded North Foreland and passed Ramsgate in a record breaking 6 hrs... this was to be the end of the nice part of the trip though..
As soon as we’d passed Ramsgate, the wind started picking up, reaching 22kts... nothing too serious, but with the tide turning, and the wind on the nose , and still 60nm to go, it turned the remainder of the trip into a slog... we bashed into the waves, falling off each one with a crash... spray over the boat... and we did this for the next 10hrs... wearing us down slowly but surely... rounding Dungeness was a particular low point... a major milestone, but then to see the next waypoint appear on the plotter with 26nm to go caused a sinking feeling....
Things were made worse by the autohelm also failing just off Ramsgate.... it sounds like teeth have stripped somewhere... investigation about to start... SWMBO says its because I mentioned possibly a new one, and so he went and packed up in a sulk.... :)
It was well and truly dark by the time we reached Eastbourne... and if there is a positive to be found, it is that we made a fine job of picking out the navigation lights against a backdrop of yellow sodium street lighting, and found our way safely and securely into Sovereign harbour, tying up in the lock at just after 23h00.
Feeling, by this time, completely exhausted, we made a quick decision to curtail the plans for another 100 miler the next day, and fell into our beds!
Miles logged 97nm
Miles this trip 97nm
Miles this season 474nm
Miles since this blog started 5,054nm