25 June: Dover, Berth 88, Granville Basin
Well. Here we are in Dover, after another 10 hour sail downwind from Brighton. Just as yesterday, the worst bits were getting into and out of the marinas: heavy seas in the shallows to the entrances.
Unlike the forecast, the weather has been overcast and foggy. As I write, listening to Dover harbour Control, vis is down to about 200 yards (although he can still see Foxtrot – the problem is we don’t know where Foxtrot is!) There are spotlights on a column on the sea wall opposite the berth: but with the fog they are like a clutch of ultra-bright stars suspended in mid air with no visible means of support. En route, the vis has been about 3.5miles, although we had late afternoon sun as we approached Dover at about 6pm. I gave my oilies their first outing since I bought them a couple of years ago. NOT midsummer weather!
We left Brighton just after 9am. We woke up early as usual, but stayed in bed as the wind was howling and we could hear the sea breaking on the harbour wall. I took a Kwell tablet just in case, the obligatory half hour before you start to feel sick (sic.) Except, I didn’t. Once outside the harbour and through the inshore swell, it was a great downwind sail under jib alone; we averaged 6.5knots for the whole 63 mile passage, making Newhaven in an hour, Beachy Head in two. Beachy Head was shrouded in mist, although the light at the base was fully visible. From Beachy Head we were into new territory: twenty-five miles to Dungeness, where the nuclear power stations and two lighthouses leapt out of the gloom at short range; and then another 12 to the environs of Dover. At 2 miles range, we called Dover Harbour Control, and were asked to call again at 200 meters from the western entrance to gain entry permission.
En route Roger had identified that the stern tube for the propeller had shifted and is starting to take in water. So tomorrow we plan to dry out so that he can tighten the bolts. The marina staff here are very friendly and helpful: had the vis been better they would have shown us on the web cams where to dry out. We have a lovely snug berth here in Granville, and are likely to be back here again tomorrow night. The weather forecast is unhelpful – the wind is due to drop right off and then go SE!