Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Foggy but great sailing on the South Coast!

Leg 16- can’t quite believe it. On board this week we have Abigail, Rhiannon, Claire, Barnaby and Thomas, with Kerry Williams as our volunteer from Skandia and Tracy Curtis – our legend, joining us as well. On Sunday we had Mel and Natalie from Skandia come down and help us get the boat ready for the arrival of our new crew. It was such a great help, and at least we have managed to get a bit more polishing done ahead of the boat show this week. Thank you so much for your help ladies- very much appreciated!
By Sunday afternoon all our crew had arrived and were settled in. While Karen and I tackled the bilges again on Monday morning, the crew went off to the Living Coast to view penguins, seals and other wild (in captivity) life. It is a great display, bringing the coast to the general public. Bill Butcher also managed to get them in FOC again, thanks again to Bill for all his help during our stay in Torquay.
We had a great sail over to Portland on Monday afternoon, into the evening. Unfortunately it was quite foggy though, so we didn’t have much of a view of anything, not even Portland Bill. I had to convince the crew that actually the bill is quite spectacular to see. We crept into Portland Marina by 22:30 that night, out of the fog and drizzle.
We didn’t hang around Portland too long, as all the favourable tide was in the morning, so we set sail for Poole, with a relatively short passage taking a lot longer due to the tides against us. At least the fog lifted for a while, and although we couldn’t see the Isle of Wight, at least we had a great afternoon sailing past Swanage cliffs and Old Harry – the other side of the Needles (Chalk cliff stacks extending out to sea).
Emily and her parents came down to see us in Poole. It was great to see her again, she joined us on Scarlet as we went through Tower Bridge. It’s a little surreal seeing old faces again in familiar territory… Carolyn brought us a couple of cakes down which were fantastic and greatly appreciated by all the crew – thank you Carolyn!
With a bit more breeze from the NE, but at least good visibility, we sailed across Poole Bay and back into the Solent, past the Needles. What a great sight, but very strange to see. We’re now in Yarmouth again and enjoyed a good walk up the River Yar to Freshwater and back. Frank brought his family down to the boat to say hello, it was great to see them again!
Barnaby has been fantastic on board. We had a little a small electrical fault with our sink drain switch, and while I had my head under the sink he was very helpful, and eventually took over replacing the switch for me. Being inquisitive about the way things work, he soon had the old switch opened up and fixed, and has just put it back in it’s place – great work, thank you Barnaby!
So – here we are, with a busy couple days ahead of us. We’re off to Southampton tomorrow to prepare for the Boat Show, which we will be in on Friday, then back home to Cowes on Saturday.
Cheers, Cath

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