Thursday 7th August there were warnings of very windy weather
coming with the arrival of what was left of hurricane “Bertha”.I
decided to get Elvin on her way home before it came so we left
Salcombe in the very early hours of Fri 8th Aug with a good NW’ly
to help us,under full sail with both engines (Not revving much)
and making 9 knots +.Crew me,Hywel and Colin Goodwin.We made extremely
good progress and set course from Salcombe to Beachy Head.Dawn
broke 12 miles off Portland Bill and by evening we decided to
put into Eastbourne and top up the fuel and pick up son Tom as
an extra crew.
were in and out through the lock and fuelled in half an hour and
heading for Ramsgate where we could put in if the weather was
too bad.At 23.20 we were abeam Dungeness wind about force 5.
we rounded Dover we first took in the staysail,then the jib and
finally the main.As we approached Ramsgate at 03.30 going well
into force 5 NW.As we approached N Foreland wind increased significantly,set
course to go East of Margate sands .Wind and rain increased++.Just
after we had turned to port to head towards Prince’s channel
there was a call from Dover coastguard on channel 16 with an urgent
gale warning “Gale force 8 in the N Foreland area imminent”.
had been issued 2 hours earlier and we we in the middle of it.
Elvin was fine making good progress at 2500rpm on both engines.Took
a lot of water over the bows and front hatch leaked a bit. Colin
thrown out of bunk onto the floor.
06.15 at Red Sands Towers and wind decreased to about force 6
and making good time at 2600rpm,hoised main and jib.
0700 Sea reach bouy No2,tide just turning in our favour.
09.30 Under QE2 Bridge making 10 kts +
11.40 Under London Bridge,322 nautical miles in less than 35 hours!!
Average speed over the ground just over 9 kts including stop for
fuel and force 8 gale.
15.25 Tied up at Hampton sailing club.
There is now a “Framed challenge” at both Salcombe
YC and Thames Motor YC for any other boat to get from Salcombe
to the non tidal Thames the next day,or the other way round.