A bit of adventurous sailing here from Ramsgate yesterday, the wind being about three times stronger than forecast, so 3m waves to plough through, and the huge ferries to dodge as we came into the harbour added to the experience. In Granville Dock, part of the marina, from yesterday evening. Very sheltered and locked in at low tide.
The A20 dominates the harbour with 1000s of vehicles from juggernauts to bicycles thundering in both direction on and off the ferries daily, cutting the beach and harbour from the rest of the town.
The Harbour Board own the sea front crescent, beautiful Victorian architecture though pretty run down. The sea front itself has had a lot of regeneration work in the last year and it’s looking good! Alas some ghastly derelict 1970s office buildings and other abominations are behind it, though these are about to be pulled down with a new shopping and cinema complex in its place. Let’s hope for better architecture!
I spent today being a domestic goddess, domestic something anyway! I made a batch of strawberry jam after scoring three punnets of said fruit for 59p each in Ramsgate Waitrose on Monday, now transformed into 6 jars of deliciousness. I also tried the oven for bread baking and have three loaves at the ready, a little burnt on their bottoms but hey, two for the freezer and one for breakfast.
Clive sourced a chart for the south coast and carried out various running repairs. We discovered an excellent Chandlery close to the mooring, a proper old fashioned seafarers delight. After an extensive search of the town by Clive, we can confirm two things…. The first is that the town centre is less than attractive and there are no 5 litre containers of vinegar to be found anywhere, much needed for bilge cleansing. In a few years time, Dover could be on the ‘up’ and join the ranks of Margate in shabby chicness.
Looking at the weather and the tides, our next port of call is likely to be Newhaven or Eastbourn, and the best day to set off will be Saturday, after a nasty low front tomorrow night moves through. It’ll be up to 12 hours sailing so we need to be prepared food wise, time wise and tide wise. If anyone would like to come with us, extra crew most welcome.
Though the thought of two more days in Dover isn’t the most appealing of ideas, it will coincide with good pals Birgit & Carsten and their two kids Tim & Jule, who are on their way home via Dover to Germany after three weeks holiday in Devon & Cornwall, so we hope to see them on Friday or even tomorrow. Tonight we’re going to the Mash Tun, recommended by pals in Harwich, tomorrow maybe the Castle, which is quite a spectacle as you approach from the sea.
Now for tasks I shall do in each port of call
1 – take a snap of the ongoing adventures of Captain Jack and Fergus
2 – Bog watch – a considered report on the marine showers and loos, giving marks out of 5 with 5 being excellent and 1 poor, really only of interest to other mariners so do ignore unless you’re an avid Lucinda Lambton ‘Temples of Convenience’ fan
Bog Watch to date in brief…
Ipswich has three shower blocks
At the marina office, 5 for the loos and 3 for the showers – beautifully done however large shower heads very high, so by the time the water hits you, you have to dodge about to try and be under it.
Middle block – a portacabin, 4 for the loos and lovely and warm too, 1 for the showers
The block by the lock gates – 5 and 5, by far the best
Levington a 4 overall
Harwich all newly done, a 4 overall, showers are tokens only giving you 8 minutes exactly from entering the token. No soap dish in the shower. No drain on the floor so water pools outside the shower so keep your flip flops handy
Lowestoft 4 for loos (a 5 for the copper & brass urinals in the gents) and 3 for showers, jaded and faded
Ramsgate 4 and 4, though too far from the outer marina
Dover a 4 overall, old buildings however clean & functional