Shake down sail

Tue 29 Jun 2021 11:02

50:47.52N 01:06.95W


A shake down sail is always a good idea ahead of any sailing season, but particularly so when we have not sailed for a long time and Griselda has had a long time on the ‘hard’.

We left Ramsgate at 5:45 ready to get an early start on the day, out of the harbour into a nice light breeze perfect for hoisting the main sail.  No sooner was the main up than something gave way with a bang!

The shackle holding the main sail boom to the traveller had given way, something that had happened many years previously and we now carry spares (thanks Richard!).  An easy repair whilst on land but a little trickier with the boom bouncing around and being careful not to lose hardware or tools over the side, but the repair was executed and we could resume our course, rounding the well-known ‘beauty spot’ of Dungeness by 10:30.

In all our years of sailing, we have never booked Marinas in advance, so on arrival at Eastbourne we called up on the radio for an overnight berth and were asked if we had booked as they may not be able to get us in otherwise.  With Covid-19, some marinas are accepting less boats to avoid over-crowding, makes perfect sense and we’re now checking marina availability ahead of arrival.  We were found a berth and after heading through the lock, spent a couple of nights letting the wet weather pass.


On departing Eastbourne we were all set to enjoy a fine days sailing in light winds and blue skies, however, not long after locking out and being helped nicely with the tide, the fog came down and stayed with us for many hours.  Fortunately we had upgraded our AIS so that we now transmit our position and not just receive other ships positions, so much better in foggy conditions where visibility was no more than a couple of hundred meters for much of the day.  We regularly blew the foghorn, just in case!  The fog lifted at 15:30 and we enjoyed a couple of hours sunshine before a heavy shower, fortunately we’d just berthed in Haslar Marina and put our lovely new cockpit Bimini up, so stayed nice and dry.  It didn’t last long before turning into a lovely sunny evening which we enjoyed dining on the Haslar lightship overlooking the spinnaker tower, which put on a very nice lightshow enjoyed once back in the cockpit, again beating the rain.

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