Southampton to Pin Mill

Southampton to Pin Mill

After several days of bad weather, gales, high winds grey cloudy skies and rain, at last the weather looked to be improving. I was up and away from Ocean Village by 05.55 to catch the ebb down Southampton water. I skirted the edge of the channel on the mainland side to keep clear of ferries and the like. Calm at first but a light breeze from NW sprang up so up went the main & yankee. It was fairly busy passing Portsmouth with both IOW and Normandy Ferries but was able to keep clear easily. Past the Horse Sand Fort and I set a course for the start of the Looe channel. I was now catching the flood up the channel which I was able to carry almost all the way to Newhaven where I entered the harbour and tied alongside the visitors pontoon. A long but satisfying day, 63 miles 12 hours.
A later start as I waited for the tide but away just after 10.00. Today took me past Beachy Head and I passed inshore of the Royal Sovereign Shoals. Off Hastings I went and hove to had a chat to a 40’ Motor cruiser who had put out a Pan Pan with engine failure. I assured myself they were OK, weather was fine they had an anchor down and were quite content to wait for an arranged tow back to Bournemouth, so I carried on. Past Dungeness and so to Dover. Tricky to enter the marina of the inner harbour with the sun sun low and on my eyes. 56 miles 10 hrs
Next morning I had a grandstand view of the Border Force doing their thing with what turned out to be a record number (over 180) of illegal immigrants crossing the channel in rubber dinghies. Again waiting for the tide for an afternoon departure for the short hop up the coast to Ramsgate. 15 miles
An early start from Ramsgate the next day to catch the tide up past North Foreland and then catch the ebb across the estuary. I decided on the route up through the Tongue Deepwater anchorage then through Foulgers Gat through the London Array wind farm. Strange this to be sailing between the wind pylons. Thence up the Black Beep and across the Sunk across the Gunfleet sands and so to the Medusa channel up to Harwich and so up the Orwell to pick up my new mooring at Pin Mill. 48 miles 10 hrs.
So now I can look forward to exploring an area steeped in maritime history which is new to me.