On a boat in the center of London.  That’s what the St.  Katherine’s marina is all about.  We’re with all the tourists but then we’re not.  They wander on the path in front of the restaurants some 10 meters from the bow of Kincsem but in the cockpit and below decks we’re away from their prying eyes.  And we’re at the Tower Bridge in 5 minutes, tops.  Highly recommended!


I had two bucket list items to check off the list:  to visit the Royal Thames Yacht Club, the oldest yacht club in Britain, and the RORC, the Royal Ocean Racing Club.  For the first time ever, I even had a jacket on board for this purpose!  Sadly, the RORC was not serving any food while we were there because the cook was in Cowes for Cowes Week.  But we managed to have dinner at Royal Thames – check! 


At the Royal Thames Yacht Club, the oldest yacht club in Britain.  With Ute, Rainer and Almut.

Weekly inspection in the engine room – maintenance tasks never stop, even in London!

Rebuilding the bilge pump

Leaving London


When we left, we had the breeze with us for once and we took full advantage of it.  Much of the 50 miles down the Thames the sails were up and the crew was fully occupied with adjusting the sails all the time.  We stopped at the same place we had stopped going up Thames, the Stangate creek anchorage.  Nothing to write home about but the price was right! 


We had a nice downwind sail to our next stop, Ramsgate, which is a beach resort town with a decent marina.



We were told by some other cruisers that Ramsgate was much nicer than Dover so we were thinking about staying in Ramsgate for a day.  But with the next blow coming in a couple of days, we decided to sail to Dover instead as Ramsgate’s marina seemed a bit prone to swell.    Good choice as it was blowing a force 9 that day, with the huge ferries having trouble maneuvering.  The Dover marina is very safe from storms but the harbor walls are so high that one cannot look out at anything but a spring flood! 


The Castle of Dover


So were the cliffs of Dover impressive?  Yes, but not quite as impressive as I would have thought.  They are about 100 meters high and you can sail up to them really close but somehow they pale by comparison to the humungous cliffs of the Faroes and Iceland!   The town of Dover is nothing to write home about but there is an impressive castle on top of the town.  But the most impressive sight were probably the ferries maneuvering in the gale outside!

From Dover, the coast turns to the West so with the prevailing Westerly winds, we were thinking we would have to sail upwind and tack a lot.  But the weather gods smiled upon us – a moderate Northwesterly wind meant we could lay our next stop, Eastbourne, without a single tack.   It is important in these waters to time your sailing with the tides.  We saw more than 3 knots of current as we were sailing towards Eastbourne.  The tidal range is 7 meters!  No wonder you need to go through a lock to get into the marina. 

More white cliffs south of Dover


Eastbourne was a surprise.  A huge marina as part of an upscale development in the middle of nowhere.  There must be thousands of high-end condos surrounding the marina.  Maybe Londoners who don’t want to have their boat on the Solent keep it here and have a condo as well?   In the morning we had chosen a time to go through the lock that coincided with low tide, at springs to boot.  The 7 meters range were well in evidence when we exited the lock, with sky high walls on our sides and a small sliver of navigable water among mudd banks in front of us.  But all was good and we never saw less than 70 cm below our keel.


Leaving Eastbourne on a big spring ebb


We had another lovely sail to Portsmouth with the wind only moderate, the sun sometimes shining and only one tack getting us to Portsmouth on a fair tide.   The famous spinnaker beacon was visible from afar and at least one aircraft carrier was in port.  Portsmouth is a huge naval base.    

Ute hand steering to Portsmouth

Spinnaker, the trademark of Portsmouth


  1. Sounds like a nice itinerary even with the weather! Hopefully you get some relief and some sun in the days to come!

  2. Nice post Joerg! Keep them coming, as we will be following you close behind!

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