Off to Brighton!
The start of the 2011 summer cruise. It’s been a good day, with bonus of getting to Brighton.
To quote Donald Rumsfeld, the known unknown as we got down to the boat yesterday was - where are we going on holiday? Ireland or Netherlands? And the answer is…. The Netherlands!
We set off just after 8am from Royal Clarence, bound for Cowes, where Roger had booked the 10 o’clock slot at the SeaLift. We arrived at 10.45, and drove straight on. It’s an amazing beast: you drive on between posts that are moved in to clamp the boat amidships, and warps tied. Then the lift starts; the base is lifted under the keel, and the whole base, plus boat is lifted until out of the water. There’s a ladder on one of the claps that allows you to climb down. Once out of the water, the sealift guys scrape off the barnacles and pressure hose off the bottom. Roger checked the anodes (all looking pretty good) and greased the propeller. We were released and away by quarter to 11 – mission accomplished in double-quick time for the princely sum of £180. We agreed that it was good value, compared to a conventional lift out. From there we went across to the fuel barge to top up on the diesel. As ever, a sharp intake of breath required at the cost …. Although best value it was still 99p/litre!
So there we were off the River Medina at 11.30am, with a SW wind and a fair tide – so off we went! A storming broad reach all the way to Brighton; getting to the Looe channel off Selsey Bill just after 2pm. Sunshine for most of the way, but an increasing SW wind that reached 25-30knots as we approached Brighton Marina (which made lowering the sail head on to the swell a bit sporty!) But inside the marina, all serene; and we’ve been placed in the lee of a big Trafalgar 70, on a vacant berth-holders berth. The wind was such that the marina staff must have been worried: two of them came to help us with the lines. We arrived just before 6.30pm. I’d cooked a range of comfort food, which was in the freezer in 2-portion jars. I thought we were having mixed beans with chorizo but lo! once unfrozen, it proven to be Bolognese sauce for spaghetti!
And, for Carol and others who have asked to see Magnetic Attraction, here we are berthed in Brighton. And yes, the motor boat in front is really called Costa Lotta! Assuming the wind remain OK, off to Dover tomorrow.