Nick and Jo tie up in Brixham
Motorboaters Nick and Jo Craddock have arrived home after circling Britain for charity in their Fairline Phantom 43.
The couple were raising funds for the RNLI by meeting with estate agents at all their stop-offs. Nick is an estate agent himself.
Here is his final blog:
Friday, 25th July (74 days since departure)
STOP PRESS ! The god of sun had his lights punched out by the god of wind!
Apologies for my delay in doing this sort of final blog as we rounded Brixham breakwater at 2.15 Friday 25th July and I have taken over 24 hours to readjust to normality!
The Final Leg!
Yes this is it the last leg of our epic journey – well it has seemed epic to us! Following the beautiful calm sunny and windless day last wednesday when Jess and David our guests enjoyed a great boating day the wind god has got up from the canvas and on Thursday was blowing his hardest from the East!
The sea was rough and confirmed so by Jo & I taking a bus trip to Portland Bill – a famous promontory with a lighthouse and notorious for being a tad rough – and looking out at the sea from our high vantage point big waves were confirmed – we were definately here for another night! So following another night of merth and merriment with Melvin & Kay next to us (I caught an eel and much to Melvins shagrin proceeded to unhook it over his beautifully looked after teak bathing platform now covered in slime with a wriggling eel making it worse) suffice to say the eel found his way back and melvin got out his cleaning equipment pronto!
Melvin had arranged for a fuel tanker to come to us at between 7.30 to 8am next morning – cheers Melvin – so an early start was in store and so it came to pass! Refuelled and ready Melvin departed first heading for Cherbourg with the promise of a phone call to confirm sea conditions. The call later confirmed a south westerly sea rough at Portland but dooable (a boating word for just ok) so at 11.30 we fired Reel Estate up and said our goodbyes to Weymouth. The skies were grey and rain was in the air so a drive from the lower helm was decided upon and thank god we did!
Portland is about 7 miles south and was sheltering us from the prevailing south westerly that we would meet around the Bill. And we met it! Up and down with wipers on – again – and praying that it would get better or it was journey off! Fortunately it did calm somewhat as we got further out.So after 2 hours of bouncing around in a good 4 to 6′ swell, land finally came into view and Torbay approached. I was particularly pleased as a gypy tummy before we set off was turned into a sicky feeling for the first time on our journey – thankfully it subsided as the sea calmed nearing Brixham breakwater and home was in sight.
Stopping here we all transferred to the flybridge for the final mile in pleasant sunshine and a call from big bruv Julian confirmed a welcoming committee. I did have a quick worry to myself when visions of a brass band 500 people and the mayor on a tannoy came into my mind, but thankfully we were hooted in by Mark the new chairman of the Brixham Lifeboats and applause from Julian & Gwynne and that was a great finalli! Shortly after we were also given a thank you by the new big chief of the RNLI – a Lord Admiral who happened to be in town that day – so another great ending moment.
So all tied up with engines quiet some champagne was popped and life became suddenly still with no thought of passage planning or organising our next nights berth – we were home! Marina friends walk past with welcomes home by the bucket load and our story recounted many times over – a great village this and we thank them all for the support.
So after 1700 miles and shed loads of diesel later Reel Estate is actually in fine fettle with all the broken bits mended and very few battle scars so we thank her for being a great floating caravan for the 10 weeks or so that we have been away. It is strange to say that each leg is almost forgotten for the time being – no doubt memories will be rekindled when salty sea dog tales are told, but for now its time to chill out and prepare for being homeward bound on Sunday!
I do have to confirm with no disrespect to any of our ports of call that Brixham marina is by far the prettiest and most attractive place we have been in round Britain. knowing that fact alone makes the journey worthwhile and now we have been there done that and got the T-shirt there are no desires to do it again – we are sticking with this section of the South Coast although – mmm – we havent been to Guernsey for some time so lets get planning again !!
This is Reel Estate out. For now (;-)