No Bluebirds, Only Blue Rinse and Redheads.

Ramsgate to Eastbourne

Neil, in a bid to catch the best of the tides, and as Skipper for the day, set departure at 6:30am. On time, we slipped lines and headed out into the English Channel for the first time on RBE2014. With Northerly or North Easterly winds we were set fair to sail down and around the coast, crossing the busy shipping lanes at Dover (do people still go on the ‘Booze Run’, I wonder?) and around into Eastbourne. A beautiful day with, until later, cloudy skies. Nonetheless, I caught more of the sun that I should have so will be wearing a cap today, Wednesday, to cover my reddened head.

Our new team member, Vera, has fitted in well and the additional crew means that, on longer journeys where we operate a watch system, we can now each get 3 hours off for every 2 on Watch. Brilliant, except my first 3 hours were spent in my cabin with the lights off fighting nausea as the boat pitched and tossed in the swell. That’s my own fault as I simply did not take any sea-sickness tablets. My complacency needs addressing.

Vera, for lunch, and in her first foray into the galley, made a very mean salad and ham wrap with the addition of melted cheese on the inside of the wrap. Nice.

The marina where we’re berthed is 5km or so from Eastbourne town centre so the opportunity to explore, in the time we have, is limited. It has a reputation as being one of ‘God’s Waiting Rooms’ on the South Coast, given the number of elderly retired folk who move here to see their last days out by the seaside. It’s quite obvious, from the number of apartments surrounding the harbour and marina, that the Baby-Boomers are here in their numbers with their relative prosperity on show – that famous ‘Silver Pound’ and blue rinse brigade. (Hint to Edd and  India.. it’s better here than the Sunny Side Rest Home down the road. But then, so’s Scrabster. Or Helmand Province, come to that.)

Our plans remain fluid, as always, but we’re planning to leave here just after mid-day and make our way to Chichester Harbour and the marina that’s on East side of Hayling Island, Sparkes Marina. After that, it’s too early to tell.

Wildlife has been a bit thin lately so little to report. Certainly no sign of any Bluebirds over the Dover cliffs as we sped past.  And I’m still getting ribbed about the Sea Eagle mistake so I’m keeping my observations and sightings to myself until I can confirm that, for example, the huge light-house on the horizon is, in fact, a fast-moving yacht just 1km away, heading straight for us.

Dinner was pasta and salad, easily prepared with the help of a Loyd Grossman sauce and Waitrose’s finest Gnocchi.

Chichester Ship Basin – try saying that quickly and with a mouthful of Blancmange – here we come!


June 17th    Day 73




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