This now left us with a predicament, were we able to continue onto Dover the following day? After several more light refreshments, and several successful attempts at manually engaging the gear directly from the engine room, we decided if the wind abated some, we'd chance it and motor sail out of the Thames via the Princes channel, and around the Foreland past Ramsgate and onto Dover. As it happens we had a beautiful second half of the day and ended up doing 6.5 knts under Genoa & Main down the Kent coast. Definite Caribbean conditions, if a little cooler. Nicky enjoyed her first taste of helming Maya under sail, and looked quite at home behind the wheel as we raced along. A much smoother entry into Dover Marina pulling alongside the hammer head, which was lucky as Maya would not have made it under the very low bridge ahead!
James, Lucy and Harry left us not long after arriving in Dover. It had been invaluable and fun to have them onboard for the first 2 days of our trip. Now to fixing the gearbox issue before continuing any further. Some very helpful boaties in the Marina dived under Maya to see if we and anything caught round the prop. Fortunately (or unfortunately) we did not, so this then means it is definitely a gear box issue and not a quick fix. Rolf set to work today and has taken the gear box out, and will head off tomorrow to Essex to deliver it to French Marine who will hopefully fix it, fingers crossed its only a clutch problem and we don't need a new gear box. Until then we are Dover bound! Time to take in the sights.
The kids all had a great time. First Mate Harry did a sterling job helping navigate and keeping a good look out for pirates with the binoculars. Bertie slept brilliantly with the lulling of the boats movements and also under the noise of the engine. Audrey enjoyed the excitement of the sail, seeing all the boats, the sea and new sights. Few new things for her to get used to which will take a bit of time for her to get to grips with, such as harnesses and being hooked onto the boat when under sail. She is really enjoying running round the deck of the boat whilst in port, which has netting all the way round, and as always, she welcomes each passing boat pulling into the marina with a loud HI and lots of waving. Today we baked some cupcakes in the BBQ which Audrey loved as it means we get to sing her favourite song 'Happy Birthday' as all cake means birthday happiness to her!! A bit of learning curve for Nicky on the BBQ baking... hopefully less burnt bottoms next time. The ones which didn't burn tasted yummy though!
So far so good, even with the gear box issue. A blessing in disguise perhaps, better to happen now. Next stop Brighton...