We left Ramsgate Sunday at 10.30 am; we had to wait until then to ensure we had enough water to leave the harbour as there is a sandbank just inside the entrance. It was very busy at the time with many vessels leaving port around the same time. The weather, which had been terrible, was much improved. The wind had died down and the snow was finally melting but it was still bitterly cold.
Heading for Dover we could see the famous cliffs in the distance, the sea was nice and calm and the wind was behind us. You could also see the coast of France in the distance the countryside covered with snow. Once passed Dover it was time to think of lunch with the crew getting hungry I took myself to the galley to make lunch of homemade soup (made before we left just in case we encountered rough seas) and ham and cheese sandwiches followed by some fresh fruit.
By now we were making 10 knots and we decided to burst on through the night working in pairs taking two hours each. This weather was too good to stop as stronger winds are forecast for Monday night and Tuesday
I was again in the galley, what a pleasure to be doing the cooking is such good conditions. With everyone fed it was time to divide up the watches Simon and Nigel would work together and Graham and myself would take over from them. We decided on two hour watches, as a lot of concentration was required.
We passed the Isle of Wight at 1.30 am still making 10 knots. There was a lot of traffic in this area even at this time of the night. It was time for some coffee and nibbles to keep the crew awake and alert.
At 4.15 am and the watch changed Simon and Nigel were heading to the sack and Graham and I were taking over. Monday morning and everyone had earned a good breakfast and we took it in turns to go to the bunk for a nap.
Passing the large sheltered harbour of Plymouth we had to take into account the Royal Navy who have a large naval base there. They use the area for training and at certain times of the day there are exclusion areas as their training include firing live weapons. Plymouth is also a very busy commercial port with a lot of ferry and freight traffic.
From Plymouth we plotted a course for the Lizard and from there we will round Lands End. Depending on Weather we will plot a course for Kinsale or if conditions dictate we will head up the west coast of England before we cross the Irish Sea.