06:35 UTC, 31/07/07 51'07.8N, 001'19.5E
Here we sit in the quaint and quiet little port of Dover. A cross channel ferry leaves or arrives every 15 minutes, and the anchorage is very rocky - 'get me out of this rock and roll hell.....'. But it is a beautiful morning, and we've made very good progress so far.
I picked up Jeremy in Harwich, and we sailed the first few hours in beautiful sunshine and a good breeze from the North, before the wind eased and we decided to cheat, turned on the engine and motored on to Ramsgate to meet Melissa. If you ever visit Ramsgate, and the nice man at the marina directs you to the Eastern basin at low tide, and tells you there is enough depth, don't believe him. We came to a gentle stop in the soft mud and had to reverse out and inch our way through a 39 point turn to get to a different berth, but no harm done, and they didn't charge us for our one hour stop.
We set off right away for Dover, had dinner on the way and nipped into Dover harbour between the behemoths that take all those happy holiday makers and truck drivers across La Manche. Lit up like christmas trees, they speed into the harbour before performing an intricate dance to turn and tie up as the next one arrives or departs just yards away. It must be all routine for the captains of these ships but it's still amazing to watch from the deck of a slightly smaller vessel.
Leaving shortly to catch the tide round the headlands on the south coast, and hopefully heading for Chichester tonight.
All's well. N
PS - Naming your boat. If you buy a boat, think carefully about the name. Yesterday evening the coastguard were repeatedly calling for a boat called 'All Foxed'. She had been reported overdue for arrival somewhere, and the lady on the coastguard radio was very careful in her enunciation as she said 'All Foxed, All Foxed, All Foxed, this is Dover Coastguard, Dover Coastguard on channel 16'. Eventually, another boat replied and said 'we're in the marina and All Foxed is on the next pontoon'. 'OK sir, thanks for that, would you mind going and asking him to call his wife? Over.'
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Labels: On passage - UK to Canaries