Monthly Archives: September 2015

Log Entry 11th September

We departed Lowestoft 8.35 BST, and despite an easy berth the exit was less than perfect, as the wind caught the stern and nearly put us across the pontoons – with a little luck and help from the crew we fended off with no serious damage – and it goes to show you cant get complacent with long keel boats, particularly astern.

The wind, surprisingly was as forecast, East 4 -5, this gave us a pleasant sail to begin with but meant the wind was on the starboard quarter across the wash, nonetheless we were making progress even against the tide. There was little sign of shipping until night fall when it felt they all appeared from nowhere, AIS, is an absolute godsend and even with the shipping it was a straightforward leg. We were again fortunate with the tides when entering the Humber, though we were early for the afternoon tide so took the opportunity to anchor at Spurn, as the Easterly wind put us on a lea shore for Hailsand which is our other favourite and would have avoided crossing the traffic separation scheme. The effort was worth it as the anchorage was very calm and lunch was served.

We had a short motor across to Grimsby, which was the only time we had used the engine but we were looking forward to mooring up. I need to confess to some poor seamanship as we forced another yacht under sail to alter course – something I detest when it happens the other way round, despite this we received a friendly wave.

The wind was blowing quite hard in the marina, and from behind as we approached the berth – the crew provided an impressive reminder of using a spring, and this was used to moor up almost looking like what we knew what we were doing, in contrast to our departure the previous day.

There were two priorities one to see if the car would start so we could pay a visit to Asda to purchase a safe arrival drink, and secondly to apologise to the skipper of the Yacht we had at best been discourteous towards. The good news was the skipper of Marlin accepted the gesture of an apology and shook my hand with a smile.

We had left solar panels on the car in an attempt to keep the battery charged – the engine did turn over once but just missed catching, and did not want to turn over again. Waiting a while allowed for the engine to turn again but too slowly to allow for it to start. A battery was brought up from the boat for a jump start, before attaching the jump leads, a final attempt was made to start the car and it started first time, which allowed for the necessary visit to Asda !

Log Entry 7th September

We departed Ramsgate on the 27th August at 20-10 BST, so we had chance to get the sails up before darkness fell. The passage across the Thames was fair and we managed to avoid all the huge container ships coming from Felixstowe . The dawn came which made Lowestoft feel that much nearer. We arrived safely in the Hamilton dock at Lowestoft around 15.30 BST. We were allocated a favourable berth on the seaward side of the pontoons, which should make departing easier than if we were on the inner pontoons.

The following day we made arrangements for another crew member to join us for the last leg, Ross our youngest. The five day forecast indicated Northerly winds so we knew we were here for at least a week.

We had a day out to Great Yarmouth on the bus, and to be honest that is probably the best way to visit and the Town Quay does not offer much in the way of facilities.

The additional crew arrived safely the following Thursday but there was no sign of any fair winds.

Sadly, whilst in Lowestoft, we all experienced a rather distressing event. When returning from a shopping trip we were walking up the main street when it became apparent a man was on fire, and was literally covered in flames. Attempts were made to bat the flames out with coats but to no avail. There was a young lady standing with a fire extinguisher but she did not know how to use it, I guess the years of fire lectures were finally going to be of use, and the knowledge was used to put out the flames. Although the man was alive, suffice to say things did not look good.

The event took its toll on all of us – and I don’t think any of us will forget.

It looks like there will be a weather window on the 9th September for us to sail back to Grimsby, but we all know what the forecasts are like ! A trip to Southwold is on the agenda for today.