TIMOTHY SPALL: SOMEWHERE AT SEA.
In the dark of night arriving at the north Norfolk coast, a pilot boat guides them into the port of Wells-next-the-Sea. They soon discover it’s a trip worth making as they explore this stunning coastline.
Six years ago, Timothy Spall and his wife Shane left London to tour Britain’s coast. The last sees their Dutch Barge arrive in Suffolk where they moor in Shotley marina, the site of the former naval training camp HMS Ganges. From here they venture into the serene Walton backwaters and then out into the North Sea for a trip to Brightlingsea, Essex.
Chatham is the port were the Spalls spent months learning the art of navigation before venturing out into the sea for the first time all those years ago.
They safely make it to Chatham, where both Tim and Shane are emotionally drained and relieved. The final journey up the Thames into London is where he eventually realises that in his words “Life is for living”.
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On their voyage around the UK Tim and Shane Spall emailed Peter:
Hi Peter, hope this finds you well. Tim and I are now moored in Dartmouth, Devon waiting for some good weather before we continue our trip around Britain (next port of call Plymouth). We left Weymouth (where we wintered) last Saturday and having come around Portland Bill and navigating Lyme Bay we feel rather triumphal, it all went pretty well. We had to hit the Bill at exactly 4hrs + high tide but it also meant we had to go over the Race on the Eastside for about 2/3 NMs the Race made the wave height about 2.5 meters luckily we were going over it, and it was going with us. We went around The Bill approx. 200 meters offshore and then steered Nth for about 2 NM then went across Lyme Bay, it was a wonderful trip, but at one point we were about 15 miles from land. Just when we’d relaxed and gone over the 3 degrees east line, Tim lost concentration a bit, half an hour later, he checked the chart plotter and discovered we’d actually gone back 3 miles, we must have picked up some bizarre Southerly Spring Tide, Tim had to wrench and hold the wheel, full to starboard for a good 20 minutes to get us back on track. PM does seem to handle the waves very well, particularly when going over or being followed by the sea. When it’s on the beam, however, it’s a different experience, not that she doesn’t feel that she can’t handle it, she seems to do that fine, but speaking from the experience we had coming around from Brixham to Dartmouth with an S. Easterly it’s certainly given us some food for thought. She does feel very capable of taking most things that come her way, we’re loving it. When Tim last spoke to you Pete, you said you would send information about the stability curve? Is that right, just for the record, and our own personal interest, it would be great if you could send us that.
Best regards Tim & Shane Spall
Stability curve details sent to Tim. Their seagoing Peter Nicholls FCN Dutch barge is classified B category for the RCD, the second highest seagoing classification.
January 2016 - Timothy Spall tells us that his Peter Nicholls FCN 54 has cruised the Baltic Sea, calling in at Copenhagen and is now moored in a marina at Malmo, Sweden
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