Crew member on GBR93 Concise 2
0600 24 August 2010
The bright ball of a moon is setting over Lowestoft as the myriad ofship lights find competition with the rising sun. We have made goodprogress over the night, with the tidal gates turning under us andcarrying Concise2 through the Dover Straits. The breeze is still asteady 20-25 from the SW and the broach-reaching conditions are fast,the Class 40 loves it. We have pushed hard in the night, and the creware tired. Dan stops eating his porridge momentarily to take a 5 minutenap in the companionway. He wakes up and finds the energy to keepeating.
No rest for the navigator just yet. North of Lowestoft is hugeintersection of shipping lanes placed within the middle of a series ofsand banks and oil platforms. The helm and trimmers are patient with thecalls to head up 10, down 20, as we dodge the various obstacles. Thankgoodness for the AIS - 3 tankers seemingly on course to hit us wereshown to be travelling at 0.0kts. Anchored. The sandbanks stretch inthin lines to the North and East. We have lost count of the number ofcardinal marks.
A long dark arm of cloud stretches across the sea ahead. A huge windshift to the right, rain and a solid 30 knots. What? That wasn'tforecast to happen now. Reef, bear away, bodies on deck, turn on theFleet broadband. Satellite pictures show a mini-system, squall-like,passing across the east of England, spinning into the main low offNorway. There is an unpleasant half an hour and it is gone. The sun isback out and everyone is getting a bit more rest.