Ramsgate to Lowestoft


The crossing of the Thames Estuary was one of the passages in the trip that I was treating with care and for me this had to be a day crossing.

With a forecast that I considered marginal as it was definitely a F5 not a F4, but the sea was slight and the wind would be behind us. We set off at 0730 (UTC). This was planned as the long passage north to Edinburgh.

On the sail hoist we got hit by a gust and the mainsail car 'burst' out of the track, with parts of the car flying in all directions! Once we steaded the boat and gathered both our thoughts, and bits of the car, were not as bad as we first thought. We re-assembled the car minus less one bearing and set off toward North Foreland and out across the Thames Estuary.

At around lunch time we were hit by a huge rain cloud and got drenched. It did flatten the s making the ride a little more comfortable.

1500 hrs Passing Long Stand Head Buoy.

The forecast was spot on and we had a fantastic sail zig-zagging through the sandbanks and wind farms.

At the wheel

Crossing the Thames Estuary. Credit Alex Bowling

1800 hrs Orford Ness off our port beam.

2230 hrs Southwold Lighthouse off out port beam and it was getting colder. The final leg and finding the channel into Lowestoft.


We called Lowestoft Control to seek permission to enter harbour. Their reply was instant, somebody apart from us was awake!

With the tide running at 2.5 knots we passed the pier heads ferry gliding in at about 45°. Entering the calm waters of the harbour, dropped the main and headed into the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club.

0110 hrs Finding the visitors pontoon full and nobody about we parked up near the fuel pontoon and got some sleep; the end of a long and exciting sail.

All times are UTC.

Crew: Sandy Garrity and Alex Bowling

Trip Stats: Distance: 83 nm, Avg speed: 4.75 knots, Max speed: 11.00 knots, Underway: 17 h 30 m.

Sunrise: 0542 hrs Sunset: 1931 hrs

Weather: Inshore waters forecast to 12 miles offshore 01:00 (UTC+1) on Sat 7 Aug 2021 to 01:00 (UTC+1) on Sun 8 Aug 2021

Gibraltar Point to North Foreland - Strong wind warning

24 hour forecast: Southerly or southwesterly 4 to 6, occasionally 7 near North Foreland and later in south. Slight or moderate. Showers, thundery at times. Good, occasionally moderate.

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