Voyage of Recovery – Resume of the adventure
Excellent Voyage! We arrived around 12am Sunday at Plymouth, met the skipper Mark and his aft watch then we were equipped with life jackets and wet weather gear.
Then we loaded up two trolleys and headed for the marina to board the motor boat that took us out to the Donald Searle a 75 ft, the biggest boat I have sailed on.
We had a quick briefing from Skip about being in two watches port and starboard, plus a briefing on how sea toilets work using the stop cocks and which way to turn them without sinking the boat. I was in starboard watch this meant we alternated on crewing and cooking duties. After Cornish pasties with baked beans, we set off downriver to the sea under motor and I helmed the last half.
On reaching the sea we went to mid channel where skip took bearing for Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight. Most of us thought we were to sail up to Norfolk never having heard of Isle of Wight, Yarmouth !
Good weather for that passage, avoiding other shipping especially the many ferries that go to the Isle of Wight .
We arrived just as there was still daylight. Then Skip called the harbour master who assigned us a space in the marina. Then all the sails and sheets were stowed in their correct places we also learnt the correct procedure for tying onto a pontoon with OXO knots using a fore and aft rope, then ropes that stop the yawing so the fenders are not pushed out of position.
Once safely moored up we had supper prepared by the port watch. We all ate heartedly as working a boat makes one very hungry.
During the night, wind and rain came up strong, at one stage the boat was healing over with the force of wind just on the masts!
In the morning, we are woken early at 6.30 am when I was told off for snoring? Apparently, I sounded like a Walrus I was not the only snoring crew as we had been snoring in unison, still the future equipment will include ear plugs.
Breakfast was a full English with sausage, egg and bacon and filtered coffee ably assisted by Margie, one of the volunteer crew. Starboard watch was on cooking duties so the port watch was up on deck readying boat for sea.
Forecasted weather was not at all good, Skip spent a while deciding on a new course as he had originally planned on going around the needles and back, now he decided to ship for COWES, a place I had heard of as the summer haven for racing, my own cousin usually has his boat there.
We sailed back up the Solent tacking most of the way then arrived at COWES marina. Here, we all made for the showers in the Yacht Club which were excellent and very welcoming.
We had a great supper of roast lamb with all the trimmings followed by strawberry bread and butter pudding, very yummy.
The next day, Tuesday morning, was blowing a wholly so we could not go down to the needles as Skip had planned the day before. So, no early start. I was on food duty but most of us woke up at about 6am so I started making the coffee and teas.
We left Cowes around 9am then due to a heading wind tacked up the Solent until we eventually arrived back at home, port of Plymouth Marina and it was here that the crew kindly made us food for the return trip to Chelmsford of Panis.
I arrived back in Chelmsford and was met by Mel, who said she is definitely going next year.
I then got on train to Manningtree and my taxi then arrived home around 5pm, I was knackered having had a very enjoyable trip!!!
Definitely need to lose weight as I was the least agile of all the crew. What with my ankles, legs and knees hurting a great deal, still I could get up and down the ladder but not very quickly so had to wait usually for a gap in traffic, all the crew were very sympathetic but one did stand on my foot and did that hurt!