Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Cruise of the ‘Aziz’ a Pioneer 9 Part 22

Spinnaker run on the way to Newhaven

A sailing friend joined me at Gosport. We had a look at the Cathedral; then ate at a Chinese restaurant.

On the morning of Tuesday, 2nd September we were underway at 0608 after hearing the shipping forecast. We had an uneventful sail, including a spinnaker run from Boulder Buoy, south of southwest of Selsey Bill. From there we passed through the Looe Channel and carried the spinnaker much of the way to Newhaven. ‘Aziz’ was snugly berthed there in time for afternoon tea. I was surprised to be charged £16.00 for a night’s stay. There was nothing special about the facilities, and a little grubby – noisy at night too.

The next morning we were anxious to leave, and by 0615 ‘Aziz’ was heading for sea, but all of a sudden there was a loss of power and drive from the propeller. I managed to nurse the yacht back to our pontoon. From there we could see netting caught on the propeller. My friend nobly offered to dive in the water and cut the netting free. After four or more dives he had removed the netting by sawing away at it with a small, but sharp knife.

Retrieving netting from the propeller

I used to be the junior school plate-diving champion, but that was at the age of twelve. A school gala took place every year, and the plate-diving event featured midway between races and polo matches. A teacher would randomly throw a dozen plates into the pool and the person who retrieved the most on a single dive was the winner. If two or more retrieved the same number, the one who did it fastest would take the prize. I no longer had that ability to stay under water holding my breath for minutes at a time; therefore I was very grateful that my friend was able to do the job. The alternative of hiring a diver would have been costly.

In less than thirty minutes we were heading out of Newhaven Harbour and by 2200 we were securely berthed at Dover Marina on the outer visitors’ pontoon, where we could remain until the following morning.

My friend took his leave, and again I was on my own; that was on the morning of Thursday, 4th September. Time was knocking on; days and months were slipping by, but I would soon be home with ‘Aziz’ reunited with her mooring at Fambridge, on the River Crouch.

At Ramsgate

We did a pit stop at Ramsgate before sailing across the Thames Estuary without any problems. Beating into the Crouch on a fine sunny day was a real pleasure, and before mid-day on Saturday, 6th of September ‘Aziz’ and her crew were back at Fambridge where our adventure had started. I was quietly moved when I heard a commentary of Princess Diana’s funeral on the radio. Tributes were never ending.

Text for the Day

Psalm 7:1 ‘O LORD my God, in You I put my trust ………’

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