Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Newhaven

Nic at work!
Yesterday evening we were joined in Ramsgate by Nic Compton who is a journalist. He is interested in Bonita's circumnavigation and is going to spend a couple of days with us as we head down Channel.

We locked out of the inner harbour about 10.30pm and immediately it seemed like a bad idea. There was a heavy swell rolling into the outer harbour and we had an uncomfortable and noisy night on the pontoon which we shared with the wind farm service boats. It also soon became clear that theirs is a 24 hour operation. We woke up, or at least got up, at 4.30am to find a NW wind so we left immediately and had a fine sail with good wind and fair tide until we were past Dungeness. The breeze then died away as we neared Beachy Head so we motored the last few miles to Newhaven. 

Sunset over Seven Sisters
Nic took more photos in one day than we have taken in the last 3 months and is interested in all aspects of the trip and Bonita's history. He also knows Newhaven harbour well which was useful when entering in the dark.  We had a moment's excitement when entering Newhaven when both Bonita's port and starboard navigation lights failed, presumably due to an electrical fault. There was no time to fix it and it's not really a good idea to enter a ferry port without lights. Luckily we have a spare battery powered set aboard (never before used) so everything was OK.

I thought it was too late to be worth radioing the marina, but as we approached we were met by two very helpful members of staff who had seen us approaching on AIS. The AIS tracking system has been used by large ships for several years but is a new toy for us this season and I have been impressed by how quickly it is being adopted by yachts and its many uses.