We left Cowes around 6 pm and had a strong westerly wind to take us out of the solent. However, the tide took some time to turn, so we were not completely out by the time it got dark. There were several ferries and lots of lights to keep track of – interesting exercise in navigation and great fun!
The wind died down during the night and in the early morning we were sailing slowly along the south coast. We were getting worried that we would not reach Dover before dark, but the wind picked up again and we arrived with an hour to spare.
Dover harbour is very busy and you need to ask permission to enter. The “traffic lights” then turn to green and you may enter. We hade a strong tide across the entrance, so we were a little worried. The yacht harbour is far inside and one of the most sheltered harbours I have seen.
We got a place and immediately found that our neighbour was a Swedish boat. The couple had just bought it and were on their way home.
There is also a lock and an inner harbour, which is even more sheltered.