Having departed from the shelter of Baiona on the Spanish west coast, the crew headed into biscay. Despite avoiding the worst of the weather system, the crew were still faced with 22knots on the nose and 8m swell. Having set a reef in the main and with the swell due to decrease over 12 hours, they cracked on. Needless to say there were a few green faces - but the less said about that the better!
After 24 hours, as forecast, the wind and swell decreased well enough for Firebird to make some head way across the bay. By the time they reached the English Channel a strong south westerly of 33knots and tide with them saw Firebird hit 16 knots boat speed. The good luck sticking with them, the team made a speedy nip round the east corner of the UK, past the Thames and down the river Orwell, resembling more of a mill pond as the sun set.
Just one last thing to navigate.. the bridge! Ipswich is known for having a concrete box girder bridge, not dissimilar to those found in the fjords of northern Norway. As night fell, Tim was hoisted up the rig to ensure that there was enough clearance with the tide. Good practice for some of the bridges in the arctic which have just 2 metre clearance. Fortunately, with more than enough clearance Firebird continued to pass through the lock, before entering Ipswich Haven Marina.
Firebird and the team will start part two of their journey north in ten days time. Let’s see what the north sea has in store..