Cruise Part 2
Sat 5th April
The early morning shipping forecast was horrible – gales all over the place. Needless to say, I decided to remain in port at Ramsgate and make it a shopping day after a late rise.
I usually forget a few items when setting out on a cruise, even though I draw up a list of thing s needed. This time I left my gloves, marmalade and scrubbing brush at home, but I was able to buy replacements at the bustling port. The place was full of activity with a street market and I was amazed at the number of visitors and possibly immigrants, most of them Poles.
The highlight was eating out at MacDonald's where I was successful in using their free Hotspot to upload the previous Blog.
Mostly it was a bright sunny day with little indication of the strong northerly wind forecast. Had I known the meteorologists would get it wrong I would have left for Dover shortly after daybreak. As it transpired the day was reasonably enjoyable and only later did it cloud over to bring a few seasonable April showers, but tomorrow the forecasters predict a layer of snow over Kent to remain on the ground until evening. Accordingly I dug out my thermal underwear to insulate my body from the cold. I also bought a Woolworth's hot water bottle to ensure my toes will be warm. Another item that took my attention was a waterproof flashlight for only £4.99, including the battery. While at the store I also bought some soft pencils for chart work and for the English Channel Tidal Atlas, the pages of which I mark up for every hour to know in advance what the currents will be doing. When I have a choice the whole strategy for course planning depends on the Tidal Atlas, because it is not at all sensible to sail counter to the flood or ebb currents.
Sun 6th April
With an equally bad forecast as yesterday morning, this time including sleet and snow, it became obvious I would be staying at the Ramsgate pontoon G9 until tomorrow am at the earliest; the same applied to Nigel aboard his Hilyard 4 tonner, 'Nancy Rye'. Another yacht bound for Tichmarsh Marina also abandoned an attempt to beat into the strong north west wind. Two local racing boats with well togged crew members went out to race – rather them than me.