Fai Tira back
home in Dartmouth. 50:21.28N 03:34.38W
had fairly good weather crossing Biscay but not only was the temperature
dropping, the barometric pressure was as well and quite quickly. We knew
we were heading towards the path of the remains of Hurricane Katrina but hoped
we would be safely back in Dartmouth before it went through.
crew member Baz doing his chores.
progressed very well and rounded the corner off of the Brittany coast at about
3am and but as soon as it got light the winds dropped and the fog came
down. This could have been a major problem as we were crossing some of
the busiest shipping lanes in the world, but we had our trusty Automatic
Identification System (AIS). The AIS was set with a safety ring around
the boat of 2 miles and any vessel, with AIS, that comes into that zone sets
off an alarm. The alarm was going off quite a lot but we managed to
negotiate our way between some massive ships, which were sometimes doing up to
15 knots, without hitting any of them.
I am proving that I do drink beverages other than beer - tea in this
case!! And here is the Biscay team pleased to have transited safely
across this notorious stretch of ocean.
fog cleared after about 12 hours and we watched a rather large container ship
disappear into the mist travelling west. We had one last night to
go and hoped to arrive at midday on Saturday. I woke at 6am to start my
shift and saw Start Point Lighthouse flashing in the distance. The wind
was starting to pick up so we reduced sail and headed for home.
eventually saw Start Point through the gloom (look closely). Then headed
across Start Bay to the entrance of the Dart.
7am we were called up by Brixham Coastguard who welcomed us back and asked us
for our ETA as a few people wanted to know our arrival time. We had made
such good time that we could have been in Dartmouth for 8am but I knew they
were expecting us about lunch time. Not wanting to hang around out in the
deteriorating conditions I gave them an ETA of between 10am and
11am. We reduced sail even more to just a little piece of
and slowed down to 1.5 knots through the water but found ourselves doing 3.5
knots over the ground because of the tide flooding into Start Bay.
Eventually the entrance of the Dart appeared and we headed in. The RLNI
inshore lifeboat just happened to be “exercising” in the mouth of
the river so they came over and greeted us.
Kevin and Darren welcomed us back. Kevin climbed on board with my RLNI
wellington boots which were sporting a bottle of very nice champagne. Big
thank you to all the RLNI team and note we have flown the RNLI flag in
virtually in every port we have visited. Today was no exception.
made it!!! And what a reception, loads of family and friends on the embankment
making lots of noise.
tears in my eyes made it difficult to see where I was going to moor up! Well
that’s my excuse. Dart Harbour had reserved us a place on the Town
Quay so we had to reverse against the tide into quite a tight spot. The
RLNI practiced at being a bow-thruster and we tied up to the pontoon.
Tira and its crew were home.
and Dee were there with all the family and lots of friends and well
wishers. What a great reception.
and Baz, who had travelled from Majorca on his first long sail and me and John,
who had completed this great adventure (not holiday!!).
champagne flowed like water and so did the tears. We’ve made it.
time for me to thank everyone and tell one last joke before the Callis family
and friends headed off to the Dartmouth Arms for a decent pint of beer and a