Back at Fox's Marina, Ipswich
25 October 2018 | England
We got up early yesterday to leave Grimsby at 6am, cast off the lines, called Fish Dock Control only to be told the lock gate was still closed, so we tied up again and waited until 7am when they radioed to say we could leave. Oh well the delay meant it was daylight while navigating out of Grimsby estuary. We put the spinnaker pole out on starboard and raised the main before it got too choppy. Before we'd left the estuary proper we were sailing; the main sail prevented out on port and the jib poled out on starboard. We had great sailing like this all day in glorious sunshine. We gradually removed layers with Andy eventually going barefoot! As dusk started the wind died so we put the pole away; the wind angles having changed to a reach by late afternoon and even closer hauled sailing forecast for the evening. We put the code zero up thinking the wind would ease however, as soon as we raised it the wind increased to 15 knots and we continued under jib and main until the early hours this morning. Having rounded the 'protruding chin' of Eastern Britain made up of Norfolk and Suffolk and comprising the majority of the land East of the Greenwich Meridian, the wind died and the tide set foul against us so the 'iron sail' was started. We had made excellent time again, arriving at the mouth of the Orwell River by 5.30am- 155nm. We motored through the cargo ships at Felixstowe, headed up the Orwell River and anchored up opposite Pinmill at 6.30am. There is such a contrast between the floodlit dock unloading thousands of containers 24/7 out of huge ships to the sleepy, mud flanked twisting Orwell. It was still dark so we relaxed and grabbed a few hours sleep. Several hours later we woke to another glorious day with autumn undertones and colours. We arrived at Fox's Marina mid afternoon. Lee and Mike met us on the pontoon to take our lines and warmly welcome us back.
Lee reminded me that we left Fox's Marina on 16 October 2013. We have spent the last five years cruising the Arctic, living and working onboard Destiny. After our failed North West Passage attempt this summer, we decided to return to the UK to refit Destiny ready for the next adventures. Gales in the Atlantic prevented us going straight across to the UK. We couldn't even get across to Reyjkavik, Iceland in the gap between gales. We made a tactical decision that has paid off. Our cruising friends The Freds on Fredoya left West Greenland just before us and, going via The Azores, arrived safely in The Canaries a couple of days ago after three years cruising the Arctic. Like many of us they too have been dodging the persistent gales. We have travelled 2,994nm from Sisimiut, West Greenland to Ipswich, UK via East Greenland, North and East coasts of Iceland, The Faroes and finally the East coast of Britain. It has taken 48 days, 16 of which were rest days mainly gale bound. The remaining 32 days have been spent sailing. An average of 94nm per day at sea. Of interest is whilst in the Arctic circle we sailed about 30% or less, once we departed Iceland returning to the UK we sailed more than 65%.
In returning to Ipswich we have also now been round England, Wales and Scotland in Destiny including the East coast of Ireland. Happy Days but it will be nice to be 'still' for a while. It is hard work being on the go for that length of time, your body is constantly moving and under tension- we are much leaner and fitter than at the start of the season. There is a long job list for Destiny, a big "To buy" list and we even need a wardrobe refit- much our clothing looks decidedly tired! Destiny and the crew all need a 20,000 nautical mile service and refit.
PICTURE : North Circumpolar Region with our routes