The fleet make for home ports
Calm Voyager, Port Solent Marina
Sunday 26th August
Time to go home now
A radio brief at 0715 hrs announced that the fleet would head home today. Calm Voyager, with Claire and Neale aboard, was the first boat to depart harbour to access the conditions. A blanket of fog had engulfed the harbour, so it was decided to move all boats out of Victoria Marina on the falling tide and berth them temporarily on the outer holding pontoons.
The fog was eerie and the loud blasts of the foghorn from the lighthouse echoed all around. At least half an hour passed by as Calm Voyager held station outside the harbour waiting for the fog to lift. Once the Condor High Speed Cat had completed its morning stop off at Guernsey, St Peter Port Harbour Control gave the fleet the go-ahead to depart the harbour. Cruise leader Neale asked participants to form a line, and exit the harbour in a convoy behind MBM lead boat Calm Voyager. The initial speed of the procession was 10 knots and Time Flies, skippered by Michelle and Jon, escorted the rear of the fleet. Once underway, the fog lifted slightly and the visibility improved enough for the boats to break away and continue on passage at their normal cruising speeds.
Ten miles into the passage, Sealine T46 Endless Summer reported to Calm Voyager that their dinghy had broken loose from the bathing platform. Calm Voyager alerted Time Flies who went to assist. Jon climbed into the RIB tender and managed to secure it to a long tow line. The sea conditions, however, had become a little lumpier in the northerly wind, so it was decided that Calm Voyager would lead Endless Summer east, at a steady eight knots into Braye Harbour, Alderney, where they could look at ways to secure the tender prior to the Channel crossing. Time Flies accompanied the fleet for the remainder of the passage.
The further north the fleet travelled, the sea flattened and the sky brightened. It was the balmy crossing everyone had hoped for, with blue skies the rest of the way. By 1700 hrs all boats had logged out with Neale and Claire by phone, reporting that they were safely back at their home ports. Many had said that the visit to Guernsey had made their holiday, especially highlighting the rib trip to the neighbouring island of Herm.
And so the Cruising Club season comes to a close. The Channel lslands and West Country cruise may have been hampered by bad weather but first Channel crossings were made and many new friends too. Congratulations and thanks to all those who have taken part. Until next year, happy boating.
Endless Summer, AquaVit & Dream Catcher
Princess 35 Two To Tango
Solent Bound – Sealine T46 Endless Summer passes the Needles