Round Britain 2012 http://www.roundbritain2012.com in Dawn Treader Tue, 27 May 2014 13:50:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 20 July Weymouth to Dartmouth – we have finished http://www.roundbritain2012.com/2012/07/21/20-july-weymouth-to-dartmouth-we-have-finished/ http://www.roundbritain2012.com/2012/07/21/20-july-weymouth-to-dartmouth-we-have-finished/#comments Sat, 21 Jul 2012 06:58:48 +0000 http://www.roundbritain2012.com/?p=1313 It is the last day of the trip and the weather is perfect to actually sail, rather than bash to windward motor-sailing, as we have done for the past week. It will still be a beat to windward but not into big seas and strong wind as we have had to do recently.

After testing out the new, still under construction, 'Olympic showers' in Waymouth harbour; which strangely enough were in the crypt of the local church, we left at 11:30.

We left Weymouth in full sunshine and light wind. The local boats were dressed in flags in readiness for next weeks Olympic sailing events.

We started sailing right away and had a gentlemanly beam reach for the first time in weeks as we sailed a few hundred yards off the shore to round the inner passage off Portland Bill. The engine was used briefly to complete the rounding as the tide race is right next to you as you go around.

Rounding Portland Bill

Rounding Portland Bill

After leaving the bill and sailing again, on starboard tack and with full right of way, a boat called Mucky Duck II, on the opposite, give way tack, came right at us and we had to take quick action to avoid a collision. The other boat was on auto helm and without anyone on deck or any lookout! We shouted our protest but no one heard.

There was still 45 NM miles to go in a straight line across Lyme Bay but we would be doing nearer 60 after tacking. As usual the wind was right on the nose. It was full spring tide as well so it was going to be late when we arrived at Dartmouth.

About 15NM out from Torbay it was very busy with tankers heading for Torbay and was almost as bad as some of the larger ports we had passed earlier in the main journey.

The Rescue

As we closed the coast for the last few miles into Dartmouth there was a stunning sunset and we were sailing in the dusk towards home. Right next to us and on a parallel course was a classic 40 foot wooden sailing boat called Rubicon.

Approaching Dartmouth after sunset

Approaching Dartmouth after sunset

The plan was to get onto the Royal Dart pontoon so we would have in time for a drink at the club bar to celebrate our return. Just then Rubicon put out a distress call to the coastguard saying she had engine failure. At night, with little wind and strong tide this was not good.

Rubicon -  the yacht we rescued

Rubicon - the yacht we rescued

We responded to the distress call and offered to tow her into Dartmouth. This turned into a full coastguard incident, as the local Dartmouth coastguard team were summoned to come and assist to help Rubicon with her lines as we dropped the tow alongside the town quay in the dark. All went well and after being released from the incident we continued up river in the dark to our mooring at Noss.

Home at Last

We tied up at 23:30 on July 20th, having set out on May 5th, some 76 days earlier. The total distance run was 1938 NM and we stopped overnight at 45 different places. There were 22 days of bad weather and 8 rest days. The actual timing of the trip was very close to the original passage plan.

A big thank you to all of you that have been following us on the blog during our Round Britain journey. Thanks especially to Bob and Jean on Bella Rosa in whose company we spent some great evenings as well as sailing together along the coasts of Scotland.

Here are some post trip observations and lessons learnt.

See a map of the whole journey plus a spreadsheet of the daily passage stats

Final days Passage Details

  • Weymouth to Dartmouth: 65NM in 11 hrs
  • Sailed 9 hrs and motor-sailed 2 hrs
  • Total and final distance run: 1938 NM
Weymouth to Dartmouth

Weymouth to Dartmouth

 

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July 19 – Yarmouth to Weymouth http://www.roundbritain2012.com/2012/07/19/july-19-yarmouth-to-weymouth/ http://www.roundbritain2012.com/2012/07/19/july-19-yarmouth-to-weymouth/#comments Thu, 19 Jul 2012 22:49:59 +0000 http://www.roundbritain2012.com/?p=1290 The wind had dropped (Thursday mid morning), down to 15 knots from 20 knots in the night, but with a decreasing forecast it meant we could leave for Weymouth. The sun came out and all of yesterday's still undried washing could be hung back on the rail to dry.

The mooring lines were slipped at 11:30 and we took the first of the tide west out of the Solent. The move to Yarmouth a few days ago proved really useful as we were now able to make the best use of the west going tide. If we had not had done so we would have been faced with plugging the tide on our approach to Weymouth at the end of the day.

The Needles Channel, Isle,of Wight

The Needles Channel, Isle,of Wight

The Needles channel was very lumpy but provided a rapid 7 KN exit from the Solent. As the wind was right on the nose with lots of lumpy bits, we ended up tacking all the way across to Poole. Then turning south to clear St Albans head.

The final 15nm, very lumpy long tack to Weymouth took us through the edge of the St Albans race but we held the tide most of the way across the bay to Weymouth.

The Dorset Coast

The Dorset Coast

After a 45 NM trip we are now tied up in Weymouth; which is where this Round Britain trip was first conceived, two years ago, in a pub on a delivery trip back fro Dartmouth Regatta.

Weymouth Harbour

Weymouth Harbour - from the lifting bridge

All is quiet now and we are planning our final leg (50NM) tomorrow to Dartmouth. The weather looks good but we cannot set off until midday as we have to wait for the tide round Portland Bill.

Only one more leg to go!

More tomorrow after we arrive in Dartmouth. It will be late so probably no blog entry until Saturday morning.

Passage Statistics

  • Yarmouth to Weymouth: 45nm / 7 hrs
  • Sailed 0 hrs / Motor-sailed 7 hrs
  • Distance from start: 1873 NM
  • Distance left to go back to Dartmouth: 50 NM

See a map of the whole journey plus a spreadsheet of the daily passage stats

Round Britain in Dawn Treader - Yarmouth to Weymouth

Yarmouth to Weymouth - 45NM

 

 

 

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July 18 – Yarmouth Stormbound http://www.roundbritain2012.com/2012/07/18/july-18-yarmouth-stormbound/ http://www.roundbritain2012.com/2012/07/18/july-18-yarmouth-stormbound/#comments Wed, 18 Jul 2012 14:47:28 +0000 http://www.roundbritain2012.com/?p=1283 Wednesday has been a very windy and rainy day (again) after yesterday's wind and sunshine. The harbour is much emptier though as most of the boats here are from sea-schools based around the eastern and central part of the Solent. Even in this wind it is an easy downwind sail for them to return home. We are stuck here until the wind drops. It is F6/7 SW but it is due to drop tomorrow.

The boredom was interrupted by the first of the J class races which took place this morning. They windward mark was right off Yarmouth. There were four boats, all approximately 40m, racing: Ranger, Velsheda, Lionheart and Rainbow.

J Class racing in the Solent

J Class racing in the Solent

They raced in a strong 20 knot SW with a building sea. We saw them round the windward mark at Yarmouth; exciting even though we were about a mile away. The leader (Ranger) finished 12 seconds ahead of the next boat (Lionheart). They all finished within 137 seconds of each other.

Crossing J Class yachts

J Class yachts crossing

Apologies for the poor quality photos as they are enlarged digital versions.

The remainder of the day has been spent reading and listening to the wind and the rain. Please, please let the weather be better tomorrow …

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July 17 – Yarmouth, Isle of Wight http://www.roundbritain2012.com/2012/07/17/july-17-yarmouth-isle-of-wight/ http://www.roundbritain2012.com/2012/07/17/july-17-yarmouth-isle-of-wight/#comments Tue, 17 Jul 2012 13:18:46 +0000 http://www.roundbritain2012.com/?p=1270 A leisurely start today saw us under way to try and make for Poole which is outside of the Solent and some 30 NM west. We are 100 NM from Dartmouth and two days sail away. Todays plan was to go Poole. That would leave one more day to Dartmouth.
 

After refuling, which involved reversing into the smallest space imaginable, we left Cowes in a brisk westerly wind and very choppy waves. The good news was that the sun was shining brightly.

On the horizon a huge yacht was raising sail. It was “Velsheda”, a 36m restored J class. “Velsheda” was originally built in 1933 for Mr W.L. Stephenson, owner of the Woolworth chain of shops. She was named after Stephenson's three daughters, Velma, Sheila and Daphne and raced with the greatest names in classic yachting including “Britannia”, “Endeavour” and “Shamrock” between 1933 and 1936.

Velsheda - J Class yacht in the Solent

Velsheda - J Class yacht in the Solent

As we continued SW along he Solent the wind increased and the sea started to come up. The plan to go to Poole was aborted as we approached the Hurst Castle as the wind was gusting over 25 KN and would be worse outside. With a SW wind the swell would be horrible. Time to run into Yarmouth. A total of 10NM run. Not the best days total but at least we have moved on.

Once in Yarmouth the fog came in which re-affirmed the decision to abort the trip to Poole. Yarmouth harbour began to rapidly fill up with yachts all battening down for tomorrows forecasted bad weather.

Sunset over Yarmouth

Sunset over Yarmouth

It looks like there may be a chance to leave on Thursday afternoon and head for Weymouth.

More tomorrow …

 

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July16 – Cowes Stormbound http://www.roundbritain2012.com/2012/07/16/july16-cowes-stormbound/ http://www.roundbritain2012.com/2012/07/16/july16-cowes-stormbound/#comments Mon, 16 Jul 2012 16:08:40 +0000 http://www.roundbritain2012.com/?p=1264 Well we already knew it would be windy today, but not this windy!

It is gusting over 30 knots in the marina and out in the Solent, the Bramblemet weather recording site is showing 45 knot gusts.

All of the classic yacht racing has been cancelled, the gear shops are packed and the local pubs are filled with frustrated crews.

We have been for a very wet walk along the seafront, which originally was to watch the canons being fired for the start of the racing. Instead we watched some very miserable tourists being landed from a cruise ship which was anchored out in the murk of the Solent.

Cannons at Cowes

Cannons at Cowes

So after walking back and forth along a soggy Cowes main-street we are back on board reading books and checking weather forecasts. It does not look good until the end of the week. Hopefully this will change as it has done during our previous stormbound episodes.

More tomorrow …

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July 15 – Brighton to Cowes http://www.roundbritain2012.com/2012/07/15/july-15-brighton-to-cowes/ http://www.roundbritain2012.com/2012/07/15/july-15-brighton-to-cowes/#comments Sun, 15 Jul 2012 22:16:40 +0000 http://www.roundbritain2012.com/?p=1245 Brighton marina was deserted at 07:00 when we left. It was strange to see such a vast expanse of boats and no people. It was Sunday morning though.

Our departure from the marina was far less dramatic than our arrival. The day before there had been a big swell off the harbour entrance and we rolled through it whilst passing between the pier heads.

As we motored out we saw the Brighton lifeboat and the RNLI launch. They were searching for a missing fisherman who had disappeared from his boat the night before. The boat had been found without him. We kept a sharp lookout as we left.

The wind picked up, just to a civilised F4, and we were able to sail for the first hour before resuming our normal 'motor-sailing' cruising mode. We were able to sail again as we neared the entrance to the Solent but foul tide meant that we could only sail on one tack.

The Isle Wight on the horizon

The Isle Wight on the horizon

The Solent was as busy as ever with yachts and big ships all vying for position in the channels. The coast guard was being constantly called on VHF by small boats which had either run aground of had run out of fuel. In Scotland all we heard on the VHF was the weather forecast!

Classic 8m Yacht in the Solent

Classic 8m Yacht in the Solent

We are now in Cowes Marina on the Isle of Wight, having come another 50 NM west, tied up alongside a number of classic wooden yachts (8m) who are racing this week.

Tomorrow is forecasted to be very windy (SW F7) so here we stay.

Passage Statistics

  • Brighton to Cowes: 50nm / 10 hrs
  • Sailed 4 hrs / Motor-sailed 6hrs
  • Distance from start: 1818 NM
  • Distance left to go back to Dartmouth: 100 NM

See a map of the whole journey plus a spreadsheet of the daily passage stats

Brighton to Cowes

Brighton to Cowes

 

 

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July 14 – Eastbourne to Brighton http://www.roundbritain2012.com/2012/07/14/july-14-eastbourne-to-brighton/ http://www.roundbritain2012.com/2012/07/14/july-14-eastbourne-to-brighton/#comments Sat, 14 Jul 2012 22:45:03 +0000 http://www.roundbritain2012.com/?p=1239 The plan was to lock out of Eastbourne at 08:30 bound for Brighton.

It all started well until the boat refused to leave the pontoon. A quick check by David found that we still had a bow line attached! Things went from bad to worse as David tried to get ashore and found himself spread eagled between the pontoon and the boat. Seconds away from falling in David sprung himself upright. With egg on our faces we slunk into the lock.

Once out of the lock we headed south to round Beachy Head. The sea was building and it was already SW F5, gusting 6. In no time at all the wave height increased and we were bashing into a heavy sea. Dawn Treader handled it well and we flew along at 7 KN. After obtaining 10 miles offing we tacked for Brighton – 15 NM away, and did it in one long tack.

This was the first day of proper saiingl we have had for many days and it was really exciting. Unfortunately there was no opportunity to take photos as we we to busy managing the boat.

Live music in Brighton

After arriving in Brighton at 14:00 we waited for John to arrive – our new crew member. It's now late evening and after a good meal and some live music we are ready for tomorrow's sail to the Solent. Its a 50 NM trip.

Finally here is picture of Dawn Treader's sister ship which we saw today!

Dawn Treader's sister ship

More tomorrow …

 

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July 13 – Eastbourne Stormbound http://www.roundbritain2012.com/2012/07/13/july-13-eastbourne-stormbound/ http://www.roundbritain2012.com/2012/07/13/july-13-eastbourne-stormbound/#comments Fri, 13 Jul 2012 17:54:29 +0000 http://www.roundbritain2012.com/?p=1235 A day off in Eastbourne due to windy SW weather. A good chance to rest and do the usual boat jobs and buy essential supplies. The engine has been checked after it started making a strange whining noise yesterday every time we went up a big wave! We checked it over, no problems, just topped up the oil.

Eastbourne marina has loads of coffee shops and gift shops so we availed ourselves of them. Sitting outside Mediterranean style, but having to dive inside between showers kind of destroyed the effect.

Tomorrow we are off to Brighton at 08:30. A civilised time and expect to be there by mid afternoon. We have been told that we have to be out of the lock here before 09:00 as there is a big power boat racing event tomorrow.

Power boat in Eastbourne Lock

Power boat in Eastbourne Lock

More tomorrow after we arrive in Brighton …

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July 12 – Dover to Eastbourne http://www.roundbritain2012.com/2012/07/12/july-12-dover-to-eastbourne/ http://www.roundbritain2012.com/2012/07/12/july-12-dover-to-eastbourne/#comments Thu, 12 Jul 2012 20:17:52 +0000 http://www.roundbritain2012.com/?p=1209 We made it to Eastbourne somewhat battered after a 10 hour motor-sail beat against wind and tide and are 50 NM nearer to Dartmouth. Arrived at 17:00 after leving Dover at 07:00.

Thursday morning started fine, sunny and with a light SW wind. Our weather window was open, just was we had hoped. Permission to leave Dover marina was obtained at 07:00 but no sooner were we outside the marina when were asked to hold position in the outer harbour for 30 mins whilst an enormous cruise liner docked. Valuable time lost as the tide was a critical part of the success of this passage.

Outside the main harbour the swell off the entrance was fierce but fell away as we got further off. The tide was 2.5 KT against us but would weaken its grip nearer the shore. It did, and we made a series of motor-sail tacks into tide towards Folkestone.

Dungeness point, with its power stations, was visible 15 miles away which was were the tide was due to turn in our favour. After that it would be a further 20 miles to Eastbourne. All into wind and swell!

Dungeness Point - with the false Beachy Head in the distance

Dungeness Point - with the false Beachy Head in the distance

Reaching Dungeness the wind swung round to head us again, and increased in strength. This was concerning as the bad weather should not be arriving until later that evening. As we rounded Dungeness, a big headland appeared which we optimistically thought was Beachy Head, and Eastbourne. It wasn't – Eastbourne was 15 NM beyond it. Cruel when the sea and wind are building.

There is a firing range off Beachy Head and we decided to transit across the outer range, even though the red flags were flying. The weather was such that if we were to tack off out to sea, we would waste time and tide, and the weather was worsening. There is no law saying you must keep out of a range but it is good practice to do so. In this case we risked worsening our situation and were prepared to be chased out!

The wind piped up and we reefed down and increased engine revs to punch through the waves. As we passed Hastings and Bexhill, we saw all of the the local fishing boats up on the beach. Sensible people these fishermen, not being out in this weather!

Eastbourne loomed up in the murk and the heavens opened. It was time to prepare to lock into the Sovereign Marina. It's a huge, brand new, development which is surrounded by high rise flats and designer shops and cafés. We are here until Saturday at least, when we plan to break out for Brighton.

The delights of Eastbourne from the sea

The delights of Eastbourne from the sea

There is a new crew member, John, joining us in Brighton so a change in conversation (some new jokes) as well some additional help on the last few longer passages to Dartmouth.

Todays Passage stats

  • Dover to Eastbourne: 60NM with tide (lots of tacking and tide)
  • 10 hours, all motor- sailed
  • Total distance run since start: 1739 NM
  • Distance to do to Dartmouth: 185 NM

See Details of whole journey plus a spreadsheet of the daily passage stats

Dover to Eastbourne

 

 

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July 11 – Dover – Stormbound http://www.roundbritain2012.com/2012/07/11/july-11-dover-stormbound/ http://www.roundbritain2012.com/2012/07/11/july-11-dover-stormbound/#comments Wed, 11 Jul 2012 15:05:52 +0000 http://www.roundbritain2012.com/?p=1194 It's blowing F6/7 outside today so we are off to visit Dover Castle.

Dover harbour - blowing force six

That's why we are not going out today!

The castle stands on the top of the chalk hills behind the town of Dover and getting up to it provided us with some much needed exercise. Dover Castle was built by Henry II in the 12th century and is the largest castle in England. The Romans were there first though and built a couple of lighthouses, called a Pharoses, and one still survives in the castle grounds.

Dover Castle with Roman Pharos

Dover Castle - view of the Roman Pharos

Run by National Heritage, it costs £16.50 to get in, which sounds a bit steep. We were there for four hours and probably only saw half of what was on offer. It turned out to be well worth the entrance fee.

The castle itself is in remarkably good condition, having what looks to be the original flooring and roofing; all still in place. National Heritage have furnished the chambers with medieval and highly decorative furniture and furnishings. The effect combined with the lighting is very realistic. There is a maze of rooms and passages to explore.

The interior of Dover Castle

Bed chamber inside Dover Castle

The second area of interest to us was the Secret Wartime Tunnels. Sadly no photographs allowed but you can see some on the English Heritage site here. The tunnels were used as a command centre and a military hospital. The Dunkirk evacuation was coordinated from the tunnels.

It looks like there maybe a small weather window first thing tomorrow (Thursday) morning to do the 45nm to Eastbourne. Thats our plan, but as always it depends on the weather forecast in the morning.

More tomorrow …

 

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