I write this with the rain
absolutely beating down outside.
The decks are running with a river of water, and it makes me anxiously
look around for leaks into the cabin – I’ve got my Evostik Wet Grab (thanks Phil
:o) at the ready in case I find any!
We stupidly left the saloon overhead hatch open when we went for the pub
for lunch today so there is a large damp patch on the carpet and one of the
We are in Swanwick marina,
effectively stormbound but actually visitor-bound for the last few days. It is one of the nice things about
setting off in a small yacht - you can’t escape quickly, so we have had a steady
stream of friends and family come to visit us over the last
After seeing Nanny off in Hythe, we
took my Mum hostage and set off for Hamble into a forecast of Southwesterly
F7/8. In Southampton Water we had
31kts and we were on the sheltered side!
In the hour or so it took us to get up to the Hamble River we heard 2 Maydays and a Pan Pan on
the VHF. Mum worked her passage as
Crew Boss to the younger more mutinous members of the crew, whilst Sarah & I
sailed the boat. We took one look
at the visitors pontoon at Warsash, where boats were bouncing around like horses
at a rodeo, and carried on down the river as far as we could, and took a berth
The next day (Saturday), Steve and
Anita (Sarah’s parents) arrived, and we had a lovely day swapping stories about
sailing holidays, motoring up the river in the dinghy to the Jolly Sailor pub,
and enjoying a barbeque for dinner.
I have to give credit to Cobb barbeques, having successfully cooked a
great Barbie on the side deck in a F7!
Steve and Anita stayed over on the
boat, and on Sunday, Kate (Sarah’s sister), David & beautiful Sophie
arrived, and we had a really lovely day with the three kids causing havoc in the
aft cabin, and everyone talking ten to the dozen. We had lunch in the Jolly Sailor then
had a walk along the river up from Universal Marina.
Emilia bossing Sophie &
Soon it was time for goodbyes, and
with tears and tantrums from the girls, everyone left. We slept well!
Today, Dad and Margaret arrived,
bearing gifts of post for us. It
bucketed down with rain all day, so we took the decision to retire to the Jolly
Sailor for lunch (does this sound familiar? We feel like locals). As usual, Dad had thought of lots of
things that we should have thought about or done but hadn’t, so I have added
them to my (long) list of Things To Do.
What I am finding odd is that I seem to be struggling to get round to any
of them! Maybe it’s not having a
stroppy client to keep me on my toes.
We said our goodbyes to D&M on the pontoon of the pub, then set off
in the drizzle in the dinghy, back to Nutmeg.
I have spent the last hour setting
up 3G broadband, as I bought an unlocked PAYG 3G dongle, the theory being that I
will be able to buy local PAYG SIM cards in each country, rather than paying for
wireless. We will see if I am
trying to be too clever. The sat
phone works fine but is too slow and expensive for web
The forecast continues to be
dreadful, although since starting this update, it is now blue sky and little
wind here in the Hamble. I don’t
think we will be able to contemplate a Channel crossing for a couple of days, at
least until the forecasters stop mentioning South, and Force 6, 7 or 8 in the
same sentence. We might try and
sneak to Lymington tomorrow but we will see what its like in the morning.
My “things to do before we leave the
UK” joblist (which is a mere subset
of the overall list) contains such things as:
- Fit storm jib padeye, block &
halyard to top of mast
- Check reeving for 3rd
- Fix radar (still not working -
- Secure solar
- Re-cut leecloth for saloon
- Fit laptop shelf
- Replace bent guardwire
- Replace propane
Sarah still has to do a load of
businesss-related things which sound quite complicated – checking import/export
regulations, porting 0845 numbers, that sort of thing. It really feels like the job list is
never-ending, and I don't think we'll truly feel like we are "on holiday" until
we have got to France.