Posted by: Ray | May 3, 2008

Underway – Lymington to Eastbourne

What a fantastic send-off at the start of my adventure! 🙂


         Left to right: Liz, Ray, Caroline and Mark

On Friday evening family, crew and friends gathered at my sailing club for drinks and snacks.  Lymington Town Sailing Club (LTSC) kindly allowed me to use their deck bar and also to address the cruising club supper guests, dining upstairs, about my adventure and the charities I’m supporting.

We gained good publicity in local media.  There was mention on Radio Solent’s new H2O programme Friday evening and we made the 8am news the next morning.  Articles were published in Lymington Times, Basingstoke Gazette, New Forest Post, Yachting Monthly and a great photo (above) and article by Stuart Martin/Chris Yandell in the Southampton Echo.  Bournemouth Echo is to publish shortly.  There are links to the last two articles on the left of this page.

Friends, family, Wendy Savage from Marie Curie and the press gave us a warm farewell and some good photos were taken as the crew slipped our lines and we headed out to sea.


     Leaving Lymington                           Beaulieu

We had a leisurely sail to Newtown IOW for lunch in the sun and then sailed to Beaulieu for the evening.  It was Mark’s first experience of sailing, but he handled the helm well under both power and sail and was useful crew following a little instruction from Caroline who has her RYA Day Skipper.  Caroline and Mark left us Sunday morning and Liz and I sailed on to Haslar Portsmouth for the evening.

Christine-Marie at Haslar Marina Portsmouth

Brian joined Liz and me Monday morning and we set sail in a brisk F4/5 for Littlehampton. It was raining when we left, but the skies cleared and we had a lovely sail.  Brian did, however, manage to find a wave off Selsey Bill that drenched Liz and myself!  🙂

I snapped the following pictures of a yacht astern of us that changed course in front of a large container ship we had seen approaching.  The ship gave the yacht the ‘disapproving’ 5 short blasts!

             Look behind you!  🙂                       Where is he going?   5 blasts from ship

          Too close for comfort

We had planned to leave Littlehampton the following afternoon after a walk round town and taking on provisions, but the inshore forecast threatened SW F7/8 winds later in the day, so it was a hasty departure to make it out over the harbour bar (shallow water) whilst we still had sufficient depth to clear my 1.5m draft.

We made Brighton in good time in brisk wind and with an uncomfortable on-shore swell at times, especially at the entrance to Brighton Marina.  We hadn’t long been safely moored up  when the rain came down and winds increased.  The spray was coming way over the 30ft harbour wall as we sat out the storm.


       Approaching Brighton Marina                     Brian at helm in Brighton Marina

Liz left by train to return to work on Wednesday.  I telephoned the Harbour Master at Eastbourne who advised that the seas on the approach were still dangerous from the storm the day before, so Brian and I delayed sailing and enjoyed a meal ashore.

Brian and I sailed Thursday for Sovereign Marina, Eastbourne.  It was a great sail in sunshine and before long we were rounding Beachy Head and on our approach to the lock to enter the harbour.

Rounding Beachy Head

I am writing this sitting on the yacht in glorious sunshine.  The marina is lovely, with very helpful staff.  Arrangements have been made to lift “Christine Marie” for routine inspection/service on hull and engine whilst I finish off some final consultancy work at home during the next two weeks.  I plan to set sail for Dover, a 45M leg, shortly after 16th May when crew are able to join me. I have organised an RNLI sea safety check on my yacht at Eastbourne prior to sailing.


                                                              Sovereign Marina Eastbourne

Donations to the three charities continue to increase, now over £600.  Thank you to all who have donated; sorry I am unable to thank you all personally.  Please continue your efforts to help me raise money for the charities and donate if you haven’t already done so – every little helps.  I am finding that suppliers and marinas are given me discounts when they hear of my adventure, so I am making personal donations to the charities accordingly.

We did have a little excitement at Littlehampton.  We saw an opportunityto get donations from passers-by looking down at the banners on the yacht.  For security we emptied the boxes and I put them on the cockpit–side whilst I grabbed the padlock to secure to railings.  When I came back up, the Marie Curie box had disappeared!  We found it at the bow of the yacht floating in the sea. Brian retrieved it, none the worse for its dunking.  🙂

Eastbourne Pier

My thanks to the following:-

– Caroline, Mark, Liz and Brian, my crew on the first passage.

– Lymington Town Sailing Club for their help and support, for use of their lower deck bar and for discounting the snacks at my farewell party.  I have donated the £25 saved to the charities.

– Lymington Yacht Haven for allowing me to terminate my annual mooring contract half way through.  I committed to donate £100 to the charities if they re-assigned my berth quickly.

– Greenham Electronics, Lymington, who replaced my wind instrument and installed new LED navigation lights at the top of my mast and for their donation of £30 with a further £30 pledged on my return.

– Inner Peace, who have pledged £10 donation from every client who signs up to their “Smoking cessation” course.

– Sanders Sails and Ocean Rigging, Lymington, who worked hard in a busy period to install new sails and rigging on “Christine Marie”.

– Marinecall, for supporting me with 30 free telephone weather forecasts for use during my cruise.

-Sovereign Marina for their frindly help and support, also for providing free berthing and a 10% discount on lifting fees following a delay in the originally agreed date.  I have donated £55 of the savings to the charities.

– Finally to Louise (RNLI), Wendy (Marie Curie) and Tash (Rethink) for their help and support prior to my departure. 

My next (shorter)  🙂 update at Dover before the end of May.


PS  My uncle is getting far too famous with all his mentions in the press.  I think £50 donation/mention would be appropriate!  Only joking, Ken. 🙂

      Rethink                   Marie Curie                        RNLIRethink
Please visit my Round UK Cruise fund-raising page. Click on the link above to go straight to one of my pages. From this page you can access others by clicking on the tag ‘Christine Marie’ at the bottom of each page. See link ‘about  donating’ on the left of this page for more information.




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