Saturday 23rd June 2018.
It was a bit of a rush getting away this morning and I didn’t feel as well prepared as I would have liked. We arrived on board Friday afternoon about 5pm with a list of jobs still to do. I wanted to get the water heater wired in (there had been a problem with the new cable, which is another story) and we also had some guardrail wires to replace and replacement safety equipment (new lifering etc.) to fit.
It took two trips with the dinghy to get most of our stuff on board, and then another to pick up Tim, who arrived separately a bit later, and a few final items. I replaced the missing cable and got the water heater working, only to find that the load that put on the inverter showed up another faulty cable – the crimp had failed on one of the few I hadn’t made up myself and the problem was hidden underneath the heat shrink tubing. Unfortunately I had taken my heavy duty crimper home so no inverter at the moment. After dinner on Friday evening Tim and I fitted the new guardrails until around 10pm we realised the light was beginning to fade with a beautiful sunset over the Deben.
This morning we still had to get the boat ready to go to sea, and although there wasn’t much wind, either actual or forecast, it is always important to be prepared for worse conditions. But by 9.30am with the dinghy deflated and everything stowed I started the engine and dropped the mooring – always easier than the hassle of getting out of a marina.
As predicted the winds were light and we had to use the engine, although we had a couple of spells of sailing when wind reached 10 knots. Below that our speed was too slow to stem the tide, which was mostly against us for the first few hours. There are some lovely old names in the Thames Estuary. We passed the Sunk and Rough’s Tower, by Long Sand Head, into the Black Deep. Then through the London Array windfarm (not so imaginative) along Foulger’s Gat. Who was Foulger? There must be a story there.
Soon we were passing North Foreland light and entering Ramsgate harbour, narrowly avoiding being run down by a speeding windfarm support boat. And then a pint on the balcony at the friendly Royal Temple Yacht Club – surprisingly couldn’t see any other visitors from NBYC in the book!
A good start to the holiday, ready to head over to Boulogne tomorrow.