With our family chores done and suitable checks on the condition of two pregnant daughters in law we headed north again on the 6th July, this time by car with stops on the way at the Roache household for a gossip and then overnight at a friendly B&B in the Lake District. The plan was to leave the car at our new home marina at Inverkip so that we could bring home all the dirty washing and general mess for the winter. That accomplished we took a train ride to Glasgow and thence to Perth, Inverness and on to Wick. All of this eight hour fantastic scenic train ride for £17, yes £17. Now that is Scottish thrift for you, probably not available to Sassenachs after independence so enjoy it while you can.
Friday 21 June
Journeyed to Deacons Yard, well laden with clothes, supplies and bits for the boat by train in the morning and persuaded Aladdin’s Cave to check out the rigging of Willow, a Sadler 32, which was completed within the hour. Alja arrived a later and shortly afterwards we started the engine and slipped moorings just after mid-day picking up diesel (40 litres) from the Hamble Marina refuelling point. With two reefs in the main and two thirds genoa we sailed into a stiff south westerly force 5, in sunshine, with forecasts of stronger winds to come. We arrived at Yarmouth and chose a walk ashore berth and were tied up by 7pm. We had supper on board and examined the weather forecast to see if there was a chance to sail the following day – there wasn’t.
Saturday 22 June
A light breeze skimming over the waves, a tiny swell as the oars creak in their rowlocks, with a rhythmic splash as they enter the blue sea - different to the river, bigger, but a perfect morning as the two crews of Team Mums Away embark on their Channel Row, Friday 26 July 2013. The White Cliffs slowly reducing in size as the big Spring tide pushes us towards Folkestone, the boat taking an angle at odds to our minds as we follow the pilot boats navigating a course to the Colbart North cardinal buoy on the border of French territorial waters, which we're still not allowed to cross into.
This time tomorrow we hope to have finished the Channel Rowing Challenge that Team Mums Away have been working towards since January. The team is well prepared, the forecast could not be better, and we are hoping for a smooth row out to mid-Channel and back to finish at Dover. We've had two practice rows of 22 miles each, the final one has been condensed into this 2 minute video
We were delighted to welcome three of our HPOs to the Club just recently.
Pictured are Michael Wynter (HPO Sydney) and Gabe Langerak (HPO Amsterdam) renewing their friendship with LSC members and English beer at the bar last week.
Sarah Fountain, HPO for the Bay of Islands, New Zealand, joined us for the Showstoppers night when she was staying at the Club for a couple of days.
In other HPO news, Anne and Ian Malcolm were entertained and looked after by our HPO Fethiye, Stuart Aikman, his wife Dilek and their young daughter Katrina on their recent sailing trip to Turkey. Ian took this footage of their Beneteau 44 underway in the beautiful blue waters.
A clip of HPO Fethiye, Turkey, Stuart Aikman's Beneteau 44 Sukran, sailing to windward of our yacht Saturnus on a recent sailing holiday to Turkey.
Last week I went down to Gosport boatyard to do the final pack up of 6X, the Trapper 300 which has been part of our family life for nearly 30 years. My Dad, "the Admiral", decided at the end of last year that it was time to let someone else take on the responsibility for the boat. He is 79 this August and was starting to find the maintenance and upkeep too much of a chore. I had been the main user of the boat for the last ten years, with him having a few day sails in gentler weather, and have appreciated working alongside him on the annual cycle of anti-fouling, engine maintenance, fitting out, laying up. But the boat would always belong to him, and as long as I was sailing it he would feel responsible for her upkeep and safety. So, reluctantly, we turned our thoughts to selling it to someone else.
I mentioned in my previous blog that when we made the passage to Calais there seemed to be a lot less depth in the SW Sunk than last year. East Coast navigators may be interested to know that (saint) Roger Gaspar of the Crossing the Thames Estuary website has been out to survey the location and has produced an updated chartlet, which can be found here, with additional discussion and some photos on the YBW forum.
The best route through the swatchway is now further to the NE as indicated by the chartlet. Many thanks to Roger Gaspar for all his efforts.
Getting a crew for this cruise turned out to be a nightmare, several members were otherwise booked and others had to drop out. However I managed to rustle up two crew making three on board, just enough in my planning.
Plan was go as far as Waddenzee if all went well, do-able if the weather played ball and nothing else went awry. The weather did indeed play its wicked way, the weekend of the 22/23 saw predictions of F5/7 and gale 8 in Wight and Dover, no place to be with a crew fresh to the yacht. We prudently stayed in Chichester Marina picking up a buoy on Sunday to leave first thing Monday 24th.