Dartmouth First Call

Suzie Too - Western Caribbean
David & Suzanne Chappell
Fri 24 Sep 2010 19:19
Our first night at sea, the wind is on the nose as usual, 27 knots over the deck, cold wet and miserable, we both are convinced that going south is the right decision for us, David is so cold he cannot get warm.
We see Dartmouth entrance for hours before arriving, the tide has turned against us, the engine is on and we are making slow progress as its Springs and a big tide.  We decide to go on the fuel berth first, which is on a barge in the middle of the river, we ring Dartmouth Marina and thanks to our friends Nicky & David we have been given an easy hammerhead berth.  This is when I know we have a 57ft boat as it takes for ever to do the lines and fenders for an safe landing.
We shower and try and feel awake, we walk up to Nicky & David's house in Kingswear which overlooks the river, to be given a wonderful reception and brunch.   This was gratefully demolished while we sat watching Dartmouth entrance and looking at our new Suzie Too, she looked splendid.
Nicky then organised a meal on board Suzie Too for 8, our crew Mike (skipper of Sandstorm), Sharon, Amanda and ourselves, Nicky & David and their son Henry. Henry has just sailed solo round the UK and he's only 18.  David arrived with a hot Chicken Risotto all wrapped in towels, with plates and wine, so a feast was had before we set sail and I didn't have any washing up!!
Goodbyes were said, hugs all round and promises were made by everyone that they will visit soon.  Nicky bless her, left us a homemade Tea Cake, which has been eaten a slice each day for afternoon tea - a tradition on Suzie Too.
2200 hours came and we cast our lines off setting out into the dark to start our journey across Biscay.