Who's doing all this sailing?

It's Vince and Malcolm

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Why?

For charity of course

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Brighton to Eastbourne 28th July 2007

 
We are up and showered. had breakfast, and on our way to the supermarket for fresh supplies. There aren't many people about this morning as we walk along the promenade between the tower blocks and the marina. There are sales staff, and various trades people working on the brokerage boats moored on the pontoons nearest to the promenade. There are lots of boats for sale most of them being above 40ft, and very costly.

With our carrier bags of food and drinks stretching our arms towards the ground, we make our way back to the boat, and with the marina being very large it's a long way to the furthest end from the shops. back aboard Anita 'A' I put the kettle on and we have a hot drink and light snack before preparing Anita for sea.

Its half an hour before our departure time when another visiting yacht motors down the channel looking for their allotted berth, and yes you have guessed it, they have been given our berth, The staff here are completely incompetent. As we were almost ready to leave we decided to help the other crew out by moving of. We moved to the end of the pontoon to wait until we were ready to go.

11:00 and Ron lets go as I motor off and out of the marina, next stop Eastbourne. We still have the wind from the south east and broad reach along the coast towards Beachy Head. We stay about half a mile off shore with the swell from the starboard quarter which isn't too bad for Ron, I don't mind where the swell is as long as we can sail. We will be passing Newhaven, and a quick check on the ferry times confirms there will be no ferries entering or leaving as we transit the entrance. Its 12:20 as we pass Newhaven, and the ferry terminal is in view with a ferry docked alongside. I had calculated that the ferry should be at sea, unless there is another operator or the time table has been altered?

14:05 and we are off Beachy Head, The white cliffs look magnificent with the light house being dwarfed in the foreground. We alter course for Eastbourne 040degT, and the motion of the boat gets worse as we round Beachy Head, but we are soon through the worst of the swell and into the relative calm of Eastbourne Bay. ETA at Eastbourne is 16:00, and as we sail along the coastline of the bay I decide to telephone some friends who live in Tonbridge Wells as they said they would like to visit us when we are close enough to them, and as they visit Eastbourne regularly here we will be soon. It's dually arranged for their visit tomorrow, and they will ring me when they arrive.  

With the wind still F4/5 SW we are soon entering the entrance to Sovereign Marina Eastbourne. The outer harbour is spacious but very shallow with the channel well marked to the entrance to the twin locks gates, and there is a holding pontoon outside. Ron helms the boat alongside the waiting pontoon, and I jump onto it with the bow line. A quick turn round the cleat on the pontoon, and I catch hold of the guard wire while Ron gets the stern line on. Then it's a short wait for the water level in the lock to lower to the right level before we can proceed into the marina. Once through the lock we motor round D pontoon and take up a vacant mooring.

We both go to the office to check in, and find the staff here very  friendly and helpful. We are told that the berth we have occupied is not taken so we can stay there. What a difference to Brighton. After settling in and having a meal, we decide to have a walk and explore the facilities nearby. Eastbourne Marine is a large marina, and has an Asda superstore (open seven days a week), in the retail park next to the marina.

There is also a Multiplex cinema, post office, dry cleaners, cash point machines, pharmacy and a number of High Street names including Next, there are also large blocks of apartments built around the marina.

29th July and we are having a rest day today, some friends of mine from Tunbridge Wells arrive mid morning to see us, they often visit here at weekends and have a walk around the marina so it  makes a change for them to spend some time on the pontoon and boat. Julie is taking a few pictures too.  We walk round the retail park,  before going for a meal in one of the pub/restaurants. Then it was time for them to leave.

For some exercise we decide to walk along the Royal Parade into town which is about two miles. we carried on along the front as far as the Hydro, and then back into town. There are families on the beach enjoying the warm summer evening, and all of the beach huts along the promenade are occupied too. We stop off for a drink, and sit on one of the tables overlooking the sea. Then its back to the boat to relaxed for the evening. Ron is studying the tides for tomorrow to decide what time we should depart. Its crucial that we arrive off Dungeness in time to catch the tide change so we can take advantage of two tidal flows in our favour. We will aim to reach Ramsgate, with Dover as an alternative.

There is a fishing boat moored alongside the pontoon opposite, with two guys working on the engine. So me being inquisitive or if you prefer nosey I wander over to find out what they are doing. Its the owner and his mate, they are striping down the top end of the engine, ready for the engineers who are arriving from Leeds tomorrow to start to rebuild it with all the new parts. All the old pistons and sleeves are laid on the deck together with the cylinder heads con rods etc. The owner said it is costing about 30,000.00 just for the top end, and he will have the bottom end done next year, no doubt at great cost, but he is anxious to get back fishing as soon as possible. Ron arrives across the pontoon to tell me that we need to leave at 07.00hrs which is a good time for me, if the weather is good we will have a full days sailing.

Vince

 

 

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