Day 11 - Tuesday 22nd June. Ipswich (Suffolk Yacht Harbour) to Brighton
It’s funny really, if you’d said I’d come to consider a 116 mile trip in a RIB as pretty normal I’d not have believed you but after 480 miles in two days 116 miles really does feel pretty insignificant. We got to the marina early and headed straight for the fuel berth having not been able to refuel the previous night. We put in about 280 litres and then finished our prep to be able to head off early with Bluewater Raven. A Botnia Targa headed for the fuel berth and after it tied up I recognised a familiar face - Jon Broooks. A pleasant start to the day.
We exit the marina as I finish entering the days waypoints. Outside the harbour we get up onto the plane and head down then across the Thames estuary. Not much is going on and its overcast and pretty drab. There’s a short chop but nothing significant and we make good progress with North Foreland coming and going then Ramsgate and Dover. Past Dover we start to see blue skies and it eases off and we get glassy seas and blue sky. We chomp the miles, pass Dungeness and head for Beachy Head. When we get there it is beautiful and we stop for photos before heading on to cover the remaining few miles. The cliffs look great in the sunshine and Brighton comes into view.
We tie up on the berths allocated to the Rally and wash the boat down and fix a few issues. We still have a steering system that is just holding together, we have the odd fuse tripping and have had to remove the depth sounder module so we have permanent access to the back of the steering system. We are also concerned that the leg has some issues which are linked to the work we did on it before we left as its very noisy. That said if it fails we’ll paddle to Portland so its not a great issue!!! Generally speaking though the boat is going brilliantly. When you think of the pounding it has taken doing over 1600 miles in 12 days a few issues are to be expected.
We all meet it the bar for a bite and one or two drinks comparing the size the waves we have faced . Incredible to think that tomorrow is the final day.
The plan is to depart Brighton at 8.30 (say 9.00 in ‘Rally Time’) arriving Lulworth c11am then Portland around 12. Evolution will be undertaking a flyby passing Milford on Sea about 10-10.15 am. We therefore will be passing Lymington shortly before this.
Interestingly chatting to some of the guys who are far more experienced than I am there is a feeling that the rally is far tougher than the Round Britain Races (which go through the Caledonian). Whilst without doubt the racers are on the edge the races themselves tend to max at about 4-5 hours and there are always shore crews to fix bits generally ensuring the drivers park up then go off and relax whereas the GBRB10 crews have to do everything themselves and have longer days on average. I have no view on this opinion buts it is an interesting though
Updates: Cool Runnings arrived Ipswich last night and we met them on the fuel berth this morning. They didn’t depart though with an issue as to water in the fuel. Will it ever go right for them?
PS: Another blog to read about the trip: