Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Cruise - Part 9

Thursday 17th April

The inshore forecast for Wight was extremely poor – east or north east 5-7. occasionally 8 – the right direction, but far too strong. I decided to keep off the boat as much as possible to avoid the severe movement at the Lymington Town Sailing Club pontoon. After breakfast I made use of the excellent facilities at the Club. The lounge overlooks the harbour and by the panoramic window there's an extremely powerful pair of binoculars that had been used by the Vice Commodore to observe my moves when I arrived yesterday. I enjoyed a coffee in the lounge before returning the boat.

A few yards away on the windward side of the pontoon there's a mini-transat boat named 'Rattle and Rum' owned by Keith Willis and sponsored by the Club. I noticed her fenders were not protecting her; therefore I readjusted them to prevent damage to her topside.

I spent quite a bit of time in the town and visited the Parish Church of St Thomas which has a beautiful carved architrave and attractive stained glass windows. While there a young couple had a look around and we had a good discussion about the Christian doctrine of the resurrection.

As good as her word, my cousin met me at the car park to take me to her house at Milton on Sea where I met her husband prior to celebrating their wedding anniversary at the Crown pub which has an excellent chef who did us proud by presenting us with wonderful food.

Friday 18th April

Again, the early morning forecast was awful, but Brian Pearson paid a visit to 'Faith'. He's a very keen sailor of scows. We enjoyed a chat and a coffee while light rain pattered on the decks. He offered to take my engine to Sal Marine, the local Honda dealer. Their mechanic maintained the reason for a reluctance to start was due to 'foul' or 'gone off' fuel that I bought at Brighton Marina. He swapped the spark plug and replenished the tank and subsequently delivered the engine to the boat, and later he returned with a new plug to replace an incorrect one sold to me when I paid the bill.

Brian suggested I might like to join him for a curry evening at Keyhaven Club, of which he is a member, and as promised he took me there; on the way he showed me vantage points from where I could see features such as Hurst Castle, the Lighthouse, the Needles, Milford Bay and Keyhaven Harbour. Near the yacht club we looked at a very fine Falmouth Pilot type yacht drawn up on the hard in preparation for modifications to her cabin.

While at the Club we chatted about small boats, and in particular the topic of scows of which Brian is an expert. He is a fanatical sailing boat enthusiast with a penchant for the Hugh Norton type 50/50 sailing/paddling canoe. Needless to say we had a very enjoyable evening.

Saturday 19th April

Because of persistent high pressure over Scotland a succession of lows remain over southern England which bring strong winds from the east or north east, and today unwanted rain. It is also very cold and I am having difficulty in keeping warm, especially my feet, because I suffer with Reynaud's Syndrome which is an inherited circulatory problem. How lovely it will be when the weather warms up.

This evening I met Keith Willis and took photos of his mini-transat boat which he plans to sail to Plymouth to enter the qualifying passage to the Fastnet Rock and back.

The weather is still pretty awful, but I live in hope that I may be able to escape Lymington tomorrow.

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