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Plymouth - 50° 21' 53" N 04° 10' 00" W

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Sailing across to Plymouth, was a marvellous experience.  It was a daytime sail, with winds slightly behind us but mostly on the beam, blowing at 15 - 18 knots.  Sail trim wasn't a big demand - very much 'set and forget' sailing. The last part of our route into Plymouth We chatted, read a bit and and even (gasp!) caught up on social media.  As we faded out of and into cell phone coverage, occasionally our devices would ping and pong with notifications that had been trying to get through to us.  One of these messages was from Arriën, a future Garcia owner that we had met at the Tatihou seminar in 2022.  He wanted to know if we were on our way to Plymouth - he was, too! We hopped on the VHF and decided to have a chat the old-fashioned way.  It would break the boredom AND test the range of our radio.  Arriën is Dutch but living in Curacao.  He loves being at sea and was sailing on a boat called Lazy Otter.  He had recently bought this boat in Spain and was sailing up t

Weymouth - 50° 36' 27" N 02° 27' 05" E

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After a 5 am start from Gosport, a beautifully-timed run through some potentially nasty currents, we had a super, flawless 15-20 knot wind on the beam (from the side - perfect for a cruisey-fun sail) run and arrived in daylight to Weymouth. Talk about a welcoming entrance! From the minute we pulled into the seaway and tied up to the 200-plus year-old sea wall, we were instantly charmed by this seaside town. Can you just hear the seagulls? Weymouth is gorgeous, but it is still a working harbour, with fishing boats coming and going all around us as we entered the seaway. We tied up and went into the Harbour Master's Office to pay or our berth - right on the seawall with so much going on all around us. Being on the seawall, there are also some fun pubs and plenty of Fish and Chip shops ... all outrageously expensive.  So much for fish and chips being a cheap bite to eat! Double the number to get closer to Canadian or Aussie dollars.   For takeout.  Gulp. As we had a fe

Underway in the English Channel - 50° 39' 01" N 01° 41' 27" E

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Here is a brief taste of being underway on a superstar run on the English Channel.

Portsmouth Harbour - 50° 47' 53" N 01° 07' 11"W

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Spending time on Portsmouth Harbour, or more specifically, Gosport (GOS-port, rather than GO-sport) which is the west side of the harbour, has been a blast.  Safely tucked into the Marina we can listen to the tempest rage.  With the wind whistling through the forest of masts we can relax, snug and warm on shore power with the electric heater bringing the boat to tee-shirt temperatures. Looking across the harbour to Portsmouth ... with a squall coming from the southeast Okay, maybe not a tempest but we certainly have had some wild weather and a lot of rain.  The marina may be hard on the pocket book but is very easy on the nerves! Having easy access to shore has meant exploring, too! Gosport, and to a lesser extent, Portsmouth, shows the downside of Brexit with vacant shops and tired high streets.  Contributing to this rather dismal feel, may simply be the time of year, rainy and chilly and with the darling buds of May still a few weeks away.  The High Street was within handy walkin

Crossing the Channel - 50° 47' 53" N 01° 07' 11" W

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Our first overnight passage aboard Chinook and we set off from Cherbourg, bound for Gosport in England.  The lines have officially been cast off!  We had to do a bit of planning as this meant leaving France (and the EU/Schengen) and checking into the UK.  We had to manage the strong tidal streams in the Channel and enter Gosport on the right tide.  The route required us to traverse the busiest shipping lane in the world!  And just to make things interesting, we were slipping across in a weather window between two storms.  Too easy! (yes, Lynda, my brain is definitely going to mush!!) Tidal Streams in The Channel The first number is the speed for Neap Tide and the second is for Spring Tide - in tenths of a knot. Spring Tides occur about 36 hours after Full and New Moons. Gosport is approximately 80nm NNE of Cherbourg.  We anticipated it would take us somewhere from 12 to 14 hours.  With the moon in a waning crescent phase (the new moon is on Monday 8 April), the currents would