July 02 Brighton

It was a very nice trip to Brighton, starting a bit late in Eastbourne, so I had counter current from Beachy Head to Brighton, but who wants to get up before 5 o’clock? After all, I’m inside the lock at 7.20 am and almost everyone was still sleeping in the harbour. Until Beachy Head, it was very calm with only 3 knots of speed. Around Beachy Head, amica was gliding for about 20 minutes at 8 knots. Shortly after that it was calm again, just right to take some more pictures. There came up a nice offshore wind from New Haven to the end of the trip about 4 Bft, a few gusts didn’t bother me any more.

The lock chamber, right and left are floating jetties, it is easy to pass through. I was the only one in the lock.

The harbour exit and the harbour panorama from outside. Inside berths are very protected.

Eastbourne New town and Eastbourne Old town with the typical pier.

Two views of Beachy Head

Two views of the Seven Sisters, that are the ones after the straight part of the cliff. Of Course, yes, there are 8 peaks. When this formation was named Seven Sisters around 1600, there were seven peaks. The single in the western part is a latecomer, created later by erosion.

Seaford with a great beach and New Haven, unfortunately hardly to be seen, because it is situated more inside land.

Oh yes, at 12.30 local time I crossed the prime meridian to the west for a second time after 2016. There is also something great about that. Far away from home.

July 9 Portsmouth Southsea Marina

For a long time I have nothing written, first I had to arrive in England first, or rather cope with England. I am still missing the right words to describe al this here. Many things are different here and yet again not. Of course, there is a lot of business here, which one cannot be overlooked, also the shady sides cannot be overlooked either. Very often, there are big advertising promises with nothing behind them. A lot more extreme than we know it in Germany.

First the sailing history: Yesterday there was another trip under motor. No sailing wind for days and it stays that way for another week. A bit much summer in England with the high-pressure directly abve. For short trips, you can already take advantage of the sea wind in the afternoon, about 2 hours per day, then again nothing. However, 40 nautical miles, you have to start the engine and still there is a current, part of the way one always drive against the current.

I picked up Barbara from Gatwick late on Tuesday evening (3 July), so from now on I’m no longer sailing alone. Travelling by train in England seems to be chaotic, but everyone takes it very calmly. There is very intensive train traffic from Brighton to London, because London is the most important place to work. But one shouldn’t rely on any train going the way it’s supposed to. Which is why my daily return ticket was valid on all trains and the one-way ticket was more expensive for Barbara! So what.

Brighton is the big seaside resort in the south of England, but it didn’t entice me to go sightseeing. Apart from the fact that by this weather – hot and total sunshine – the shade was a better place for me. Anyway, my skin is getting darker than ever before.

After a week of experiences in England, I’ll rather hold back on how to classify behaviour. Some things are too strange to me, cause I am from the continent. Nevertheless, I would like to describe the usual standards. If you cross the road here, after a few moments of shock, you’ll find that left-hand traffic prevails here. Cyclists and pedestrians also swerve in this direction, and that is more unusual. London school English is not spoken here on the coast. It’s nice that they understand me, but I cannot do anything with their questions and answers, even though I have listened a lot.

Here are also small boats, but I have the impression, that these small boat sailors will be tolerated, but ignored. Apparently, there are only conversations between equals. Sure, the Dutch touring sailors, which you meet almost everywhere here, sail with more than 12 m boat length. Also, the Dutch sometimes look pityingly at my little boat and can’t believe that I came from further away with my 7 m boat than they did. With locals, I hardly had any conversation at all.

Fish and chips? No, chips and beer are very often in ones hand here, in the morning, at noon and in the evening. The departments in the supermarket are correspondingly large. By supermarkets, I think of advertising again. A big sign with 24 hours opening hours and a small from/to sign underneath, quite normal, on Sundays also from 11 am to 5 pm. That cost us unfortunately fresh rolls on Sunday. Well, now we also read the small print.

In Brighton, I noticed many people with a 70s look, really a lot off. Just as striking is the somewhere garish style people dressed up here. If you come from France, you wouldn’t like to call it fashionable, although they certainly see it the way here. Men probably only know shorts and slobbery T-shirts, not only on board of a boat. Unthinkable on the other side of the channel. There, even torn-off looks have a style. Okay, this is not London and I guess only a few style elements have tumbled over here.

Now some impressions in pictures.

The way from the berth ashore over the west pier with all sanitary facilities and direct way onto the Rip-off mile.

Harbour from the east and living at the harbour with berth behind.

Cliff behind the harbour and one of many castles

Brighton from the sea

Great pack, a lot of sweating and a meagre result. Even reading the small print didn’t help. However, they tasted great!

15.7. Yarmouth – Solent/Isle of Wight/Cowes

We let the time pass through and hang around on the Isle of Wight and on the Solent. Southern England is still under the influence of a powerful high-pressure, which means zero wind for this area. In the morning sometimes, 1-2 hours east and in the late afternoon 1-2 hours west winds, rather a small breeze, called gentle breeze. You cannot plan anything, and we do not feel like driving under motor forever.  From Southsea/Portsmouth we drove under motor to Cowes, where we stayed for 3 days and after Yarmouth (9 miles away) we could do almost everything under sail. Starting after the St. Malo-Regatta we had 20 minutes wind from east up to 2 Beaufort, then nothing and then a weak breeze from the west with gusts up to 4 Bft! All right, once we’ve made a little progress.

Besides, this island is worth a trip, the most beautiful part of England so far. We have used every harbour to explore this island. Nevertheless, slowly ourselves we and especially I myself tortured by the thought how to get to the other side of the Channel. Discussions back and forth, alternative routes to reach the Channel Islands, all this needs to be well-thought-out. Now first Southsea, the Solent and the Isle of Wight.

Still a little from Southsea, that’s how it looked at low tide before the harbour, the harbour itself is protected from drying by a gate.

Typical architecture of the small English town Southsea

Two Class40s train in the Solent, but it goes even faster with hovercraft.

Cowes and its pubs

You can also find this

Regatta boats: Regatta sailing takes place here very professionally, the boat is polished without end, the rig was trimmed again and again, underwater paint only slows down.

Waiting for wind.,

And than started

Really, they shoot for starts by cannons. First, they end the start delay by lowering the response pennant.

First start

Also, at the second start everything still looks very photogenic, one hour later after they’re leaving the Solent they were in the doldrums. Cowes – St. Malo: That became very long trip, I checked it on the satellite tracker (they have to transmit their position permanently), for the almost 70 nautical miles to the French coast near Cherbourg they needed 24 hours. And then they went on to St. Malo, rounding the Channel Islands west of them. At the last check on the tracker (36 hours after starting) there still was a group north of St. Malo. But if a Class40 is sailing with only 3 knots through the water, what can you expect from the others.


Trip to the south coast: St Catherine’s Point and an old farm

Trip to the Needles and a little along the coast

Clips from the upper deck of a double-decker bus

The Solent

Through the forest

Freshwater Bay

20.7. Cherbourg

Yes really, we are back on the continent. According to the motto, don’t think about it too long, just make a decision and then do it. If there is more than one reason against further sailing west along the English coast, then cross over to Brittany as planned anyway, take the shorter way about 70 miles than from Dartmouth or Falmouth to Brittany about 90 to 100 miles. Brittany and Jersey and Guernsey are only around the tip of Cap la Hague. Of course, there was no wind, which meant that we had to use 12.5 hours of fuel.

The English ports on the south coast of England have not really convinced so far, the only exception being the Isle of Wight. So, we stayed longer here, there was no sailing wind anyway. From Yarmouth, we made a jump to Lymington and back, Yarmouth-Cherbourg is the shortest way. Lymington was also a bit boring. Only two funny pictures, otherwise there was nothing to document.

Ice on the pontoon and this cloud

Anything else about England? What a culture shock to be back on the continent. They speak to you, can’t stop greeting you, always with a smile on their lips. Now the cliché box: the Englishman himself is reserved, you have to scratch a lot or have had a drink with him in the pub and then he shows his friendly nature and is funny. At Yarmouth and Lymington, however, it was a little bit different, not quite so reserved and almost talk a lot in the Harbour Office. Nevertheless, I didn’t experience any rudeness here and all my questions were answered in a helpful and nice way.

If I was positively surprised by France two years ago, so I expected more from England’s south coast. It’s not exactly easy here to sail west either. Especially if you want to stay close to the coast, you have to fight with annoying currents and even “overfalls”. The Portland-Race at the tip of Portland-Bill was described in the Reeds as dangerous for 10 hours of a whole tide (12 hours) and only passable for 2 hours. You can only avoid it if you are about 5 nautical miles away from the coast. Poole, Portland, Torquay, Dartmouth and Plymouth do not exert any attraction either. It is a pity about Cornwall. Oh yes, in the land of railways, rail travel is only possible for short distances. It is easier to get to London from Jersey than from Bournemouth, for example.

Our means of transport with half roof, the Needles Breezer and with a full roof the line number 7

Old Town Yarmouth

Farewell from England, the Needles early in the morning

And here?

Two seniors in a fishing boat: “Un Waarschiipe?” Thumbs up and we reply “Oui”. And then, “Le mêne là-bas!” They have a Waarschip here too?!

Once again, shorts are not in fashion here, sunglasses are worn casually in the V-Neck of the T-shirt. WC facilities are not cleaned with chlorine but perfumed. Now a little thickly applied, but that’s how you feel here.

The climate here is drier, although the sea is in the air. Barbara thinks it smells like the south. The plants along the road support this image.

Continue here:France 2018