Between Christmas and New Year .... Part I.

Eleanor Tims, aka Ryllis Tims
Sat 29 Dec 2007 16:34


I want to tell you about the three crew members who helped take Avanti down to Plymouth, and then after things went wrong, back to Dartmouth, where she is still at present, awaiting being brought back all the way to where she started from, in Southampton.  I also want to send you photos of them, but my first attempt was returned by mailasail as being too big for the diary, by about five times!  So, you'll probably get it in bits and pieces, if I can manage to restore it and then cut it up.  Not very good on computers yet; still have a lot of learning to do!

The first thing to go wrong was the constant severe oil leak from the port engine, and with hind-sight this was also what caused all the problems when Avanti was first taken out onto the water; a short trip from Chichester Harbour to Southampton, but sufficient to cause gear-box damage. This was supposed to have been repaired, but, and again BUT ......

The second thing was that once we were holed up in Plymouth, ready to leave, a seemingly unending series of extremely strong gales came through. We sat out four days of this; rain and howling wind, which was strong enough to break one of the dinghy davits. They were hard days to get through, but the crew were patient and calm, although we all felt very dispirited. Davy's partner Angie was with us; a great help, as she was calming and cheerful.

The third thing was that the culmination of these misfortunes was to force us, instead of going south to Madeira as originally planned, to decide instead to go home. We attempted it in Avanti, but had to abandon in Dartmouth, since when, Oh Contrary Fates, the weather has been calm, but of no use to us as sailors, because of Christmas.

The next "doing something, going places" entry into this blog will be, I very much hope, the story of bringing Avanti back to her old berth in Southampton, in the River Itchen.  In the meantime, I wish you a happy new year.

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