Rainbow II trip to Littlehampton

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Rainbow II trip to Littlehampton

Post by Captain Jim of Rainbow II on Fri Apr 01, 2016 4:40 pm

Well shipmates the time has come, sailed Rainbow down to Teddington Lock today ready for the morning tide tomorrow, so far all ok but had the red boards out on the Thames today with the lock keepers attending their weirs so self service on the locks, river only running about 3 knots so calming down now.

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Re: Rainbow II trip to Littlehampton

Post by molemot on Fri Apr 01, 2016 5:31 pm

Do the sums, work the tides; wishing you calm seas and good visibility! Slalom through the windfarms.... Where are you stopping en route? It's a fair old way...Ramsgate, perhaps, refuel...should be a nice trip!! The forecast is good, anyway!! Bon voyage.....

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Re: Rainbow II trip to Littlehampton

Post by steviemurf on Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:13 pm

Have a great trip, all the best.
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Re: Rainbow II trip to Littlehampton

Post by Liberty on Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:22 pm

Have a great trip..... take loads of photos.... no red boards at sea!!!
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Re: Rainbow II trip to Littlehampton

Post by Prof Pat Pending on Fri Apr 01, 2016 7:18 pm

Have fun, looks like a nice weekend...very jealous 

And yes, lots of pics please Smile
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Re: Rainbow II trip to Littlehampton

Post by driftwood on Fri Apr 01, 2016 7:21 pm

Have a good trip , enjoy Very Happy
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Re: Rainbow II trip to Littlehampton

Post by Captain Jim of Rainbow II on Sat Apr 02, 2016 9:43 pm

Thanks for all your good wishes. Well the trip started well with a good flow of water sweeping us down to the River Medway where we checked into Chatham Marina for tonight. Tomorrow we catch the tide on to Ramsgate for our second stopover, then Eastbourne and finally Littlehampton. We timed the tide well today as when we arrived at the turn into the Medway the tide was just turning and helped us on our way to Chatham. It takes an hour and a half from the Thames to Chatham Marina at 6.5 to 7 knots. Most of the way down the Thames we were covering the ground at 10 knots that's after we left the rowers behind, we left Teddington at 8 am and arrived at Chatham around 4.30pm. Had a lovely Chinese in the local restaurant, well recommend it. Will update again tomorrow. Happy sailing.

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Re: Rainbow II trip to Littlehampton

Post by bigscale on Sat Apr 02, 2016 11:33 pm

So far so good keep reporting it is very interesting bon voyage 
                                                           john
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Re: Rainbow II trip to Littlehampton

Post by Captain Jim of Rainbow II on Sun Apr 03, 2016 2:01 am

And I thought I was knackerd yet here I am awake at 1.30am thinking about tomorrow, ere today and our next leg to Ramsgate. Well our new engines performed faultlessly, they seemed to be enjoying the trip as much as we are, they are like Rainbow II's heartbeat, 1200rpm and sounding awesome, they drank about 3/4 of my fuel load this time which was much more than last weekends trip and I couldn't get the speed I got either, I was thinking it was the extra weight I was carrying but when I got to Chatham I had my suspicions about the trim tabs and sure enough the oil had leeked out and they were not operating, as there is no Chandlry here a kind sailer took me in his car to the local garage where I managed to get some brake fluid which I will try in the morning to see if I can get them to full deflection then just leave them there, that should lift me again and help with both speed and fuel consumption I'll let you know. Have reserved my spot in Ramsgate Marina, spoke to a very helpful young lady who when I said it was our first time enroute on open water gave us some good advice with regards entering the harbour and wished us fair passage. Now going to try and get back to sleep for a few hours before our next passage which will start after I refill the tanks about 9am high tide at 10am.

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Re: Rainbow II trip to Littlehampton

Post by Liberty on Sun Apr 03, 2016 11:27 am

Good going so far!!  Well done.... it does get easier the more time you spend tidal.
Ramsgate is a cool place to be...... walk round to the arches at the far side of the marina, there is a 'shop' that is basically an arch stuffed full of retro junk.... I can spend hours in there!!  There is also a chandlery and a nice cafe close by.
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Re: Rainbow II trip to Littlehampton

Post by Captain Jim of Rainbow II on Tue Apr 05, 2016 12:25 am

What a lovely place, we stayed over another day and we have spent the time looking round including the arches. For some reason my trim tabs started to leak, maybe it's because it's the first time they have been under so much pressure, tried to fix them to no avail, our speed is now down to around 8 knots. Due to the tide and wishing to get it to push us towards our destination of Eastbourne we will be setting out at 3.30am today, yes in the dark I know, passing the Goodwin Sands I know, why do you think I'm still awake? If we get there by 4.30pm I will be happy. After refuelling a couple of times I fnd that our engines are not as thirsty as first thought, about 4.5 litres an hour each cruising about 6 knots which is about our average for the last leg, it wasn't so easy to judge on the first leg down the Thames as we had to varie our speed so much throughout the trip, now I am happy with that as it gives us 30 hours cruising using both engines and obviously almost double that if using one to cruise.
Well I must try to get to sleep now as we're off in 3 hours and I need to concentrate on our position so no dropping off for a snooz. I'll do some pictures and video when I return home by the weekend.

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Re: Rainbow II trip to Littlehampton

Post by Captain Jim of Rainbow II on Tue Apr 05, 2016 8:37 pm

Wow what a great voyage to Eastbourne, left at 3.30am pitch black, past the Goodwin Sands, pitch black, through the shipping lanes at Dover, pitch black, was I glad that part of the trip was over daylight never looked so good. Arrived at Eastbourne at 1pm as the tide was with us all the way, don't ask me how, minimum 6 knots and max 11 over ground, thought for sure we were going to have to beat against the tide for part of the journey. Going to start out for Littlehampton at 7am tomorrow, weather deteriorating slightly so going to be a bit bumpy but hopefully not to bad, if it is I'll turn round and come back. Goodnight all and safe sailing.

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Re: Rainbow II trip to Littlehampton

Post by Prof Pat Pending on Tue Apr 05, 2016 9:10 pm

You're a braver man than me Jim, I like cruising at night, but not at all sure about the channel shipping lanes.

Have a safe trip Smile
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Re: Rainbow II trip to Littlehampton

Post by Captain Jim of Rainbow II on Thu Apr 07, 2016 5:03 am

Well that was fun! Actually it was but also awe inspiring, I could see me living on a boat sailing the world, but back to today, we left Eastbourne with fine calm conditions but Beachy Head wasn't, 4 to 8 foot waves coming from two directions, bet you cannot guess what happened next? No! Well with the waves crashing about my little boat was taking a serious beating but standing up to it amazingly well, I was so proud of her and I was really starting to enjoy myself when our port engine shuddered to a stop, not known at the time the anchor was dislodged by a large wave and was thrown overboard where it was taken back and wrapped itself round the propeller, we continued on but with both of my shipmates being sick And even though we had nearly reached the safety of Newhavev I thought it was best to advise the coastguard of our situation just in case it got worse, it had already taken us 7 bruising hours and due to the conditions they suggested that I accept the help of a lifeboat, I only had 4 miles left to our destination but thought they wouldn't have suggested it if they didn't think the situation warranted it so I accepted. In no time they were with me and said as I was making good speed they would just escort me in, they positions themselves off my port quarter to give me protection from the waves. Throughout my journey all of the port controllers have been so helpful and kind as were the lifeboat men, nothing too much trouble. So here we are I'm Newhaven waiting until tomorrow to see the damage when we pull her out to my little boat.

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Re: Rainbow II trip to Littlehampton

Post by driftwood on Thu Apr 07, 2016 7:20 am

Glad your back safe and enjoyed your trip it sounds very exciting. Hope you find that there is little damage when you lift her out , looking forward to seeing some pictures. Very Happy
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Re: Rainbow II trip to Littlehampton

Post by bigscale on Thu Apr 07, 2016 9:36 am

Hi sorry to hear about your mishap hope no serious damage is done but congrats on your adventure well done i  would not be that brave i did enjoy reading your reports and  has driftwood says look forward to photos
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Re: Rainbow II trip to Littlehampton

Post by Captain Jim of Rainbow II on Thu Apr 07, 2016 3:01 pm

Hi Shipmates
After making a total hash of mooring up at the Marina yesterday it occurred to me that the anchor and chain might be still attached so I got in the dingy with the boat hook and sure enough I found the chain hanging, the guys here were great they bought their work boat round, hooked the chain and pulled up all of the chain anchor attached, result. No wonder I struggled to moor her up first time . After taking the boat out the water we found the anchor rope wrapped round the propeller and James it into the p braket bearing, we was able to unwrap the rope without damaging anything, also no damage to the boat. Result. Back in the water now ready for the weather to pick up before we continue, unfortunately my shipmates for the voyage have to leave me so I'm Bobby No Mates now.

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Re: Rainbow II trip to Littlehampton

Post by Prof Pat Pending on Thu Apr 07, 2016 3:10 pm

Glad to hear that there was no damage and that you had a good excuse for the poor handling, mooring a twin on one engine can be problematic at the best of times Smile
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Re: Rainbow II trip to Littlehampton

Post by driftwood on Thu Apr 07, 2016 3:11 pm

That's good news...hope the weather cheers up soon:cheers:
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Re: Rainbow II trip to Littlehampton

Post by RichK on Thu Apr 07, 2016 5:46 pm

Well done, love reading these adventure logs Smile
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Re: Rainbow II trip to Littlehampton

Post by Liberty on Thu Apr 07, 2016 6:32 pm

Wow... that must have been a bit of a brown trouser moment.
Well done and hopefully a safer trip for the remainder of the journey.

PS.  Was the anchor any good, I'm looking for a new one?
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Re: Rainbow II trip to Littlehampton

Post by molemot on Thu Apr 07, 2016 10:04 pm

Quite a trip.....you didn't need it to be THAT character building, did you?! Well done...and glad that nothing awful resulted from the rope around the prop, etc.
Back in 1979, when I first took Trilly to sea...having spent a couple of weeks in Ramsgate, I had planned the trip back up the Thames...sorted the tides and had an early departure. Coiled down the forward line into a neat catherine wheel coil on the foredeck...everything else was inboard...and off we went. All was fine until North Foreland, when I ran into a bunch of big waves coming across the estuary, driven by a northerly wind... Started bashing about much as you described...the pulpit rail was going into the sea! Much sluicing of water down the side decks....I did wonder if this was sustainable. Then I remembered the neat catherine wheel of forward line...which was being washed about the place by the waves!! I didn't much fancy this being washed over the side and back along the keel to go around the prop....especially as I only had one engine... So I waited until a big wave had gone through, lashed the wheel, abandoned the helm and dived into the cabin...opened the fore hatch...grabbed the rope...heaved the soggy mass into the cabin and shut the fore hatch down again!! Managed to get the hook into the eye to hold it shut, with the rope in between the hatch and the cabin roof; this is not possible, but I did it.
Got the boat pointing the right way again..and then realised that it was going to be an uncomfortable trip, but all seemed well enough.
Then the lifeboat came by, going the other way...he gave me a cheery wave...so I waved back...and pressed on. Speed was down to around 3 or 4 knots due to the seas...and I crept along and dodged gratefully into the Swale; instant respite!! With a land mass between me and the wind driven waves, it was back to Tales of the Riverbank.
When we got to the Medway, I decided that the best thing was to get across the estuary and stay close to the north shore...so I did, and this kept the waves and wind down to more tolerable levels. I trundled up the river, my flight plan had bitten the dust due to the delay after the weather problems...so I ended up fighting the tide upriver. Finally got to the pontoon that acted as a waiting mooring for St. Katherine's in those days, moored up and turned in....it being pretty late by then. After a couple of hours it became obvious that this was far too rough a spot for my little 22ft Freeman, and no sleep was likely...so I carried on upriver and finaly spent the rest of the night on Putney Pier.
After that little jaunt, the next year I felt happy to take her across the Channel and off to France!!

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Re: Rainbow II trip to Littlehampton

Post by Captain Jim of Rainbow II on Sat Apr 09, 2016 9:20 am

Hi Shipmates
I was told by the man who lifted the anchor for me that had I have has a Bruce Anchor it would have dug in and I would have been in more trouble, so a Bruce anchor sounds good.
Well sounds like you had a bit of an adventure yourself didn't you. It tends to concentrate your mind. Yesterday we spent a very plesent sunny day having a look round, there is a fish mongas beside the fishing boats which sell fish as it comes ashore, it was lovely. We are right opposite the ferry terminal here. Today it's cold and wet.
If any of you are on FaceBook my profile name is James W G Madden just send me a friend request and message.

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Re: Rainbow II trip to Littlehampton

Post by Captain Jim of Rainbow II on Sat Apr 09, 2016 2:59 pm

Trim tabs pump fitted and working ready for next Tuesday which is the day I hope to startmy journey to Littlehampton again.

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Re: Rainbow II trip to Littlehampton

Post by molemot on Sat Apr 09, 2016 5:02 pm

I've just arrived in Calais on the ferry....glad you didn't go anywhere today!!

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