Sunday, May 15, 2016

Maiden Voyage

We woke up at 4.30am to leave Ipswich and head South - why 4.30am??? to time our arrival in the Dover Straits with the best tidal advantage.... Gosh it was cold but at least it was light when we quietly slipped out of Fox's Marina and cut our tie to the Oyster team who have attended to our every issue since we arrived in Ispwich.

The Orwell River was lovely and still; we motored down and pulled out full sail in the mouth of the river and headed out into the North Sea (yikes).... We have heard every story of this passage in the last few weeks, so we were well prepared however it was perfect and we even found the wind farms pretty cool as we had to seen such huge farms before. Then after a while it glassed off and we had two dolphins pass by. But it was bloody cold!

Leaving Fox's Marina

Skipper Bellamy rugged up - is this summer??
Calm enough to sit at the back despite all the gear!

Then it glassed off and dolphins came and the sun came out for a few minutes

Weather changed so we headed to Dover

So this was our first entry it a new harbour and we choose one of the busiest ports in the UK. The Dover Straits are closely monitored and you have to call Port Control on the radio for permission to enter the Port and they then give you instructions. The wind was picking up and the current was flowing at over 2 knots as we approached. Carolyn nervously called Port Control and the instructed us to turn North, wait for a ferry to exit and then keep our speed on and enter the Port on the East side, right where we were; that was great as we expected to have to sail around to the other entrance rather than cross the busy port with huge ferry's and ships manuvering all around.

Yuck - 26 knots as we entered the harbour

Dover was much nicer than we anticipated and has some lovely historic buildings, the castle on the hill overlooking the harbour looks amazing. Just a shame that there is a constant flow of lorries through it. We found a nice pub and had an okay meal - maiden voyage over!
Askari looked quite big in the tidal basin at Dover with the castle up behind
Dover Harbour Board House 1606

Promenade at Dover

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