In this month’s Confession, we hear how one Quicksilver owner learned the importance of old-fashioned equipment on his inaugural cruise
In early April I left Newhaven Marina aboard my new Quicksilver 640 Weekend OB ‘Kaluer’ with professional skipper Bob Tuthill, bound for our new berth at Ramsgate Marina.
The journey started after the morning fog had cleared from the marina and the Dieppe ferry had left, but no sooner were we out of the harbour we encountered a thick sea fog that wouldn’t lift despite the best efforts of the morning sun.
We proceeded cautiously with all the navigation lights switched on, relying completely on our GPS.
Unfortunately, some time later the GPS lost its signal and despite several attempts to reset the equipment and fiddling with lots of wires it refused to work.
We decided to proceed with even more caution and slowed the 115hp Mercury outboard, keeping a lookout and continuing in the direction of our last bearing.
Approximately 15 minutes later, although it felt like a lot longer than that, the GPS sprung back to life and we were able to follow our intended track.
However, we immediately realised we were headed due south, the opposite direction to Ramsgate – had we continued, we would have ended up in France!
It occurred to me that if I’d had a conventional compass on board, as well as my whizzy GPS unit, we wouldn’t have strayed off course.
Just after Beachy Head, the sea fog lifted and the coast was a welcome sight. The sea was reasonably calm and we made good progress to Dungeness, after which the sea became quite choppy.
The 640’s RCD category is C for inshore waters but she handled so well that we were confident ‘Kaluer’ would hold her own and keep us safe. We trimmed her down and kept to a sensible speed, in what were real offshore conditions.
The run from Dungeness to Dover was easy and Bob and I even had time to test out the 12V kettle, and enjoy a cup of tea and lunch underway. We passed Dover and the fair weather continued, right up until we reached Ramsgate when the wind picked up again.
But after travelling continuously for over four hours we were keen to get into the marina and pushed on making a swift dash to our pontoon.
Kaluer‘s inaugural cruise had been a successful one, all I had to do now was invest in a good old-fashioned compass!
The author of every confession we print wins the original Stephen Shaw cartoon artwork (above) and an Icom IC-M23 Buoyant VHF Marine Transceiver handheld VHF radio worth £165.
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