|Vessel Make/Model:||Hallberg-Rassy 49 ketch|
|Hailing Port:||Chichester, south coast England near the Solent|
|Crew:||Richard Dave Alan|
|About:||Richard - owner since 2001, sailed Gulliver across the Atlantic 2003. Dave - Many miles with Richard & Alan in 1960s & since he bought Gulliver. Alan - another sailing friend from the 60s.|
|Extra:||Departed Chichester 12th April now on Leg 4 Round Britain - Aberdeen (Montrose) 28 May, due back in Chichester 7 June maybe via Holland.|
Into Chichester Harbour, anchored overnight at East Head with a dozen other vessels, it's good to be nearing home. We have covered
And so dawn found us (or rather, Alan) off Beachy Head at last beating our way down channel under sail inshore of the westbound traffic (16 vessels counted at one time). After 12 hours or so sailing, by late morning we were likely to miss the tide so it was back to the engine. Arriving into Chichester Harbour early afternoon for relaxation.This is the dolphin navigation mark off Chichester Harbour.
Dawn revealed the Deben River shrouded in fog which slowly lifted for the first sunny morning of the 4th leg - what joy. A leisurely breakfast, then off to the entrance and sea. The sun soon faded and the fog thickened as we neared the entrance. Only superb radar and GPS navigation by Dave saved us from having to wait for the fog to lift; as we didn't hit anything or go aground on the away in he decided that GPS backtracking was the way out. A tricky entrance was followed by close encounters with small a coaster and dredger. As usual today's run would be dogged by light airs, not even worth raising sail. Passed North Foreland, seen here and a brief stop at Ramsgate (Port Authority unhappy for we omitted to seek permission to enter) for yet more diesel. Suitably refreshed by full tanks we motor sailed into the night to maximise the tides.
From gales at the beginning of the trip to light airs toward the end - another day of light breeze motoring from Lowestoft to the River Deben. Waldringfield is a lovely stretch of the river on the Essex Suffolk borders. Spent the afternoon walking the countryside listening to the birdsong of the English countryside - something Richard and I have not heard since early April. Who's Compo? One church at Waldringfield, The Fox Inn at Newbourne and the Maybush Arms all thoroughly investigated. Sun emerged just in time to set!
Hooray! A day in port as reward for the previous day's good progress. So the day began with Alan and Dave hoisting Richard to the top of the mizzen mast to remove the ensign that had become fatally entangled with the halyard pulley. After a hard morning of hanging on to the safety line and drinking coffee whilst Richard did the work we rewarded ourselves with a Waverley River trip. Hop on a bus so Dave and Alan can use their bus passes whilst 'young'en Richard had to pay. No time for a beer so a brief walk around Oulton Broad park before we joined the tripper boat. The 'voyage' was enlivened by the company of 30 plus real OAPs which was a bit of luck as the skipper's commentary was lamentable, job there for Dave. Next planned destination commences with yet another early start to catch the best of the tide to carry us to the River Deben.
Another murky day for the intrepid leg 4 boys. After a dawn start there was plenty of staring into the radar screen and the wall of fog that persisted most of the 16 hour voyage. Passed gas platforms, and on arrival off a darkened coast by Great Yarmouth, a number of navigational tests had been laid for us: wind farm, tugs towing barges with incorrect lights, dredger, and oil platform materials being floated in all directions but seemingly mainly on our course. This all contributed to our feeling of satisfaction at arriving at Lowestoft.