Category Archives: 2017 – UK

Our First Week – 8th to 14th May 2017

Dover to Cherbourg

Our first day the sun was shining so we had a leisurely morning before setting off for a walk.  Just the day before there had been news of a new Banksy which had appeared in Dover.  It was a first for us to see the real thing and wasn’t too far from the Marina (it could be seen from the Marina office) so went off to see it.  There were a few people gathered taking photos.  The guy in the Marina said that all that anyone had seen was some scaffolding and plastic sheeting go up on the previous Friday. It was a derelict building so no-one had taken much notice.

1. Banksy Dover 09.05.17.

We decide on a walk up to Dover Castle which was all uphill, not good for Ian’s knees.  The castle is worth a visit it covers a vast area and the views of the surrounding area are great.  Visibility was such that you could see France.  There are tunnels here which date back to the late 1700’s and were used for the organisation of “Operation Dynamo” the evacuation of Dunkirk by Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay.

Exit for Eastbourne

We left bright and early on Wednesday morning (10th May 2017) at 6.45am.  Having to get used to these early mornings again as since giving up work the only thing we did at this time of the morning was either sleep or roll over and go back to sleep!  We left at this time so we could carry some of the tide which gave us an extra two knots, as by 9.30am we would lose this. It was a lovely sunny day with slight easterly winds of 8 knots.

10, Dover from the sea - 10.5.17.

Dover for drinks on Morning Star 10.5.17.


We arrived in Eastbourne at around 12.45pm went through the lock to our allocated mooring and who was in the next berth only Bob and Gillian on Morning Star, who had left Dover the day before.  We spent a few hours aboard Morning Star with a few glasses of vino to toast the start of both our trips.

As we are not on holiday, “this is a way of life” one of Ian’s quotes, we spent Thursday doing chores, cleaning inside and out, washing and shopping.  We had a visit from Bill and Claire on Thursday evening who live in Hastings.  So we went off for an Indian meal in the restaurant in the harbour.   Friday our sails, sun cover and dingy cover arrived.  So we are now all ready to go.

13. Beachy Head 13.5.17.

Beachy Head 13th May 2017 – 13.20 Wind: SSW 14kts

12.00 noon on Saturday morning we left Eastbourne for Chichester harbour where we were planning on anchoring up for the night.  Having been told on a number of occasions “we are not sailing to windward” we sailed to windward.  Eight hours and ten minutes later we were sitting on a buoy just off Hayling Island.  It was quite a blustery night so did roll about quite a lot, not great for a good night’s sleep.  It certainly didn’t rock us off to sleep!



Cruising to Cherbourg

Another early morning.  We left Chichester at 6.45am.  Wind on the nose again (I must have dreamt we are not going to windward) but this was the best window for crossing the channel as the winds got lighter the nearer to the French coast we got.  The next opportunity would have been Wednesday so off we went.  It was a bit bumpy to start with but it did get better.  Morning Star had been in Portsmouth but we caught up with them in the Channel.

We arrived in Cherbourg after  11 long hours and a lovely sunny calm evening.  Bob and Gill arrived on Morning Star about 45 minutes later so we greeted them with a glass of vino which then became a few bottles more and dinner.  A lovely start to the French leg.


16th May 2017

Castaway 8th May 2017

It has been a long time in the planning but the day has finally arrived to cast off.  We were waved off by quite a crowd after a few bubbles and some tears from the Island Yacht Club.  Excited for the future but we will miss everyone at home but we hope to see some of you in warmer climates.

The day started off overcast and it had turned quite chilly.  Luckily for us as we have a catamaran we don’t have to sit in the cockpit we can sit inside and keep watch.  Thinking of Gill and Bob Hough on Morning star who are making some of the trip with us for the first few months who will be sitting in their cockpit.

For our first season we plan to take in France, northern Spain and Portugal ending up somewhere in southern Spain for the winter.

We left at 11.45am, a northerly wind to give us a glorious reach down the Thames Estuary followed by a run to our first port of call, Dover.  By 3 O’clock the clouds had gone and there was nothing but blue sky and sun.

Red Shivering Sands 8.5.17.

Shivering Sands Forts in the Thames Estuary


11th May 2017