Sat 17 Sep 2016 21:21
We were exhausted. Chris cobbled together a surprisingly decent supper, mostly left-overs, we're at the stage where we are trying to finish things up.
Not such an early start needed on Saturday, the plan, if conditions allowed, was to leave Ramsgate at about 10.30 am to enjoy maximum benefit of the ebbing spring tide to take us up the coast, we would spend the night at Shotley marina and arrive back at Waldringfield on Sunday about midday, Joe, who had set off with us in April would meet us and sail the last leg. The forecast wasn't great, a north-westerly gusting 30 knots would go round to a north-easterly and moderate, but possibly too late for us and the resulting waves and rough sea might be too much. Everything was crossed, but we weren't going to take any chances, safety must come first.
Saturday morning came and I was awake early, we were so close to home and I was ready to be back. Joe has done a great job of looking after the house and animals, generally holding the fort, but it's a big, lonely old place to be on his own and he's looking forward to our return and some of mum's cooking. My mum has had a cataract operation and I felt I should have been there. The holiday is over, I want to be home!
Chris pored over the forecasts, the charts, hoping to see some encouraging news, the best he could come up with is "it isn't dangerous but it will be really unpleasant, let's stick our noses out and see how it feels" . We did, it didn't feel too bad and the tide was carrying us along, making seven knots. Chris was uncomfortable, Bliss wasn't handling well and at the top of a wave the wind blew across her bow forcing her round and side on to the (huge) waves, potentially it could swamp us and capsize us,.....we turned round and went back to Ramsgate. Several other boats did the same thing, everyone came back. It was clearly the only decision he could have made, but it felt so disappointing and frustrating.
We made the most of our extended stay in Ramsgate, the weather was kind and everything that had got drenched on Friday dried out. We walked along the coast in the evening, by now a calm moonlit sky, I (half) joked about leaving then and sailing by the light of the moon!! Clearly by now I had lost all sense of reasoning and it was up to Chris to make any rational decisions.

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