Then, finally, on the Friday Sid tells us that we are allowed to go. Storm Gareth has calmed down. The wind is well within the limits (20 m/hr, with gusts up to 40 m/hr).
So at nine o’clock Bill and Marc head out of Salthouse Dock, to Mann Island. We follow fifteen minutes later, to find Marc moored up just after the lock. He has metres of wire around his prop, so Lawrance gets his tools and gloves and jumps over on Marc’s boat.
I continue on my own, basically to show our novices where to go.
Once out of Princes Lock I certainly get the 40 m/hr gusts that CRT promised us. But it’s just delightful to be on WRT, she sails so easy (albeit diagonally).
Then, after Sid’s Ditch, I get the unexpected 60 m/hr winds. Suddenly WRT starts to capsize, blown over by the wind. I’m cruising on my own, in the middle of a huge Dock, what can I do? We’re tilted to starboard anyway, so a with a strong wind from the left, and everything on the shelves on the portside of the boat now on the floor, WRT will start tilting even more!
I must say, it is one of the few occasions so far that I am scared while cruising on WRT.
I manage to both stay on course and to counter-balance the tilting (doing about 2500 revs), but after a while turning right towards the Tobacco Warehouse (and having the wind at the back) feels very relieved!
The journey from here is kind of uneventful. Until we get to bridge 9. Sid told me we would be able to go through this bridge until 16:00 hrs. It’s 15:30 hrs when we get there, so that should not be a problem.
But no, the bridge doesn’t work between 14:00 and 18:00 hrs, so we’re all stuck.
After 18:00 hrs another hour sees us to bridge 10. Most of us just moor on the bridge bollards. It’s a ten hour day, with very strong wind, and rain, so we can’t be bollared (bothered?).