Antipole cruises

Calais to Dover and home to Portsmouth

Piers visiting Antipole

With the west winds returned, we had an easy crossing from Calais to Dover.

The new marina in Dover is not yet ready as all effort is focused on expanding the cargo handling in case of a no-deal Brexit.  Whilst in Dover we were visited by Tony’s nephew Piers.  After time aboard we dined at the Dover Marine Hotel, perhaps the best Dover has to offer.

The west winds were good for crossing the channel but not for making westward to Portsmouth and we had to beat (tack) most of the way.  On the first day, this was into F6 and the sea got lumpy.  We had taken the precaution of rigging the small staysail to deploy in place of the large genoa and were glad to be able to switch to it. The problem with having it rigged on standby is that it makes tacking with the genoa virtually impossible. We were very glad to reach Newhaven where we rested overnight.

On the second day, the winds were a more modest F4-5 and we cleared away the staysail. We needed to work the spring tides so we could both make progress and get into the Solent and Portsmouth, for which there is a very short tidal window.  Once night had fallen we managed to keep out of the way of shipping until it came to tacking up the narrow channel between the forts guarding the eastern entrance.  All the overnight cross-channel ferries seemed to have chosen that moment to leave and we had to dodge three or four.  It is amazing how quickly they loomed out of the dark from amongst the confusion of lights and bore down on us while we tacked and scuttled to the edge of the channel.  Finally, we arrived in Portsmouth after 1:00am, broached the bottle of Don Pappa rum that Oli & Sarah had given us and crawled into our bunk, nursing aching arms from all the sheet winching.

We gave up our mooring in the River Frome before setting off in 2016, so we are lodging on the Portsmouth Sailing Club pontoon in the Camber dock.  It is not far from home, but we are, at this moment, still sitting on Antipole, reluctant to return to the house and face over four months of post and a garden that, no doubt, will resemble a jungle.

It has been an amazing four seasons and we have had a fantastic time visiting so many countries and places and making lovely friends.  We have learnt so much about what lies east of the UK.  You can see our track for the whole cruise here.  Thank you for following us.

Antipole is now over eight years old and we will be starting on maintenance and a refit. We plan some changes to make life easier as we advance in years.  We will post updates when there is more news.

with love, Tony & Ynskje xx

Antipole back in the Camber Dock drying out sails. Ben Ainslie’s America’s Cup base is on the left.

3 thoughts on “Calais to Dover and home to Portsmouth

  1. Alison Naisby

    Good to know you are safely back after such variable and frustrating weather conditions at times. Reading about your travels is always fascinating. Thanks to you both.

  2. Kaarina Karjula

    So great to read about your sailing! Thank you for that. Very happy to have met you! Take it easy now, for a little while – hope to see you again, some day, some place! Love from Esa and Kaarina

  3. Aram Schalm

    Welcome home!! ⚓️

    What an awesome journey and how amazing that it has already been four years!!
    Anitpole surely deserves some TLC and refitting after the many safe crossings you have had. Ready for hopefully many more of these great stretches!
    As always, it was great catching up and board the Antipole in IJmuiden, albeit docked.
    Can’t wait to join you both again; perhaps crossing the North Sea.

    …really hope not to have to apply for a visa…

    Lieve groetjes and see you in October!!

    Aram, Jolanda, Kasper & Jelle

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