Inshore the coast was flat, green above sand with holiday camp after holiday camp, famous names from Susie's childhood like Yarmouth, Caister and Hemsby. Isn't California here too somewhere or is it further up the coast?
|SBS - Special Boat Services?|
After supper we switched to watches, two hours on, two hours in the saloon's roomy and comfortable porthand sofa wrapped in a duvet. Though neither of us really slept well though that first night. The one on watch wears a Raymarine "Life-Tag" which will sound a piercing alarm down below if they stray too far from the boat (actually one of our two tags will go off if it reaches the anchor on the bow!) and we always wear lifejackets at night and are clipped on to a strong point before we leave the companionway steps. That way the one "off watch" sleeps better, knowing that no sound does not mean their fellow crew has fallen over the side.
Dawn broke still windless, a flat oily sea coloured pinks and purples by the sun and lots of guillimots. They are funny birds, they seem to go around in pairs or family groups with two or four adults shepherding a group of four or six smaller but fully fledged youngsters. Black backs and stout white fronts, they look round over their shoulder at the boat whilst paddling so fast their tails waggle rapidly from side to side. Then suddenly they turn their heads the other way to look at each other and perform a synchronised dive under the water just like a duck dabbling, except you rarely see them return to the surface. At first the pairs doing this were amusing but when we spotted a line of six or eight little black and white birds looking for all the world like they are in their best bib and tucker for a ball frantically checking over first one shoulder then the other and back before upping their tails and disappearing below the waves they made us laugh out loud.
The Skipper put the watermaker on again for an hour or so at eight whilst the First Mate took advantage of lots of hot water from all that motoring and had a welcome shower. As long as you can stay upright with your eyes closed whilst shampooing your hair, balance on one leg to wash a foot with one hand whilst bracing yourself with the other or sit on a wooden seat when covered in showergel all in a rolling bathroom then it's easy! And the end result is worth all the stumbling round in a small space.
Just before 1 pm on Monday the naviguesser worked out we'd now covered around half the distance to Inverness from Southsea. However the wind was both dropping and going further forward of the beam. Temptress' speed dropped to just under 3 knots through the water, the spinnaker pole soon was as far forward as possible bringing the sail almost parallel to the hull. Not long after we were under white sails and within 30 minutes we were using the iron sail to propel us northwards. At six pm the log recorded "Still motoring. Two ships, few birds. 143nm to go"but an hour later we were sailing and some 50 nautical miles (nm) to the east of Alnmouth. It was amazing how long it took to get dark now, in fact it didn't actually get dark, the sun set late and rose very early but the horizon remained light right through. The only noticeable change being that the picnk afterglow of sunset gradually moved eastwards to become the pink of the dawn.
By midnight we were motoring again and our lower starboard navigation light was out, The First Mate switched to the tricolour at the top of the mast and turned the steaming light off so we weren't mistaken for a trawler but still very conscious of all the stick she'd given other boats for "wrong" lights in the recent past! At 1am it was noted that there wasn't much change in the Shipping Forecast - gales in Thames, Dover & Wight (now areas well behind us) and SE 4 or 5 occasionally Variable 3 - we seemed to be stuck in the latter, light shifty breezes scarcely enough to disturb the surface of the sea.
|Dawn - Tuesday|
|A small temporary passenger|
|Approaching Peterhead on Tuesday afternoon|
Lowestoft - Peterhead 315 nautical miles logged, 501.5 total