2014 News

On 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.

We 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.

As 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”.

This 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.