Saturday, September 27, 2008

Home to the Orwell

The Grand Tour is officially over. Kalessin of Orwell sailed between the pierheads of Suffolk Yacht Harbour just after 5pm on Sunday 14 September, after around 4000 miles, and two years and three months since she left.

On 11 September Sam headed back to Calais the old-fashioned way via ferry and train. Ben and I were all set to head off by Eurostar on Friday the 12th. What a pity that the Tunnel was closed by a fire on the afternoon of the 11th...

Anyway thanks to SeaFrance Ben and I did make it to Calais on the 12th (eventually) and we headed for Ramsgate on Saturday - quite calm, quite sunny, an uneventful crossing, except for the moment when a NorfolkLines ferry came straight at us... anyone who has crossed the Channel will know the feeling.

Sunday's passage from Ramsgate was a bit more eventful - north-easterly 4-5 (fortunately perhaps our wind indicator display is broken), horrid Thames estuary chop, and all of us tired and stressed about dealing with bumps for the first time for... well, for Ben and me the last time was a couple of bumpy hours in Majorca last August. We still got sunshine and we remembered the great thing about tides - we were swept home at an average of well over 6 knots.

And last weekend we moved Kalessin on to a mooring on the Orwell, with thanks to Dave who has kindly lent us his mooring until the end of October.

What next? Well, we've started to clear several tons of books and other stuff off the boat, goodness knows where we will put it. There's a bit of catching up to do on maintenance. Hopefully we'll have a few weeks of east coast pottering before laying up ashore. Next year we might go somewhere modest, like the Dutch Delta. And after that Sam and Ben are both really keen on the Baltic...

Moorings seen from the Nacton shore - Kalessin is currently in there somewhere

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