Although not done specifically for the Jester Baltimore Challenge (JBC) it took me 18 months and a lot of effort to get Sancerre ready, and she was already in good condition albeit under equipped and not set up for single handed sailing.
The next thing to do was to get to the start and the weather was not helping with multiple episodes of high winds forecast and no window long enough to guarantee getting to Plymouth from Gosport in easy steps to be fresh for the start.
I had planned to leave on Tuesday and stop off a couple of times on the way down so as to avoid tiring overnight sailing, with strong winds forecast for Tuesday and possibly Thursday into the weekend, I started early on Monday for Portland, stayed there for 2 nights waiting for the weather to blow through and I headed off for Plymouth very early on Wednesday morning.
|Portland Bill inshore route|
Initially it was still quite windy and getting off the pontoon without bashing the boat behind and down wind was a bit of a challenge but thereafter everything went smoothly with the wind dropping as I came out of the harbour. I took the inshore route around the Bill of Portland with a number of boats leaving Weymouth for their summer cruises. I even got the big spinnaker up for the only time on the outbound trip.
|Crossing Lyme Bay.|
|Cawsand Bay on arrival|
|Mike leaving Cawsand|
Over the next couple of days we were checking weather forecasts at every opportunity as they were showing gusts well in excess of 30 Knts for Sunday and we were debating whether to start at the official time on Sunday morning or to delay until Monday which was my intention until forecasts coming out on Saturday evening predicting F4-5 occasionally 6 moderating 3 - 4, the Sunday morning forecast confirmed this although it was going to be bumpy for the first 12 hours, that proved optimistic!