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By Monday evening, many of the OGA60 Round Britain fleet were enjoying the sail south to Eyemouth, with passage plans towards Blyth for the party planned for 21 – 23 July. ‘Moon River’ has reached Amble while ‘Susan J’ reported passing St. Abbs Head, our cover picture for today’s post, in company with ‘Indian Runner’ during “a cracking reach at 7+ knots across the Firth of Forth”. They are now in Eyemouth with ‘Windbreker’ and ‘Minstrel’. ‘Letty’ reached nearly 10 knots sailing in company with ’Onward of Ito’. ’Onward’ is now anchored off Holy Island in company with ‘Bonita’, ‘Recipe’, ‘Barbarossa’ and ‘Hilda’. ‘Lahloo’ has stopped at Anstruther, in search of some historic tales about her namesake, the Tea Clipper champion ‘SV Lahloo’.

The weather was kind to us and yesterday we had a fabulous day’s sailing. We feel we have deserved this after two and a half months! The wind was a westerly, we had up full main, staysail and jib and for one brief moment reached 8 knots (unheard of!) and were at 6 – 7 knots for most of the day. Joy of joy we didn’t need our engine. The final delight was seeing seals in the harbour – there is a colony who live here and one in particular keeps popping up his head – probably hoping to be thrown a fish. We were expecting to reach Eyemouth at around 10 but in fact got here at 7.00 p.m. There was no room on the visitors’ pontoon ( the rest of the gaffers snuck in before us) so we rafted up against ‘Hilda’, who was against a wall. 

Chris Hardman, ‘Indian Runner’

‘Charlotte Elizabeth’, sailing single-handed with Jack, the dog, in a 21’ Shrimper had an interesting passage plan, having made the decision to trail down the east coast, re-launching  in Lincolnshire before setting sail again on passage to the River Orwell.

Well done to the Fleet for coping with the difficult weather conditions! ‘Charlotte Elizabeth’ decided to make use of the A9/M74/M6/A66/A1 and A14 to relaunch at the delightful Fosdyke Boatyard (near Boston). Now at anchor outside Wells-next-the-Sea, awaiting the tide at 6pm 18 July. Fleet dog well and rather into high speed trains.

Martin Pound, ‘Charlotte Elizabeth’

We hear good news from much further south where ‘Molly Cobbler’ is at last making better progress ‘cross country’.

Friday 14 July:
Well, ‘Molly Cobbler’ got to Newbury, but the forecasts were getting worse, you may have noticed, though the rain seems worse in Tayside while the wind looks worse in Cardiff Bay. Oddly enough, the winds are predicted to be worse in Reading than for either of the OGA60 events this weekend. Whatever, the forecast of likely gusts up to force 9 was quite enough for me to want to get ‘Molly’ into shelter, and I wasn’t keen on spending the weekend on the Kennet, miles from anywhere, nor did I want my projected arrival on the East Coast to be deferred yet again. Enter Yvonne – her intended attendance at Cardiff had unfortunately had to be cancelled, so she was suddenly free to help Peter and me move ‘Molly’ eastwards. 13 hours underway on Thursday got us through 17 locks and a load of swing bridges, and then three hours this morning before the rain really got going got us through four more locks, out onto the Thames at Reading (yeehay!) and into Caversham Marina, where ‘Molly’ is now tucked up in shelter, waiting for whatever the weather sends. We’ll see you in Levington yet!
Update: 18 July
We’re back in tidal waters, moored outside the Teddington Boat Shop, ready to leave at high water 05.00! tomorrow morning to head through London with Yvonne crewing. We’ll soon be back at sea!

Mary Gibbs, ‘Molly Cobbler’