I travelled to Ramsgate by train the evening before, and left early in the morning to make use of the favourable tide to Dover. Singlehanded now! It was a tale of two halves. Motored in flat seas inside the Goodwind Sands, up the Gull Stream. Breeze picked up, on the nose, but put up the sails and did some tacking up the channel. Towards the southern end of the Gull Stream, there was an almost instant change from flat water to a chop. Chime sailed pretty well to windward I thought, making 5 knots heeled over and into the seas. I didn’t have time to consider how much leeway she was making though! As we were making towards the SW Goodwin shoals I rolled in the genoa and motored directly towards Dover. It was a bit of a roller coaster ride and a struggle to tidy the mainsail up after I had dropped it. It was also a bit of a concern that the autopilot struggled to keep control in the conditions, as I rely on it quite a bit when I am singlehanded. I was pleased to get into the shelter of the harbour.
Once moored up, I set about replacing the water pump – I had taken a new one with me. Although of the same make, the mountings were different, and I had to walk into Dover to get new bolts and a drill. The fitting went OK and I started running the pump to bring the system up to pressure. It kept running, and running! I looked in the engine compartment, and water was pouring out of what looked like a pressure release valve on the calorifier. Filling the bilges for a second time! I emptied the cockpit locker to get at the valve, and a bit of a fiddle with it produced the desired result. Refilled the water tank and now had running water, a big improvement! I also noticed that there was some diesel leaking from the dipstick tube on the tank, after I had fuelled up.
During the journey, the chartplotter display had also been blacking out at times, and when I tried to enter the waypoints for the next day’s passage to Eastbourne, it shut down. The battery monitor was showing that the voltage of the domestic batteries was low. Perhaps I shouldn’t have the fridge on all the time!