Monthly Archives: July 2016

Ramsgate 24 July 2016

Managed to mangle the back of the boat getting fuel in Dover- lesson – always go stern to wind. I should have learnt my lesson as the wind took the bows again in Ramsgate and I could do nothing.

The trip to Ramsgate was nice, close inshore, not to bouncy and, eventually everything I needed in the cockpit, I have now got a check list so I won’t get caught out again, (if you don’t have your auto pilot ready to go you can’t leave the helm), foresail up with a following wind and bright sunshine. All the bouys coming up clearly and quick as the tide carried me. I must check the chart plotter log and I  note that as the usual log seemed to reset at 100 miles and was significantly wrong. The trip meter, now reset on the GPS said 185 miles , which may be correct. Will start again now

Getting into Ramsgate was a bit like a simple Dover. Call the Port Control and then onto the marina, where the engine died on me and the strong wind blew the bows into another boat, bending their pushpit, hopefully that is all the damage. Altogether a bit of a disastrous day, but you live and learn ( and pay for your mistakes, although I haven’t yet seen the owner of the boat I hit, a rather scrappy Sigma)

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I went into town to the tourist information. Ramsgate only has a nautical museum, closed on Mondays. When asked what was there else to see in Ramsgate I was told,”the architecture on the front”, and that was it, I’d seen it, so I walked North to Broadstairs, the museum there didn’t open ’till 14:00 hrs so I walked home.  It’s not far. Nice walk though, and I quite liked Broadstairs, including the lift to Viking bay. Charles Dickens seemed to have lived in every house and wrote some or all of Great Expectations, Nicholas Nickalby and Barnaby Rudge. Saw the real Bleak House, now a hotel, and numerous Old Curiosity shops and pubs of the same name.

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Another day in Ramsgate, to see the nautical museum and the museum in Broadstairs then to Queensborough in the Medway on Wednesday.

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Ramsgate might be about Greenwich +5 mins, Littlehampton was Greenwich -100yrs

The museum was very keen on showing a Dunkirk small ship “Sundowner”

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Also back to Broadstairs

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Broadstairs beach stairs ( I never used the lift)

Cramton Tower Museum was good if you like toy trains (Hornby moved to Broadstairs from liverpool) and Victorian engineering (Crampton did loads with steam trains, tunelling machines etc – ahead of his time by far) 21st Aug 2016 there is an old bus day. Well worth a visit if you like old buses and the weather is fine.

Ramsgate week saw a week long regatta, so the harbour was full, and some art on the harbour wall (the words as per the lighthouse in dayglow, covered at high tide – I failed to get a photo)

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“Refuge for those in trouble”

Next it was on to Queenborough on the Isle of Sheppey. Initially it was wind behind with only the foresil up (too windy for 2 sails), then head to wind and motoring along Thames Estuary – lots of sandbanks and wind farms. Then the wind eased a bit as did the point of sailing, the sun came out and I had a lovely sail with two reefs in the main and a full foresail.

Getting into the Medway was fun, the big ships channel, which I crossed was well marked but suddenly there were more buoys than you could shake a stick at and a big sunk freighter in the middle.

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There is not much in Queenborough since they demolished the castle 300 years ago, even getting back to Greenwich appears to be difficult. Will get a cheap swinging mooring for 5 days and do my stuff at home.

Dover End July 2016

I came back to Brighton and the boat with Ronan. There were no trains from Maze hill into town and when we got to Victoria there were no trains for 2 hours to the Sussex Coast. Fuckin’ morons.

Ronan didn’t seem to enjoy his trip , he just wanted to sleep. He had no interest in the pier and none in the pavillion.

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He was supposed to help me get to Dover but just slept the whole morning, smiling only once, when I told him to.

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The cliffs were great and Dover was surpisingly historic ( apart from what they wanted to charge to even see the castle, which, as far as I could figure was full of virtual guides and other shite I have no interest in, so we went to the Drop Redoubt), the Napoleonic fort on the Western Heights instead. lovely day. Breakfast in a cafe next to one of the oldest chandlers in the country, the same cafe, I think that I went to many years ago with Charles Hurst.

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That’s about it for Dover -really shit to sail into but once there it was actually quite nice, I expect that the castle may have been nice too if I wasn’t so mean.

Leaving Dover by myself was also a real pain, although the seas died down after leaving. Motored some of the way to Ramsgate but then put the forsail up and was going 9 knts over the ground thanks to the tide.

Vibrant Brighton

No Osho today, he is working, but I met him last night and he took me to his local, “the Basketmakers Arms”.

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Just down the road from his place. Nice pub and nice area, totally different to Littlehampton, although I did see a slightly sleazier side to Brighton today when I got the #7 bus from the marina, past the hospital. Not so bad on the way into town but on the way back it was not the quaint, white, middle classes (like the houses around the pub yesterday) but white – yes.

Visited the pier on the way.

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Got a lot of my list done today whilst waiting on the electrician to come and fix (or condem) my windlass. Towards the end of the morning a new boat came in, with no idea where their mooring was, the usual shit, I assume, as it happened to me yesterday. Got them to the right place and helped with the ropes. thay said that they could do Brighton to Dover in 10 hrs, so I will relook at the charts, so I may not need to anchor off Dungeness (safe but not comfortable, so I am told). The electrician should come first thing tomorrow, let’s hope

So after doing all the stuff on my boat I went to the museum,

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which is next to the pavillion. I didn’t go into the pavillion because it was £13 and the pictures didn’t make it look worth it, lots of laid tables with silverware etc. The museum was a much more reasonable £5.30

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Lovely gardens around the pavillion and museum, stunning Holyhocks.

The museum was good, although overrun by foriegn,  I assume, language students, nice place to come, better than Littlehampton.

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In the local history section there was one picture of the mods, throwing deck chairs, and one picture of the rockers, not throwing anything but smiling for the camera

I have reset the new radio but can’t get Sam FM, I guess I can live with that.

I walked to town yesterday to meet Osho and went past the Concorde Club, which they were reburbishing. They let me use the lift though, it was a smaller version of the Greenwich tunnel lift when it had an attendant.

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Looks like a good music venue. The Zap Club was mentioned in the museum, I went there last time I was here (a weeks sailing course 30 years ago).

Brighton Marina

Arrived safely after another early start to catch the tide out of Littlehampton. Lovely sunny gentle sail to Brighton, but the wind was cold early i the day. The marina is different than I remembered – worse. It is now fully functional, although they are still still putting up a few buildings – huge, they say 1200 people live here , no Lidle but an Asda! Hard to find the berth 1363 as there are no numbers on the fingers. I used guess work and got it right, I had found 1371 and 1367, next door to each other (they were the only ones that did have numbers). Will get the windlass sorted because I will need it if I anchor in the lee of Dungeness. I like Dungeness, but maybe not so much if I am on a boat.  Will visit Brighton proper this evening and will try and get hold of Osho, but I don’t have his number and Cara is not picking up her phone. Next leg to Dover could be hard, too long for a single handed passsage and no decent harbours on the way.

Littlehampton or Bust

Just arrived at Littlehampton, the first leg of the trip, so I will tell you all about it, whether you are interested or not. Meanwhile the boat is falling apart. Also meanwhile here is the Nab Tower, without scaffolding, a first for me. Big boats go very close to the Tower – and me.

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Before all the equipment failures I have to say that I screwed up putting the main up, mind you it was the first time in about a year. Then the foresail sheets wrapped around each other. Full house! sail fuck-up wise.The wind instrument does not tell the  direction, I assume the speed readout is OK. I had to stop outside Littlhampton for 3 hours to wait for enough water in the entrance. I anchored but it was very rough and very uncomfortable,  have been thrown about before but not like this and am very bruised, the anchor dragged at first but settled down, probably because it fouled a lobster pot marker, when it came time to leave the windlass worked for about 10 secs before giving up the ghost, so I had to pull the anchor by hand, and nearly went over the side as the boat rocked on the big waves, luckily not as big as they were as it had begun to rain. Got to Littlehampton and parked with only a small scratch on the new paintwork. Huge tidal stream going in, never saw the tide gauge that was supposed to be there but had plenty of water, the harbour master tells me it is on the East beacon but is damaged because it has been hit by a boat, the boat must be in some state, but was probably a scabby old fishing boat anyway.  By the way I saw a scabby fishing boat being towed into harbour by the RNLI whilst I was being thrown around at anchor. It is now pissing with rain, again, Will go for a pub dinner and explore tomorrow. Here for at least 2 nights then on to Brighton, weather permitting. The harbour master is young and very helpful. Completely knackered and need a shower (tomorrow will have to do).

Well, after that little preamble of disasters that I wrote last night here is the low-down on Littlehampton. the milk has gone off but the good news is that there is a Lidl, I’ve never been to a Lil but I assume that it is like Asda, in that it keeps the riff-raff out of Waitrose, not that I go there either. So Lidl first then the museum. Apparently you can take the dingy up river (Arun) to Arundel, not that I did it, Lidl was enough exitement for one day.

I was up early, about the first person abroad, showered, shat but not shaved as yet. The place was deserted then slowly the incontinent made an appearance (Harwich for the Continent, Frinton (or Littlehampton) for the incontinent) generally pushing a wheel chair with some poor soul in it.

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This picture was taken on the front. I went to look at the drying bar in the entrance but it didn’t, dry that is.

The harbour silts up due to a longshore rip of sediment. Duing WW2 the army (bless ’em) tried to open the entrance up with explosive. It worked by showering the town with sand and gravel, the bang could be heard miles away (amazing what the museum tells you). The museum also tells that the town was very pleased with the revolving bridge installed once they got rid of the ferry after 2000 years. That went in the 60’s to be replaced by this footbridge, which pulls back to allow big ships through, although why a big ship would want to go through I have no idea.

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Next to appear were hordes of primary school kids festooned with dayglo waistcoats, it’s easy enough to spot 30 small kids and their teachers without these dayglo fashion accessories. A bit like the biggest lorries on the roads have the loudest horns and the most flashing yellow lights- why for God’s sake?

Finally the language school students appeared about lunchtime.

Altogether Littlehampton (Hampton Wick, I am told, is rhymimg slang) is less exiting than I had thought, footbridge excepted, the height of sophistication here seems to be a barber shop called “Jimmey Riddles” next door to a hair dresser’s called “Hairlucinations”, very droll!

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Littlehampton’s only other claim to fame is that they were the recipints of the Blue Peter 1. The inflatable inshore rescue boat provided by the Blue Peter appeal paid for by millions of bottle tops or stamps or some such.

It All Starts Tomorrow; Definitely, Maybe.

Kornog is now all ready, having worked hard on her all day, so I have no more excuses, apart from the weather. Its gusting up to 28 knots at the Hayling Yatch Co. but is due to calm a bit by high tide tomorrow morning, when I plan on going.

I have 4G data WiFi on board, all the electrics seem to work now and she is mostly cleaned and painted, although the painting could have been better, you live and learn, I’ll probably splash the cash next time (3 years ish) and have her topsides sprayed, I liked the undercoat colour.  Engine is running to charge the batteries as it is now hightide (5 pm).

The name looks good from a distance but I screwed up the appliction of the first half, the wind was bad and the instructions were were also poor, that’s my excuse anyway.  Littlehampton tomorrow via Nab Tower, if the weather is kind enough.

Here is Kornog ready to go:

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No music on my computer, which I shall have to put right next weekend. I also need to bring back the FM areal. My new stereo has DAB and FM and an aux input.