'Ladybird' at the start of the cruise
I’m taking a break in port today here at Brighton Marina, which is just as well, because this afternoon the wind is gusting up to Force 6. This morning there was a huge amount of activity, with boats of every kind in and out of the Marina. This a base for all sorts of aquatic activites including sailing and motorboat instruction, diving and sport fishing, yacht and dinghy racing, and of course fisherman who earn their living from the sea.
I arrived here at 2230 yesterday after a 16 ½ hour motoring stint in calm conditions. Many yachts made to the West while taking advantage of the favourable tide around Dungeness and later Beachy Head. There was very little excitement on the way down, except for several visits by bees. The plug on the Autohelm played up, but a bit of jigging got it back working again. I enjoyed looking at the chalk cliffs of Beachy Head which are quite stunning.
Today I’ve been doing a few maintenance jobs such as scrubbing the bottom of the boat from the pontoon with a long handled brush and fitting a new plug and socket to the Autohelm. I also shopped for food. I was mainly looking for snack type food, because this is what is needed for coastal hopping; things like cakes, biscuits, crisps, Mars etc.
One of the more interesting aspects of this sport is meeting fellow sailors, who usually have something to say about the things they have done, or are doing. At Dover I met Bart and his partner who are on their way from Holland to Greece. They have a very substantial Colin Archer style yacht. They are looking forward to the crossing of the Bay of Biscay from Falmouth to La Corunna. At Brighton Nick introduced himself. He and his crew are working up the Channel before crossing the North Sea, with the aim of cruising the Baltic.
As I type, the gusts are thrusting ‘Ladybird’ against the pontoon and I am wondering if the wind will die by nightfall; if not, getting to sleep will not be easy. What I do tomorrow will depend on the forecast.