Monthly Archives: June 2015

Log Entry 27th June 2015

The plan today was Yarmouth, however, when we took a look across to Yarmouth there was a sea of white sails …. finding space did not look good as there were already yachts on the mooring buoys outside. The crew was content to stay at anchor, so that was today. The next fair wind is looking like Tuesday, easterly – well thats the forecast. Will take a look at Yarmouth again tomorrow.

Reflection of the day, there is a lot of money down here, and it serves to mark the class divides of life … nonetheless we are doing okay presently.

The snap below doesn’t do justice to the amount of traffic but gives an idea.

IOW race 1 small

Log Entry 26th June 2015

Departed Sandown Bay 24th June on a nice day sail to Osborne Bay.
Sandown Bay 1 smallSandown Bay 2 small

The memories of a busy Solent came rushing back as yacht appeared from all around – along with the tankers to add another dimension.

On Passage Osborne Bay 1 small

On Passage Osborne Bay 2

Osborne Bay is a charted anchorage, bringing along with it other vessels, fortunately most left when it was time to get back to the marina, leaving ourselves and only a couple of other yachts.

It was quite a peaceful night and as a result there was no rush to get up in the morning. When we did rise the bay filled up with more visitors – none to close though which was a relief. There were large signs indicating no landing on Osborne bay was permitted …. private land !

Osborne House Small

We departed Osborne Bay on the 25th June bound Hurst Point the plan being to sail from there to Cherbourg with the promised Westerly wind.

We arrived at Hurst Point to find peace again and another restful night at anchor, the winds picked up today, however, there was no sign of any Westerly the beloved and prevailing South Westerly was to persist … time for a re-think, Yarmouth looks good.

Hirst Point  2 small

Hirst Point 1 small

Log Entry 23rd June 2015

Finally departed Brighton 15.00 with the promise of some North with later. The wind was NW 2-3, a squall came to give a little excitement and left in a trail of rain. The wind died to tempt the large Yankee to be hoisted, whereupon the wind picked up to give further thrills. Nonetheless we were making good the course we wanted to steer. The owers present a danger of Selsey Bill, we played it safe and took the outside route, good job too as wind against tide brought waves crashing over the boat, none quite like I have seen before, not so much the height of the wave but the fact the boat went through rather than over some.

The fun would start as we tried to make a course due west, we just about made good that course and it looked like we might even sail to Sandown Bay, but as we approached the Isle of Wight the ships started to appear and one very large tanker looked like it was making for the ‘Nab Channel’, not a time to say ‘give way to sail’, so we altered course to go round its stern. Our thanks was to find the ship then slowed down and we lost a lot of ground. Later it was clear it has slowed down to take a pilot on board, next time we should perhaps call the ship up to agree a plan.

We now had the wind on the nose, and had to motor sail the last 10 miles, had the wind been forecast to stay NW / W we might have head straight for Cherbourg, alas the wind was forecast to die down, which it did making it easier to make a course for Sandown Bay.

Finally we were there and the anchor was dropped with the promise of some sleep.

Today the sun was shining and were in a lovely bay looking on the holiday makers – the reward for our labour. This you understand was not a documented anchorage but one researched on the charts, it was a little disappointed to find we are sharing it with two other boats, not tow worry plenty of room.

A leisurely day here before deciding what to do, but from the forecast it looks like Cherbourg will have to wait a few days yet.

—–

At 23/06/2015 10:19 (utc) our position was 5038.37’N 00109.76’W

—-

Log Entry 21st June 2015

Well, still here in sunny Brighton, with the cheerful marina staff who always offer a smile when you say ‘can I pay for another night ?’

We want to go west and the wind seems to take great delight in opposing that wish.

With time on our hands there has been opportunity for the sewing machine to make debut and deliver a new danbuoy flag, and the fids to splice up some new mooring lines. It is to be noted the larger aluminum fids had to be imported from States – and they worked a treat.

There is the half promise of some NW / North winds tomorrow evening but we are not holding our breath ! If they come we may get chance to make for the Isle of Wight, and once there we can then make for Cherbourg with westerly winds.


Log Entry 18th June 2015

Arrived Brighton 15th June at about 15.50, very little water in the fairway, despite checking with Harbour Master before entering – anyway made it safely to our allocated berth, stern to as well.
So what does Brighton have to offer a year later, not much really – the showers are clean and the water is warm, and so it should be for the price.
Every day has a surprise, and the day after ariving we topped up the fuel, only to hear the bilge pump alarm set off, and yes the bilge had a lot of diesel in it. How can this be, there seemed to be some coming from the engine compartment, connections on the fuel lines were checked and more diesel siphoned in – and more in the bilge. After much head scratching the problem was found, the fuel pipe had parted from the filler fitting, so all the diesel ran into the locker and into the bilge – and of course on route found every opportunity to spread thought the boat.
The clean up process was started, two large buckets filled with diesel and cleaning water – we were really popular with our neighbours and the marina. The waste oil and diesel disposal tanks were on the other side of the marina – hey ho the walk was good exercise.
Finding the problem is usually half way to the solution, so in theory the pipe could simply be reconnected to the filler, except the pipe seemed to have shrunk by about 2 inches, so it would not meet with the fitting – a temporary fix was put in place with duck tape. Another job for the winter, and a really sod given the route of the pipe through the boat.
At lease the weather is dry and sunny:

Brighton2015small

Yesterday we found another locker contaminated and filled another couple of bottles with a mixture of water and diesel – I guess we will be blessed with the smell of diesel for a while now.

The winds have not been favourable for passage to the Solent, but the plan is to have a go tomorrow – final decision in the morning.
Our track from the last leg is shown below:

Log Entry 14th June 2015

Departed Ramsgate today 13.45, now at anchor at Rye bay … the winds promised didn’t come – hopefully a few hours sleep now.

Highlight of Ramsgate was seeing an episode of Eastenders being filmed . with crowds of fans watching.

Log Entry 10th June 2015

Departed Lowestoft 9th June at approximately 9.30am bound for Ramsgate, forecast wind NE 4-5 occasionally 6 in south. The usual challenge of leaving the berth, and armed with a plan of exiting parallel to the berth and then moving sideways until there was room to manoeuvre, the good lady decided to show she could do the unexpected and turned perfectly to present her bow in the direction we wanted to go – nice to have some good luck.
The exit from Lowestoft was lumpy, the crew was, reluctantly, put on the helm. It never ceases to amaze me how 9 tons of boat can rise and fall on the waves seemingly without effort. I pronounced with my best reassuring voice, ‘It will be better when the sails are up’. The response was ‘your not going up there are you, can’t we motor all the way there’ ? It was good practice and lovely to have the boat turned into the wind at the right moment to get the sail up, and of course with the wind on our quarter the boat settled as promised. Moreover, we made good speed with just the mainsail up, I am guessing the sea was slight to moderate. Warm food makes all the difference to a passage and our oven is shown bellow on the primus:

CookerSmall

Cooking pasties or chicken pieces has the advantage that there is now boiling hot fluid to spill on you if you do not have your full weather gear on, which I did not.

After the food it was clear we were going to make Ramsgate quicker than I had anticipated, and perhaps before midnight, in the dark. The contingency had been to sail on to Rye bay and anchor if the entrance to Ramsgate looked challenging. The plan was flawed, as late afternoon the Coast Guard put out a Gale warning force 8 for Dover. The prospect of experiencing our first gale near shipping lanes, a busy port and with the relative close proximity of land from all directions except from the direction from which the wind was blowing, focussed the mind. The pilot book said Ramsgate could be entered in most conditions except for storms from the east.

The wind had been a constant force 6 / 7 but seemed to drop to a force 5 which was welcomed, although the sea remained ‘bouncy’. The practice on the helm earlier paid dividends when it was time to get the main down – and we did so at sea. An easier option might have been to sail into the outer harbour and then pull it down, but there is always the chance of something going a miss and then plastic may meet stone so to speak. We were given permission to enter the harbour and that left the task of the fenders and ropes. Fenders were deployed, now where should we berth, in the dark it is difficult to see . The outer break water offered an easy berth, which we took mindful of last years experience on the other breakwater. Lines were mad fast and safe arrival drink rewarded.

Today we have taken the punishment of the easy berth, but rationalised it was the right thing to do as we live to tell another tale.

Our track should be shown below:

Log Entry 8th June 2015

We finally departed Grimsby 6th June, with a forecast of SW 5-6 then veering West later and easing 4-5, near perfect if a little windy to start with.

It was certainly a bit choppy, and the new chart plotter displayed the wind 6 – 7 and it touched 8 at one point. All seemed to be going well though, obviously too well, as we heard our name on the radio (that’s the problem with ais). Then we heard VTS calling us (the Boss), what could we have done wrong, we were slipping out the river on our usual route which kept us clear of the shipping channels. We duly responded, asking how we could help, apparently he could not hear us, as we then heard “your entering a restricted area you are not permitted to pass south of the Tetney Mooring Buoy, if you hear this message you must leave the Humber using the shipping Channel” We responded ” We are altering course now “, that message was heard and we were thanked. Another lesson, even pleasure craft, or perhaps especially pleasure craft should read the notice for mariners. We noticed another two wind farms at the just North of the Humber and were pleased to be sailing south. The wind was strong and under just the mainsail we were making good progress, and was I pleased we had put two reefs in before we departed – even though I had tied one reefing tie from the wrong row, its the little things that cause the problems in strong winds. We needed to alter course further south to get on course and so needed a head sail, the small Yankee was hoisted, I returned to the cockpit to find the sheet had slipped from the winch, and the power of the wind was illustrated by the sheet whipping the block back and forth, I attentively moved my hand forward to try and catch the stopper knot and pull the sheet back. It was obvious after a first attempt if I got my hand caught I would be in need of a good had surgeon. I can’t quite remember how I got it back, probably shielding the Yankee in the lee of the main, anyway it was back and the sail was tamed. The next little challenge presented its self as I pulled the other sheet of the Yankee to make it ready if we needed to tack. And yes you guessed the bowline had come undone, well that would have to wait as I didn’t fancy starting from scratch. The crew had done brilliantly on the helm, was upset she had not been able to catch the sheet, but as every skipper knows you don’t blame the crew. It was bouncy, more so than I had anticipated with an off shore wind – the crew was relieved and the offer of the bunk accepted. A loud crack was head as the crews head met with the locker door. I looked down and asked if there was any damage to the wood, which was met with some emotion. My true sentiment was she is conscious so we don’t have a medical emergency. Now single handed it was time to put the wind vane in charge of the helm, again fortunately I had prepared all that and just needed to pull the pins out and set the vane. More easily said than done, as the strength of pulling the pins out against the force of the wind was something else. Last time I had a similar problem I tried shear force and the ring on the pin and it simply came apart and cut my finger down to the tendons so I was more weary as my hand was already covered in blood from the block encounter. A few prayers and a wiggle and the pins were out the vane set and we were off at a cracking speed the log reported 9.9 knots, and the GPS confirmed speeds of 8 – 9 knots that fast for us. It was exciting, but it would have been nice to turn the wind off for a rest, it was not the ideal wind for a shakedown sail despite the amount of preparation put in. Time passed and the boat settled in, some nice warm food would be good. I asked the crew if a pasty would be appreciated, the offer was accepted. I was so pleased the crew had unwrapped the pasties and put them in foil. So all I needed to do was light our primus and we were in business. It was a pleasing sound to hear the roar of the burner and the pasties we on the way. I made a light hearted comment apologising that given the sea state I might not be in a position to turn the pasties in the oven. In fact the banter brought about increased morale and the pasties were turned and then consumed.

The wind did drop to force 4-5, but the sea still bounced in fairness it was still only a slight to moderate sea.

We pressed on across the Wash, and the North Norfolk coast was a welcome sight as evening approached. If the wind veered west we might even make Lowestoft in the early hours of the morning. A curry was cooked to prepare of the night sail.

The wind dropped to a force 3-4 but was still from the SW and if anything hand more south in it, making it difficult to sail down to Lowestoft from the Cockle buoy against the tide. The sea was now slight, and my thoughts turned to finding a spot to anchor, and that spot found off Winterton Ness.

I am very aware of the respect to be shown to the sea, and it’s rewarding to work in partnership with the sea and charts to find a ‘safe’ spot which does not carry the mark of an official anchorage. I sailed carefully to the spot, prepared the anchor and at the appropriate moment dropped the anchor… I could nearly feel the pillow on my head, a silly thought as the anchor just hung of the stem and the chain was solid not on the windlass but on the chain pipe now chain was flowing. A dive into the chain locker revealed the chain had fallen over its self, I can really describe an analogy of tangled chain … heavy and tiring is the best I can offer, but eventually 30 m chain was out and the anchor light on.

The reward was 3 hours sleep in a foul tide, and then the next morning waking up just off a private beach:

Winterton Ness Small

Some how a bacon sandwich tastes so much better in these circumstances.

A quick check and Lowestoft was only a few hours away and the spring tide would nearly take us there on its own so we sailed just under the main and arrived in Lowestoft at around 12.15 on Sunday. I would like to say it was planned but it was more luck and we arrived at or around slack water so the entrance was straightforward.

Our track of the first leg should be shown here: