Sunday, 23 August 2009

Abersoch here we come!

What a week already! On Friday night we went off to the Sailing Club for dinner and the auction. Vicky and I stood up to say a few words about the Trust. I was very impressed at how Vicky spoke, she did a brilliant job and really got the message across at how much the trust helps people in recovery from cancer. Craig did a great job as the auctioneer, and last we heard they managed to raise over £2700 for us – fantastic! The weather being the weather, and the tides being as they are, we set off from Holyhead at midnight on Friday, to catch a good tide down to Abersoch before the next low came in. Geoff and Susan from Holyhead Marina came down to give us a hand getting Scarlet out of our berth, which was a little tricky with a fair amount of wind still blowing. Thanks again to everyone from Holyhead for such an incredible time!
With a bit of local advice from Geoff, we managed to get out to the South Stack lighthouse in time to catch a fair tide down the coast. It was a bit of a bumpy start, with winds of up to 24kts on the nose and some rather large overfalls at the corner, so we managed to get everyone completely soaked. But, after an hour and a little more offshore, the seas settled down and we ended up on a beautiful close reach down the coast with clear starlit skies and easing winds. Simon Townsend came sailing with us, which was just such a great treat. Even though he had been driving all day since 4am collecting crew etc, he was back at the wheel in the early hours of the morning, but happy to do so as at least he was sailing again! We settled into watches, but with such a great tide underneath us and good winds, we were down near Bardsey Sound in no time. Scarlet being Scarlet, and things always happen at sea, I came down to check on a few things to find her bilges full of water…. Always a little concerning when out at sea, but thankfully after a quick test, it was a relief to find that at least it was fresh water. With no water coming out of the taps I think we have a leaky tank! Thankfully we keep drinking water in bottles, so nothing to worry about, and it have Robert, Ross and Paul something to do while on watch (manually pumping the bilge pump), and a good excuse to keep warm doing so. Slowly the wind died down more and more, until eventually we had to give in on sailing and motor the rest of the way to Abersoch.
Catherine and Martin from SCYC in Abersoch have been incredible. They were out to welcome us, along with quite a few boats from the Yacht Club. Bear Grylls was out in his RIB and came over to say hello to our crew. Ben is a great fan, so it was great for him to get a chance to meet Bear later on.
We headed over to Pwllheli Marina late morning, then after sorting Scarlet out we went back to Abersoch and spent the afternoon playing on the water in kayaks, dart and fun boats. Simon, Jo, Karen and I all went out on the little funboats, and the guys from the sailing school kindly set up a little coarse for us. What a great giggle!
We were invited to the SCYC dinner and fundraising event in the evening which was just such an incredible evening. The food was fantastic, the fundraising was brilliant, and then we topped it off with everyone on the dance floor with a great band playing some classics. Thank you very much to Catherine, Martin and all at SCYC for such a great welcome and evening out.
We were back on board Scarlet by midnight, and having not had much sleep in the last 24hrs, it was probably record timing for everyone to get to bed and sleep…. What a great sleep that was!
It’s now a windy, wet Sunday morning, and a very lazy one. We’re hiding from the weather on board Scarlet, with Ross and Vicky in the galley cooking up a feast for brunch. It’s hopefully off to the Lifeboat for a tour this afternoon (Karen and I will probably be able to give the tour ourselves by the end of RB) and hopefully find some other fun and exciting things to do on a wet Sunday afternoon. Cheers, Cath

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