This was another sunny day with F2/3 forecast from the SE,
so it was looking like another motorsailing day. The main headlands on this leg
would be Dungeness and S Foreland, but neither had particularly difficult
reputations and on a day like this we would be able to go fairly close. So this
was to be a fairly straightforward trip across the two bays to S Foreland and
then up the N Kent coast, weaving between the shallows near the Goodwin Sands,
and then into Ramsgate. If we got tired
/ fed up we could always go into Dover, which we would be passing two miles
offshore to give us a chance to time our passage through the stream of ferries
coming and going.
We locked out of the marina at 0930 and had about 6 full
hours of fair tide pushing us along, past Bexhill, Hastings and Rye. The coast
line then became very low and flat as we approached Dungeness, clearly
identifiable of course with its big nuclear reactor cuboid buildings. Just
before the power station, rather alarmingly, is the Lydd Firing Range, which we
had been told was active and so we stayed well away. We still heard the heavy
guns and just kept our heads down.
The wind, which started light, continued to drop all day, so
it was motorsailing, and pure motoring for a while when we had almost no
apparent wind over the deck. The saving grace was that we had sunshine and warm
weather, so it was not too difficult to decide to press on to Ramsgate to make
the most of it. Lots of ferry dodging around Dover, past the port and the
famous white cliffs. I think that this stretch of coast, from Dungeness up to
the white cliffs of Dover was probably the least interesting so far on the
Then it was up the final stretch of Kent coast, which was
much prettier, past Deal and Sandwich, inside the Goodwin Sands into Ramsgate.
This was very much a working harbour as well as a rather old marina. We moored
up close to a UK Boarder Agency patrol ship, and the harbour was busy with
fishing and wind farm boats.
A good trip of about 63 miles in 11 hours, leaving us well
positioned for crossing the Thames if the weather holds.