Blogs from Oceans and Seas - page 18

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Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » Saint Helena August 30th 2012

More from Di ... Why on earth would anyone want to throw tennis balls onto our roof, or at least that’s what it sounds like? As I stir from my sleep I glance at the bedside clock and find it’s 7.30am and I realise, of course, that it’s the roof of the house expanding as the warmth of the sun strikes it’s surface. All the roofs are made of corrugated metal, some green, some pink but most are brown, I guess shipping slate isn’t feasible and so it features regardless of how ‘grand’ your house may be. Now I don’t want you to get the impression that we are basking in glorious tropical sunshine here, far from it. The days start in much the same way at this time of the year. The weather in ‘Scruffy ... read more
Painting at Julie's SH
Nosey neighbours!
To park or not to park?

Oceans and Seas August 30th 2012

You can never get to your embarkation port too early The Monterey was due to sail on the evening of September 1 so we had planned to take the London – Paris – Milan train on August 30, travel on to La Spezia on August 31 and board the ship on the morning of September 1. We checked on August 27 and were told that the sailing date had been brought forward to 0100 on September 1 so we would need to board on August 31. No problem there. We would still arrive in time at La Spezia. We would just need to forgo the night in the hotel we had booked in La Spezia. When we logged on in London on August 29, however, there was an email from the shipping ... read more
Tired traveller
Stateroom1
Stateroom2

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » North Sea August 26th 2012

We have been away for 33 days, of which we went to sea on 19. We have visited 17 different destinations: 2 buoyages, 2 anchorages, 4 marinas with locks, 3 without, and 6 tidal harbours where we mixed it with fishing boats, ferries and other commercial vessels. We have been accompanied by 4 friends, 1 dad and 1 brother. We have covered 548 nautical miles, our shortest day being 2 miles and our longest 67. We've been in Essex a week, I will be 47 tomorrow, and we have something short of 100 miles to go. One week from now I'll be walking back into the office. We are a lot better at sailing than we were. Today, we motored from Burnham-on-Crouch to North Fambridge and the Ferry Boat Inn for Sunday lunch. We sailed lazily ... read more
Common Tern
Local boats

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » Saint Helena August 21st 2012

Words from Di (you may be lucky and get two blogs this week if Michael gets time to do one). I’m beginning to get into the swing of life on the island – still waving and saying ‘Hello’ to everyone of course, if you don't the islanders say "Bad Manners"! (Standing at Donny’s bar on Friday we were told we should have been there earlier as the whales were close to harbour and ‘leaping’ – shame we weren’t!) The winter rain has persisted over the last week unfortunately limiting activities, except for some sunny intervals over the last few days. On Saturday a group of us obtained the key for the Fort (you go to the tourist office and ask for the key and take it back when you have finished, paying £2 each (if you’re ... read more
Prince Andrew School St Helena

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » North Sea August 20th 2012

Shoreham, Littlehampton, Eastbourne, Ramsgate, then out of the Channel at last to Essex and the sheltered waters of the river Colne. This is where I learned to sail and where the sun has at last come with us. No three metre rollers here, no shipping lanes. Crews 2 and 3 have been and gone. Thank you Alison for a hundred miles; thank you Jeff for taking the plunge (your first sail and our first dunk off the back of the boat). Now we are simply the two of us again and Brightlingsea is our kind of place. This morning we took the water taxi from the pontoon to town and did the shopping in an old fashioned high street - fishmonger, green grocer, baker. I got a haircut too - we've been away a while. This ... read more
The lock at Eastbourne
Jeff goes sailing...
Pyefleet Creek, River Colne

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Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » Saint Helena August 12th 2012

Forgive my intrusion into M's space but he is quietly snoozing after a hectic last week at Harford School while I take on the blog! (I will not attempt to match his writing style so please forgive my clumsy efforts). Despite leaving the UK on the Friday the Olympics started, Heathrow T5 was remarkably quiet – I guess all who were coming to the UK had already arrived! The journey to Cape Town was uneventful except for a slight flight delay caused by a malfunctioning air con unit on the plane and a passenger who decided to leave the flight at the last minute! Having settled into my very comfortable hotel in CT the V & A wharf beckoned. This development is a pleasant spot on the sea front in CT with music, restaurants and shops, ... read more

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » English Channel August 11th 2012

Idyllic at first, with an ideal weight of wind and a flattish sea. We clipped happily along with a tame 14 knots off to starboard, full sails, auto-pilot on, with mugs of tea and cake anglais for breakfast. But by late morning, merely half way across, the wind and the waves had grown. The swell, sideways on to our path, rolled us up and down again, and jostled us about as we waited more than an hour for a convoy of huge cargo ships to plunge blindly past. We stopped a second time for ships ploughing the other way, by which time the wind and waves had grown again. We reefed, and reefed once more, still four hours from any coast. This was as hard as we wanted to make it. We dug in though, never ... read more

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » English Channel August 10th 2012

From Dieppe we motored down the coast to Fécamp. No ferries or large ships to bear down ominously on us here, not like the larger ports we had come through so far, just a simple square harbour and a mixture of local leisure craft of all types and sizes, and visiting yachts. We arrived in time for an excellent menu by the water, then wandered around doing various chores and watched the sun go down from the steep pebble beach. There had been almost no wind in the morning then a stiff breeze suddenly from the east in the afternoon and evening. The longer term forecast was for a return to the southwesterlies which had stopped us from making our way westward and created the unpleasant swell out at sea. The new wind from the east ... read more
 Fécamp harbour
'Reading on the beach' scheme

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » English Channel August 9th 2012

The pilot book makes less of Dieppe than it might. The town wraps around the harbour at one end while a chateau and museum commands the hill at the other, complete with several canvasses by Sickert, Pissarro and Renoir and a fabulous collection of maritime artefacts and fine ivory. The town itself is marvellously French and a charming place to wander around between boat chores and lying about with a book. Such has been life for the past four days, except for short excursion out to sea which convinced us that it remained unpleasant out there and we should return immediately to moules frites on the quay and simple suppers on deck in the sun. Tonight we even hear jazz drifting across the quays. We needed the rest, being honest. Our break in Boulogne had enabled ... read more
Nereid on holiday
Dieppe beach

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » English Channel August 2nd 2012

Well, it’s happened, we’re stuck, waiting for the wind and the sea to let us continue south and west. After a week of amazing variety, however, this is no hardship. Boulogne, which is known to most as a ferry destination best left behind on the way to anywhere and everywhere else, is actually a 13th century fortified town with much to see and do, or not do, according to inclination. And despite being close enough to Angleterre to see it from the city walls, we already feel we have been somewhere and arrived somewhere. Alice and I have certainly learned a great deal, and our first crew has been and gone, factors which have both put a great deal of perceived time and distance between us and our home port of London. Last Wednesday, we left ... read more
Red Sands Towers
Ramsgate
White cliffs of Dover




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