Cat long distance cruise July 2022
Wow! Six catamarans, 2 Dart 18's, 3 Sprint 15's and a Dart 16 accompanied by two support boats completed the longest TBSC arranged cruise in recent years. A 34 mile round trip taking in the East end of the London array windfarm, Shivering Sands forts, the west end of London array windfarm, Red sands forts, the mouth of the swale and home.
But that doesn't give anywhere near the full story.
Setting off on an ebb tide in a dropping wind the first 3 miles took nearly two hours, with James confirming we were sitting smack bang in the middle of an area of no wind - but he promised there was wind coming! Eventually we managed after nearly 2.5 hours to meet at our first way point at the east end of the London Array windfarm. So only 5 /6 miles in we hove to and took lunch (and other light relief overboard!). The wind started to build and we made our way towards shivering sands, carefully crossing the shipping lane at 90 degrees at Way point 2. The forts are a magnificent sight close up, but after 10/15 minutes we then recrossed the channel and sailed along the north side of the windfarm towards Red Sands. Again, these are quite a sight and being able to sail close to these structures is amazing. We were now around 5 hours into the cruise and the wind had started to pick up, so at this point we decided to take a broad reach down towards the swale mouth. The distance is around 6/7 miles and we managed this in around 20 minutes. James clocked the Dart 16 at over 20 knots. As the 2 dart 18's had disappeared into the distance, if this is true (?) I'm not sure what there were managing! Anyway, arriving at Columbine Spit with the wind and waves building, we decided that we'd probably done enough and set for home, beating back into the strong easterly wind, to arrive at TBSC at around 6pm. What a brilliant sail! After 7 hours sailing, over 30 miles, we all slept well that night with a broad smile across our faces.
To view all the photos click here
If you'd like to know more about the forts click here