Friday, 6 April 2018

Here Comes the Sun

A rainbow arcs across Ramsgate Harbour. The spring sun splashes a bright patch of summer blue across the canvas of bleak black winter cloud. The tide is fair, the wind murmurs on the sea wall beside us. It is time to make sail.

Stargazer scuds north, reaching under double reefed main in 25 knots of NW breeze. She carves a boiling white wake across a rhythmically undulating blue green sea.

Mischievous gusts spill down from the high white cliffs above. Our wake squirms sinuously as we duck and weave, playing the shifts 

The waves flatten as we round North Foreland and sniff out the first of the flood tide, to carry us into the London River. Stargazer is hard on the wind now. Casting to port and starboard, scenting out the deepest water, as she tacks. Through the shipping, waiting for orders, at anchor in Margate roadsted; into the Gore Channel, the Copperas Channel, the Horse Channel and the Four Fathom Channel.  

The wind frees as Stargazer slips into the Medway and glides upriver, making the most of slack water in the river. The spring sun quietly retires below the horizon, its work done for the day. Behind, it leaves a sky purged of cloud and the anticipation of a summer's cruising under sail.

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