After the previous nights exploits, we all got up at 6am ready for an early departure only to be thwarted by a heavy fog on the Helford River. This did at least give time to try and clean off some of the mud that I appeared to have rolled in the night before. The initial plan was to head for Salcombe and stop there for the night, but the later departure meant a bit of head scratching from Cy and an eventual decision to head for Plymouth instead.
Captain at work
The day went on very nicely indeed, until the afternoon, when a further decision was reached by our skipper. In order to achieve favourable tide and daylight for passing Portland Bill, it would be another overnight passage. We all smiled and nodded, delighted at such news! The night passed fairly uneventfully, although it is hard work doing three hours on and three hours off. It is particularly exhausting for Cy, who is unable to enjoy three hours off time – one of the perks of being in charge.
The approach to Portland Bill was a bit rough, I was shaken out of bed at 8am, a whole hour before my next watch. Looking back at our log book, the 08:37 entry has our position as 2nm east of Portland Bill.
Our next stop was to be Lulworth Cove which we arrived into at 11:00. It gave me a chance for some more practice getting the anchor out. Lulworth Cove is very pretty and we enjoyed a brief stop, before moving off again in the early afternoon.
An anchorage in Swanage was the intention for the overnight stop. It soon became apparent that the wind conditions were not appropriate for this. After issuing a tot of rum to the crew, Cy announced another overnight passage. Again, we were overjoyed at this news. It was a much busier night and myself and John had fun avoiding cruise ships and high speed ferries on our night watches. In the newly invented game of ‘vessel bingo’, we did well. Dredger, trawler, ferry, fishing boat, sailing boat, and cruise ships were all spotted. One of my lessons learned regarding night time sailing is that boats never look like those nice pictures in the RYA handbook with the nice, easily identifiable nav lights.
Our overnight stint brought us into Brighton Marina at at 8am on Tuesday 11th April (yesterday, I think – I’m having trouble keeping track of time). Our voyage from Pwllheli – Brighton took a week and was not without problems, but overall, Doris and her crew have fared well. Next stop Dieppe (after some grub, a shower and a good nights sleep).