Drove down to Southsea, packed a few essentials onboard and made
ourselves comfortable for the night.
24/6/06 Our first calamity! Moved boat to fuelling pontoon
and pumped in 185 litres of diesel, only to find that the fuel hose
between filler cap and tank was disconnected.....ooops! Returned to
berth and bodged up a repair which enabled us to fuel and slip out into
Langstone Harbour to await low water.
25/6/06 Slipped the buoy at 0500 and motored out to sea,
making for Eastbourne. Wind was unfavourable and on the nose...hoisted
mainsail but even with change of course to stbd it meant motor sailing
for a great deal of the way. Dee sleeping for some time to combat her
aversion to the motion of the sea! Stood about 10 miles offshore until
making Beachy Head and locking into Sovereign Marina where we were met
by George and Jean, old buddies from Gillingham Marina.
26/6/06 Motored out to sea at 0800 in steady rain, hoisted
all sail and made course for Ramsgate. We were advised off Dover to slow
down and allow the cruise ship "Insignia" to pass ahead of us en route
for Oslo. Sadly, this meant a complete 360 turn which caused boat to
roll enough to persuade Dee to part with her breakfast and we then
considered putting into Dover for the night, but continued to Ramsgate,
where we stayed for a day to shop and attend to important matters.
28/6/06 Lazy start, leaving harbour about 1000 and motoring
to North Foreland. Full sail in East wind allowed a lovely quick passage
in glorious sunshine to Garrison Point through Princes Channel, then up
the Medway and into Gillingham Marina, tying up alongside at 1600.
Mini Refit attending to all the niggly bits which were discovered
at sea. Hoisted from water and bottom re-painted, anodes changed, prop
and rudder checks. Despite all the storage space, it soon became evident
that we would not be able to take half of what we intended to take with
us and that repairs and attending to matters ashore would delay sailing.
5/8/06 My good friend Sandra, who lives in Lincoln and works
in Exeter (don't ask!) came down and re-named the boat and insisted on a
trial sail. We had a good sail in a steady Force 6 out past the wreck of
the Montgomery, Red Sands
towers, the wind farm and Shivering Sands towers before returning to
Gillingham at 9 knots.
for information on the Montgomery)
information on the towers)
13/8/06 A welcome rest from storing, repairing etc when friends
came round for a drink (or two) and despite appalling weather during the
morning, the sun shone in the afternoon – and a good time was had by
all, the diehards leaving sometime after midnight. Thanks to all for
coming over to see us, nice to see you all and put faces to names – and
I somehow managed not to fall in the ‘oggin! Click
here for rogues gallery.
boat is almost packed with gear and about 5 inches lower in the water
than she was 3 months ago with still an extra 100 litres of water and
125 litres of fuel to go onboard! Wondering where to pack it all
now - and also where to put the fenders when we finally leave the
pontoon safety of Gillingham Marina. Hoping to get away at 0600 on
Thursday of this week, just to Ramsgate to see how she handles with all
the extra weight. The weather this week has been glorious - and
forecast to change to rain on Thurs - just our luck! However,
providing it isn't blowing a gale, or forecast to do so, then we will go
- and whatever we have left behind we will have to do without!
After a night of torrential rain, thunder, lightning.....0545 - Slipped
the mooring at Gillingham, filled up with fuel, said “Cheerio” to
Maurice the lock-keeper and Malcolm, who had come down to the lock from
the gate, and proceeded down river into a weak sunrise. Wind directly
on the nose after Garrison Point until 1030, then F4/5 South East. A
series of malfunctions as we rounded North Foreland in steep short seas
– ‘arold (the name given to the Aries windvane) ceased to work, the
auxiliary rudder refusing to lock down. The Navico wheelpilot packed up
with mechanical problem and the instruments stopped ‘talking’ to each
other. Dee constantly sick during this time and unable to do anything
to assist. Dropped sail and started the engine to find that the engine
wouldn’t idle, and would only run at 1700 revs.
1400 – Entered
Ramsgate Royal Harbour, Dee saying her final farewell to ‘Hughie’ as we
passed the light at the harbour entrance, much to the amusement of
spectators looking down from the wall. The next few days were spent
putting things right and re-distributing some of the weight from aft.
Sourcing the snapped wheelpilot belt proved problematic as Navico, taken
over by Simrad, have withdrawn from the UK and the belt, only supplied
as a kit with a new clutch, had to be imported from Denmark, which in
turn meant an unexpected stay in Ramsgate instead of an overnight stop!
Still, better to have these problems show up now rather than later! We
took the opportunity to visit Southampton Boat Show during our enforced
stop-over, spending far too much money in the process, and we should
have bought some new navigation lights, as some light fingered Herbert
decided to they had greater need of ours, removing them from the bow
whilst we were away from the boat – probably on the other side of the
Channel by now!