Crossing the Channel in a Sailing Boat

 

We cycled from the New Forest to Chichester and from there we crossed the Channel in  Haydn’s mum (Debs) and stepdad’s (Martin) Moody 47 foot centre cockpit sailing boat, called Tamarind. This was to be my first long journey by boat.

We woke up at 5am and set off just before 6am after a quick cuppa and some final checks for the boat.  It was so beautiful gliding out of the marina with the sun slowly rising over the buildings on the bank.

Out in the open ocean I felt very small and humbled by the vastness and power of the sea. It was so exciting to be out in the middle of a landscape that is so alien to me.
The wind wasn’t strong enough and kept changing direction so we couldn’t unfurl the main sail for long and we had to use the motor. When the sail was out though, I could see what a joy it is to use the wind to your advantage and move over the water with just the natural elements and some clever human engineering. What a way to travel!

It definitely takes some getting used to – the feeling of being in constant motion side to side – up and down. I could handle the up and down quite well but the side to side was quite bizarre – I’m not sure human beings are very well designed for that movement ….

Luckily the sun was shining so we could all sit out in the cockpit – seeing the horizon is the true key to not feeling too queasy. So once I had managed a snooze on-board the mighty Tamarind, I awoke with my sea legs and stomach being better adjusted.  It was mesmerizing watching the water flow by and when the sun would dip behind a cloud the water would suddenly look like mercury – not a liquid but a dark silvery-grey moving solid mass. It was wonderful.

Well into the 12 hour crossing, Martin spotted two porpoises perfect dorsal fins gliding through the water not far from the boat. I nearly jumped overboard with excitement! Haydn grabbed me by the coat and pulled me back into my seat and we watched, thrilled, leaning over the cockpit but soon they were gone.

I  spent the rest of the journey calling out ‘Porpoises? Porpoises? Come back Porpoises!’ and scanning the water – desperate for another sighting – the teasing far off waves imitating their fins.

2 Replies to “Crossing the Channel in a Sailing Boat”

  1. Love the descriptions of your journey. You capture the essence of what it is to be present in each place, on both land and sea. We look forward to reading with great interest descriptions, stories and events of your ongoing travels. Best wished

  2. Love the descriptions of your journey. You capture the essence of what it is to be present in each place, on both land and sea. We look forward to reading with great interest descriptions, stories and events of your ongoing travels. Best wished

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