Friday, 27 January 2012

The delivery

With the boat bought it was time to take her to her somewhere closer to home where I could do my fit out, add all the stuff that I really don't need but would like and makes life more comfortable and a bit safer.

I was still a bit nervous about taking a new unfamiliar boat with god knows what gremlins hidden away on a long journey on rough seas.

It was late September 2011, the destination was 55 degrees north, a rough passage was pretty much guaranteed and yes we did have a rough passage. Considering the time of year and weather experienced in Scotland/England at this time of year, volunteers for crew were not forth coming, the short notice didn't help much either. I only had ten days to get her moving or start to pay very expensive short term marina fees.

I called my first tutor, Mr Brian Woodruff, he was my tutor on my very first sailing course the RYA competent crew course, I enjoyed his relaxed teaching manner. I asked if he was free to do a delivery , extra training trip, fill in some of the gaps in my knowledge and skill (that's what I'd like to call em, others may differ in their expression of my abilities).

So the crew consisted of Brian, Nic and myself, we set off down on the Sunday night, my good friend William agreed to drive us down, a long drive, a 1000 miles up n back, with a car full of crap (sorry useful stuff). We made it down to the south of England in good time, the boat was lying in Kent, which is the south east of England and was going up to Scotland through the Irish sea. The forecasts were not good, but unlike when cruising you can wait it out, this was a delivery, everything had to be arranged, time off work taken, we had 2 spare days, the journey was approximately 700NM so 5 days and we had seven, not a great window but we went for it.

The first day was not too bad spent heading along the English channel, staying away from the traffic separation zones where the big ships trundle along. Nic , who had not been on the sea for a while became sea sick, Steven who in a rush, forgot the 4 different packs of sea sickness tablets he had bought, left at home on the table next to the door , left right at the door so he would not forget them... doooh.

The first night picked up to F6-7 South easterly, ie right on the nose, on came the iron sail and we bashed and slammed through it, pretty much all the way to lands end, shortly after which it was sail or sail, ie 1/5 fuel tank left, it would have been nice to have tacked all the way along and probably a smoother ride, but hey it was a delivery we bash through it, time scale to keep and all that. The front v berth was uninhabitable, it was like a shotgun going off every twenty seconds or so, Nic was very sea sick but managed to make dinner and a nice one at that, it was difficult enough to stand up never mind anything else, she was a miracle worker!

We managed to sail the remainder to Milford Haven in the South west of Wales, Nic awoke just after we surfed the last waves on entry to Milford haven, hoping the swell would not set us on the mid channel rocks.

She came up dosey from sleeping saying her stomach was iffy, but she was rested, brian and myself laughed, knowing what we had just been through and she had slept through the lot of it, F8 left overs of some hurricane, the gps recorded 20.8 knots while surfing on some rather large breaking waves, welcome to sailing! I'm glad i had worked on the fishing boats in my youth, I had seen very large seas and a skipper with a full hold waits for no storm. It was strange feeling the helm go light as the waves lifted the aft of the boat out of the water and the rudder began to loose grip.

The boat handled it all in its stride nothing broke, it had the proverbial S**t kicked out of it non stop for 5 days in total, 3 to wales the other 2 to Scotland. I had explained to Nic that the trip would more than likely be rough and the chances are that she would not experience anything worse than this on a trade winds downhill sail.around the world.

Entering Milford Haven

Nic being sea sick, she has got better!

A wee celebratory drink for our arrival

The calm after the storm lol still 15-20ft
Milford haven, lots of steps...

Cheers, happy people

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Thanks for your interest!

Nic n Steve.