Delivery to England Complete!

April 30, 2013 posted by admin

April 30, 2013
Through rain, sleet, hail, becalmed against tide and massive cargo ships in the English Channel…..nothing could stop us!  Katrina and I have sailed our boats up from Pornichet France to Lymington England.  As usual, life and the delivery was filled with fun and excitement.  The 320 mile run had us becalmed in two spots while we were against the tide, which wasn’t….as Katrina said “wasn’t in the brochure”.  The first time was in the channel between Belle Ile and Quiberon.  We must have sailed back and forth for two hours.  The next becalmed spot was just before going around the outside of Ile D’ouessant and breaking out into the English channel.  It was so calm and still that I literally slid backwards and lapped myself…loosing almost three miles!  Not to mention that the boat was SOOOOO loaded with equipment, that I think we were sitting a full inch deeper in the water and incredibly slow for it.  We also had two moments of hail.  At one point the deck was completely covered in hail and slush!  Gotta love wearing a dry suit….even if it’s in hail.  Finally, we had a fantastic crossing of the English Channel.  There was loads of traffic but the Icom AIS worked beautifully alerting me to all the traffic and where it was going.  The last part of our adventure was coming into Lymington.  Lymington is up the river in the Solent.  You enter this whole mess at The Needles.  This is The Needles.

The only complication to this part of the delivery was actually getting up past the Needles and into the Solent….in the dark…..without a full proper chart!  Katrina received a special order of charts the day before we left. The only problem was that they actually missed the chart of the Needles and the Solent.  So we had to manage with the information in the Almanac and a screen shot of the chart off of her phone!

Entering looks simple enough on the right,  but a little scary if you get too close.  On the other hand, off to the left is a mass of underwater obstructions that looks like this.  Underwater obstructions at less than a meter, rips, tide, race marks and a narrow little channel to get in.  Plus, we were going to arrive at night with the wind possibly on the nose. Luckily when we did get there we could just fetch the channel….  barely and we still had the tide with us rather than against!  I had to use a sector light to follow, multiple cardinals and channel marks. If the wind had been any further left, I would have had to tack back and forth while watching sector lights.  Complicated to say the least!  But, I had Katrina behind me in her boat, who had been through dozens of times, and my anchor at the ready if things went pear shaped.  Slowly we made our way up the channel.  The appropriate lights were on either side of me and the sector light was white..Phew!  ok, crack off a little to give some breathing room.  Woops!  The sector light almost instantly went green…..too far right…gotta tighten back up right away!  Slowly the sector light went back to white and all was good.  Past the first mark….then the next and the next.  Our tow boat and race organizer was on the other side ready to take us up the river to our new home for the next few days.  Never a dull moment!

Follow the UK Solent race starting on Sunday!!!



Leave a Reply