Firstly, I must apologise for not posting for so long, it's been a bit hectic over the last few weeks, my usual blogging app has also stopped working so I've been unable to prepare posts without an internet connection.
A Quick Overview
We finally launched Jeanne on the 21st September and spent a week in the water at Foxs tweaking a few bits before we set off on the 28th September. Suzanne is still suffering from a bit of morning sickness so she went back to stay at my parents while my dad and I moved Jeanne north for the winter.
Sailing At Last (sort of)
We left Foxs Marina after filling up with an additional 43 litres of diesel and at 12:30pm began making our way out of the Orwell, the intention was to treat this as a delivery trip and get to the Humber as soon as possible, so, with the wind on the nose, we kept on motoring rather than hoisting sail and tacking our way down the river, quite a hard job as I'm used to not needing to be anywhere in a hurry.
There were a lot of boats out on the water and we had to dodge our way through a couple of racing fleets who were rudely taking up the whole channel, there must have been at least a couple of dozen of them crossing back and forth over the channel before their race started, if they thought us rude for forcing our way through then hard luck to them, we got in no ones way and they had a large commercial boat heading towards them very shortly after anyway.
The visibility and temperature slowly dropped as we got closer to the sea and we soon lost sight of the cranes at Felixstowe after leaving the river and turning onto our course for Lowestoft. We had managed a bit of sailing on the way down the river but now had the wind at a good angle and could finally move properly under sail for a while. It was a good, if very steady sail up the coast in light winds for a few hours, picking out the various marks as they appeared from the mist, long after they had shown up on the radar, something neither of us have sailed with before and very reassuring to be able to see the marks and large ships appear on it long before we could see or hear them.
We lost the wind again after dark and had to go back to motoring, we also decided we might as well call in at Lowestoft in order to arrive in the Humber at a good time to arrange a berth at Grimsby, we could get a few good hours sleep and set off again on the next leg after a big breakfast. The way into Lowestoft was easy, just follow the marks again to avoid the shallows as they emerge from the mist, a quick call to get permission the enter, a shooting star straight through the entrance as we were heading in and finally tied up in Hamilton Dock by 1:30am.
Lowestoft To Grimsby
We paid our dues and left Lowestoft a little after 11am in the fog, we could just pick out the other side of the dock and were asked to let Lowestoft know when we were through the entrance as they couldn't see it from where they were. There was no wind again so we motored along our course picking out other ships, marks and the wind farm on the radar as we went. It was getting dark by the time we finally had enough wind to sail and we were past the first wind farm, just about to start crossing The Wash, from here until Bull Sand Fort in the Humber we were able to sail at last and Jeanne goes very well indeed, holding a course nicely and able to pinch very close to the wind. The trip went without incident and other than a couple of container ships getting a little close we had another very pleasant and fast sail.
Where Are We Now
We managed to get a spot for the winter in Grimsby and other than getting out on the river for a sail we will be here for the next few months, I have lots of work I need to catch up on, some new software to finish and release, Suzanne will be getting larger and we'll most likely wait now until our expected crew has arrived before heading away again. Sailing with a baby should be a good experience, just have to make sure Suze is comfortable below looking after him/her so no heavy weather sailing for a little while if it can be helped.
So, what's that first job to do on Jeanne, hmmm, find and fit a cheap heater I suppose, it's going to be chilly soon.