Drying out against a wall in Dover

Magnetic Attraction
Roger and Margaret Pratt
Sun 26 Jun 2011 20:23

51: 07.1N



Back on the berth in Granville – this time in berth 92 where we are sharing a pontoon with a Beneteau 36 named S.K.I, populated by retired hospital consultants, ex Kings College Hospital.  We got in about 6.45pm, when they were finishing their cocktails and were minded to be garrulous.  Very interesting.


On balance, a good day.  Roger woke up at about 6.30am after a disturbed night with the worry that the bolts that hold the stern tube in position may no longer be there.  My view was that there is no point in worrying about the things one can do nothing about….


We were in the marina office at 7.45, getting keys and advice about the drying out berth.  There were two keys and detailed directions on access.  We walked round to spy it out landside and failed to understand the instructions, so had to return to the marina office for an escort.  We walked through the former hoverport; unlocking one of three padlocks securing the gate; then across the car park and through another padlocked gate (overgrown with weeds) onto the mole.  We had been told there was a ladder – but not up the wall.  Roger was NOT happy – but by the time we had returned to the office had the bones of how a plan might be made to work.  There was a ladder on the other face of the wall, which meant the mole could be accessed by dinghy, and the harbour office also obliged by providing the head honcho to take our lines as Roger nosed the boat in.  High water was 7.56 and we were against the wall about 8.30am – the neap tides meant that the tidal height was just over 3m and the working draft or Magnetic Attraction is 2m.  We got the lines on, and then waited for the water to disappear.  We didn’t have keys, so were stuck on the boat (although it would have been possible to take the inflatable across had we wished.)


The haar sea fog lasted til after lunch, so it all felt dank and miserable in the morning.  Low water was at 2pm, and Roger was able to establish (from the dinghy) at about 11.30 that the both bolts were still in situ – a big relief.  Roger was in the dinghy or on the shingle shore: I lowered tools and other sundries to him in a bucket on request.  The bolts were loose: Roger’s assessment is that the packing that he had inserted on refit last year had settled, allowing the bolts to loosen.  Tightening the bolts led to a big ooze of gunge – see pix! 


The water rose slowly through the afternoon…  the sun came out and it was hot!  So sunbathing and reading was the order of the day pending the boat refloating.  Magnetic Attraction started to move again at about 6.15pm, bang on cue. 


Planning to stay in Dover another day – with the lifting of the haar you can see Dover Casle, and we’d like to visit.  In addition, the wind for tomorrow is expected to be a SE: bang on the nose for a cross channel crossing.  Although only 25 miles, not a plan!


Here are a couple of pictures …