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Old 13 October 2013, 19:09   #321
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Well done to all and thankful you all got home safe.... although the adventurer within me thinks I would like to complete a trip like this my nerve and common sense tells me to do it in a stable weather window.
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Old 13 October 2013, 19:11   #322
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I'm still going up... and down... up... and down
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Old 13 October 2013, 19:14   #323
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Will be good to read also about strengths and weaknesses of each boat, what was good/bad, what needs changing etc as you have all clearly tested yourselves and boats better than any normal review
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Old 13 October 2013, 19:19   #324
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You're all mad! (But we knew that).

Glad to see you all back in one piece ..though I bet it doesn't feel like you are).

Get the osprey go pro editing sparked up quick :-)
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Old 13 October 2013, 19:23   #325
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Forgot the photo
That looks like a very nautical way to hold ones beer glasses!
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Old 13 October 2013, 19:30   #326
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Not much to add to the words above, it felt long on both the outbound and return passages due to the conditions - the boats lapped it up but it left the crews feeling fatigued.

Thanks to landlord and whisper for the "rib raid" T-shirts, they look very stylish. Hats off to AJ Stars and brother for smiling thoughout adversity. The boat was fixed with a few new screws, and AJ Stars was fixed with gaffer tape and Nurofen . Credit to everyone for looking out for each other on the crossings, a good sense of rib.net community spirit in action.

Just a quick word to the wise ... we took a lot of waves and spray on both days. I've just unzipped my lifejacket and it is soaked inside. You might want to think about rinsing your LJ off (after removing the inflation mechanism first of course!) with fresh water and letting it dry properly. It's not unheard of for the paper mechanisms to react to prolonged damp when the LJ is packed away wet.
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Old 13 October 2013, 20:08   #327
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Good advice from gtb and thanks for the very comprehensive passage plan, worked very well.

Couple of items worth mentioning;

Gecko's an absolute must for a number of reasons, they kept the spray out of our eyes and kept the head warm. They also prevented a few injuries as the RIB was thrown from one side to another with the confused seas.

With the Gecko's on it was difficult to hear the VHF or anyone on board. Therefore some sort of intercom / earpiece would be invaluable.

Gloves leaked like a sieve, good quality waterproof gloves needed - any recommendations ?

Musto BR2 jacket and salopets leaked, not badly but enough !

My Dubarry boots leaked - first time in 14 years ! Maybe time for a new pair.

Boat handled the weather without a fault. However the Garmin chartplotter began to play up due to all the water on the screen. Locking the screen helped but not ideal.
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Old 13 October 2013, 20:15   #328
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Sounds like you chaps had an interesting challenge!

Glad you're all back safe and sound look forward to seeing the video footage.
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Old 13 October 2013, 20:21   #329
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Yep, Gecko's are awesome but my sealskin gloves that cost loads were soaked all the way through and didn't dry overnight So had to borrow a spare pair off Landlord that I wore holes in holding onto the grab rail for 4.5 hours...

Need a 'What Glove thread' for sure

Musto drysuit was great but musto boots leaked but my feet were dry because of the drysuit.

Having said all this we got an absolute soaking each way.
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Old 13 October 2013, 20:24   #330
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BR2 is coastal gear. Full offshore or preferably a dry suit when every other wave is busting over your head. :-)
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Old 13 October 2013, 20:31   #331
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Well done and massive respect to you folks! Magnificent achievement, a lifetime memory for sure!
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Old 13 October 2013, 20:31   #332
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Great Weekend or What!? Thanks to Landlord for Kicking it off! Big thanks to Avocett and Ginny for putting us all up and feeding us so well!
Also A REAL BIG thanks to Hadd and Kath,not to forget the Wife!!.. Great Crew and Game as they come!!
Got back today in 3 and a half Hours bit messy/confused..Fridays Run 5 and a Half!..tells its own story!
Boat engine Performed Faultlessly in realy Foul Conditions! No one felt unsafe or at risk despite a..God I love that RIB!!
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Old 13 October 2013, 20:35   #333
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It was a real topgear moment when we left Cherbourg and you lot just gunned it to Poole
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Old 13 October 2013, 20:47   #334
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Great Weekend or What!? Thanks to Landlord for Kicking it off! Big thanks to Avocett and Ginny for putting us all up and feeding us so well!
Also A REAL BIG thanks to Hadd and Kath,not to forget the Wife!!.. Great Crew and Game as they come!!
Got back today in 3 and a half Hours bit messy/confused..Fridays Run 5 and a Half!..tells its own story!
Boat and engine, ect. Performed Faultlessly in realy Foul Conditions! No one felt unsafe or at risk despite a Good Dunking for 5+ hours..God I love that RIB!!
Few conclusions Landlord spot on about Ghecko's a Must!! Not only for Vis-Warmth- AND impact protection...(Avo hit the Consul on Friday and was out of it for a few seconds!
But he's a Tough old Buzzard!
NOTHING IS WATERPROFF BUT COMERCIAL OILSKINS! Watch the Pros.
Used nothing but Compass after first 40 mins on Friday! No time to F with plotter playing up or watching little green line!!
Waves are always the Boss's anyway... and more important to keep an even keel than stay 100% on course.
BIG line of site Compass another MUST when the Going is Tough!
Eat and drink Befor you set off as you may not be able to for some time!
Gloves...Binned them after 20 MINS..Crap!..Adrenalin keeps your hands warm!!
Got Blisters now though and so Has Hadd
Great Time for sure and look forward to doing it again....Sometime!


Cargo Nets Great..no loose crap..Double dry bags work singles may not!
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Old 13 October 2013, 20:52   #335
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Is Avo back on English time or still on French time
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Old 13 October 2013, 20:59   #336
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I must admit though my musto BR2 is great.... With a gecko it comes down the neck eventually off the lid as the Collar is too big to go underneath helmet.

Offshore certainly dictates dry suit. Dare I say Bla....
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Old 13 October 2013, 21:14   #337
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So same again next weekend?
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Old 13 October 2013, 21:19   #338
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Epic trip folks. Well done to everyone, at least nobody died In all honesty we would have bottled it & not travelled down based on the forecast. I'm glad "La Pizza & Eldorado" came up trumps.
Dry suits are the only way to go in those conditions.
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Old 13 October 2013, 21:23   #339
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Dry suit was very welcome bit of kit for me, to be dry and worm all day with constant dousing in water, had gloves chose not to where them as hand were not cold but they may have helped me not getting a blister, but I think this is caused by my wedding ring!
Didn't have helmet, head did not get cold and had ski goggles which work well to keep spray and rain out of your eyes. But protection for the head would be good and keeping salt water out of your mouth too would be a bonus
Stood up going over, but the inside of my leg took a right bashing from the jock seat, if I was to do it again I would try tapping some close cell foam to the jock seat to give my leg some protection. Sat down coming back as it was less stressfully not having to hang on so hard to stay on the boat + it gave my leg a rest! but my poor bum is suffering now from a particularly bad landing, I thought we must have broken something, but all ok.
Boat held up no problem, most landing not too bad some very soft but others slamming very hard as they catch one side of the hull, like boating across the side of a hill!!
First time I have really used the plotter as normally we know where we are going, the little Navman plotter 5500 worked well when I can see it which I can't with the sun on it or with sunglasses. And as for the screen I bought form the USA to improve this, well was of time that was!
Engine didn't miss a beat, used 50 odd lt going and about 75 to 80 lt coming back
One hell of an adventure will dine out on this one for some time
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Old 13 October 2013, 21:55   #340
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Is Avo back on English time or still on French time
We're back ..... and on English time again!

On Friday, Raptor and Grimalkin paused just offshore of the overfalls by Old Harry to set the course. Mrs A and I were listening to the CG maritime weather information at 10.30 am when the gale force 8 imminent was broadcast for sea area Wight. I said to Mrs A: "I think this is a bit daft" (It had already been fairly lumpy crossing the overfalls). At which point Maximus gunned Raptor and headed off for France. Mrs A replied: "He seems to think it's OK". So what else could we do but follow?

Five hours later, we arrived in St Vaast at 4.30 pm (do the maths!) having swallowed half the English Channel and having crossed the Raz de Barfleur in full spate. When refuelling the next day an elderly local initially refused to belief that we had come through the Raz in the weather the previous day. It was only when I described the breaking waves three times the height of the boat and the confused seas from in front, the side and behind that he believed me!

Cherbourg to Poole: left at 11.00 am and arrived at the Bar Buoy (entrance to the Swash Channel) at 1.30 pm; so 3.5 hours (again: do the maths!). A somewhat faster crossing than the Solent crews but with many aching bones as a result. The rain started about two miles off the Dorset coast: it had rained earlier in Cherbourg but the crossing itself was dry. The worst aspect was the shape of the waves which, although small (less than 1m), were very steep. As TrevorG noted above, this meant that the bow of a larger boat points at the sky from a higher point and then has further to crash down ..... very tiring after several hours!

Having been at displacement speeds for many parts of the crossing, we finally crossed into the Swash Channel nearly fully trimmed at just under 45kts.

Following hot showers to try and ease the aches, a late lunch Chez Mr and Mrs A for the crews of Grimalkin and Raptor meant that Raptor's crew could each go their respective ways with a bit of food inside them. Mrs A and I spent much of the afternoon asleep on the sofa but tumble dryer now on and I'm off to join Mrs A in bed once the spin cycle finishes. Having been through the washing machine spin cycle on Friday, that seems like a fitting conclusion to a really exhilarating and enjoyable weekend. Thanks to everyone involved (and, in particular, to Landlord for organising it and for the T-shirts) and to everyone else for their kind wishes and interest. I'll think about the kit involved and post my conclusions in a subsequent post.
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