Up at 05:30 for an 06:30 leave as long trip in prospect – as were unfavourable tides, light winds and some rain. Permission to leave harbour was granted by St Peter Port Control and RBE then safely followed the various transits through the Russell Channel. The by now customary excellent breakfast was prepared by Keith.
We were making good progress as the tide decided to give some help early on and hoisting the sails also provided some assistance as the wind had got up nicely as well. Turned the engine off for a while and banged along at 7 knots which was very pleasant and also saved some diesel which looked like it was running a bit low. Lunch, of Ginsters’ Spicy Slices, was served and enjoyed but, for future reference, the author prefers their pasties.
As the wind died right away, the main diesel tank was topped up from the reserve tank and we motored on in increasingly pleasant weather. Listened to a pan pan incident in Torbay which ended in a successful rescue and then enjoyed a delicious afternoon snack of nachos a la Sheila prepared by Keith and Jackie.
At approximately 16:00, RBE reached the longitude of Berry Head (003º 28.2’) which the crew had decided would mark the actual circumnavigation of Britain. Phil emerged bearing six glasses and a bottle of champagne. He then made a good speech and said some very nice things about the crew and their achievement. The speech, like his stories, went on for some time and brought tears to the eyes of those present. Whether the tears were caused by emotion or thirst is irrelevant. The bottle was opened, pictures taken and an OM✽ awarded to Phil for a brilliant leg, some awful jokes and, not least, the shampoo.
When a mobile signal was available, Richard, as NOB, called the harbour master on a very bad line and politely requested a berth in the quasi-official language that is expected. The lady at the other end, unable to suppress a giggle, informed him that he was talking to the Cherub pub! When he did get through to the Harbourmaster, the office was closed. Some contests are unwinnable.
Eventually, RBE tied up in Dartmouth at 1800 after some perfunctory pilotage from Richard and some decisive docking from PeteR. Keith left immediately on his usual ablutionary excursion.
Post-docking beer was taken and then the crew made the very short walk to the Cherub Inn. When the drinks eventually arrived, the health of the ship’s company was toasted and they then got on with what they consistently do best: eating. It proved to be a very good meal and our thanks go to Duncan for his kind recommendation. A wander back to RBE for tea and chocolate and then bed.