My Crew and Keyhaven Pilot
Me at Keyhaven
The morning turned out to be brilliant with sunshine and a light wind from the SW. My friend who knows Keyhaven because he has sailed scows there for many years, joined me at Lymington. We cast off ’Ladybird’s’ lines at 0910 and kept to the channel leading to the Solent where hundreds of yachts were everywhere to be seen. A large fleet of Optimist dinghies were engaged in a racing championships.
My volunteer crew was at the helm trying to get the best out of the boat as we sailed towards Keyhaven. He took the yacht over the shallows to avoid the incoming tide. Unaccustomed to having a crew, it was a delight to have his company. A Hawk Day Boat overtook us and when she arrived to a point near the entrance to Keyhaven she ran back towards Lymington.
At the entrance of the harbour the narrow deep water channel is identified by starboard and port hand buoys: which are almost due north of Hurst Point. I had been fearful of entering Keyaven because of the narrow channel leading to the Old Quay by the Sailing Club, but my friend put me at ease. It was simply a matter of following the starboard hand buoys all the way.
Scows and other dinghies were out racing and the Club was alive with people. Youngsters were at the Quay fishing for crabs. At precisely 1200 ‘Ladybird’ was alongside the Quay and the dues were paid for one night. After having a cup of tea, my friend departed to do a good turn for a friend of his wife. Two good deeds on a Sunday, will not go un-noted. In fact, I expressed my gratitude to my crew for giving me the confidence to take ’Ladybird’ into Keyhaven. If the opportunity arises again to visit the place, I’ll certainly call in.