Boulogne to Ramsgate - Friday, 12 September 2003, 38 miles

There was no point in leaving before noon, as the spring tides run hard outside Boulogne. Another English yacht, intending to motor into the head wind, left at 11:30. We met them returning, signalling that the seas were horrendous, as we motored out of the inner harbour.

Wind was Northerly F5. We set sail with one reef and several rolls in the jib. As we quit the outer harbour, the seas were indeed pretty horrid, with wind against the now helpful tide. Once we were clear of the breakwater, we tacked close inshore and made good progress down to Cap Griz Nez. Ann thought the seas inshore by the point might be particularly bad, so we headed out for the buoy on the corner marking the turn in the shipping lane, and then headed across. The Northerly wind allowed us to take a regulation "at right angles" course. We expected the tide to whisk us North East, but after its initial push from Boulogne it seemed to have given up.

In the separation zone, the wind had dropped to F4 and the seas were much smoother, so we unreefed, and were close to the West entrance to Dover at 15:00.

Now on Port tack, trying to pass Dover, we had quite a job dodging ferries coming in and out of the Eastern Entrance. Then inshore up the Ramsgate Channel to reach Ramsgate at 18:35.