Stonehaven to Arbroath

Juniper sailing round GB
Gordon and Catherine
Thu 4 Aug 2011 08:13

56:33.34N 02:35.05W Wednesday - I have a love/hate relationship with my wet weather gear.  I love it for its warmth and efficiency in keeping me dry, but I hate wearing it – I feel cumbersome and the velcro strips catch on each other as I put it on.  So the velcro on the arm strap inevitably catches the collar strip as I struggle into the jacket and I end up in a velcro mess.  The only way out of this is to yank the two strips apart with a ripping velcro noise and start all over again.  Anyway, the point of this  is that I woke up to a new horror – the thought of putting on WET wet weather gear, as we hadn’t been able to dry it overnight.  Oh yuk.  But fog saves the day, we’re not sailing and the harbour master confirms it may be a couple of days before it clears.  So, time for a haircut and walk round the town, but by the time I get back to the harbour the sun’s out and it’s shirtsleeves temperature.  We leave at 1220, only a few minutes later than we’d originally planned and the wet weather gear is dry - which is just as well because, very soon, we need it as the fog descends again and everything becomes wet and drippy.  We have a good Springs tide with us and decide to press on rather than turn back and struggle against the tide, but it’s a miserable 6 hours.  As before, we’re travelling in a grey, eerie mass where the smooth sea and the air merge.  It’s very hard to keep a lookout – is that a fishing buoy?  No, it’s a bird but change of course needed for the flag that’s just loomed out of the murk on the other side.  It’s like that all the way until eventually we hear Arbroath’s foghorn.  This is even more disconcerting because we know there’s a harbour wall out there but we can’t see it.  It looms suddenly out of the greyness and our depth sounder tells us we’re safely in the dredged channel.  We’re here and, amazingly, another yacht follows us in – we had no idea she was behind us.