Crossing the Channel always makes me nervous but this time it was relatively quiet, and apart from a slight wiggle to avoid a ferry outside Dover we didn't have to change course at all.
The forecast for Wednesday looked atrocious, with pretty much non-stop rain, although a gentle wind. The skies once again looked threatening all day, rain was clearly all around us with visibility sometimes diminishing to only a couple of miles, but in fact we were hit by only two bursts of rain.
The first was somewhere off east Margate where the choppy seas were calmed almost to glassiness by the downpour. My Mustos stood up well to the water but I sent Bob and Elaine below to keep dry.
The second was literally as we came into Harwich Harbour, when I was below putting the lasagne into the oven, and suddenly realised the oven was heeling right over, along with the rest of the boat. The squall was only 20 knots or so but disconcerting to the crew. We dropped the mainsail completely and headed up into the harbour as the heavens opened. By Shotley Spit it had cleared again and I was trying to identify a craft ahead of us which seemed to be drifting in the deep-water channel. It turned out to be a Mini Transat, a Dutch racer on its way to a gathering at Pin Mill. They had run out of wind and tide and their electric outboard was running on almost flat batteries. We gave them a tow as far as SYH, by which time the tide had turned and they headed on upriver very slowly.
|Mini Transat 454, Gimmick|
After a quick lasagne Bob & Elaine headed home. Sam and I stayed on board to wait for a higher tide and celebrated our safe homecoming next morning with a fine breakfast of some of the food we hadn't got around to eating. And we all made it to Tim's funeral the next day.
|Eggs, bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes, toast. Very Instagram, sorry.|