Coastal Britain expedition and exploration begins.
I left Ramsgate harbour bright and shiny at 0700h, in order to gain a following tide for as long as possible. We made excellent time, in ideal conditions, surviving a 3 ferry convoy leaving Dover harbour, as one waited for entry. All good: I didn’t have to dodge traffic hardly at all. We rounded the coast, and discovered that there really was no option for mooring all the way to Eastbourne. OK: the weather was spectacular and the seas glassy smooth. At one point a very fast vessel came up from the stern, and warned us about the firing range that we were close to (but NOT within!). There were no other issues until we met a fogbank, 1h from Eastbourne. That made navigation and watchkeeping a little (!) more intense, but I have electronic assistance, and great crew, and there were no issues. We slowly made our way along, and overnighted in Eastbourne marina (It was clear and sunny in the marina…).
The next morning, good conditions again let us move on, this time with a little stronger winds, and a rising swell, as the winds had settled in overnight, blowing in the prevailing direction up the channel. As the day progressed, and we moved around Beachy Head, the swell became my first real test of the boat. She passed with flying (rolling, pitching, and yawing?) colours. I found lots of places within the boat that I need to stow things more securely, but there was never any time that the boat faltered of felt unsafe. Yeah! We watched a RNLI Rescue Vessel approach us at high speed, then turn suddenly and stop. As we passed, we realized they were rescuing jetski people from the water, with their floating jetskis bobbing in the swell.
The final moments on entry into Brighton harbour, facing the swell and the reflections off the seawall were uncomfortably rough, but fleeting, and then we moored in Brighton Marina.
The winds are up, and have been overnight, so the water really was not inviting, so we are staying here: Chris S joined us this afternoon. We will be in Brighton (where there is lots to do and see), until we can get a better weather window to continue on exploring the south coast.