Having moved back into our house in London we thought this
would be our final blog entry to formally ‘sign off’, but strange
things are happening to the UK weather and we’ve been enjoying a bonus
week back on Stella!
We spent the week before our tenants moved out in Lymington
doing a number of boats jobs and admin......
Mary getting back into the chores of UK life admin.
Cleaning & pickling the watermaker as sadly we
won’t be using it for at least 6 months.
Alan had carelessly managed to ‘drop’ a small
plastic tube down the oil filler of the engine when he was topping it up with
oil. The offending tube was now in danger of disappearing into the
internals of the engine and causing untold damage so it had to be
retrieved. This involved removing the starter motor, oil filler and crank
case breather, but provided a good opportunity to give the engine a nice clean
and touch-up with green Volvo Penta paint.
Taking a break from chores for a walk in the New Forest.
Just before we moved back into London we spent two days at
the Southampton Boat Show. On the Monday we bumped into our ARC friends
James and Lesley from Cobra Libra and Andrew and Susan from Andromeda.
This was a fantastic surprise as we didn’t know either of them were back
in the UK. An impromptu curry night followed at a local curry house and
we caught up on 6 months of news.
Our tenants moved out of our house in mid September.
We decided to wait a couple of weeks before we moved back in so we could do
some work on the house, get new carpets fitted and the wooden floors renovated.
Familiar DIY has now replaced boat jobs..
The house was totally empty and the only plates we had were
the dog bowls we had brought from the boat which were to be used in very rough
The cushions from the garden furniture became our bed,
helped by the lovely springy new carpet! We have however had to take the
doors off as it is too thick for them to close!
Then our furniture and stuff arrived. Two
Opening the first of 7(!) storage crates.
We’ve just spent the last year living in a 40 foot space
which seemed more than big enough. What on earth are we going to do with
all this stuff we’ve been storing? We can’t possibly need it
We thought it would take two, perhaps three days to complete
the unpacking, but after three days we had only managed to unpack 50% of the
boxes. Alan just about managed to find his work suits, the iron and
ironing board before heading into the office to discuss his return to work
later in October. So far we have unpacked over 100 boxes which are piled
up everywhere together with about 20 boxes of packaging material. Many of
the boxes seem to contain more packaging than stuff and we have around 20 bags
and boxes of things for the charity shop so hopefully we will feel less
By this point our year living on Stella seemed to be fast
becoming a distant memory. But then something very strange
happened. The weather forecast was showing several days of solid sunshine
and warm weather and the news was talking about a record breaking late
summer. So we quickly abandoned the unpacking and raced down to Lymington
and Stella to revive our live-aboard lifestyle. From Wednesday 28
September for the next 5 days we enjoyed clear sunny warm days the likes of
which you don’t even get in a good summer. The only drawback was
there was no wind so we couldn’t venture too far, but we certainly
Leaving the Solent for Studland Bay on a beautiful sunny
day. Hardly a long passage but we were just happy to be back living
aboard Stella for a few days.
No, we haven’t muddled up the Caribbean photos!
Alan puts his dive gear on to take a look under Stella whilst anchored in
And just to prove he really did go in.....
Because there was no wind we decided to stay in Studland Bay
and explore ashore. We went for a fantastic walk along the coast to the
Old Harry cliffs which we sail past every time we enter the bay.
The white cliffs of the needles can just been seen in the
distance to the right of Mary
Unfortunately when we returned from our walk we realised we
had a made an embarrassing school boy error. We had forgotten about the
tide and our dinghy was now a long way from the water.... L
But luckily there was lovely pub just a few minutes away. ..
The following day James and Robin popped over from Lymington
for a morning cup of tea...
They stayed for an hour and then ‘popped’ back
to pick Henry up from school. You can do that when your boat does 30kts!
The beach at Studland Bay. Who would have thought this
was the 1st day of October in the UK!
Anchored in Studland Bay in the evening light.
As the sun set James, Robin & Henry returned, complete
with tasty provisions for dinner which we promptly all tucked into on Stella.
Sunrise in Studland Bay
The following day we returned to the Solent. Some got
back faster than others.......
We picked up a mooring buoy at Yarmouth as our friends Tania
and Richard were also out making the most of the sunny weather and had brought their
boat over from Gosport. It seemed like every boat afloat was out for the
weekend and Yarmouth was as busy as a bank holiday weekend. We got one of
the last moorings and the marina was totally full but Tania and Richard
shamelessly prostituted their daughters and dog by making them sit on the bow
so the harbour master took pity on them and squeezed them in.
We had a lovely meal ashore with Tania & Richard and
their two girls. The following day we enjoyed a light wind sail to Stokes
Bay aided by a very strong favourable spring tide. The sun was still
shining, there was not a cloud in the sky and it was yet another shorts and
T-shirt day. Can anyone believe this is October!!
We anchored for lunch in Stokes Bay with Jamelia (Tania and
Everyone except Mary and Jack (Tania and Richards new dog)
At 1600h on Sunday we said goodbye to Jamelia and headed
back west to Lymington. But on the way we decided we should continue to
make the most of the weather and the luxury of not having to go to work on
Monday so snuck into Newtown Creek and picked up one the last available visitor
After the sun set, and the tide dropped and dropped we
discovered why these moorings were still available as the water went down to
1.3m. Stella settled into the mud with 30cm less water than she needs to
float whilst we anxiously ate our dinner and wondered which of the many
differing tide forecasts for Newtown Creek was correct. Fortunately she
seemed quite happy and 45 minutes after low water she floated again, sheepishly
being the last boat in the river to swing in line with the flood tide!