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Brighton 9th July

Yacht Quintet
Brighton Marina

9th July, 2005

<-Eastbourne 8th July Brighton 10th July->

Blimey, what a rockin' rollin' anchorage? At about 6.00 o'clock this morning the boat lurched and Clive nearly fell out of bed!

We'd arrived pretty close to high tide last night and the tide would have been running out all night. But the moment that tide and wind were no longer in conjunction, the boat started to leap all over the place. However we were not to be that easily dissuaded from attempts at sleep. It was after 10.00 when we emerged from our pits.

We were reminded of the lines from Flanders and Swann's 'Song of the Weather': In July the sun is hot. Is it shining? No it's not!

Click for a larger imageSo we sat around and decided where we might go that day, and in a fit of inertia, we decided upon Brighton, just 15 miles or so away. Clive immediately addressed himself to the passage plan while I got on with writing up our journey from Boulogne.

It was gone 2.00pm by the time we weighed anchor and we sailed southwest towards Beachy head.

The wan summer sunlight reflecting off Eastbourne pier reminds one of why so many Britons holiday in Spain.

Click for a larger imageAs we rounded Beachy Head with its sparkling white cliffs one wondered why the drab grey version at Dover was chosen to be immortalised in song. But I suppose its hard finding a rhyme for 'Beachy Head'.

We rolled around a little off Beachy Head. Clive tacked about five times and insisted that at least two of them were intentional. Then he complained that the whole boat was covered in flies. I decided to stay out of the way, below decks where I was tapping out another news bulletin for the website.

I finally went back on deck from my authorial duties and suggested that it was time for a beer. We shared a can of Pelforth Brun as the breeze strengthened a little and, before long, we were romping along in the direction of Brighton. But it didn't last and by 18.45 we had started the engine.

As we approached Brighton we tried to raise the marina on the main radio, nothing, not even a crackle. Then I remembered we had heard nothing all day. Then I tried the hand held radio. We still heard nothing so I tried the telephone. Still no joy, so we just joined the queue of boats going in, a range of boats from an eighty foot ketch, a round the world racer: 'Glasgow', down to tiny yachts and runabouts.

Finally we heard activity on channel 80 and called the marina on the hand held. We were directed to berth beside a motor boat called 'Moving On'. Could we see it? We were looking for perhaps a thirty foot Princess or something. But we couldn't see it. Then I spotted it; one hundred tons of trawler yacht.

Clive parked very neatly. We tied up and relaxed. Clive went off to the office to check in and when he came back I had a bottle of Leffe Brune ready to pour. He then explained that our failure to raise the marina may have resulted from their having no working radio in the office, three phones ringing simultaneously and a poor man tearing his hair out trying to find somewhere to put the 'Glasgow' more than twenty metres long and drawing three and a half!

We've now had a couple of beers and have decided to eat aboard tonight. Tomorrow maybe on to Littlehampton or Portsmouth, and maybe just a day of rest.

And I must find out why the radio isn't working.

Les Sutcliffe

<-Eastbourne 8th July Brighton 10th July->