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Day 76 To Hamble....


The weather had died down overnight and we seemed to have a short weather window so we set off for Hamble. For anyone who has not sailed the North sea it is difficult to describe how unpleasant this sea is. It is not that the weather is terrible all the time it is just a great many things working together to make the experience unpleasant.

It was probably F4 when we left but it was directly on the nose so it felt much worse. Sea Crusader is a big boat and it can take this sort of treatment in its stride. But we are forced to keep close to the shore owing to the presence of shipping lanes and TSS's. The best way I can describe the Dutch/German shore in this area is 200 miles of overfalls. When you leave Cuxhafen there is no refuge until Borkham and it is over 100 miles away.

Along the journey we had an interesting encounter with the german coast guard who called us on the VHF and wanted to know everything. Interestingly they called us back later as further offshore was a Moody 54DS on a delivery trip tot he boat show. They asked us if we were traveling together but I told them we were not but they had been in Cuxhafen with us the night before. I didn't know the name of the boat. The then proceeded East.

10 minutes later the boat turned around and went full steam towards the Moody. They were calling to in the radio with no answer initially but we soon found out why.

"Moody 54DS, what is the name of your vessel?"

"It hasn't got a name we are delivering it"

"Moody 54DS what is your MMSI, I can't see you on AIS"

"We don't have an MMSI"

"Moody 54Ds what is your call sign"

"We do not have a call sign"

Silence.

A few minutes later there was a conversation about what they were doing and where they were going. Which the customs/coast guard said OK thanks.

I think that they were lucky that they too a pragmatic view. After all they were sailing an unregistered boat without an Ensign of any nation. Using a ships radio without a ships radio licence etc. It could have ended in a large fine and even the boat impounded.

As the day progressed the weather simply got worse and the forecast increased to F7 over night. We passed Borkham, but decided to head in and wait the weather out it would pass through in 12 hours.

I loath Borkham, the entrance and exit take so long well over an hour so going into Borkham wastes three to four hours of sea time alone. By the time we reached the entrance it was pitch black, to say I was anxious was probably an understatement. However when we did arrive the commercial harbour which is a quiet place during the day was lit up like a football stadium. We were soon tied up to the dock and feeling pleased with ourselves… The the harbourmaster arrived in her car and told us to move elsewhere. It was pouring with rain so it was not welcome news. She asked us when we were leaving we said 7am, so I haven't seen you she said and so we eat and went to bed.


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