The family take the boat from Ramsgate to Brighton, en route to Torquay, the start of the Biscay Triangle 2005.

Saturday morning in Ramsgate looked ominous: cloudy – sunshine, no wind – too much wind – all in 5 minutes. The weather forecast was 3-4 variable. You just can’t go wrong with a variable!

As we had not made the progress we had hoped the previous week, we had no option but to sail this weekend. We slipped our mooring at 10h00 – I had worked out that the tide would be in our favour most of the time. Once out it was absolutely glorious! SE – 3. The cruising chute was pressed into service. Upon hoisting it we even had the opportunity to practice “keys overboard”. Finding a bobbing piece of cork at sea? No problem at all. What a crew – what a team!

Off Dover, it only seemed as if every ferry in the Channel was heading straight for us. A pleasant few hours followed. Life doesn’t get closer to perfection that this!

By mid afternoon the wind dropped, and then shifted to the west. Right on the nose and against the tide. Iron sail was hoisted. Things got “lumpy” again. Brigitte retired below and Yanni followed to comfort her. Evita and I took turns helming.

At 20h00 we were approaching Eastbourne – our intended destination. The tide was with us still – over a knot, and still picking up. I wanted to round Beachy Head now. It was too good an opportunity to miss. It would add 3 hours to our trip, but would make life easier the next day. Evita agreed.

Clear skies; moonlight… if it wasn’t for the quiet drone of the engine….Just before midnight the rest of the crew surfaced to ask “Are we there yet?” “Nah, we’re going to Brighton – it’s just over there”. The pier was illuminated, and there were fireworks. We’ll spend some time here on the way back.

Always tricky – landfall in an unknown harbour in darkness. But for this crew, a doddle.

Hot soup and off to bed. Sailing at 07h00 to catch the tide. Night all.