Leaving Dover was a bit of an issue. We were sandwiched in between 2 expensive french boats. Tongareva does not like tight spaces and it took some time to move her out of the berth. During this period, one Frenchman kindly came and helped us around his boat but at the final moment gave my stern a big push. This swung the bow around in the opposite direction towards the other Frenchman’s craft. I ran forward on the starboard side and stopped the collision with my foot. 2 seconds later the owner of this boat appeared on deck in a skimpy pair of pants and started to moan. I pointed out that we were sorry about the commotion but we hadn’t made contact with his boat and apart from a foot print there was nothing to be too concerned about. He then said he was not pleased – about what i do not know, it was not early (0830hrs) and the situation satisfactory. Again I apologized but he would not let it lie. There were now only 2 options either we just bugger off with the opinion that the bloke was a knob or we stop and he finds out how hard I can punch. We buggered off.
As we pulled out of Dover, the sea state and winds increased by the hour and soon we were passing Dungeness in rather heavy seas. The sun was out, I was rather sick but apart from that we were making good progress. We headed for Eastborne and got tied up in a more ample size marina at around 2200hrs that evening.
The following day we set sail with the hope of a long passage but after 9 hours of being chucked around in 4m high seas and a force 6-7 wind we entered Brighton harbour after only covering about 20 odd miles. This place was rammed with craft seeking shelter. Some fellow sailors helped us get tied up and after a shower, I had my first experience of Nandos. This burnt the lining off my stomach and gave way to some very interesting wind. The saloon cabin was no where to linger during this period.
The following morning, Tuesday 15th July, it was decision time. Either set said for the Solent, set sail for Dartmouth or stay put. The weather would decide this. No one was leaving port and there were still boats coming in.