I first met Jeff on a boat 39 years ago in July 1974. Ever since then sailing has been a constant and much-loved backdrop to our relationship, though over the last 20 years or so there has been more inward adventure with Psychology of Vision than outward adventure on the high seas.
This week Jeff has been properly back at sea for the first time in years, joining his friends Nick and Guy Millar to sail from Sweeden to Southampton. Click here to read Nick’s blog from the boat in the Channel today as they head for landfall in Cowes tonight:
Over the last week it has become clear that Jeff likes to tinker with electrical and mechanical things coming as he does from a background of marine engineering and architecture – indeed having many years with salt water running through veins. So with a brand new boat and equipment to play with he has pretty well ‘tried everything and pressed all the buttons’ and it all seems to have come up trumps.
In addition getting the navigational equipment/plotter to play a symphony, he has:
- Configured the radar – invaluable in all the fog we have had
- Turned salt water to drinking water – through the on board water maker (200 litres an hour)
- Done a cycle with the washing machine!
- Had the engine cowling off to ‘get a good look’ at its moving parts – and we have done over 60 hours with the engine since leaving Ellos so to have it being well nursed has been essential (most of the time at 1800rpm – except in the canal when we put the pedal to the floor to beat the curfew)
- Worked out that the size of the inverter on board will let us use some domestic equipment like boil a kettle – no more boiling water in a pan!
- Inmate knowledge of steering wheel mechanisms and how to repair them with a bit of help from superglue!
…and much much more around general seamanship and preparation, all of which has been gratefully received by all of us. Thanks Jeff. Awesome!
As for progress, the North Sea remained calm and with heavy fog for virtually the entire passage and remained so as we left it. As we came into the Dover Straits at around 2300hrs, the wind picked up to over 12 knots for a few hours before dying away again and the fog descending just in time to add a degree of excitement passing through the busy shipping lanes just off Dover. A lot of shipping and ferry traffic with a cacophony of foghorns blasting away. We added our own to the music.
With morning now established we have just passed Royal Sovereign lighthouse off Beachey Head and are about to tuck into egg and bacon breakfast!
I often say in workshops that Jeff, on or off the water, is someone who helps make any adventure safe. If you want to see more pictures and news of the trip, click here. (http://seleneofhamble.tumblr.com/)
With love, Sue