Dover to Shotley marina, Felixstowe

The tides at this end of the South coast are a lot later than the other side so much so to catch the right tide we left dover marina at 10:00, Dover marina was a bit disappointing as they are in the middle of a massive regeneration scheme that will see the old marina filled in when the new one on the other side is opened in 3 years time but for now is a long walk to the toilet block and a building site to walk passed too, anyway we manages to get out of the berth again with little problem but again there wasn’t much wind to hamper us, we contacted dover port control to let them know we were going as didn’t want to get run over by a ferry, Dover was one of the place that I thought would be a nightmare with all the ferries coming and going but it’s excellently controlled and we only had to go round the back of one ferry and them things shift for being so huge,

so then it was a bit of a sail passed the white cliffs of Dover,  motor sailing as we needed to keep our speed up to get to Felixstowe before dark, with the sails and motor together we were getting 6.5knots we made ramsgate in 3hrs just to catch the right tide to take us over the Thames estuary.

What a place looks like loads of water but no depth we only missed one sand bank as we drifted East as we were sailing and trying to keep the wind,  a quick look at the chart plotter and a double check with the chart and it was engine on and hard to starboard another disaster averted ha ha, then it was dodging wind farms for the rest of the way and looking for navigation bouys,

once we could see the container cranes of Felixstowe the navigation was easy as I worked on the docks a few years ago and it was a bit easier to aim for, used the yacht channel as there was big container ships coming in and out and them things are massive, we arrived at Felixstowe an hour before low tide so it was checking the echo sounder for our depth to be sure we were OK, then headed for the lock of Shotley marina the lock is quite small and the cleats are quite a way down so a bit of a hurried scramble to get the lines on, the lock keeper came down to give us a nice clear berth and we quickly got in and lines on and then a shower and bed as it had been a 10hr sail

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