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Thursday 12. August 2010


geographical position
51° 20' N 0° 53.4' E
miles covered today:
4,0 nm
prev. day:
466,0 total: 470,0


days events

This is the first time I use my little GRP dinghy to row ashore and in order to do so, I get out the oarlocks and sweeps and take care to have all the necessities for a longer walk in a watertight bag - that is: my purse, digital camera, phone, the 'Trib', a sweater and something to drink - to make sure, it stays dry should I capsize.
You see, the boat is truly an ugly little thing - the american idea of the perfect motorized fishing dinghy, that can be rowed in case the outboard won't start - and of very light build, which apart from the fact that I got it for free, is also its greatest advantage: it will nicely follow Betty without the tendency to smash into the counter with a following wave and when it does get at the topside, it will do no damage whatsoever. But the little weight makes it also quite unstable and unless I plant myself more or less in the middle, I will have the choice: to swim back to the boat or ashore.

the dinghy on the hard

Today I am careful and after a pleasant walk along the beach it is time to get the anchor up and head for Faversham Creek, only about two miles away. Not at all certain, where I am going to stay for the night, I decide to turn off into Oare Creek instead of following the main water and right there at the yard near the entrance of the little creek, two men in overalls come out on a wooden landing and motion me to come near and make fast. Without a second thought I hand them my lines and oh how lucky, have found the ideal place for a smack in the vicinity: the Hollowshore Boatyard of shipwright Barry Tester. Barry is the owner of the big smack Alberta CK318 and has repaired and built many smacks to very high standards in his shed, where the spring tides fittingly flood the floor.

Through the rainy evening I walk back to the boat from an excursion to Faversham, the light getting darker by the minute, but reach the yard just in time to find Betty deep down below in the mud beneath the landing. After searching for some time in the dark for something like a ladder just long enough to reach the deck. To celebrate this success I feel the need to have a beer in company and so I climb back up and join the few patrons of the 'Shipwright Arms' pub just behind the sea wall, before turning in.


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BETTY smacks cruising the Thames Estuary janholthusen

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