The first voyage

Last week the time came for our first journey away from the mooring where we initially found and purchased Pinafore. I had taken the week off work to do some last minute work and prep with the help of my father-in-law and we were ready to set sail for our new destination; Brighton.

It was to be a two stage trip; on Thursday, at high tide, we cast off and motored our way down the channel in search of a mooring from which we would be able to leave early the next day.

We were sad to be leaving such a beautiful place but the excitement of the journey ahead was greater and we had fun practising mooring up at buoys and manoeuvring with the twin diesels. Phil made it all look very easily, gently motoring up to the buoy and holding her steady, my turn was far

Out for a sail in the calm before the storm...

more haphazard but still resulted in a successful mooring. For the the first time I didn’t feel overwhelmed by the idea of skippering our modest craft. We even got the sails up, catching the southerly wind, as we head up towards Itchenor to look for our resting place for the night. Confidence came over Hannah and I and we had taking turns at helming before settling down for the evening.

That night I could not sleep for the excitement of the next day. We were going to be taking her out to sea and testing her against the waves. Unfortunately in the early hours the wind picked up, thinking nothing of it I finally got some shut eye and awaited the favourable forecasts that had been published.

That morning, around the breakfast table, the only topic of discussion was the weather. The forecast had changed to Southerly winds between force 5-7, after almost calling it off and waiting it out in the channel for one more day we decided to set sail and take on the weather. Time was pushing us on and commitments could not wait, we had to go.

Phil had warned that it would be uncomfortable, and so right he was. As we motored out of the channel the waves were getting bigger – we had to

get to deeper water to lose the most violent of them. It was quickly becoming apparent that this wasn’t weather you choose to go out in. We motored on, pushing Pinafore somewhere she didn”t want to go, all the while letting us know in her creaking and smashing against the water. One by one we all fell prey to seasickness and Phil and I took on a half hour watch schedule; one steering course and holding course the other curling up in the corner of the cockpit trying to stay warm and dry and to get a little bit of rest. Roll on Brighton….

I could tell the whole story about how we all managed to ‘paint the decks’ and how Sophia slept for two thirds of the journey but I fear this is getting boring. Suffice to say – we arrived safely in Brighton ready to start the next chapter of our adventure.


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