Position N whatever W whatever we're in Cowes

Andrew Yates
Sun 7 Jun 2009 10:41
So Piccolo fans the journey is over, the trip is done, the eagle has landed, the Atlantic was conquered, the storms were sailed, Piccolo is on dock and the crew are on shore. 
The final twenty four hours saw much drama.  The wind was against us so Piccolo was under motor for the approach to the south coast, The crews belly's were full after Sam had cooked most of what was cookable onboard and the night watches began. Skipper Heidi was still feeling the effects of her ear infection was bed ridden, the remaining crew covering her watches. The night went well until approximately 5am when we realised that we would not have enough fuel to motor the whole way.  The wind was non existant and emergency plans were being hatched to go to Weymouth for a diesel top up.  Suddenly at half 5 the wind started to blow easterly, not an ideal direction but better than nothing. Sam took the helm after his mamouth two and a half hour sleep with Mat watching the sails with the concentration of a tennis umpire watching the ball.  Sails were trimmed and Weymouth was a distant thought, Piccolo was going to sail her way to the Needles where Heidi calculations showed we could motor home.  The wind blew a constant 20 knots and Sam and Mat enjoyed a fine sail through rough waters and big gusts.  It has to be said that Katie who was resting after her three hour night watch was thrown around her cabin like a lottery ball in that machine they use just before you realise another pound is lost.  Heidi was in her bunk watching the GPS and shouting when a tack was to be performed.  Sam hit a new speed record of 14 knots something but has given all credit to Mat for his fine trimming ability in the face of most of the English channel that was flying in his face.  This continued and at approximately midday the needles were passed in slightly calmer conditions with all crew including the wobbly heidi up on deck.  With the tide against us but for a change the wind in Piccolo's favour she was enjoyable sailed up the north side of the Isle of Wight to Cowes, Heidi with the GPS, Sam at the helm, Mat and Katie with a genoa sheet each.  Cowes is a busy place and concentration was not lost by any of the crew who between them had slept as much as an all night raver.
Piccolo's journey ended in East Cowes Marina with a welcome commitee of Andrew (Picollo owner), Yvonne (Mat's mum) and Alan (Mat's Dad) (nobody loves Heidi, Sam or Katie!).  Ropes were tied and champagne was popped with the crew feeling thoroughly exhausted as soon as land was stepped upon.  The thankful crew were whisked away to Andrew's lovely townhouse conveniently located crawling distance from the Anchor Public House where the crew and friends settled for an evening of food and a small amount of booze to wash it down with.  Heidi was not on the alcohol sadly as the had visited the hospital to be told she indeed did have an ear infection and would feel wobbly for a week or two to come.  Stories were told and goodbyes said with Mat and Katie leaving for Wales and Ireland with Sam and Heidi staying for a day or two to tidy things up on the boat.
The trip has been amazing, four strangers becomming friends while living for exactly five weeks aboard the good ship Piccolo.  Thanks for reading and we all hope you've enjoyed Picoolo's voyage as much us the four who sailed her did.  Piccolo out.