Position: 50:30:36N 02:05:04W
Well, 24 hrs after leaving Falmouth, we are punching
our way up-Channel against the ebb tide and an Easterly F4. We are off St Alban’s Head, and about 19
miles from the Needles.
We left Falmouth and motored in an oily calm across to Start Point,
past Eddystone Rocks. Knowing that we’ve just got to get to
Portsmouth as fast as we can, and it will take more than 24 hours, we haven’t
set off at the optimal time to hit the headlands with the flood tide – indeed we
couldn’t get all of them to line up anyway in these conditions, and so Start
Point took a little while to pass as we punched the ebb tide. However this was compensated for by
being whisked across Lyme Bay at a stately 7 kts over the
ground. We are now going very
slowly until the ebb finishes at around 0300 and then we should get on the flood
tide conveyor belt through Hurst
Narrows and into the Solent.
The water has been very mucky – a
lot of rubbish and an oily scum on the surface. I hope we have just been unlucky and the
whole channel is not like this. The
motion is very different – we feel like a cork bobbing around – very jerky
movement – compared to the long, ponderous rolls that we’ve had in the ocean
swells. Those make the boat feel a
lot heavier, but the motion is easier within the boat. I have not managed to sleep up in the
forepeak on my last off-watch as it is too bumpy.
While we were off Portland Bill, a
warship (HMS Sutherland) stationed itself 1 mile to the south, then announced on
Ch16 that it was about to commence live gunnery firing! Rather than broadcast a pitiful plea to
be spared, we trusted that they had spotted us and would not use us for target
practice – they didn’t.
I spent my off watch fixing another
leak in the forepeak, with all the cushions outside in the sun, and scrubbing
the galley in preparation for inspection.
Because we’ve been using seawater for washing up, everything made of
metal – even stainless – is rusting so I’ve washed and scrubbed the rust marks
off everything in fresh water. All
Nice to be back in familiar
That’s all for