1st Mate loses his sea legs....

So, we set off at last on Friday evening having said good bye to John, Asley, and Steve of Seatech who have resolutely soldiered on in the face of one adversary after another from what should have been a simple engine swap. Full marks for perseverance and a professional job done.

We motored out of go sport at 18:06 BST and headed to Newton creek on the Isle of Wight for a quiet anchorage, but found it pretty much full! An early rise next morning and we passed the Needles with the sun trying to burn through the mist surrounding them. Then on along the southern coast of England on a course to take us past the western edge of the traffic separation scheme so avoiding the requirement to cross at right angles to the ship traffic. This was all done in the night with the half moon illuminating us an closers ships and fishing vessels. We set up a 3 person watch programme of 4hrs on/4hrs off staggering Niall's watch so that he was never left alone (this being his 1st voyage). As the evening wore on I became aware that, despite taking drugs to counteract the effects of seasickness, I was going to have a rough time of it. However writing this safe in my bunk on Sunday night, moored up in Camaret I am beginning to think it's not seasickness but a bug that has p
erfect timing....

More to the point, the sailing was exciting, from about midnight to 10 am on Sunday, as we had a deeper low that's expected to contend with and the consequent increase in wind speeds. So the wind speeds gradually increased through the 20 knot range to the 30s and 40s peaking at over 50 knots for a considerable time on Sunday morning as we approached the corner of Brittany to pass along the 'channel de four (?), to the entrance to Brest harbour. Just as we were about to cross the main channel to Camaret, we received a radio call ordering to keep station whilst a convoy passed. This turned out to be sub and its escorting small fleet of guard boats. Finally we were releases to cross the channel to Camaret.

After some hours of reducing sail, decks awash with foaming sea, and the kind of speeds we like, we had some repairs to do, recover the two horseshoe life buoys which had been lifter off the rails, returned the tender that had worked its way loose, and repair the forward rail where the genoa sheet had managed to remove the split pin holding the top rail to the middle station on he starboard side.

Tomorrow we shall set sail, with Niall, for Spain aiming to arrive at la Corunna on Weds a afternoon. Initially the winds are forecast to be light so we hope to get the spinnaker out for a workout.

Mark

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