Harwich Oostende Harwich November 2010

Me and Samingo ll Harwich to Oostende outward leg 20th November


My great friend Pieter Van Cauwenberghe in his Spirit 32 ‘Plankzeil’ had sailed a fair way in to the north sea looking for me.  Here we have just sighted each other close to the Belgium coast having missed each other off shore.


The fabulous hospitality of Pieter and Mieke serving the best fish I’ve ever had made a winter trip worth while.  True Belgium hospitality and special friends.


Royal Yacht Club Oostende 25th November.


Samingo ll Moored next to renowned RYCO off shore racer ‘Tomidi’.


The RYCO building is listed.

and then a weather window to go home…….. 27th November approximately 10.30 GMT (5 hours in to the return)


A Cold Way Home from Belgium –


The sheets are crisp

Mooring lines stiff

Ice on the deck

A treacherous mix


It’s dark and cold

I’m dressed for the trip

Thermals and mid layers

Balaclavas and hoods


The seas are quite flat

But grey and foreboding

The light arrives

The visibility’s gloomy


Well dressed and warm

On watch and sharp

Wind from the southwest

Sails bend to their task


The gloom lifts

Ice on the boom

Flakes of snow

It’s very cold


Our speed is good

Daylight is short

Forbidding clouds

Appear in the west


Half way home

Six hours to go

The wind veers

It’s NOW on the nose


Our beat begins

The seas get steeper

Darkness is falling

Now ten-twelve hours before us


Our voyage extended

There’s heaving seas

Lights on the horizon

But so far away


Painfully slowly

We beat our way home

The wind howls

Waves slam the bow


Starboard tack

Kentish Knock before us

We tack northeast

Away from danger


Black Deep abeam

Trinity twinkling

Familiar friends

Marking danger around us 



Lights get brighter

The wind’s even stronger

Rough Towers ahead

Just a few miles longer


Cork Sand rounded

Languard now soon

The lights of the docks

Cranes lit bright … it’s midnight


In harbour at last

And sleep can’t come quicker

I wake to bright light

Deep snow’s on the deck


28th November SYH.










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