Posted by: Ray | June 12, 2008

Ramsgate to Shotley Marina Harwich

I’m feeling fairly proud of myself at the moment, with the help of Mike and his wife Gill (who travelled down to Ramsgate and drove to meet us at Shotley), I crossed the Thames Estuary to Shotley Marina in Harwich Harbour.

It was the first time I had sailed with Mike. My sister Marg had met him in Kettering at a supermarket collecting for the RNLI; she mentioned about my cruise and Mike expressed interest in joining me at some point.  He joined me at Ramsgate early Tuesday.

I had planned the passage across the Thames carefully and delighted Mike by informing him that the best time to sail from Ramsgate was 4 am the next morning to take advantage of favourable tides and to arrive in daylight. 🙂

We cleared Ramsgate harbour by 0415 and set course for Harwich, sailing up the coast of N Foreland in a brisk NW F5 with moderate seas, past E Margate bouy to Outer Tongue Safe Water Bouy (SWB). We passed between many Large ships at Anchor in the Thames. I had decided to then pass through the shallows of Long Sand via the shorter, but more challenging, Foulger’s Gat channel used only by small vessels. My passage then took us up Black Deep, rounding Sunk Head Tower N Cardinal Marker to enter Harwich Harbour via the Medusa Channel.


   Mike at the helm of Christine-Marie                 Christine-Marie’s passage across the Thames.

I had prepared pilotage plans for both Ramsgate and Harwich, along with one for the passage across the Thames. I think my RYA traing instructor,Noel of Moonfleet Sailing Poole, would have approved of my preparation!  🙂

It was a great days sailing, although due to tacking in NW winds on several sections, we sailed 55M to complete our 45M passage.  We arrived at Shotley Marina at 1600, 11.5 hours after leaving Ramsgate. My thanks again to Mike and Gill for their help on this passage.


Approaching Felixstowe Container Port                                                   River Orwell at Dusk

I plan to sail up the E coast to Lowestoft and, weather permitting, possibly further by the end of June. But first, I think I would like to explore the River Orwell and a few of the E Coast rivers on passage.

Amateur Radio Update:

I have now operated from several ports on my cruise, on 80m plus ‘top band’ and have received good signal reports from around the UK and from Europe. I am, however, experiencing some problems with high noise levels and strong QRM from adjacent stations that have made it difficult for me to receive stations with S9 signals at times. I am operating 3.69 -3.76 Mhz or 1.93-1.96 Mhz generally and will test reception again when at anchor away from Marinas during the next week.

I have now completed design of my special QSL card and this will shortly be available for any stations contacted during my passage round the uk.  If I can resolve the high noise problem I hope to make regular communications with amateurs throughout the 2-year passage. It will be particularly reassuring when I reach the Scottish highlands where other methods of communications (VHF, mobile phone, etc) can be lost.

Practical Wireless are to include a news item on my cruise and it has appeared on the website of Southgate Amateur Radio Club, viewable on the following link.

My thanks to Rob,G3XFD, and Richard, G4TUT, for their help.


Miles completed:   224             Total Hours:   47               Engine hours: 12              Ave speed:  4.7Kn                M ax speed: 12.4Kn

Ports visited:    8  

              Rethink                   Marie Curie                        RNLI         

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.




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