Dover to Eastbourne – 23rd May 2015

I got up early to run the engine for an hour before I left to try to charge the domestic batteries.  Left early to try to get a fair tide at Dungeness.  The chartplotter was again only working intermittently.  Not too much of a problem, as I had up to date paper charts, a charting app on my tablet, and a handheld GPS, but puzzling, because if the batteries were not fully charged, the alternator should be providing enough charge for the plotter.  Then I suddenly thought!  Perhaps the battery selector needs to be in the ‘Both’ position for the alternator to be feeding the domestic circuit?  Went below to switch it over, and bingo, everything back to normal. So since Ipswich, the domestic batteries had been running the fridge, lights, etc. for quite a lot of time, without any charging.  So does the wind generator charge both sets of batteries when the battery selector is set to ‘Off’?  Need to ask Mike about that.

Waiting for a cruise ship to dock before leaving Dover
Waiting for a cruise ship to dock before leaving Dover

Again, a trip of two halves.  Up to Dungeness, pretty flat seas, north easterly wind, comfortable motor sailing.  So much so that I was able to do some trombone practice!  After Dungeness, the wind increased, still from astern, and increasingly steep seas – another wind over tide situation probably causing these.  I put the trombone away and concentrated on sailing on broad reaches.  Gybing was tricky, and I found the mainsheet system difficult to use from the helming position.  I was also concerned that when the sheet was in the jammer, if the forces on it were significant it was difficult to release it – something that could be a risk in strong winds.  Off Sovereign Harbour, I rounded into the wind to drop the main – again, stowing the sail properly was not easy on the pitching deck, and the autopilot did not do a good job of keeping the boat head to wind.

Passing Dungeness nuclear power station
Passing Dungeness nuclear power station

The entrance to Sovereign Harbour was easy, and I locked through with a number of other boats and into a visitor berth.  Nice, if modern marina, good facilities, Asda nearby.  In the evening I walked along the front into Eastbourne (about half an hour’s walk) and had dinner in a Portugese restaurant.  Not a lot else there though!

Berthed in Sovereign Marina
Berthed in Sovereign Marina
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Dover to Eastbourne – 23rd May 2015

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