Wyldwind - Blog

We have sailed 25333 nautical miles overall since 2005, 15693 in Wyldwind (2013), 9205 in Selene, 435 in High Tension
YouTube: under sail
and Motor-cruising past Beachy Head

In Port with Neil and Jane

Thursday 04 July 2024

Neil and Jane arrived as planned at 1000, but the water system on Wyldwind had failed and I was on the phone to my engineer, Simon, who said he could probably fix it today, so Neil and Jane came aboard and they and Julia had lunch in the clubhouse at Hornet, while I was with Simon who did in fact fix things, by replacing the pump and pressure relief valve all to the right pressures. It worked but by this time the tide would have been against us for going to Yarmouth and the wind was very strong F6+ on the nose, so we abandoned plans to sail. We took the Gosport Ferry over to Portsmouth and a cab to Southsea, where we ate at Rocka. Jane and I had the melange friture which is lots of seafood in batter, and Julia and Neil had cod on mash. We got a taxi back and the ferry over and watched Wimbledon Highlights.

Friday 05 July 2024

It rained and blew overnight, and it was grey and horrid in the morning. However, we all slept well and had a lie in. Julia, Jane and I showered on board and Neil went up to the clubhouse. By now it was dry but very windy. We had a quiet morning and a grazing lunch, and then went over to Gunwharf and Neil bought some Musto trousers and we had drinks in the Old Customs House reclining in leather sofas. Then we came back and I BBQ-d the brochettes I prepared at lunchtime on the stovetop along with baked potatoes and corn on the cob. This was followed by cheese that Neil and Jane had bought. We watched Wimbledon Today and Neil and I watched France beat Portugal on penalties. It continued to blow and it also rained hard!

Saturday 06 2024

Neil and Jane departed at 0900 and at 1215 we met Sam Adams for lunch in the clubhouse, and she came back to the boat for a while. We stayed on board and watched Wimbledon, and I popped out and got us pizza. We watched the end of the England football game and watched Beverly Hills Cop 2024 on Netflix

Sunday 07 July 2024

I did a few boat jobs in the morning and we went to Rob and Rosie’s for Sunday lunch which was lovely and then home.

Yarmouth with the Flemings 19-21 June 2024

Wednesday 19 June 2024

Julia and I got down the night before and it was a grey start with some wind – not as forecast! I was at the gate to meet Paul and Gillian at 1000 and we got them parked up and on the boat. There was a small breeze and it was cloudy despite the weather forecast saying it would be a nice day. We got them aboard and were soon off drinking sloe gin. At Gilkicker there was just enough wind to sail, so we put all sails out and killed the engine until just past Newtown Creek where it finally died. It was a lovely sail. We got into Yarmouth as the weather was improving with less wind and the sun coming out. We all had a drink and then lunch. Then we went out and about, booking the Bugle for dinner followed by a drink at the Yacht Club where we sat outside in their garden. After that we went on to the George and sat in their lovely garden. Then back to the boat for more drinks and off to dinner at the Bugle. I had pork belly, Julia and Gillian had sea bass curry, and Paul had a pie. We shared two cheese boards. We got good service and nice food, and I saw Les in the bar. We came back to the boat and listened to a mix tape I had prepared which was fun and we got to bed around 1100.

Thursday 20 June 2024

It was a lovely sunny morning and after Gillian had taken a shower, they went to the post office to post a few parcels and met us at the bus stop in time for the number 7 bus to the Needles attraction. We arrived there at 0945 and waited around for 15 minutes for the place to open and then went on the chairlift and down to the beach. We had a stroll on the shingle and then took the lift back up. We then walked out to the Old Needles Battery which was very interesting. It was a glorious day – warm and sunny. We then caught the bus to Freshwater and walked the last 10 minutes to the Red Lion, where we had a superb lunch. Julia and I had cod raviolo and I also had beef on a crumpet. Gillian had a Caesar salad, and Paul fish and chips. We then walked the railway line back past the café Off the Rails where they both needed the loo. Julia and I met them back on the boat. I prepared the marinade for the BBQ later and we chilled and had drinks and then watched the football – England v Denmark which was a very boring 1-1 draw. I cooked a BBQ on the back of the boat - pork brochettes, which were accompanied by a veg bake Julia had made and some new potatoes. We listened to some music and then bed

Friday 21 June 2024

It was another lovely sunny day and we left around 0900 and had a lovely motor back. I left the bimini up which was good for Julia and put a chair out back in the sun for Gillian. We had a lovely motor back. None of us was hungry and the wind was getting up, so we decided to pack up and go. We cleaned the BBQ and sorted the boat out and then drove back via Aly’s for Julia to water the plants and came home for a late brunch. It was by now windy and sunshine with clouds, so sitting out wasn’t really on. Two nice things on arrival home were a new flowering water lily in the pond and the roses at the front had all opened out over the few days we were away.

Hamble - seeing Gordon and Chris

Wednesday 12 June 2024

Julia and I got to the boat on Tuesday afternoon and I installed our new steps and did a couple of other jobs. On Wednesday morning, it was a grey start. We were up and about around 0800 and left at 0855. The sea was flat calm and there was no wind. It was mainly cloudy with some sunny spells which increased as the morning wore on. We got to Port Hamble in good time arriving at 1045. We had an easy berth port side to into C34 – further downstream than we have been before. We had some tea as it was too early for captain’s beer, and then we had lunch and invited Gordon and Chris over who had arrived a little earlier on D pontoon. Gordon and I had beers and Julia and Chris had tea. Then they left and shortly aferwards, Duncan and Elisabeth from Bimble came to see us having walked down from Mercury – they saw my FB post and contacted us. It was lovely to see them. We had a couple of drinks with them, and then they left and we had showers – I went to the block – Julia on board. We then changed and went for drinks on Valantic with Gordon and Chris hosting, and then we walked to the Bugle. We all had steaks – it was only sirloin. It was ok, but the service was a bit poor. We had after dinner drinks on board Valantic as Gordon had some whisky and I didn’t have any. In all it was a nice evening, and we got to bed quite late.

Thursday 13 June 2024

It was a grey day and we were up and about and left at 0900 as the skies were getting darker and it was getting windier. We put up 3/4 genoa as it was a reach but motor sailed home to make sure we beat the weather. We moored easily enough as there was no boat in front of us and drove back via Petersfield.

Hornet D-Day dinner and overnight in Cowes

Friday 31 May 2024

We got to the boat at lunchtime and managed to get all our stuff into our trolley. We had a sandwich for lunch and then Simon from Vasi Southern arrived and fitted the new accumulator which now works. I made the template for the under sink shelf and cut the bed sheet template, and then rested. I had to get up to move a clanking line on the boat Challenger astern. We then got dressed up in smart casual and headed for the Coastal Forces Heritage Trust talk, and then dinner. We sat down not really knowing anyone but those around us turned out to be good company. I sat next to Sarah and Mike who have a 31 foot racing Beneteau. Opposite them were two Johns: John from Bugsy the boat moored behind us and John MacIntyre who still works in defence. His wife is Elizabeth and he owns a Contessa 32. He knew some of my old colleagues at MOD. To Julia’s left and opposite me were Tania and Paul Anderson and Julia and I both hit it off with them. They live in the Haslar Hospital and have a boat called Moonfleet which we can see across the pontoons. Next to me on my left was Geoff and his wife Marny. I had some great banter with Geoff. The meal was a broth, faggots and bread and butter pudding. After dinner we got a talk on D Day which was OK and it was a thoroughly great night.

Saturday 01 June 2024

It was a bright sunny morning with plenty of wind, and quite chilly from the North. We helped Bugsy move and then set off at 1030 for Cowes. It was a good Northerly F5/6 so we put out ¾ genoa and had a great sail to Cowes. It was a bit bumpy when I put the fenders out. We got into Cowes Yacht Haven and reversed down White 9 south basin to the end. They were fully booked and later the place was rammed. Julia had a sandwich – I wasn’t hungry so sprayed the windows clean. We then walked up the hill to the Model Engineering Society which has an open day with model train rides once a month on the first Saturday. We have failed to get in many times before, but today the weather was fine and we got in and rode both trains and saw the model boats. We then walked back down to the Island Sailing Club and had a drink – indoors as it was too windy outside, and then back to the boat, We were booked into Coast for 1800 and I had crispy duck pizza and Julia had a whole sea bass off the specials board. We shared a cheese board. Back to the boat and we watched the final two episodes of Furies on Netflix and Have I got News for You before bed.

Sunday 02 June 2024

The wind died overnight and it was a warm sunny morning. We had a lazy start and got the papers at M&S and Julia browsed some shops. At 1045 enough boats had cleared and we motored home to Hornet. We were upset to find someone in our berth and they cleared off quickly after we advised them. We invited John from Bugsy down for a beer in the sunshine and then I cooked scrambled eggs and toast with smoked salmon. We then enjoyed the sunshine for a bit longer and the packed up and headed home. As we left we chatted to Greg on Jema a 45 foot Beneteau that likes to creep in to the space ahead of us to load and unload. He is a member at Hornet and of the RNSA and seems nice. He was interested in the trolley we use as it has been very helpful to us, and I promised to send him the link. Julia drove back and had clear roads. We then had a BBQ dinner where I produced butterfly lamb which we had with roast potatoes and veg and we sat outside. In the evening we watched D-Day programmes.

Hornet 60th Celebrations 24 - 26 May 2024

Friday 24 May 2024

Hornet Services Sailing Club was celebrating 60 years over the long weekend, and we decided to stay on the boat for a few days to join in. After lunch on Friday we drove to the Explosion Museum where we were allowed into the Night Hunters Exhibition as Hornet guests (only) as part of a push to promote the Coastal Forces Heritage Trust. We then came to Hornet and got a trolley so with 2 trolley loads we got to the boat. We met our neighbours, John and Julie in Bugsy the Malo 40 behind us, and loaded up. Then we got the chairs out in the sunshine and after I had installed the new ensign (slightly larger) and then we had drinks sat out on the back of the boat which was lovely. Julia then reheated the chicken satay with steamed broccoli and she even had a glass of red wine. We then watched Clarkson – a sad one about piglets and watched Have I got News for you and then bed.

Saturday 25 May 2024

It was a lovely lazy sunny morning and we read the papers, showered on board, and made coffee. Then we did some jobs. Julia cleaned out the locker in our cabin, and I fitted the new burgee and sorted out permanent mooring lines. As ever with boat jobs it all took a long time so we didn’t get far through the list of jobs! We had a late breakfast and headed to see the MTBs of different ages which were berthed at Hornet for the event. We were given really great tours of each - especially Medusa with Alan Watson giving us so much information. By the end it was 1630 and all the chairs and tables outside the clubhouse were full, so we took our own (as planned) in our fabulous folding trolley and set up on the grass. We managed to get early in the queue and got our BBQ food. We didn’t know too many people and it did get a bit colder and Julia was getting tired so we left before the disco and prize giving. Back on the boat we watched TV – a re-run of the FA cup final between Man U and Man City - 2-1 to united and then 2 Clarksons Farms.

Sunday 26 May 2024

It was a sunshine and clouds day, and it was windier. I tidied away the bimini and got the trolley ready. We loaded the car and whizzed to Morrisons and then back to Hornet. We then went into a talk on the history by Mike Buggy, which was amazing and then we enjoyed a carvery lunch. We took a table and an old guy Tim, sat down opposite me, and didn’t say much, but after I went to the loo, the naval officer in charge of Dasher sat opposite Julia and talked – he was very interesting, and it got Tim going, who it turned out was an old navy salt, having served on the Carrier Illustrious for a number of years. We all went outside to see one of the gunboats leaving – we missed Medusa sadly. Then we headed to see my mum, and then home.

Boys Trip - France and the Solent

Wednesday 08 May 2024

I picked up Graham (my brother in law) about 0850 and we drove to Hornet, loaded the boat up and motored over to Cowes for lunch - the weather was pleasantly warm and sunny. We got fuel at Lallows and then we had a drink in the Yacht Haven bar followed by lunch at Coast - I had a duck pizza and Graham the carni. We then motored back to Hornet. The original plan had been to go to Yarmouth but it looked like it might be foggy in the morning and any delay through Hurst would have been against the tide, so we decided to go round the back of the Island. Back in Hornet we had planned to have dinner at the club, but it was racing night and they were fully booked out, and so we walked over to the Creek where we got the usual rubbish service and poor food, but it saved driving as we had consumed some beers. For example we ordered the lamb, which they then told us they didn’t have and then we had two average burgers which were dry. However at least this time the drinks arrived quickly!

Thursday 09 May 2024

Well it wasn’t foggy but it was misty so we had about 2 miles of visibility, so we got away at 0515 from Hornet. There was little wind so we motored around to Ventnor and from that point there was just enough wind to give us some extra drive from the genoa, so we motor sailed. It was a warm and sunny day but very hazy. I made us bacon butties on the way over and after 12. 5 hours we tied up on P pontoon - P26 facing the east wind and with the stern facing the sunset. We had a celebratory beer and went and paid our dues. We had hoped to eat in the yacht club but it turned out that this was a bank holiday weekend (ascension day) in France and so everywhere was heaving and they were fully booked. So we walked into town and got a table upstairs at Pantagruel, and both had lovely ribeye steaks. We came back to the boat for some music, red wine and bed.

Friday 10 May 2024

We were up at the Capitainerie at 0900 to get our passports stamped and there was some fuss over my six month visa but we got stamped in and then showered. We then went to see about hiring a car, but it was too expensive and being a bank holiday weekend, there were few cars. We then went to Carrefour and I took the new boat trolley with me which proved invaluable. We got back. loaded everything aboard and I heated up some pasties for lunch which was nice. we then both snoozed and chilled and then went to dinner at 1900 at the Yacht Club, having reserved this time, and we both had turbot, which was lovely followed by cheese. We then went for a walk into town and had a drink at my favourite bar – Boucaniers – and spoke with the patron Nicola. Then we reserved a table at the Moulin pizza place for tomorrow and came back to the boat. We had an early night.

Saturday 11 May 2024

We had a nice long lie-in and it was another sunny morning with less breeze than yesterday. We walked into town aiming for the galette place but they were fully booked, so we went into the Café du Port on the front and sat in the sun. I had moules-frites and Graham had an omelette. We then walked around town for a while and sat outside in the sun at my favourite bar again and watched the world go by. I also found out the name of Nicola’s wife – Victoria. We came back to the boat and chilled and then went back into town again for a pizza at the Moulin which we had reserved. I had escargots for starters and then we both had the canibale pizza. We then went back to the bar for another beer and back to the boat for a little music and an early night.

Sunday 12 May 2024 - today was my 60th channel crossing as skipper

It was nice and sunny but with a nasty depression on its way we decided to cross the channel today. We had to get our passports stamped out so couldn’t leave until after 0900 local time but that worked out as the tide was going to be late turning at Hurst. It was again sunny and hazy with virtually no wind. We left about 0830 BST and had a really quick trip, so much so that we arrrived at the Needles early. I again made bacon butties on the way. From the Needles, I stuck to the shore to avoid the strong current and navigated the shallowest strip possible inside Sconce to beat the current. The slowest we went was 3. 5 knots so we did well. We came into Yarmouth after 10. 5 hours and tied up on the Blue pontoon inside the hammerhead but this time facing West as the weather and wind were already changing. We had a beer and then I rustled up a tuna pasta and we had an early night.

Monday 13 May 2024

It was a bit wild and wet overnight and was grey with a strong southerly wind in the morning. We both had a lie in and a chilled morning. We grabbed a quick walk to the mill and around town, and had a couple of pints in the Bugle, booking a table for later. We then got back to the boat just ahead of the rain that was forecasted. I heated up some sausage rolls and after that we both had a snooze and a chilled afternoon as the rain continued outside. At 1830 we walked through the rain to the Bugle and had dinner – I had bream and Graham scampi. Back to the boat and a quiet time followed by early bed as we were both still tired.

Tuesday 14 May 2024

It rained a lot overnight but finally stopped around 0400 and the wind had eased a little. We were up and about having tea and coffee and left around 1000. There was plenty of breeze from the south / south-east, so we motored into the middle of the Solent and put the genoa out, which was all we needed as we had gusts up to 23 knots. Graham helmed and had a good time steering. At Gurnard, we dropped the sail and I got fenders and ropes out. We went onto Lallows for fuel, and then into the Yacht Haven – reversing into White 11 starboard side all the way back. The current and wind were pushing us in, and it took the bow off to port, so I had to come out and go in again, this time with Graham stepping off and walking the boat along the pontoon. After the obligatory Captain’s beer, I made us scrambled eggs on toast and then I had a snooze and Graham went shopping. We met up at the Island Sailing Club for a beer on the balcony where the view was great, but it was windy. Then we came back for showers, and we were in the Anchor at 1715. We had a couple of rounds and then ordered food. Graham had sausages in a Yorkshire pudding, and I had scampi and fries with onion rings. It was very yummy. We settled there with another drink and then came back to the boat for a few tunes followed by the football which was a big premiership match where Man City beat Spurs.

Wednesday 15 May 2024

We both slept well and it was a bright sunny day with a continuing southerly breeze. We were soon up and about and headed out on foot at 0835 and crossed the Medina on the chain ferry. We had a few minutes to spare so Graham had a coffee, and then we took the number 4 bus to Ryde, and there had a stroll through the town before catching the Island Line train a couple of stops to Smallbrook Junction. Here we stepped off a modern train and onto a steam train on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway. We rode that all the way to Wootton and then back to Havenstreet where we visited the Train Story which was very good, and had a sandwich before riding the train again up and down the line back to Smallbrook. From there we caught the modern train and got the bus back to Cowes. From the chain ferry we went to the Island Sailing Club and sat on the balcony in the sun with a couple of beers. We then came back for a snooze, and the had aperitifs in the Anchor before going to the Basque Kitchen where we both had ribeye steaks with a bottle of rioja. Back to the boat and we watched the Man Utd v Newcastle footie match before bed.

Thursday 16 May 2024

It was a grey day which turned to rain. We were both a little jaded so I made us bacon butties to get us going. All the military boats around us left a little before 1000 and although by now it was raining, we headed off into no wind. We motored quickly back to Hornet and tied up onto our new single berth at Hornet on the Fieldhouse pontoon – alongside. We then loaded up the trolley with all the wine and beer and lugged that to the car and then back to the boat to clean her. After that we had lunch in the clubhouse – club sandwiches and then I dropped Graham off and came home to Julia. The end of a nice boys’ trip.

RNVR YC rally to Yarmouth and Poole

Friday 03 May 2024

Julia and I came down the night before and I was up at 0730. I made tea, read the paper, took the shore lines off and then made coffee. We left the Hornet at 0925 having driven forward and then reversed back along the trots. It was a 4/5 headwind all the way and from Cowes the sea got short and steep so it was very wet and very bouncy. But we made it in just over 2 hours. We came in and I had a beer and we had lunch. Then we took the bus to Freshwater and visited the Dimbola museum that had a special exhibition of Charles Dickens photos that had been coloured in which was very interesting. We then walked all the way back which was nearly 4 miles. We got back and showered and heated up some sausage rolls and took those along with some Prosecco to the pontoon party. That was fun and then we headed off to the Royal Solent for dinner. We were on a table with Tim and Jill Ware, Peter and Sue Stonestreet and Michael Critchley and Sigei. Julia and I had mackerel pate and braised beef. The food and service were excellent and it was all good company. Later Allan Beswick who we had spoken to at the pontoon party joined us (Gillian still being laid up) and also David Milner. We came back to the boat and watched a bit of TV and had a brandy as a nightcap.

Saturday 04 May 2024

It was a bright and sunny morning and we both slept well for a change. We set off at 0930 in bright sunshine. The journey was uneventful as we motored as there was hardly any wind. The tide was against us as we came into Poole but we made good time. We negotiated on the radio pleading not to be rafted and eventually got a finger so we could escape early on Monday. We had lunch – I made scrambled eggs (as that’s all Julia can have now with her chemo) with bacon and toast. We then went for a walk around town, bought some tin foil in Robert Dyas and a couple of summer hats for Julia in the Edinburgh wool mill shop, We then came back and sat out on the back of Gordon and Christines’ boat and had a beer (and tea for Julia). Then we went back to the boat for a snooze and change into rig. We walked to the RNLI College and had drinks before, chatting to Martin Frith about music and also to David and Kate Butriss. Then we had dinner in a spectacular setting (The Harbour View room) looking out over the water and the sunset. Julia had chorizo croquette and I had poached egg salad. Then I had duck and Julia had sea bream. For dessert, I had crumble and Julia a carrot cake which she left most of. It was a great night. We walked back through town and had a small brandy before bed.

Sunday 05 May 2024

In contrast to Saturday, it was a grey dull and drizzly today. The weather seems to only ever manage one good day at the moment. I showered on board and went up for the loo and got the Sunday papers. Julia showered on board and washed her hair. We joined the party of folk and we headed off in taxis to Compton Acres and the Japanese Garden, which was fabulous, despite the dismal mizzle weather. Allan Beswick who was on his own, went round and had lunch with us. We had lunch in the café. After lunch we sneaked off to a local pub, The Canford and had a drink there and got back in time for the taxis back. I had a snooze and then we had Gordon and Chris and Allan round for drinks at 1745 and then at 2000 Julia heated up a lovely lamb tagine she had made for the trip. We watched a little TV and early bed as I had to be up at 0430.

Monday 06 May 2024

I was up at 0430 and I got us away at 0515 slipping out easily on my own, as we were hemmed I by a school boat next to us. Julia was able to stay in bed. It was miserable with a coldish wind on the nose and constant drizzle and rain. We made good time though and were into Hornet about 1020. We motored obviously as the wind was in the wrong direction and there wasn’t enough of it. We got sorted and away by 1130 but there was an accident on the A3 on the way back, but I just managed to get off at Horndean and we came across back lanes to West Meon and joined the A32 to get home, so it took an hour and a quarter instead of the usual hour. It was a great weekend and a great rally - well organised by David Monks.

Lift In and into Hornet

Wednesday 24 April 2024

I picked up Paul at 0815 and we had a good journey down, arriving at Hornet at 0920. I just had time to get a trolley and take the wooden pontoon steps to the boat. Then we route-matched to Victoria Quay which we made bang on 1000 in time for the lift-in. We stepped aboard, and Steve from Now Marine, who did all the work while she was ashore also came aboard and checked the new skin fittings to make sure there were no leaks. I reversed off and dropped him back against a rib on the pontoon. Paul and I then motored slowly up Portsmouth Harbour while I did fenders and lines. We then took sloe gin, and I showed Paul what he had to do to moor. We came into Hornet and moored perfectly. There was no wind and little current so all good. Unfortunately we had a few jobs to do and one wasn’t too pleasant as in replacing the waste pipe, Now Marine had emptied foul water into the bilge, which we needed to clean. Paul very kindly offered to do this and did a fantastic job. I set the volvo seal on the prop shaft and between us we greased the rudder. Paul then adjusted the stove top to widen the operating area so we could fit our new frying pans in and we loaded the dinghy and outboard aboard and put on the bimini. We then went to the clubhouse and had club sandwiches which were great. Paul had two large glasses of red and I had a weak lager shandy and I drove us home.

Day Trip to Cowes

Wednesday 20 March 2024

Neil and Jane arrived the Tuesday night and I cooked us cassoulet. Wednesday morning it was still and sunny, and we motored over to Cowes in lovely weather. We went into the Yacht Haven on S3 and it was very quiet there. We did some shopping - the girls in Mia and Neil in Henry Lloyd. Then we had lunch at Coast. I had duck pizza, Julia had tuna pizza, Neil had parma ham pizza and Jane a Caesar salad. It was lovely. We got some fuel and motored back - again in lovely weather. We had a bits and pieces meal with plenty of wine in the evening and all departed on Thursday morning.

Yarmouth 19-20 January 2024 - My birthday Boy's trip

Thursday 18 January 2024

It was a lovely sunny cold day. Julia dropped me off at the boat shortly after lunch , and I loaded stuff onto the boat, cleaned the toilets and got things tidy and ready for guests. I then also cleaned the speed sensor which was jammed with sea worms and fitted the Yakker (a device that sends AIS info to my iPad) which took a while but in the end worked fine. I then sat and listened to music until Graham and Gary turned up together at 1840, and we had a couple of beers, and then I cooked seafood pasta. We were so full up we didn’t have cheese. We then chatted and drank wine until about 2300.

Friday 19 January 2024 - My Birthday

I was awake early as I was genuinely quite excited about the day. At 0715 I was up along with Graham and I showered, Gary joining a few minutes later. Then we had tea and coffee and I made Gary some toast, and we motored out and off to Yarmouth. It was cold and sunny with absolutely no wind. Gary made hot chocolate on the way and Sloe Gin was taken mainly by me, but all crew did have the obligatory sip. We left at 0835 and got in around 1115. The place was empty. We moored on the main pontoon V8 port side to, and then set off into town. We tried the Kings Head which was closed and looked at the Wheatsheaf but we preferred the Bugle where we were first in and Kaitlyn, our waitress, guided us to table 22, right by a radiator - nice and toasty. We had lunch – I had a crab and mayo sandwich, Gary had cheesy chips with bread and Graham had a fish finger sandwich and he and I shared chips. We had a couple of drinks. I left first and spoke to Julia on the way back to the boat and I then read the paper and snoozed. They followed and Graham had a sleep and Gary went walking. We then chilled a bit, and they both went for showers. We had drinks at 1700 followed by dinner at the Terrace at 1830. Lovely meal served by Jess. Graham and I had dish of the day – lamb rump. and Gary had cod fillet. Gary and I had bread and butter pudding for dessert, while Graham had crème brulee. We then came back to the boat where Graham and Gary had some cheese and biscuits and we had more drinks and music and music videos.

Saturday 20 January 2024

It was a grey day after many days of cold sunshine. However, the wind was cold. We all got up around 0830 and were all a bit jaded. I made scrambled eggs on toast and Graham and I also had smoked salmon. We left at 1040 and the wind was building from the South-West, so on the starboard quarter. We put out the genoa and cut the engine and had a marvellous sail all the way to Gilkicker. Gary and Graham took turns at the helm, and we had sunny intervals as the wind varied from 15 knots to 27, with one gust of over 30, that sent some water flying down below. This made steering interesting, and she was better hand steered than under autohelm as the gusts needed to be anticipated. We got into Haslar and moored smoothly after three hours. I did all the closing up jobs and had a quick shower, and the crew hosed down. We then all drove up to Graham’s place in his car up the A32 where we were reunited with our other halves – Julia, Sarah and Aly. There we all chilled and had a lovely dinner later, being joined by another couple Peter and Sam. Julia and I got a cab home.

East Cowes and Ryde 21-23 November 2023

Tuesday 21 November 2023

On Tuesday morning we were up at 0745.It was cloudy but a reasonably nice morning.I did a couple of jobs and then we got ready to sail.It was calm in the marina, and we found an interesting current taking us left as we came out of our new mooring – all a new learning experience for us.As we came out of the harbour, the North – North-West wind became apparent to us, and it settled in to be a 4/5.From 11 knots to 20 in the gusts.We hoisted nearly all the genoa (can’t use it all in the Solent as we cannot see under it) and sailed nicely on that nearly all the way to Cowes.At first it was pleasant but cold but it got cooler and a little choppier about 2 miles off, so we dropped and motored in and up-river to East Cowes Marina where we reversed into B5 port side to neatly tucked behind a lovely wooden motor cruiser which the marina staff later moved.We got sorted and had lunch of egg mayo, cheese and ham, with a small flat bread.I then had a snooze and we then headed out via the office to pay.We walked to the chain ferry which was just coming in and went over to West Cowes.We mooched around the shops, and I bought a fleecy jacket to wear under my new outer jacket as I was a bit cold on the way over and my existing inner one is a bit light.We then went for a quiet drink at the Island Sailing Club with a nice view over the entrance to Cowes.We then walked back and had drinks before heading up to the Lifeboat for dinner.We had a bottle of shiraz, and both had crispy duck fajitas.I had onion rings and Julia had some rather pink coleslaw.We then came back to the boat and had a couple more drinks and watched he first two episodes of the Boat Story before bed.

Wednesday 22 November 2023

On Wednesday, we then went up to the showers which was a long walk but they were good showers. We were seeing our friends Duncan and Elisabeth from Bimble that we met in the summer, and were picked up at 1130 by Duncan, who drove us back to their place in Binstead just outside Ryde. We then walked to the Duck where we had a lovely long lunch. Duncan and I had scallops and the girls had a duck croissant for starters, and for main Duncan and Julia had burgers, Elisabeth the pork belly and I had duck confit. We had beers and a bottle of Pinot Noir. We then walked back up through Ryde and drunk a few at the Wetherspoons before walking back to theirs where we were overnighting. Elisabeth did cheese and biscuits and we had a few more drinks and lots of chat. We retired about midnight.

Thursday 23 November 2023

We slept in until 0830 and then Elisabeth made us a huge full English breakfast which was filling. Duncan then drove us back to the boat, and we did a few jobs like measuring up for sides on the bimini, and I added some water treatment fluid to the tanks. We left just on 1200 carefully steering into the current to pass a boat moored ahead of us. It was cloudy to start but began to cheer up and later when we were ashore it was really sunny. We motor sailed back as I tried it without engine and it was just too slow and we had things to do and were tired so keen to get home. We then moored for the first time on our new berth with the strings and fenders in place and it all went well. We then got some flowers at Waitrose and went to see my mum and then home.

Our summer cruise to France 15 May - 22 October 2023

<Click here for the summer cruise blog>

Coronation Weekend 4 - 8 May 2023

Thursday 04 May 2023

We were up at 0730, made tea, read the papers, showered and made coffee. We packed up and drove down to the boat all dressed up in our finery. On arrival at Haslar, we loaded stuff into the boat and then walked over to Hornet for an RNVR lunch. We had a good time – the meal was chicken and I sat next to the Hornet Commodore, Richard Stokes and we got on well. He plays bass, used to play French horn at school and is an IPA reviewer and was also in MOD. We then went back to the boat and chilled for a bit, and then took the bus up top Andy and Jen’s place to have a beer and discuss plans for our farewell party which looks like a very small affair. Then we caught bus back and Julia heated up a few things in the oven for a “stuff” dinner, which was nice, watched some TV and bed.

Friday 05 May 2023

We slept OK, and were up at 0830 for tea and papers. Then we showered and had coffee. Julia went to Waitrose and I started emptying lockers. Then we had lunch and we completed the locker emptying and cleaned them out. Julia cleaned the port locker outside and then a quick once round the whole boat just before Neil and Jane arrived. It was a lovely sunny day. We had drinks and went to the Creek for dinner. We waited 22 minutes to get drinks and it was all a bit of a shit show really. The food was good but that was an hour and 20 minutes wait, and Neil’s crab risotto had no crab. They took that off the bill. So it was a cheaper meal. We enjoyed ourselves though as it was great to see Neil and Jane after a long time. We then went back to the boat for another drink and bed.

Saturday 06 May 2023 - King Charles III Coronation

We all slept well and made tea and had showers. It was a chill and watch the Coronation day today. It was a grey and wet day anyway, so good for staying inside. We put the TV on about 1000 and watched the Coronation through, drinking prosecco after the crowning and then we had lunch. The girls and Neil went to Waitrose, and I watched Leeds v Man City as had promised it for Neil. It didn’t go well. They lost 2-1. They came back and Neil saw most of the second half. We had drinks and then Julia and I did roast chicken with new spuds, broccoli and carrots which was lovely. Then we watched a Netflix Movie, Murder on the Home Front. Jane went to bed before the end.

Sunday 07 May 2023

It was another grey day and a slightly drizzly start. We left Haslar about 1030 and motored in no wind over to Cowes, where we queued for 50 minutes for fuel. We topped up and then into the Yacht Haven – S2 inside the outer pontoon, and just made it to lunch at the Basque kitchen which was lovely. It had cheered up and the sun had come out while we were waiting for fuel. It was so nice we were able to eat outside. Julia Neil and I had sea bream and Jane had tomatoes and calamari. It was nice service. We then went shopping and then back to the boat and motored back into Haslar. We were just in time for free prosecco at the Creek, hosted by Ben, who was very kind. They even did some nibbles. Then back to the boat and we all mucked in to set up so that Neil and Jane could provide a grazing supper. Mainly pizza. Then we all settled down to watch the Coronation concert which was superb. That finished about half ten, and we all retired.

Monday 08 May 2023

We slept in until 0830. Neil and Jane had showers, and Julia and I had tea. Julia then did various breakfasts. Neil and I had bacon butties, Jane had toast and Julia had an egg and bacon sandwich. Then Neil and Jane left, and Julia and I packed up and drove home. It rained first thing, then was grey and rained later. Julia and I picked up some deliveries around town, and then read the Sunday papers, and watched TV. Julia made dinner – salmon. We watched 2 x Dalgleish and then bed.

Brighton 28 April - 01 May 2023

Friday 28 April 2023

We got to the boat Thursday evening driving through pouring rain. Friday was a grey day and quite cool. We Read the papers and made coffee and left the berth at 0945. We motored as there was just not quite enough wind and it was right from behind, making it tricky to set any kind of sail. It gradually got more and more rolly especially through the Looe Channel, and from there almost to Brighton it was quite violently rolly. Anyway it calmed a bit as we approached and I got all the fenders and warps ready OK. We suffered two quite violent rolls as we headed into the entrance, and then it was calm. We asked for and were allocated a finger – pontoon 9, number 29 which was just in on the left, starboard side to, but nice and easy. I then had a beer in the hazy sunshine and after a snooze, we had a drink and headed to Prezzo for dinner. It was a nice meal. Julia had calzone and I had tre-gusti pizza which we washed down with a Malbec. Back to the boat and we watched Have I got News for you, and I then crashed as I was quite tired and Julia watched some more TV before she came to bed.

Saturday 29 April 2023

We both slept well and had a lazy morning. My sprained ankle had been doing well but has swollen more over the past two days so we strapped it this morning. We had coffee and sat at our computers doing banking etc. And then we sat outside in the sunshine, and ate rolls as a light lunch. At 1430, Julia set off walking and I caught the bus shortly after and we met in East Street. I was hunting for jeans and after a few shops realised that most of the shops were catering for a younger slimmer market, so we tried Levis and eventually M&S which as it turned out supplied me with appropriate pairs of jeans. It was a lovely sunny day with a slight chill in the air. We then sat outside in the sun at Bella Italia and had drinks before going to Petit Pois which as ever was sensational. We shared snails, and had salted cod fritters. I had a sirloin steak which was more like fillet and Julia had the cod. Lovely meal. We then caught the bus back, watched a little TV and crashed.

Sunday 30 April 2023

Looking at the forecast for Monday, which would have been on the nose, we decided to head back on Sunday. It was a lovely sunny morning and we were up at 0700 for the tide and made coffee. It was hazy sunshine and cold. We were away at 0800, motoring without any wind back to Haslar. It was an uneventful journey, with us both inside most of the way. We moored up without incident, and had lunch – more rolls. Then Julia went to Waitrose, while I had a snooze, and we then read the Sunday papers and went for a drink at the Creek. Then back for dinner with Julia re-heating a chicken satay, which was very nice. Then watched another Citadel, and bed.

Monday 01 May 2023

We slept aboard, Julia did breakfast, and we packed up and headed over to see my mum and then home where I did a chicken kebab BBQ.

Bembridge with Aly and Graham 22-23 April 2023

Saturday 22 April 2023

Julia and I drove down on Friday evening. We slept OK, but it was cold in the night. We both showered and had a quiet morning as we waited for the tide. Aly and Graham arrived shortly after 1030, and as asked, Graham re-sealed one of the new joints under the sink with his more extensive experience of plumbing. Then Julia did a nice breakfast, and we cast off about 1230, and motored into a light breeze over to Bembridge. There we were moored round the back of the pontoon port side to on 35. Nice easy mooring, with help too from the harbour folk.

It had brightened up a little at this point, so Graham and I had a couple of beers on the back of the boat. Then we changed and set off to walk to Bembridge. We went past the house boats and up to the wine bar where we had a few more drinks and then more walking on to the Crab and Lobster, where we had a nice evening meal. Graham and I had fresh sea bream, and the girls had seafood risotto. We then walked to the bus stop and caught the number 8 to Brading Haven and then walked along the causeway back to the boat where we had a few more drinks. I tripped in a hole on the causeway and twisted my left ankle badly.

Sunday 23 April 2023

We were all a bit jaded this morning. Julia and Aly went up to St Helens to get the Sunday papers, Graham went for a short walk, and I rested because of my ankle. We waited for the tide, and it was up enough by 1130, that we were able to motor back over to Haslar, where I made us scrambled eggs with smoked salmon. We then packed up and all headed home. Later just before the rain came down, I was able to do butterfly lamb on the BBQ, so we had our first BBQ of 2023, although we ate inside! Then TV and bed.

Hamble RNVR weekend 15/16/17 April 2023

Saturday 15 April 2023

We were a little jaded from Friday night with the Flemings. We read the papers, made coffee, packed up the car and headed for Haslar. When we got there, we loaded up and then motored round to Port Hamble. We went on the fuel pontoon first and then into E14. We then had the sandwiches we had made, and chilled. The sun shone as we arrived so we sat out in our chairs on the back of the boat, but later it got a bit too cold. Gordon and Chris waved from a couple of pontoons away, and Allan and Gillian came in close to us on E pontoon. We popped up and paid, and then I prepared dinner, and Gordon, Chris, Gillian and Allan came around at 1800 for drinks. I then cooked cassoulet for 1930, and we enjoyed a splendid evening.

Sunday 16 April 2023

It was a lazy morning but as I made coffee, I realised that the under sink area was all wet, and we realised that when I cleaned out the sink a week or so ago, the thread stripped on the left bowl, and no longer made a seal. I had a good look at that, as it was not repairable. and so it’s going to be quite a job. We then got ready for lunch – all dressed up in our finery. We all met up on the pontoon, and walked round to the Royal Southern Yacht Club. I bought us some wine, and we mingled in the dining room. We spoke at length with Ian and Maggie Walker who are based in Hythe, and sat next to Tom and Madelaine Cunningham. John and Jane came late and were squeezed on our table. Julia was next to Cathy and Steve Lacey (Wild Rival) and then there was Andrew and Sue Sutherland opposite – he kept his boat in Roche St Bernard and I spoke at length with him about all the places we are planning. Then next to them, Gordon and Christine.

Martin Alexander came over and stole my place for a short while so I went and chatted to Shan and George Lines and Commodore Kate. Then I came back to make sure I got my port. The meal was roast beef and was again lovely as last year. We really enjoyed ourselves. Others there that we chatted to included Chris and Hilary, and John and Nina. We came back to the boat for a sleep, and then we heated up whitebait, squid rings, and some fritters, which we took over to Gordon and Christine’s boat where we all sat in the tent and tucked into our stuff, cheese and biscuits and some pizza. Along with a few more glasses. We left about 1000 as we had an early start.

Monday 17 April 2023

I was up at 0745, and made coffee, and we were away about 0740. It was flat calm and grey but very little wind so we motored. We had a little sunshine, and then it clouded over again, so we went below for most of the passage. We got in all OK, and I then stripped out the under sink area so that I could take the existing plumbing away to replicate at our local plumbers merchant, and see what needed to be done. We then packed up the car and drove home. Julia did breakfast, and then went to Sainsburys whilst I went to the plumbers merchant. They sold me a two bowl kit which I believe can make work. I will have to re-shape the under sink shelf though which will be a challenge. Then we had a snooze, and Julia cleaned the patio, whilst I got all the tools I would need for the sink job into the car. In the evening, we had drinks and tuna pasta using fresh tuna, and watched TV. we were both very tired, so we went to bed at 2030 and we were asleep at 2100!

Hamble with Paul and Gillian 01/02 April 2023

Friday 31 March 2023

It was very windy and rainy overnight and into this morning. We drove down to the boat, and it was wild down there with the boat bouncing around in her mooring. I collected the new batteries from the office, and Deano and a colleague came down at 1330 and helped me fit them and took away the old ones. Julia went for a walk. Later we had drinks, Julia cooked a stir fry and we watched the last two episodes of Blue Lights.

Saturday 01 April 2023

The wind finally eased in the night, and was down to a force 4 by morning. Paul and Gillian arrived about 0915 and we motored round to Port Hamble. It lashed it down with rain, and was right on the nose, so I really copped it as I was stood up on watch. The rain really lashed my face. We got in and had a nice berth – port side on F22, and went up to the King and Queen for a lovely lunch. Then as it was still miserable, we went into our nice shop Sea Sky, and then back to the boat where we all had a sleep.

We woke up to find it was sunny, and had drinks on board, and then to the Bugle for dinner. I had steak, Julia and Gillian had curried monkfish, and Paul had fish and chips. We were kept amused by the owner a French guy called Yannick, who was a real hoot. He really made the evening and was very familiar with Compiegne, where Julia and I used to have an apartment. Gillian and Paul’s son Tom and his mates turned up by car and joined us in the pub and then came back to the boat, where Tom did some DJ-ing which was great fun and of course we had a few more drinks.

Sunday 02 April 2023

I was up at 0745 and we left at 0900 as planned. However, Paul stayed in bed for the trip, which was a pity, as we got a lovely sail all the way from turning left after the Hamble entrance to Gilkicker. It was grey though and quite cool. We got in and Julia made us all breakfast and then we packed up and left. We went to Waitrose, had a quiet afternoon, and Julia did a roast chicken.

Lift in and Yarmouth 17-19 March 2023

Friday 17 March 2023

We were up just before 5, and I made us coffee and we set off into a grey day with drizzle. We got to Haslar, parked the car, and walked round to Victoria Quay where Now Marine had completed the antifoul, polish and fixing the gel coat scratch. I had also met Simon during the week to get the new shaft seal on and some other jobs. We got on board and made the boat ready, and the yard put the boat and then us into the water and we were away at 0900. We went to Haslar and loaded up from the car and were away about 0955. There was no wind, and if there was, it was on the nose. We got into Yarmouth at 1215 and it was now sunny , which was very nice. We hosed off and I tried to fix the blocked sink and we had lunch. It was lovely sitting in the sunshine in the saloon. We then had lunch and then went for a walk, and then had a sleep, and Julia had a shower. Then we had drinks and went to On The Rocks where Sarah looked after us. We learned that Josh has left and is now in the building trade. We had a nice meal but they have changed the salad which is now awful, and the fries aren’t good any more. I had lamb, Julia had seafood combo, which were nice, but it’s gone downhill. We had Irish coffee and back to the boat for more daisy jones on Amazon Prime and some more red wine.

Saturday 18 March 2023

We both slept OK, and read the papers first thing. I had a shower, and made coffee. We then went for the bus stop but we got on the wrong one - it was a number 7 but heading the wrong direction! So we got off and walked back from the first bus stop it came to, and waited 25 minutes for the next bus. Then on the journey to Newport there was an accident in front of us, and the bus driver had to reverse, and divert down a narrow lane. We changed buses in Newport not waiting long, and got into Ryde still with time to mooch. We did that and walked to the Duck where we had the most fabulous lunch for years. Courgette fritters shared for starters and we both had pulled duck on a bun, with teriyaki sauce, broccoli, spring onions. and two fried eggs. It was heaven. We then shared an apple bakewell tart. We walked back to the bus station and caught the bus to Newport where we just missed our connection and had to wait half an hour. Then back for a snooze. It had started cloudy but was now sunny. We were still so full up we gave dinner a miss, and only had a slice of toast while watching the Luther movie.

Sunday 19 March 2023

It was a lovely sunny morning. We read the papers on our iPads, and Julia showered on board. It was for a while t-shirt weather. I messed about with the new GPS cards but could not get them to work together from a cold start. Julia got the Sunday papers from the shops and we read them. Then Julia made breakfast. We waited as long as we could – 1300, but the tide was still against us as we left, but gradually getting better. I stuck to the shore to get the back eddy up to Gurnard, which worked, and then we crossed Cowes. We were the only boat as the Red Falcon car ferry came across us – we were right of way boat, but they refused to budge and kept coming on a collision course – at the last minute they even sounded the horn five times. I had to take last minute avoiding action and went around the stern. I was quite shocked as it was a flagrant breach of the rules. I tried to call them on channel 16, but they wouldn’t answer so I raised it with Solent Coastguard, who moved us from Channel 16 to 67, and shortly after phoned me back saying they had replayed the AIS and it was quite shocking, and Red Falcon was clearly to blame, and that they would have a word. We carried on to Haslar with the sea getting smoother. We got in all OK, and were away pretty quickly. Julia drove. At home we made dinner and had some drinks and watched TV and bed.

Lift out and maintenance 7 - 17 March 2023

Monday 06 March 2023

Julia and I did normal workdays, had dinner and then went down to the boat so that we weren’t rushing round on Tuesday morning. We had a glass of wine and watched some TV

Tuesday 07 March 2023

We read the papers, and then took our stuff up to the car, and untied, and motored round to Victoria Quay for our lift out. The team were very efficient, and tied us on the bow, and then on the stern, and we then went off over the bow, before they lifted her out.

Thursday 09 March 2023

We went up to London to see about getting our French Visas sorted, which was quite a stressful day. Had a nice lunch beforehand though. Also during the day, Clean Diesel cleaned and polished our fuel for us. They were able to completely empty the starboard tank, and put a new hatch in, but they weren’t able to do that on the port tank, so they just washed that one.

Monday 13 March 2023

Now Marine started to anti-foul and polish the topsides for us.

Hamble 11/12 February 2023

Saturday 11 February 2023

We left at 1015 for the boat, and got there at 1115. We found we had no water, so I worked it through and finally found that one of the wires to the bottom of the pump had disintegrated. I drove to the chandlers to get a female spade, but when fitting it, realised there was very little male spade to work with so I piled a whole load of gaffer tape on, which held for the whole weekend.

All this work delayed our departure, and so we left shortly after 1300, and motored in very grey conditions to the Hamble. We got in at High Water 1440. We had eaten rolls for lunch on the way as it was so calm. We went for a walk up to our lovely shop, Sea Sky, and spoke with Susie who runs it with Debs. Funnily, we’ve only ever bumped into Debs. Then we went back to the boat to get changed and have drinks. We went to the River Rat for dinner, which was OK. We both had the duck from the limited menu. We sat upstairs and the service was good, just felt a little quiet. We had heard from Susie that the Bugle had changed, so we popped in there afterwards and spoke with Scott, who did a good sales job, and so we booked for April when we are back with the Flemings. Back to the boat for some TV and bed.

Sunday 12 February 2023

We were up and about at 0745 and away at 0830. It was flat calm for the first half but wind on the nose started to build along Lee on the Solent. We got in at 1040, and packed up and left. We went to Waitrose, then Aly’s for Julia to do plants and the mail, and we made it to the French Horn for 1200 and had drinks there. Then back home for lunch, and then watched the England v Italy rugby game which we won. Then we read the papers, had dinner and watched the usual Sunday night TV

Ocean Village 04/05 February 2023

Friday 03 February 2023

After lunch we headed to the boat. It was a very grey day. On arrival, I pumped up the fenders, and Julia cleaned off birds poo. Then I did more programming and she did some work etc, and then we had drinks, watched South today and then Julia cooked a stir Fry. We then we watched a Treason and Death in Paradise, but I fell asleep.

Saturday 04 February 2023

It was grey again, with slight wind on the nose. We both showered, had coffee and headed off at 0900. It was quite cold, especially stood up in the wind, so I sheltered under the sprayhood for most of the journey. We made good time as we were motoring all the way, and moored easily in the pool under the old yacht club. We found we weren’t close enough to a tap to wash off, so we abandoned that idea. We had lunch and a lazy afternoon. Gordon and Christine came for drinks at 1730, and then we went to the Olive Tree for dinner. We all had the mixed grill, which was fantastic. Lovely meal. Then back to Gordon and Christine’s for coffee and nightcaps.

Sunday 05 February 2023

We got going at 0730, so as to catch the tide right, and were away by 0800. It was a lovely sunny morning, but no frost. There was no wind to start with so we motored, but just past the entrance to the Hamble, the wind got up and we were able to get all the sails going and had a lovely sail to Gilkicker. It was really lovely. We rolled the sails in and motored into Haslar and moored just fine. We packed up and headed straight to see my mum via Waitrose, electing to have a brunch when we got home. We saw my mum who was in good spirits, and back home for brunch. Then another lazy afternoon, and in the evening, I cooked confit with mushrooms and fries. It was tasty. We then watched the usual Sunday night Call the Midwife, and Vera followed by bed.

Cowes with Paul and Gillian

Friday 20 January 2023

It was another crisp sunny cold morning. We headed down to the boat and arrived about 12 and then unpacked, and whilst I did that Julia had to do something for Steve. We then walked over the bridge to Hornet SC and got our 2023 stickers and I bought a sweatshirt. Then we came back for lunch, and in the afternoon, Julia did some painting, and I did some programming. We had drinks and Julia prepared dinner. We watched a double Silent Witness and bed.

Saturday 21 January 2023

The Eberspacher (heater) was on low all night, and so the boat was warm enough. It was very cold and frosty and sunny again. Paul and Gillian turned up a bit early at 0915, and we made them coffee. Then we headed off to Cowes in very little wind, so we motored, but it was lovely, all accompanied by sloe gin. We went starboard side to onto white S4 in the South basin, which meant that making an early exit on Sunday would be nice and easy. We then had a grazing lunch, and then shopping (for the girls) in the High Street. Julia bought shoes and a pink top that I chose for her and Gillian bought clothes too. We then walked to the Squadron, and then into the Island Sailing Club for drinks. Then we went on to the Anchor where we had another drink and back to the boat. More drinks and some nibbles there and then off to Coast for dinner. I had a duck pizza, Julia had cod, Gillian had chicken supreme and Paul, a pie. Back to the boat for cheese and more wine and port, and some music until nearly midnight.

Sunday 22 January 2023

It was another sunny frosty morning. Our guests were a bit slow, and Gillian hadn’t slept so well. Anyway, we had coffees and headed off at 0915 to get the tide right. It was a little cloudy but mainly sunny and we had some more sloe gin which helped us all. We got into Haslar smartly, and Julia did breakfast, whilst Paul came and checked my tyres for me. It was a nice breakfast and then we packed up and all headed off. We went to my mum’s and then back home, where we both had a snooze. Then read the papers and had dinner and watched TV. Midwife and death in paradise.

Lymington seeing Nigel and Suzie, 11/13 November 2022

Friday 11 November 2022

We left home at 1010, and got to the boat 1115. Julia had a little work to do and we left at 1200. We motored to Gilkicker in rough seas and managed some genoa with a little engine to Cowes, but from there it was a true south westerly so we motored. Gordon and Christine crossed us sailing to Newtown with RSYC and rang us as I don’t have VHF on, and noted we were not sailing!. We got into Lymington Yacht Haven and onto O 27 starboard side to. The furthest pontoon. I had to get off and help Julia as all the cleats had ropes around them, but we were blown on and it was calm. We got sorted and I had a snooze while Julia cleaned the boat. Then she did some more work, and we had drinks at 1700. We watched the news and Julia cooked a lovely pasta dish. I washed up, and we finished series one of the missing.

Saturday 12 November 2022

It dawned a lovely sunny day. We lazed a bit and read the papers and then walked the long walk to the nice showers. We had coffee and took the bikes to Nigel and Suzie’s. It was becoming a lovely warm and sunny day. We had coffee and pastries in their garden and then set of cycling to the Gun in Keyhaven. It was a really nice ride with the sun, the sea and the fields. We had a lovely lunch in the Gun, where we had some sausages as nibbles, and we all had tempura squid. Then we cycled back and into Lymington Town Sailing club where we sat out on the balcony in the remaining sunshine and had a few drinks. Then they went home, and we came back to the boat for a snooze. We then had drinks and went back round to Nigel and Suzie’s where she had cooked beef short ribs with sticky rice, followed by cheese and crème caramel. We drank champagne to start and a few bottles of rioja.

Sunday 13 November 2022

Sunday started out as another lovely sunny morning, but the wind has gone round to the east, so we had to motor back into it. It was sunny to start but clouded over at Cowes and the sea state got worse. In fact it got very bad and slammy all the way almost to Gilkicker. So much so that we took water on board through the dorades. It wasn’t nice. We got back in and Julia cooked breakfast, and then we went to my mum’s and then home. We watched Strictly and ate pork chops.

New Bimini, 08 November 2022

Tuesday 08 November 2022

C and J Marine arrived in very windy conditions and fitted our new bimini. The team of Danny and Keith did a fantastic job, and we are looking forward to using this next summer when we retire.

Cowes 29/30 October 2022

Friday 28 October 2022

We were packed and left shortly after 1000. We got to the boat but did not see any C&J people, as the bimini was supposed to be fitted today, so I rang them and they have a delay !!I opened the seacocks, burped the volvo seal, and put the extra gas pipe around the cylinder. Then we had lunch. I had a snooze, and we went for a walk in the lovely sunshine. Then I did some fruitless progamming trying to get javascript to work. C&J rang back and said there would be a couple of weeks delay. Then we had drinks and Julia did dinner – a lamb casserole with new spuds and broccoli. Then we finished the Umbrella Academy on Netflix.

Saturday 29 October 2022

We slept through until nearly 0900 and then read the papers and took showers. Julia managed to lock herself out of her cubicle and I had to go into the ladies to the rescue. Then we had coffee and Julia made breakfast. We left at 1200 (HW 1430) and motor sailed with some genoa out over to Cowes. We got fuel at the harbour station and then we went into the Yacht Haven. We were given a weird berth in the North basin, where we got boxed in and found out that the South basin is having new pontoons so that was why it was closed. We then went for a walk although the forecast sunshine never arrived. It was warm though, and so we had a drink outside at the Island Sailing Club and spoke with another couple, Tom and Mandy with a Sadler 32. Then we went back for a short snooze and we got changed and had drinks, and then went to Coast for dinner. I had scallops as a starter, and then a nduja pizza, whilst Julia had fishcakes and we shared onion rings. It was all washed down with a bottle of Chianti. We went back to the boat and watched Downton Abbey a new era – the movie on amazon prime, and then bed.

Sunday 30 October 2022

The clocks went back last night, so we had a super lie in. We read the papers and then had coffee, and Julia went to Marks to get the papers. Then we manoeuvred out by spinning the boat round with the bow thruster and driving out as we were so boxed in. Then as there was plenty of breeze, we hoisted sails – genoa and third of the main. It was gusting 18/19 at this time and we were sailing well. Soon it was gusting 26, so we dropped the main. It was a lovely sail with a strong southerly, and it was cloudy. It was challenging mooring in our home berth with a strong spring tide and the wind taking us off the pontoon,so I reversed down the channel so as to drive in hard, and it all went to plan. Then we had lunch – egg mayo and toast, and then went to see my mum. Then Julia drove back, and we prepared a pork roast to share with Gina, who came round shortly after 1700. It was a lovely dinner and afterwards we watched strictly and have I got news for you, and then went to bed.

Staying In Port 21/23 October 2022

Friday 21 October 2022

We drove down to the boat and it was very wet with lots of spray. We got a call from the Sealift suggesting we postpone as it was getting windier and windier. I agreed as it was the sensible thing to do. So we got to the boat, unloaded, then I fitted the new Magma BBQ, and checked out the box which I think will work well. I also got the new laptop paired with the Fusion player, and got HDMI running and there is now a very sharp picture. We got changed into DJ and frock and had drinks at 1800 and then walked over to the Hornet Sailing Club – our club now, and had a wonderful Trafalgar dinner. We sat next to two nice couples – Hugh and Jenny Litton, and Christine and Nick Borrill. There was a speech, sea shanty singing and port. We both drank far too much and staggered back over the bridge to bed.

Saturday 22 October 2022

We slept in until 0900 and were very tired. I made tea and we read the papers and then we had coffee. I walked to YouBoat and Julia carried on to Lidl. I got stuff for the new gas container and I got back to the boat before Julia and made a start attaching the new container. Julia cooked breakfast, and I then finished the new container, which is now strapped to the back of the boat. Then we went over to Hornet and had tea with Gordon and Christine who had sailed down from Ocean Village for the RNVR lunch on the Sunday. Then I drove us over to Barnham to John’s house, as in John and Lorna, and Lorna cooked us dinner, and we stayed over. Nice evening.

Sunday 23 October 2022

We were up and has some toast and then I drove us in appalling wet conditions back to Gosport, where Julia popped into Waitrose. Then we came back to the boat and packed up and got changed. Then we went round to Hornet again for the RNVR laying up lunch which was really good. We spoke with Peter and Patricia Bryan, and Irene and Trevor Brook. Julia drove back. I had a snooze, then read the Sunday papers and we watched Strictly. Then we had dinner and then watched the strictly results, followed by the last of Bloodlands and an early bed.

Lymington with Aly and Graham 08/09 October 2022

Friday 07 October 2022

We had coffee and then went for our covid vaccinations over at Church Crookham. We then came back and had lunch and then went down to the boat. I topped up the water, checked the underside with the underwater camera and booked her onto the sealift, as there is quite a carpet underneath. We then chilled in afternoon sunshine and I had a small snooze. It got cloudier and started to rain at 1830. Then we did drinks and I cooked Chicken teriyaki, and we watched a movie Interceptor which was the usual Netflix stuff.

Saturday 08 October 2022

We didn't have a great night as it was quite cold on the boat and Julia was struggling with a sore arm from the jab. However, we were up at 0730 and in the showers. It was a nice sunny morning even though everywhere was terribly wet. Aly and Graham arrived bang on 0900, and we were away at 0910 as we had a busy agenda. There was no wind, so we motored in glorious sunshine. I already had berthing instructions and went onto pontoon 15 starboard side to on the fingers at the Town Quay. We were helped in by the harbour master. We then went into town to the market, and then back for lunch. Afterwards, it was so lovely we sat outside and enjoyed the sunshine. Aly and Graham went for a walk, and then we had drinks, and went up to High Street Kitchen which was a nice new restaurant to us. Aly, Graham and I had ribeye steak and Julia had calf’s liver, and it was all lovely. Then we came back to the boat and had some music, chatting and even some dancing.

Sunday 09 October 2022

We were up and about at 0800 and ready to go at 0900, but had to wait while a charter boat was trying unsuccessfully to moor. They eventually moored somewhere else and I was able to reverse out. There was plenty of wind from the south and it was sunny, so as soon as we were out by the Jack in the Box, we hoisted all sails(genoa reefed only so that I could see in the crowded Solent) and had a fabulous sail all the way to Gilkicker. The wind was 14-23 knots mainly. It was a bit tighter from Cowes, but still lovely. Graham did a lot of grinding for me today, winding the sail out and bringing it back in just before Gilkicker and then we used the genoa down to the harbour entrance. Once in, Julia cooked up a breakfast and then we packed up and headed home. When we got home it was too windy and cool, even though sunny, to sit outside, so we had a lazy afternoon, watched some strictly and more TV before an early bed.

Portsmouth with Paul and Gillian 01/02 October 2022

Friday 30 September 2022

After our flu jabs, we drove to the Coastguard in Lee on the Solent to hand in a load of old flares. We were early, so had to wait. Whilst we waited we topped up with petrol to eat some time, but nobody came. Eventually I got through to the coastguard on the phone and they apologised and said there would be another collection next month. We drove to the boat and unloaded everything and I tried the new BBQ to make sure it fitted the rail, which it did. Then the coastguard rang and said they would send someone down today. So I drove back there and handed them in. I then went back to the boat and had lunch. It was raining and miserable. Looking at the forecasts, I decided to change the plans for the weekend, and stay in Portsmouth taking our guests for a sail in Portsmouth Harbour. So I cancelled Port Hamble and the restaurant and booked us into Rocka in Southsea. Julia headed off back to Petersfield for a girls night, and I cooked myself ribeye with eggs which was lovely. Julia came back later.

Saturday 01 October 2022

It was raining first thing but cleared to a breezy sunny day with a strong wind from the west. Paul and Gillian arrived at 1010, and we had coffee, and then we went for a sail up and around Portsmouth Harbour, which was lovely. We just sailed on the genoa using the motor only when we had to negotiate where following the channel made it too tight. We went up to Wicor and across to Portchester Castle and it was nice being out on the water. There were some tasty gusts which vindicated us not bashing to the Hamble. We came back in for lunch and then we went over the water on the Gosport Ferry. Then we walked along the Southsea seafront and had a drink in Paul's Cafe bar, and then into the restuarant Rocka for 1745. We had a nice meal. I had Rocka steak with fries instead of new potatoes, Julia had Octopus, Paul the fried seafood (Mélange Friture), and Gillian the Picanha (thin steak). We then got a taxi back, and had a few more drinks and listened to music with us rotating requests.

Sunday 02 October 2022

It was very wet and miserable with no wind as forecast, so we lazed a bit, and then had teas and coffees and Julia made an English breakfast. Then we packed up and headed off our separate ways. We went to see my mum and then home where it brightened up and we were able to sit in the garden and read the Sunday papers. Then I had a snooze and we watched the bulk of Strictly. Then I cooked pheasant breast in a red wine sauce which we had with roast potatoes – Julia’s finest as it happens with sprouts and chestnuts which was lovely. Then we watched more Strictly and All Creatures Great and Small.

Newtown Creek 23/24/25 September 2022

Friday 23 September 2022

We got down to the boat on Thursday night and Friday morning it was miserable and raining hard. I had a shower and made coffee. It rained especially hard when I came back from the shower so Julia opted to shower on board. I checked the oil and water and at 0900, we motored to Newtown Creek in no wind, although the rain had eased. We checked out the buoys down near the jetty but there was not enough depth for the fall of the tide, so we picked up Buoy no 2 easily as they have pick up lines. I then got the dinghy out and inflated it, and we put the outboard on and it started first time. I then also got the solar panels going and we then we had lunch and a snooze. After that, we went ashore and picked sloes – there not many left but just enough. We got back to the boat for a nice sunset sat in the cockpit, which was a surprise and nice. Then we watched the news and I cooked seafood paella, and then we watched House of the Dragon.

Saturday 24 September 2022

Julia was woken by boats arriving in the night and two of them rafted on the buoy next to us.as it was a Saturday and we were tired, we lazed in a bit, but I had to get up to change the gas bottle at 0800 to make tea,as it ran out just as I finished cooking yesterday evening.It was a bright sunny morning and we had tea, read the papers (via iPads), and Julia made coffee.Then we took the boat ashore and walked 2 miles through the trees, to the Horse and Groom, where we had a lovely lunch.It was a lovely sunny day though. I had hunters chicken and Julia a baked potato with tuna and mayonnaise.Then we walked back and put the outboard and dinghy away and then had a sleep.It got cloudier during the afternoon and we had drinks and I cooked us magret de canard with rosti and green beans.We then watched a bloodlands, and then bed.

Sunday 25 September 2022

We were rudely awoken at 0400 by the next door raft of two boats clattering into us. I had spotted that they might get close to us yesterday at around 4pm, as when the tide turned and the wind was blowing, they came within inches, so I hadput out a load of fenders across the stern, so there was no damage, but they were wedged across the ladder. That disturbed the night for us and they were gone when we got up at 0700 when I put the eberspacher on. It was a bright and sunny, if a little chilly morning. We had coffee and motored out of Newtown into a head wind. But it freed as we got to Cowes and allowed a truly beautiful sail from Cowes to Gilkicker, which was lovely. Then Julia made breakfast and we hosed down the dinghy. Then to Waitrose for the Sunday papers, and then Marine Superstore, where I bought the Magma Newport BBQ, rail mounts, a new jacket (BR2) and some toilet cleaner. Then home, where we both read the Sunday papers. Then we both had a sleep and Julia made dinner – last weekend’s gammon, and we watched a lot of Strictly Come Dancing.

Ocean Village 17/18 September 2022

Friday 16 September 2022

It was quite cold overnight - Autumn is coming, so I ran the eberspacher at 0630. I then popped into the showers and topped up water, hosed off bird’s poo, and moved stuff out of the focsle. Then I made coffee and opened up the boat for Simon to service. He arrived about 0810 and left about 1200 ish. He noted some extra things to worry about, especially around the shaft. Then I got a trolley and loaded it with stuff to take off, and then Julia arrived. I took trolley up and we came down with weekend stuff. We then had lunch, and I had a snooze. We had tea and Neil arrived about 1700 – minus Jane as she is staying home to support Hannah her daughter who has breast cancer. He also had a tea, and shortly afterwards, we had drinks. Then I cooked Hunters Chicken, which went down well. Then we had a few more drinks and some music and chatted away to catch up. Neil recommended the new Paulo Nutini Album, so I bought it, downloaded it and played it.

Saturday 17 September 2022

We were all up shortly after 0530, and away just before 0600 as we were going to the boat show. I had put the eberspacher on at 0430, so we were warm and toasty getting up, as it was chilly again. It was sunny with no wind, so we had a pleasant motor up to Ocean Village, where we were berthed on the South Side on G9. We then had bacon butties, and set off for the Boat Show in bright sunshine, although it was cool in the shade. We found that we had to walk all the way up to West Quay to get in which made us grumpy,and then the intro part of the show was a narrow winding path which was easily overcrowded, and didn’t have many stands we wanted to see. We split from Neil and finally got over the bridge, where we went around the halls. However, there were no chandlers, so we were unable to shop for my jacket or Julia’s deck shoes. We did get her Dubarry boots at just under £300, and Julia bought some replacement top things for cling film. In short we were disappointed. We did speak with Jason from Guernsey Marinas which was nice. We did claim our last free drinks on the Boatfolk stand, which was nice and we left the show shortly after 1300. On the way back we ran into Neil, who had also left early, and then Mark and Jane who were walking to the show. We had a good chat with them, and then back to the boat. After a quick beer, we all slept for an hour or so, and then got ready to go round to Gordon and Christine’s for drinks and nibbles, which was also excellent. Also there were Allan and Gillian Beswick. We saw Mark and Jane again from the balcony, and Gordon invited them up as well!The main group (7 of us) then went to Bacaros for dinner which was excellent food, but the service wasn't that good. Allan for example had to wait for his main, and we had more or less finished our meals before the fries arrived, and then we had to demand the bill three times. Anyway, the company was good and the food was too, so it was a nice evening. Then I invited everyone back to Wyldwind for more drinks, and we demolished a bottle of red, and after they went, Neil also had some more red, and I had a small brandy.

Sunday 18 September 2022

Again it was chilly in the morning, and I put the eberspacher on at 0715, and we all got up at 0815. We had coffee and then while Neil and Jane went to get the Sunday papers, I got the boat ready, and we were away at 0930. Again there was no wind but it was nice and sunny, so we motored. It really was a perfect sunny morning with the water sparkling. We got into Haslar and Julia cooked up an English breakfast, and then Neil headed off, and we went to see my mum,and then home where we read the Sunday papers and I did a BBQ of marinated chicken accompanied by corn on the cob and baked potatoes. We then watched the final two episodes of Capture, and by 2115, we were both so tired we went to bed.

Yarmouth August Bank Holiday, 27-29 August 2022

Friday 26 August 2022

We drove to the boat on Thursday evening to avoid bank holiday traffic, so Friday morning, we slept through until 0830. It was a nice sunny morning, and we read the papers, and then showered and had coffee. Then went round to Hornet and bought a burgee and a sweat shirt. Then back to the boat where I glued back a tile in the bathroom, and the VHF clip. Then I sorted out the speed which was badly weeded up and then went to Boatcare to thank them for a great job on the sink. Then we had lunch, and then I went to YouBoat chandlers and bought a spare anode, and bought some fancy D ringsto hold the sprayhood to free space for new cushions. I came back and fitted them and they look swish. Then Gavin Sharp from C&J Marine came and measured to give us a bimini quote,and then I put a retaining string with hooks on the new boat hook. Then we chilled and spoke with Kik next door Isabelle and Gareth who were down doing jobs. Then I cooked ribeye which was yum, and we watched a movie rogue agent.

Saturday 27 August 2022

The alarm went at 0730 and we were in the showers at 0800 which were not as busy as I expected. We had coffee and were away at 0930. There was no wind but there was lovely sunshine. We were an hour early to beat the traffic out of the harbour and to arrive in good time at Yarmouth, so it was an easy exit from the harbour. However the journey took three hours. It was very congested as we entered Yarmouth and we had to queue for a while. It turns out that they filled the place in 50 minutes. Of course, us having booked, we got a nice port side to on the main pontoon, and moored easily. Then we chilled and had lunch. I had a snooze and the same Mitchell 31 Tulana, came in next to us who we were next to last time, and often are. We went for a walk and saw Les in the Bugle and had a swift drink with him. And then we had drinks on board and got changed for dinner at On the Rocks, which was fab as ever. Josh put us on a table right next to the bar so we could chat, and I had lamb and Julia her usual seafood combo which Josh allowsespecially for her, scallops, prawns and tuna. We had a bottle of Rioja and followed with Irish coffee, although Julia had Baileys coffee. We went back to the boat and watched a movie The Gentlemen, with High Grant which we had seen before but couldn’t really remember. It was fun.

Sunday 28 August 2022

We were awake at 0800. It was sunny, but breeze getting up and starting to cloud over. We read the papers and then Julia headed out to get the papers and I got the bikes out, pumped up the tyres and got them outside. Then we had coffee and headed off down the lanes to Freshwater, and sat by the beach which was nice. We saw some of the thousands of scooters that were on the island for their annual festival. The biggest in the UK apparently, even though the news usually focusses on Brighton. Then we went to the Red Lion for lunch. I had lemon sole with new potatoes, and Julia had Caesar salad. Then we cycled back up the old railway line to the boat. Then had a snooze and chilled. There were sunny intervals but it was mainly cloudy, but still warm. Then we watched the news and Julia did spring rolls, sausage rolls, cheese bites and the leftover coronation chicken which was lovely. Then we tried to watch BBC (Capture) but the internet was too slow, whereas Netflix streamed fine, so we watched more Umbrella Academy.

Monday 29 August 2022

The day started sunny but with an easterly breeze which meant we were in for a bash back. We were up at 0730 and had coffee and then we had to wait whilst our neighbour made a hash of departing and parked his boat across us and the pontoon ends. We made a safe exit and all was fine. We motored into it and it was rough from Newtown to Osborne Bay, when it finally settled down. We got in and took two goes at mooring as the tide was streaming in and the wind also blowing us off. Julia then cooked breakfast and then we packed up and went to see my mum, who was on good form. Then I drove home up the A32 to avoid the bank holiday traffic. We got home and it was warm enough to sit out, but by BBQ time it was too cool, so I did the BBQ outside and we ate inside. We had chicken in reggae-reggae sauce, corn on the cob, salad and new potatoes with Dijon mayo. Then we watched two Captures and an Umbrella.

Lymington, 20/21 August 2022

Friday 19 August 2022

I now do not work Fridays, and we got going and were on our way to Haslar by 1030, but the traffic was very busy.  It was a nice day though.  We got to the boat and Julia cleaned the decks and I scrubbed the beard off.  We went round to Hornet a couple of times to try to buy a burgee but there was nobody there.  Vince Bramble from South Coast Furnishings came to measure up for the cushions.  John and Lorna arrived bang on 1800, and we had drinks and I cooked hunters chicken with new potatoes and broccoli and beans.  It went down well and we had a nice evening. 

Saturday 20 August 2022

We were up and away by 0900 and it was nice and sunny but with a lot of wind on the nose, which got worse as we passed Cowes.  We then had a very nasty Solent chop which slowed us considerably and it took us just over three hours into Lymington.  We were given M22 starboard side to, so blown on, which was nice – we were on M21 last time!Anyway we settled in and had breakfast, a short doze, and then off to the market.  I bought another apron, got my watch strap changed and we bought some bin bags.  We went back to the boat and chilled but it was a bit windy for sitting outside although sunny.  Then we went up for showers and Suzie and Nigel arrived for drinks followed by dinner at the Haven.  Julia and I both had battered cod and fries – so did Suzie and Nigel had scallops as a main.  Then they invited us back to theirs for drinks. 

Sunday 21 August 2022

It was nice to have a lie in this morning, but it was grey skies.  Julia went to get the papers and got the last Sunday Times.  We then left at 1100 slightly against the tide, but it was very neapy.  We called into Cowes for fuel, and after waiting at Lallows for a while, we went to the one further up which was clear.  we have only been using port tank of late, so it was an easy fill up.  Then we motored back to Haslar.  On the way back I cooked us breakfast of scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and toast.  We got back in, and packed up and headed home.  I had a snooze, and then we read the papers and then we did a BBQ – baked potatoes, corn on the cob, mushroom stuff Julia made,and burgers on the BBQ, which was all lovely.  Then watched the news and some Netflix and bed – both tired. 

Hamble with James, 13/14 August 2022

Saturday 13 August 2022

James arrived Friday evening, and I cooked a seafood Paella, and we watched a lovely sunset. we motored off to the Hamble about 1030 and sunbathed with the seats out on the back. We moored into E6 port side to, just in front of the Banana Wharf which was nice and convenient. We had lunch and then I had a snooze. Then we went for a walk to Netley, but it was very hot and got a bit much for me. The railway was closed and the café closed so it was a waste really. I got heat exhaustion and so missed out on drinks in Banana Wharf, but I came round for G&Ts. Then we went for dinner at the King and Queen where I had fish and fries, James had a burger and Julia had a ribeye steak. On the way back we had a drink in the Royal RAF YC and there was a private party in full swing, so we enjoyed people watching! Then back to the boat and watched another lovely sunset.

Sunday 14 August 2022

We were up and away at 0900 and it was another glorious hot day. We motored back with the seats out again and got into Haslar all OK. We had brunch and then we loaded up and went to see my mum. Then James headed off and we came home. It started to get cloudy and we can see the weather changing. Then we did a BBQ with nice burgers, more corn on the cob with a salad and boiled spuds with Dijon mayo. It was lovely.

Yarmouth with Aly and Gra 06/07 August 2022

Saturday 06 August 2022

I was up and in the showers shortly after 0700, and Aly and Gra turned up at 0755. It was already hot and sunny. We set off almost immediately and motored in glorious sunshine to Yarmouth. I knew it would be rammed and arriving at 1030, there weren’t any berths available for us, so we picked up a buoy outside and waited for them to call us on the radio. We only waited half an hour and got called in, and moored port side to on the main fingers but right at the extreme right end, so a tight fit and we did get boxed in. The weather remained lovely all day. We had lunch and then went for a walk to Freshwater, and had a drink at the Red Lion in the garden. Then back down the old railway line and into the garden at the Yacht Club, and had a drink there too. Then back to the boat got ready and headed to the Terrace – a new restaurant for us, and we got a lovely table just inside but with the doors open and a great view of the harbour and the slow sunset. The food and service were great. I had trout with aranci (italian rice balls) and fennel, plus I had fries. Julia and Aly and Graham had the same meal but with Hake. It was a lovely meal. We then went back to the boat for more drinks and a music session.

Sunday 07 August 2022

We were all a bit hungover this morning – me especially. We did get going though as we had breakfast booked at Off the Rails, and again it was already hot and sunny first thing. Graham had the full English, and Julia, Aly and I had the pescatarian – poached eggs, salmon and a confit of tomatoes. All lovely although the service wasn’t brilliant. We wandered back to the boat and read the papers and headed off about 1145 just as the tide was about to turn East. It really was hot, and the sea was very choppy with all the motor boats whizzing about. We motored all the way and the wind went from very little wind behind, to 9-12 on the nose as we neared Portsmouth. It was very busy coming in, and I had to slow down and dodge about to get in. We moored up and cleared up pretty quickly to get home for a BBQ. It still took time though and it was a slow drive. We got home about 1610, and I immediately made up the marinade and I did pork kebabs with figs and peppers on the BBQ at 1700 – it was in s the shade but still lovely and warm. Julia did salad, boiled potatoes in Dijon mayo, and corn on the cobs. It was all delicious. Then we watched some TV and I had an early bed at 2100!

Summer Cruise 02 - 24 July 2022 ↓ Trip Total: 372 ↓

Saturday 02 July 2022

Oli and Em arrived Friday night, but the forecast was on the nose for a channel crossing, so we decided to have a day in port. Julia read the paper and then headed off, and we loaded the water. Then Oli and I scrubbed the boat and moved her onto neighbour’s berth to do starboard. It was a bit windy so interesting. Then I did bacon butties, and it was so nice we decided to spend the day on the boat in the chairs. Oli got sun burned a bit. Then we took the Gosport Ferry and walked to Southsea and had a lovely meal at Rocka. I had the melange friture again – fried fish of all types. Oli had a steak and Em had soft shell crab burger. Got a taxi back, and another wine before early bed.

Sunday 03 July 2022

I was up at 0300 and Oli and I left at 0335 – it was already light. Made good progress and Emily joined us at Cowes as we drank sloe gin. We had the sail up for most of the morning, and then had to drop it later. It was a sunny day but the wind stayed SW so always on the nose but at least lighter than it was on Saturday. We really felt it more on the run in as we hit 8-9 knots from above Cherbourg and into Braye Harbour Alderney. The last few hours were slow with Oli and EM mainly sleeping. We got in and moored easily, and then went ashore and I bought us champagne at the Braye Beach Hotel. We sat outside in the sunshine, and we also ate there. Em had pork bites and goats cheese, Oli and I had scallops and ribs which were very yummy. Then back to the boat and all flopped into an early bed.

Monday 04 July 2022

As we were to bed so early, we were all up at 0730. I made us all coffee and we are all enjoying the early morning sunshine. Oli and Em went ashore for a swim and a shower and I cleaned the toilets, showered and some other jobs. Then we chilled for a bit and then went ashore. We walked up the High Street and went into the museum, and then into the Georgian House where we had a table reserved outside. We had a lovely long boozy lunch. I had sea bream (half fillet) with crab and samphire and chilli. Em had a pint of prawns and a salad. Oli had tempura prawns and a chicken wrap and fries. We stayed there for ages, then walked down the hill and had a couple of drinks in the Braye Beach Hotel. Then we went back to the boat where we chilled in the sunshine – Oli kicked EM’s book she was reading off the boat, so I bought her it on the iPad. We then settled down for an early night.

Tuesday 05 July 2022

I was up at 0215, and I woke Oli at 0230. We slipped at 0240 and it was proper dark. We got round the island on waypoints and at about 0330 we saw a long pre dawn. There was nowhere near as much light as when we left Haslar - further South I guess. We carried the tide all the way, and the gates were open early. The marina was full and we thought we would have to raft when a big Hardy motor boat left and we quickly slotted in easily into the space it left. Oli was very nervous but it was all smooth. We then showered and went into St Helier, but something was afoot, and over drinks at the cock and bottle, they shared that one of their horses, Lily, was not very well and at least Em if not both of them might have to go back. There followed lots of phone calls, and they decided they would both fly back, but Oli booked himself back on a flight back on Thursday, so we could leave for St Malo Friday instead of Thursday. He promised to keep me posted on that one. So we went and had lunch at the French Bistro in glorious sunshine. I had moules frites. Oli paid for lunch which was delicious. Then we went for drinks in the sunshine at the Royal Yacht Hotel and then back to the boat and they headed off to the airport in a taxi. I ate a few nibbles and spoke to Julia and collapsed exhausted into bed at 2000.

Wednesday 06 July 2022

I slept well and got up and showered, and made some coffee. I had a lazy day and took the opportunity to rest. I went to the fish market where I bought king prawns and scallops and then I bought garlic, onion, and some lettuce for dinner. I popped into Boots and then back to the boat. I made a bacon buttie and then did quite a bit of sun bathing. However, the day was on tenter-hooks because I needed to know what Oli and Em were going to do but could not get through to them. This went on into the evening, so I wasn’t sure how many drinks to have in case I needed to move the boat! I cooked my supper and in the end when Oli said he wasn’t making the next day’s flight it became apparent that I would go on my own to St Malo. So rather than wait another day in St Helier, I got the boat ready, and motored round to La Collette at 2110. I managed to moor up against another boat ok, and settled back into some red wine. Then a Halberg Rassy called Seabird hailed me and asked to come alongside. So I said OK, so long as I can got at 0600. They said fine and seemed nice. In fact they had been on my pontoon. They were Oli and Jason and I invited them in for a drink and we finished the bottle of red. It was nice to have company. Jason works in Cabinet Office!

Thursday 07 July 2022

Didn’t sleep too well, but and up about 0515, so I could get myself together. I kicked Seabird off at 0600 and at 0615 I easily slipped away and motor sailed towards St Malo in bright sunshine. Once round the NW Minquier, I turned and the wind was dead aft and light, so I dropped all sails. It then went grey and quite rolly. Just off St Malo, the GPS switched off and I had to reboot it, but it came up again thank goodness. I obviously had two other systems – the easiest being boating on my phone, but also the Open CPN, which is a bit crap. Anyway it came up, although did a freeze, which it hadn’t done for ages, so I was a little nervous. I prepared all lines well out and dropped fenders just before entering Sablon and I prayed for and was delivered a blown on port side to mooring and got one, as it was grey and a bit windy across the pontoons. I lined up and parked her and tied her up via the mid ships and then did the bow etc. All went OK, and my heart rate subsided. I had a beer and rang Julia. Then walked round to the ferry terminal and walked all over asking folk if they new where to get passport stamped. I finally found it in the middle of the entry points for cars. I had to stand outside the door for a few minutes and they stamped my passport. Then I walked back, and getting a bit tired by now as it was hot. I then had a shower – the showers were crap, and then got dressed up a bit and went into St Servan, and into the pizza place I went to with Gareth last year, and although it was 1750 and they started pizzas at 1800, they took my order – I had the Hortensia – prawns, salmon and scallops and I loved it. I washed it down with a pichet of red wine, and then went back to the boat, rang Julia and headed for bed at 8pm. I was woken by Oli at 2340 (2240 back home) and we had a long chat about how they simply couldn’t speak to a vet yet and we talked about options. I then rang Julia and relayed all of this to her.

Friday 08 July 2022

I slept really well last night for a change, and it was now sunny again. There were lots of boats leaving. I had coffee and read the paper, and then got the news from Oli and EM that they had to put down their horse, which was incredibly sad. However, it was now clear that they wouldn't join Julia in the car, so I was able to let Julia know and she then spent ages on the phone to Brittany Ferries to cancel the car. I cleared away their stuff and moved all the crap from my end down there and had a beer. Then made a bacon buttie and then sunbathed more. Later I walked around to decide whether to eat out or not - deciding to eat out again. Then I went back to the boat and enjoyed more good weather – boy it’s hot. I met Geoff and Pip in Elenor, an old Westerly, and chatted to them. I had a couple more beers and then went out for dinner at 1810, planning on galettes, but found the place didn’t open until 7, so had another pizza and a pichet of red wine. I had carne this time. Then it was back to the boat and drank the last of the white wine that Oli and Em had left, a small brandy and bed.

Saturday 09 July 2022

I got up just after 7 and showered and made coffee. It was a glorious sunny warm morning. I walked round to the ferry terminal and arrived at 0820. Julia's boat docked at 0815 and at 0831, Julia came through the gates. We walked back via the boulangerie and got croissants and some bread, and then along the beach back to the boat. We then had breakfast and settled in to some rest and relaxation on the deck. We had some rose and the odd beer. Then about 3pm, we walked back into St Malo and had to wait for the lock. Then we walked the walls and into the centre for some shopping. We bought a lovely wooden box with four superb jugs for port or similar. Then we went and ate in one of the tourist joints – Café Simon. We had 9 oysters and rocquefort moules frites. The mussels were small and the frites not crisp, but it was lovely anyway. Then we walked back, had a drink and Julia hit bed. I stayed up for another half hour and then went to bed as well.

Sunday 10 July 2022

Julia was tired and slept on while I read the paper. I shaved and showered and made coffee as Julia also showered. We then walked to St Servan and met Patrick and Blandine for lunch in the Cale Solidor restaurant and it was lovely to see them again. The service was slow, but we had so much to talk about. Julia, Blandine and I had oysters – Patrick some salmon thing for starters. For main, Julia, Blandine and I had the haddock – eglefin – and Patrick had magret in a tomato sauce. Julia and I had cheeseboard, and Blandine crème brulet, and Patrick a chocolate thing. Then they drove us over to Dinard and drove the streets seeing the gothic expensive houses. Then he dropped us at the beach, and we walked along that to a bar and had a drink, and then just caught the vedette back into St Malo. It was a long hot walk back, but nice to see Dinard. Then we chilled and heated up Cornish pasties and sausage rolls for dinner. We watched a new Netflix series called the Shannara chronicles about elves and so forth. Then bed after some brandy in our new jugs.

Monday 11 July 2022

Very lazy again and sunny again. In fact very warm. We read the papers, and Julia showered. I spent time doing new plans based on Granville. Then we chilled and went down to St Servan, had a drink met an English couple vanning and cycling, and booked one of the galette restaurants for 7pm. Then we went back to the boat and then took a taxi to Carrefour. We did a super big shop and then couldn’t get a taxi, so we had to push the trolley back for 40 minutes in the heat! Made it and had a beer and headed down for dinner. Julia had complet champignon and I had super complet, with green salad, tomato salad and frites shared. Then Julia had sorbet and I had a flambee crepe with marmalade and grand marnier. We sat outside in glorious sunshine, headed back to the boat and watched another Shannara and bed.

Tuesday 12 July 2022

We both had a bad night as it was so hot and I was so sweaty. We were up early and showered as I was so sticky and then went to get bread in St Servan which was a long walk. Then we headed to to the fuel pontoon only to find it was out of order, so no diesel !!! So we headed off to St Cast and it was very hot again. We found a berth port side to ok, and had breakfast and then went for a wander and Julia bought some shoes, and we booked a place for dinner. Then sunbathed and chatted to neighbours Tony and Helen in a motor boat who then went off to an island. We also spoke to an older couple on Tenui Matu a 44 Moody - all of them from Jersey. We then went to dinner and I had oysters, Julia salmon, and we both had entrecote which was lovely. There was a mobile live band that were very good and we got up and stood outside to watch them and even danced. We then had irish coffees and went back to the boat. We chatted to the Moody, and they went below and Tony and Helen came back from dinner at the same place having seen us dance. We invited them aboard for drinks and they bought a bottle of wine. Nice evening.

Wednesday 13 July 2022

We both had a much better night.Tony from the motor boat next door kindly delivered bread and croissants for us! We had breakfast outside and they left and soon the Moody left as well. I wasn’t feeling so good this morning – too much bread and maybe too much to drink the night before so I had a lie down, and surfaced to do some laptop. I didn’t feel great all day. It was very hot again with only a little breeze from time to time. At 1630, I was feeling a bit better and we walked into town and I bought some swimmers, and we did a shop at Carrefour. We then checked out a restaurant recommended by Tony, but we decided it was too expensive, and walked back to the boat, put the shopping away and went for a drink at the Face and ate there too. I had a fantastic beef kebab, and Julia had a burger. We got back to the boat and watched some TV and had a couple of brandies.

Thursday 14 July 2022 (Bastille day in France)

We both slept ok, and read the papers. Went up to the fish place only to discover it wasn’t open until 1030 ! When we did go back we got some cod and some prawns. Lots of folk were out promenading today as it was a national holiday. We stayed aboard and sun bathed and chilled. In the evening, I cooked up the prawns which we had in a mary rose sauce, and then pan fried the cod in butter with salad and bread. We watched some TV and early bed as an early start.

Friday 15 July 2022

I was up at 0430 and got things ready. Julia got up at 0500 and at 0515 we were on the fuel pontoon topping up. We then left the marina at 0540 with plenty of light. Julia went back to bed, and I watched the sun come up. It was a very lumpy sea to start with but it settled down after St Malo, and we made good time on the spring tide, doing 8 knots. I had to motor as the wind was bang on the nose. We got into Granville, and luckily got one of the front row slots so we could watch all the action at gate opening and closing times. I had a beer and then a doze, and then we popped into town. We had a drink in the main drag – 49cl rose. Then back for lunch and a snooze after. Then we had showers and went to Cabestan but they had booked us outside, which I didn’t want so we left them and walked to the pizza place (pizzeria Montepego) on the corner and I had etna, Julia had di-parma with an extra egg, and we had three pichets of red (25cl) - it was a nice meal. Back to the boat and although I was tired we did watch another elves thing on Netflix, and then bed at 10.

Saturday 16 July 2022

We were awake at 0800 and read the papers. Then I whizzed out and got us a roasted chicken (21 euros) and back for coffee.Then we went into town and did the whole market. We bought some stuff at the indoor market, and then back into Carrefour and back to the boat for drinks and lunch of chicken. It was a bit dry though. Then I had a snooze and we sun bathed and chilled. At 1730 we showered and changed, had a drink and headed into town for a fabulous Chateaubriand in the Parfum Poivre, washed down with a bottle of medoc. It was a lovely meal. Then back to the boat for cheese and some more Netflix and bed.

Sunday 17 July 2022

We were woken abruptly by a motor boat coming too close as they all waited for the gate and the tide was rushing in. Then the marina boat drifted into us and bashed us a bit. I didn’t think there was any damage, but she came to apologise and said she would take me in her little boat to look later. We made coffee and looked at forecasts. I got her to take me in her boat and apart from a scuff mark, it was alright. We then paid up for the three nights and went round to the border police to get our passports stamped out of France, and it was all very civilised and quick. Then we walked around town looking for where we might have lunch, and did some shopping. We then went back to the boat, and changed and went out for lunch. Another place had opened up by this time, so we chose that and both had salads. I had salmon on toast with prawns, avocado and lettuce, Julia had goats cheese. It was a lovely lunch sat out in the shade. The waiter was amusing. Then we went back to the boat for a doze. Sadly then I got a bit ill with a runny bum, and was very washed out. Julia was ok, but not too good either in that department. I continued to be ill for the rest of the day. We watched all the entertainment when the gates opened and I went to bed early. Julia watched the Open golf.

Monday 18 July 2022

We both slept fitfully as it was very hot. I got up at 0730, and checked the oil and water etc. It was very hot already at 0800. We waited for the gates to open shortly after 0900 and we got away at 0915 when it showed 2.2m and motored out. We were going slowly for the first couple of hours and wondered if we would make the gates at St Helier. However, the wind picked up a bit and the tide got going, so with some genoa out as well as the engine, we made good progress and made it into St Helier with 15 minutes to go. That said, the gauge said 3.5 metres so maybe it was going to be later because of the high pressure, but of course, we weren't to know that. On the water we had been protected by the wind, but once in we got the full force of the 38 degrees. It was hot, and tying the boat up and sorting out tired me. I was still a bit weak from not being well, and indeed still wasn't well all day. So I had a sleep and Julia went shopping and bought some nice pink shorts. I perked up a bit and we had showers and G&Ts and went out for dinner at Quayside. We both had Sea bream fillets which were lovely and a bottle of Bordeaux. I couldn’t eat it all as I was still not right, but finally beginning to feel better. We went back to the boat and enjoyed the mayhem as the gates opened, and there was a scrabble for places and then we watched another elves on Netflix. We then spent a few more minutes outside to chill and then bed.

Tuesday 19 July 2022

It was a very hot night – 29 degrees in the cabin, and at 0730 it was 30 already. We went into town and went to the fish market, bought scallops and king prawns and an onion and some lettuce. Julia went to Boots and I went and paid the bill. We got away at 0915 as planned and motored out. It soon got cooler and then foggy at Corbiere, so the radar went on. But that cleared and then it got grey and we saw thunder and lightning and later it rained. I stayed inside ! As we got to Alderney, it really rained and blew, so I had to get my full waterproof kit on. We got into the harbour and it was full – every buoy in the main area under the wall and all bar one over in the bay, but that was close to another yacht. Then a boat left so we went for that, but it didn’t have a pick up line, and it was windy, so we failed and although I had hooked the buoy, I couldn’t hold it and lost the boathook. Fortunately it floated and the water taxi picked it up and then the harbour master came and helped us onto the buoy. It was all a bit stressful. Anyway, once tied on we settled down. Then we took the water taxi ashore for champagne (tat) at the Braye Beach outside in the sunshine, which had now returned. We were chatted to by Charlize from Guernsey, and then we went into dinner. We both had a rack of pork ribs in BBQ sauce which was amazing, and a nice bottle of red. Then back to the boat for some TV and bed.

Wednesday 20 July 2022

Slept well as the wind calmed down, and we were up and showered and then on the water taxi and ashore about 11. Ww walked up through the town and looked in some 'tut' shops, and then into the Georgian House early. We had a table outside and we had lots of sunshine interspersed with some windy bits. It was lovely. I had a lamb wrap and Julia had a chorizo salady thing. We stayed for a while and then back to the boat. We had planned to cook the seafood but were too full up so both had rolls. I had more chicken and Julia some pate. Early night.

Thursday 21 July 2022

It was a bad night for both of us as boat was rolling and I knew I had to get up early. I looked out at 0400 but there was not enough light, so I finally got up at 0430, and was held up by needed the loo for the first time since my bad reaction to some contaminated food on Sunday. So that kept me busy but all was back to normal. I got away at 0500 with Julia still in bed. It was grey but enough wind to use the genoa to steady the rolling sea. However, later as the tide took me left, I had to drop it and it was a slow motor rolling about until the afternoon. It was very slow, as the tide wasn’t favourable, and I had to go with light rather than tide, so it took us an hour longer than in the past. Things calmed in the afternoon, but it stayed grey. However, Julia could get about and read. It brightened by the Needles briefly, but then grey again. It was 68.7 miles and took 12 hours. We moored into M21 port side to at the Yacht Haven Lymington, and settled in. I then cooked the scallops and king prawns in butter, garlic and onions, and Julia did a salad. It was lovely. Then we watched some more Netflix and bed.

Friday 22 July 2022

Lazy morning, and then we both had lovely showers at the yacht haven. We had coffee and did some computing, and then into town to check out the shops. We bought a dress for Julia, and a sweatshirt and Clarks air sandals for me. Then to Lymington Town SC for lunch with Nigel and Suzie. We sat outside in the sunshine. Having started grey it had brightened up, if a little breezy. Julia had courgette fritters and the rest of us had peppered squid. It was yummy. We continued with drinks and then headed back to the boat for a snooze. We then had G&Ts and walked back into town to Koh Thai for dinner. I had tamarind duck with noodles and Julia had penang curry. My duck was delicious. Then back to the boat and had more G&Ts and watched a movie – the contractor which was fun.

Saturday 23 July 2022

Lovely sunny morning and we slept in until well past 0830. Read papers, and then coffee. We then headed into town for the market. I got a new watchstrap and bought an apron with sailing boats on it, we bought some flowers for Nigel and Suzie later, and Julia bought a jig saw and some strawberries. Then we walked back to the boat and I had a beer, and we then had lunch. It had now gone grey, so Julia decided to clean the boat and I had a snooze. Then we were up and chilling, and we both had showers. Then we went to Nigel and Suzie’s for drinks, and then on to the Yacht Haven Restaurant. We both had dressed crab. Then back to the boat, and we invited Andrew and Katrina the boat next door (Breagha on M20) over for drinks, and we got through a few bottles of red.

Sunday 24 July 2022

Up early as we needed to leave at 0600. I went to the loo, and we got away. But as we got into the river I realised I had left my phone in the toilet, so we had to go back and luckily someone had just found it, and I got it back. It was all a bit stressful re-mooring and it was a bit windy. Anyway, there was enough wind to sail once out in the Solent, and we got back into Haslar without any more drama. Then the long loading of the car. All the wine, then Oli and Em’s things, and finally all of ours. We got away about 1200 in the end and Julia drove. Then when back, I unloaded the car while Julia headed to the shops. We then had an early afternoon BBQ with marinaded chicken kebabs and haloumi, with baked potatoes and corn on the cob. Very nice. Then we settled down to watch TV and eventually bed.

↑ End of trip ↑

Ocean Village with Paul and Gillian 18/19 June 2022

Friday 17 June 2022

Headed off to the boat at lunchtime. Very hot and sunny today. I dropped Julia off at Morrisons, and had everything unloaded by the time she got back. Then put the outboard on, and we had lunch. Then we sun bathed a bit and did some work. Started early today so that we could finish early as we knew the weather was going to be good. Paul and Gillian Fleming turned up bang on 1600, and we met them in the car park. Had zero drinks outside to start and then started on beer and wine. I made seafood paella, and then we went to the Lightship for drinks. Lovely evening.

Saturday 18 June 2022

I was up and in the showers at 0715 and everyone soon followed and got showered and then we had tea and coffee, and got away about 0850. It was cloudier today – typical weekend. We motored up to Ocean Village, and into the same spot under the walkway by the old club house. Gordon and Chris were on their balcony so said hello. The crew went to Tesco, while I sorted the boat out. We then had lunch and then we waited around for their friends Anna and Jonathan to arrive in their motor boat. We then went to Banana Wharf with them, and sat outside, but it got colder and rained, so we went onto their motor boat and had some prosecco. We then bid them farewell as it was back to Wyldwind for drinks with Gordon and Christine. G&Ts all round. Then we said bye to them and went to Bacaro and had a fab meal there - all small plates - Julia had pumpkin risotto and charcuterie board. I had scallops and a pork saltimboca. Then we went back to the boat for the cheese that Gillian and Paul had brought, and had a great time listening to old tracks.

Sunday 19 June 2022

We were all up and about and away by 0900 with 24 knots on the quarter and some sunshine, so we hoisted genoa and sailed down Southampton Water but the breeze was fading. By the Hamble there was too little, so we had to motor, but it was really lovely while it lasted. We motored into Haslar OK, and Julia then did full breakfast. We then loaded up two trollies and all left together. We stopped at Waitrose. When we got home. despite the increasing rain I did a BBQ – butterfly lamb, with jacket potatoes and sweet corn. We ate inside and it was a lovely meal.

Lymington and Cowes RNVR Jubilee weekend 2-5 June 2022

Thursday 02 June 2022

We left at just before 1100 and slotted out as it was a busy bank holiday. Wind was aft so at Gilkicker I put some genoa out and we motor sailed down to Lymington. We got there about 1315. Onto the Town Quay this time, and we were allocated a finger but was starboard side (23) to and blown off, so had two goes and needed help from ashore. Anyway, in and we dressed the boat overall and had a beer. It was a bit too windy for our chairs but it was nice and warm. Very pleasant. A couple with a Nauticat 331 came over with a bottle to look around (nothing to do with RNVR) and then Gillian turned up followed by Allan, and I cooked us monkfish which was delicious. Nice evening.

Friday 03 June 2022

Most folks left early but we went for a walk into Lymington and spent money in Quba. Lovely sunny morning and very warm. I bought two shirts and Julia a dress all with sailing boats on. Then back and we left just before 12. We got to Cowes about 1300 and went straight onto Lallows fuel berth, and topped up, and then rang for instructions. We were on a pontoon at the end behind Hadedah. Easy blown on mooring and port side to. Then we dressed overall again. The weather turned a bit though and it was not as sunny. We had been invited for drinks aboard flying swan, so we took a bottle of Prosecco and had a great time with John, Jane, Adrian and Hazel. Then back to our boat and changed and onto the pontoon party and the tot ceremony. In the background I was cooking dinner as a host boat, so roast chicken, new spuds and green beans. Our four guests arrived: Kate Dace, Ian Downie, Janet Raby, and John Smith. They all enjoyed it. We then split off for desserts on other boats. Julia to Allouette and me to Hadadah, where I met Dave and Heather, Tim the commodore and Pat. Then I came back and did the washing up before Julia got back. We listened to some music and bed.

Saturday 04 June 2022

We were quite tired and hungover, so we lazed in bed. However, I did get ensign out at 0800. It had been very windy overnight and was still blowing, so we went back to bed until about 1030. We then showered and I cooked scrambled eggs with smoked salmon. We then had a short doze and then we went for a walk into Cowes. Had a drink on the balcony in sunshine at the Island Sailing Club, but it was getting increasingly cloudy. We went back to the boat for a quiet afternoon. Then we got changed into our finest – dickie bow for me and lovely frock for Julia and off to the Max Aitken Museum for RNVR dinner. Excellent evening. I sat next to Madelaine and Nicky Bovey and also spoke with Alison Derrick opposite me. We even sang songs. We had Adrian and Hazel round for drinks afterwards.

Sunday 05 June 2022

It was a quiet morning – grey and cloudy. Everyone left before we did but we motored back in no wind into Haslar. Packed up and Julia drove home. Read the papers and had a few drinks and watched the Jubilee concert from Saturday – lovely.

Yarmouth with Neil and Jane 28/29 May 2022

Saturday 28 May 2022

Neil and Jane came down Friday and Julia cooked chicken. Nice evening. Saturday, we were up at 0730, and we all had showers, and then away at 0850. We were able to sail from Gilkicker with a nice northerly breeze, and sailed until Cowes. Then the wind died off, and we motored into Yarmouth. Nice port side to mooring in front of the office. Then we had lunch stuff and went for a walk to Freshawater. We went over the hills there, had a drink at the Red lion, and back along the old railway track. Then we popped into the Yacht Club, where we drank outside in the sunshine. It was cold when cloudy, but nice when sun was out. The weather remained nice and sunny all day. Then we went back to the boat where we changed and had drinks. The we went to On the Rocks for dinner. I had lamb, Neil had prawns, Julia had her seafood combo, and Jane had fillet streak. Lovely meal. We met a new serving girl called Emma, and as usual, we chatted to Josh, and met his brother Kenneth, who he is now sharing a place with in Totland. We then went back on the boat for more music chatting and even dancing.

Sunday 29 May 2022

We were all up at 0800, and away at 0900. What little wind was on the nose, but a pleasant motor back. Julia did bacon butties on the way, so we were all able to pack up and go promptly. We went to see my mum, and then home by 1400!

Spring Cruise - Northney, Littlehampton and Brighton 07 May - 15 May 2022

Saturday 07 May 2022

Lazy morning read papers etc. Then away about 1050. No wind so motoring for a couple of hours up to Northney. Into C10 port side to easily enough. Really nice weather, so chairs out and relaxed in sunshine. We went for a 3.5 mile walk in the afternoon, and then back for drinks. Then we walked over the bridge to the Ship and ate upstairs. We both had grilled lemon sole, which was lovely with good service. We then walked back and watched half a rubbish movie – I fell asleep and then bed.

Sunday 08 May 2022

Lazy morning again, and we got up about 1000 and walked to the garage to get the Sunday papers. Then back for coffee. A lovely sunny day although a bit blowy on the coast. Then we walked back again and got the bus to the bottom of the Island. Had a beer and white wine in the Lifeboat and then a ride on the little train all along the front. Then back and on the bus again and then relaxed outside in the chairs again in lovely blue sky and sunshine. I had a sleep, and then Julia cooked up pre-prepared jambalaya – yum. Then we watched Netflix.

Monday 09 May 2022

Lazy start again. I topped up the water and we hung around until 1230 waiting for the tide, and left at 1240. Another lovely day. It was hard leaving as we were pinned into our berth. Anyway we got away, and motored in very little wind, but on the nose. Made good time to the Looe Channel, which did break waves over the bow, but was quite harmless. Then we had to slow down a bit on the run in to get a more favourable time of entry - so as to be 2 hours before HW. We radioed in about 1630 and rafted port side to outside Crusader of Arun, an old boat with two French guys on. One spoke English. There was still quite a stream running but we moored ok. Then sat on the back with drinks as it was warm and hazy sunshine. Evening, we hunkered down. Julia did spagjam – spag bol and jambalaya ! Which was nice. We then wathed a long movie and bed.

Tuesday 10 May 2022

Very lazy morning. It rained overnight, and it was a bit windy and grey to start. We had coffee and then went shopping and a mooch around. Then back and had lunch, and in the afternoon we went for a walk along the seafront. Very windy but sunny by the afternoon. Then back for drinks and we walked to Vardar restaurant which was Macedonian and really quiet, but we received good service and good food. Julia had Macedonian Moussaka – made with potato instead of aubergine. I had Macedonian beef. We shared some apetisers of humous and garlic bread. We walked back and watched a more Netflix: Russion Doll and a Mrs Maisel.

Wednesday 11 May 2022

We both slept well, and yet we were both still sleepy. However, we got up and about and caught the bus to Arundel at 1048. It was sunny to start with but soon went grey. We got into Arundel and mooched around as it got greyer. There were lots of antique shops and little arcades which was all very nice. We then settled into a lovely restaurant called Butlers for a long lunch. It was a lovely place. Julia had Foie Gras and I had salmon and seaweed for starters and then we both had crispy duck salad. Then I had lemon posset with some monbazillac and Julia had coffee. I finished with a brandy and we paid the bill £111 + tip £120. It had been raining on and off for a while, so waterproofs on, but it wasn’t chucking it down. We caught the 1416 bus back. Then Julia went to Lidl and I came back to the boat and topped up the water, cleared some bird shit and cleaned off the salt from the windows. Julia got back and we chilled for the grey drizzling windy afternoon. Unfortunately Julia got caught out with the runs and felt pale for the rest of the day, which took the shine off things. I still had a couple of beers and some wine and I produced a 'nibbles dinner of duck rolls, tempora prawns and mozzarella sticks, which Julia was OK with. We then watched more Netflix.

Thursday 12 May 2022

Up early and untied the lines at 0655 and then put fenders and lines away whilst stemming the current and we were away at 0700 from the harbour. There was no wind, but it was sunny. Julia went back to bed as she had a bad night, and it was quite rolly from the wind the past couple of days. We motored all the way and got in just before 3 hours – 18 miles and tied up in the visitors area on 12 port side to – 12.08. I had to go up and pay to get electric as ever. Then we both took showers, which were nice with under floor heating, although the pressure wasn't great. Then Julia cooked breakfast and we went for a mooch to choose a place for Saturday dinner and a look at the shops. Julia bought biscuits for Jen and Kevin back home (for watering the plants) and 6 jig-saws, and we chose Prezzo. It was very windy today, although sunny, so on our return, we sat inside and chilled. In the evening I cooked burgers and onions and chips with mushrooms, and then we watched more TV and bed.

Friday 13 May 2022

Another very lazy morning - that's what holidays are for! We slept through until 0915. Then we read papers, and both had showers and I cooked scrambled egg with smoked salmon. Then we chilled for a while inside, as although it was sunny it was still very windy. We then walked into town along the front, and up through the lanes and had a drink at the Flint House where Duncan used to work. Then another walk up to the toy museum, which was absolutely fantastic. Spent an hour and a half in there. I especially loved the O guage layout. Then we had a drink at the theatre pub Collonade and on to Petit Pois for a spectacular dinner. Julia had and goats cheese and I had salted cod fritters, and we shared six snails. Then I had beef fillet with pepper sauce and Julia had monkfish. It was really lovely. We then went back to the boat and drank some more wine, and watched TV.

Saturday 14 May 2022

At last the wind died and it was sunny and still all day, so we just sat on the back of the boat and lazed it up. Best weather of the holiday by far! And there was much more activity in the marina to watch on a Saturday too! So we just sat in our deck chairs on the back and watched it all pass by. A small fleet of old wooden boats came in looking resplendent and it turned out they were all Dunkirk Little Ships on their way to Ostend. We had a lazy lunch, and did more sunbathing. We were rudely interrupted when I had to fend off one boat that couldn’t drive properly and nearly clattered into us. We then chatted to the little Dunkirk ships just before going out to dinner. We dressed up a bit and went to Prezzo after some G&Ts. We shared garlic bread and then both had pizzas. I had tres gusti and Julia had mushroom, ham and mascaponi. We then walked back to the boat, and watched TV and bed.

Sunday 15 May 2022

We were woken early by the little boats eaving and talking loudly. Then I was up at 0730 and got the papers from the garage. I got back and had some coffee and then prepped the boat and we were away about 0900. It rained and a was quite a rough sea. It was initially windy and so tried genoa but the wind was too aft, so I put it away. Later the wind shifted so was able to get out half genoa and that steadied us for a while. Then the wind died off completely - fortunately with the wind behind, and the tide we were going with the white caps. We made the Looe Channel in 3.5 hours and it was calm. The wind gradually picked up as we approached Portsmouth, and was slow going in as it was ebbing. We got in and moored ok, and then packed up and put post-its everywhere for the man coming to the boat next week to tidy up all the wood. Julia drove home as usual. Packed away and then a beer and the papers. Then a nice nibbles tea of scallops in wild garlic, duck roll and cheese stuff. TV and bed. It was a lovely holiday and very relaxing.

Cowes and Ryde (by bus) 30 April / 02 May 2022

Saturday 30 April 2022

Lovely and sunny to start, but soon began to cloud over. Motored over to Cowes in nice sunshine. Waited only a couple of minutes at Lallows and then on for fuel and then onto the Yacht Haven – North basin Blue 13 port side to. It was so lovely, we got the chairs out and sat on the back for a couple of beers and some pink wine. Then we had lunch. I had a snooze, and then we walked into Cowes. I bought a sailing top and some trousers at Helly Hansen, and we had a drink in the Anchor outside at the back in the sunshine. Back to the boat to chill, and then to Coast for a nice meal. We both had sea bream. Nice meal. Slow paying the bill, but otherwise good service. Back and watched a movie the catcher is a spy. Then bed

Sunday 01 May April 2022

Lazy start and then I showered and made coffee. The weather was thin drizzle all day and grey, but it was still a lovely day, as we celebrated 29 years since the day we met! I popped to M&S for the papers, and then we went over to East Cowes via the chain ferry, and alongside hundreds of bikes! Julia popped into Waitrose and then we caught the no 4 bus to Ryde. Got off in the town centre and walked down the main drag where we saw a nice flea market and then walked along the front to the Duck for lunch. Had a fabulous lunch at the Duck – we both had roast beef. And we shared a cheese board. Spoke with a nice couple from Camberley. Then walked fast to the bus station, and caught the no 4 back to East Cowes. Straight on the chain ferry and back to the boat. We had a sleep and then Julia cooked a ‘nibbles’ dinner and we watched some TV.

Monday 02 May April 2022

Slept in a bit and then read the papers. I cleared out the rubbish, and we drank coffee before leaving. No wind and grey but not raining. A bit cool coming back, and very busy into the harbour entrance, I had to gun in front of another boat. Back in and Julia did breakfast. Then we packed up and left. Stopped in to see my mum, and caught all the Buzzards on the pavement briefly. Then home.

Harbour trip and land BBQ, 23/24 April 2022

Saturday 23 April 2022

Gina met us at home, and I drove down to Haslar. We went for a motor up the harbour to Wicor. It was blowing a strong 5/6/7 north easterly, so not that nice, but good to have a potter. Came back into Haslar, and moored easily enough. Julia then did a nice lunch. Lasagne, garlic bread and salad. Then we prepped the boat for its liftout next week, and headed home

Sunday 24 April 2022

Sunday was a land based day, and we had an afternoon BBQ with our new best friends, Gillian and Paul Fleming.

Poole, 15-18 April 2022

Friday 15 April 2022

Up and it was sunny but no fog. So away at 0850, and motored in no wind to Poole. Into B9 starboard side to unfortunately facing North, so South wind in the cockpit. We sat in our sun chairs on foredeck and spoke to a couple in a rib. Then a sleep, changed, and drank G&Ts before heading off to Rancho for a perfect steak. We both had ribeye, skinny fries, shared onion rings and some green beans and cabbage. Nice meal. Back and watched TV and bed

Saturday 16 April 2022

Another sunny day with a light breeze. Got the bikes ready, and made sandwiches, and set out via Tesco to sandbanks. Nice easy ride on the electric bikes! Into sandbanks and round the loop, stopping at the ferry for a bit. Then back and along the Bournmouth beach, and lunch on a bench under the Canford Cliffs. Lovely – out of the wind. Cycled back easily enough but my bum was getting sore. Realised later we cycled 11 miles! We sat on the front of the boat out of the wind again and then we had a sleep. We then had G&Ts and went off to Storm where we both had whole plaice with fries. Food was good but the service was a bit poor. Really nice meal. Back to the boat and watched a movie.

Sunday 17 April 2022

Bit windier today but still sunny. Lazy morning, Julia got the papers and we read those, and then I cooked scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and toast. Then we had a walk around Poole. Went to the RNLI college bar and sat outside in the sun, but a bit windy. We mooched a bit and then into the Soho Bar and Kitchen, where we drank in January, and then back for a sleep and drinks. We also did a lot of planning for our spring cruise. Julia cooked roast gammon with new potatoes and broccoli. Watched TV and bed

Monday 18 April 2022

I was awake at 0530 and got up. Got the boat ready – Julia got up but wasn’t needed, and we were away at 0610. Julia went back to bed, and it was a beautiful sunny morning – magical through the harbour. A bit cold though and very slow through the entrance, but then a quick ride on a spring tide right into Haslar – 4 hours and 55 minutes! Not our fastest, but quick. I stayed mainly inside from Hurst when Julia got up as it was a bit chilly. We got into Haslar all ok, and Julia cooked breakfast and then we packed up and came home.

Hamble, 09/10 April 2022

Friday 08 April 2022

Got to the boat, and we got a few things sorted. Boatcare came and finished up the toilet and no need for a new pump. Got the air filter. One of the dock fenders was hanging off, so I had to fix that. I had calls for work and Julia went into Gosport. Nice weather too. Drinks at 1730. News and Julia did supper – Greek meatballs. Then a trashy movie and bed.

Saturday 09 April 2022

Sunny morning. Motored into a light headwind to the Hamble. Into F24 starboard side to, and Gordon and Christine came in just after us. Then lunch, and we went for a walk and had a drink at the King and Queen. Then back to the boat for a sleep, and then drinks with G&C on board Wyldwind. Then to dinner at the Victory with them. I had hunters chicken. Julia had burger, and they had fish and chips. Service was good to start but then they vanished. Had to go get the bill. But nice food and nice evening. Back to G&C’s for red wine and some whisky.

Sunday 10 April 2022

Sunny morning again. Picked up Sunday papers from village, and read those with coffee. Then I shaved and we changed. Walked to Royal Southern for RNVR lunch which turned out nicely. We met new people, Peter and Heather Morriss, and Mike Critchley and his son Charlie. Lovely food and lunch. After port and loyal toast, back to the boat and motored home. More wind and on the nose, so quite cold. Easily moored and home about 1830

Lymington, 02/03 April 2022

Friday 01 April 2022

Put the new heater up in our cabin, before putting the mattress back. Fixed liferaft to the front, put the lines back on. Topped up the water and added credit to the electric. Then sorted out the clocks, and we had lunch. Julia went out and I worked and we had drinks at 1730. Watched the news, and I cooked magret, but we ran out of gas half way through and I had to change the gas bottle. Then back to cooking, and it was still ok. Nice meal then watched a trashy movie and bed.

Saturday 02 April 2022

Lazy start, sunny morning - little to no wind. Had coffee and motored off to Lymington. It was cold though. We got into Lymington onto G3 nice and close to the end. Then had lunch, and we walked into town but the market was closing. Julia bought a load of flowers. Back to the boat and we both had a sleep. Then got ready for drinks and nibbles when Gillian and Allan arrived. No Nigel and Suzie due to her parents. We had drinks and then walked back into Lymington to the Ship and had a nice meal there. I had ribeye, Julia seabass fillets, Gillian a duck pizza, and Allan a dirty burger. Nice service if a little slow, and nice evening. Back to the boat for more drinks and a chat.

Sunday 03 April 2022

Another lovely sunny morning with little or no wind. Julia got the papers and we motored out. We went into Cowes and to Lallows at Cowes for fuel, and then back into Haslar. Julia did breakfast. Then to Arthurs for new mooring warps and onto Mum’s.

Yarmouth with Oli and Em, 19/20 March 2022

Friday 18 March 2022

Got to the boat on Friday after seeing my mum. Then cleaned off the beard on the boat which has recently appeared, both sides, and had the wood man visit to quote, and also saw Boatcare about re-sealing the window. Julia walked to Lidl - I did some work. In the evening I cooked ribeye and we watched a movie.

Saturday 19 March 2022

Unfortunately, in the morning, the inlet pump on our electric toilet failed, and after faffing for a while, I gave up trying to fix things and we used the manual toilet all weekend. Oli and Em turned up at 0930, and we headed out into a very breezy day, but it was from the East. F5/6 with some very tasty gusts. It was rough coming out of the harbour, but nowhere near as bad as last time out, but when we turned for the long way out (as Haslar bank was bad) we got rolled quite badly. The water glasses downstairs went all over, but it was only water. Put out half genoa when I turned East, and we sailed to Cowes. We then motor sailed from there to keep the speed up. Still very windy when we came into Yarmouth, but we sailed around the back to moor into wind. There were only starboard side to berths, but we came in neatly, and then sitting in the cockpit out of the wind, in the sun with a few beers was lovely. Then lunch was served, and afterwards, we went for a walk, and to the yacht club, where we sat outside on the upstairs balcony out of the wind in glorious sunshine. We later discovered it was meant for members only, but we enjoyed it. Then back to the boat for pre dinner drinks, and off to On The Rocks. Dinner was fabulous, and we got the usual great welcome from Josh and new girl Emma, who served us. (Sarah was off) I had lamb, Julia had her seafood special, that she asks Josh for as it's not on the menu, and Oli and Em shared lamb and tuna. Great meal. Gaelic coffees and then back to the boat where we watched England get beaten by France 25-13 at rugby. We then had a YouTube music fest and more wine. Followed by bed.

Sunday 20 March 2022

Still windy, but not as strong, but the sea state was still rough. We were all up and in good spirits away, with sloe gin, and Oli cracking a beer. It was sunny but very bouncy and got worse at Cowes. Sadly, this got to Em, who wasn't so well for the second part of the journey from Cowes. The wind continued to ease, as did the sea state, but Em was not happy until ashore. We moored up neatly enough, and Oli and Em headed off. Julia and I packed up and headed up, electing to have a late brunch there rather than cook on the boat. Nice weekend.

Stayed in Haslar, 25/26/27 February 2022

Friday 25 February 2022

Got to the boat on Friday and collected the serviced life raft from Arthurs at a whopping £333. Did some work in the afternoon, and then lashed the life raft in a new temporary spot in front of the mast to see if that works. As the view in the cockpit is much better without it. At teatime, we took the bus up to Fareham and ate at Vito Lounge - tapas which was really good. We both had the three dish platter. Then we walked over to the Cob and Pen, and joined the party after Alice and Matt's wedding. It was crowded. Stayed a while and then walked back to the bus garage and caught the bus back

Saturday 26 February 2022

Up and ready to go for 0930, aiming for Northney. Blowing quite hard from the South, so hard to get off, and when we got into the harbour entrance, it was very very rough. Very steep waves and so slowed the boat a lot. We made it to Spit Sand where it started to ease, but by now, I was thinking of Chichester Harbour on Sunday morning, and having checked the weather forecast which was stronger and still onshore, I turned us round, and we headed back into Haslar, surfing the waves as we came in slowly. We then cancelled marina and taxi, and booked lunch in Southsea. We took the ferry over. And walked in glorious sunshine to Rocka, and had a lovely lunch, both having the seafood platters. Back to the boat, walking again. And then we went and saw my mum, watched some rugby, loaded the car and we drove to Sam's 50th Party in a hall in Emsworth. That was fun, and then we drove home.

Sunday 27 February 2022

So we were home when we expected to be out on the water, but the weather was still nice, so we walked the long way to the French Horn, and had a couple of drinks there and then back for lunch, the papers and so on.

West Cowes, 22/23 January 2022

Saturday 22 January 2022

Got to the boat on Friday and I greased the rudder and we put the bed back together. Then motored over to Cowes, and onto Lallows for fuel. Some sunshine to start but soon went grey and stayed that way. Then into the Yacht Haven, and moored in front of Rebel on the private pontoons. I then cooked scrambled eggs with smoked salmon. We then went for a 4 mile walk around Cowes and Gurnard and found the model railway. Back to the boat for a snooze and then drinks, and off to Coast for a lovely dinner. We both had fillet steak off the specials board. Back to the boat for some TV and cheese and port.

Sunday 23 January 2022

Very grey again and misty, and cold. A few problems with the toilet blocking up, which appears to be the pipe. Then motored back to Haslar, having hot chocolate and brandy on the way. Back into Haslar and I stripped out the bed again, so that we can get someone to run a new waste pipe in.

Folly with Oli and Em, 15/16 January 2022

Friday 14 January 2022

Julia and I went to the boat on Friday. Lovely sunny day. Got there and scrubbed the port side with the scrubbis system, but only after fixing it ! Then turned the boat around and reversed in – flat calm, no wind, sunny and then scrubbed the starboard side. Then I did the water line with the hoe. Pulled a shoulder muscle doing it. Julia did some CIF work. Then put the boat back in the right way round, and had late lunch. Julia then went off shopping, and I did a load of work. Julia came back and we watched the news, had some drinks, and Julia did Fajitas for dinner. Nice evening.

Saturday 15 January 2022

Oli and Em arrived about 0915. Sadly today was grey all day. We motored over to Cowes and drank lots of sloe gin. Onto the Folly pontoon port side to, and then headed off to walk to Newport - 3.3 miles. Had lunch at the Bargemans Rest, Julia and I had Caesar salad, Oli had Caesar baguette, and then we walked back. Oli and Em walked faster than us, and got into the pub for a drink. We went for a snooze. They drank there for a while and then came back for drinks aboard. Just before 1900, we went up for dinner, which was nice. No band or dancing on tables as too quiet. I had signature hunters chicken, Oli had fish and chips, Julia had salmon Florentine, and Em mussels. Back on board, and early bed.

Sunday 02 January 2022

Grey again. As we were rafted we had to wait for the two outside boats to go. And we got off a 1000. Emily joined us !! We drank more sloe gin, and the sun tried a bit to come out. Back in, and Julia did breakfast and then they headed off. Julia and I went to Waitrose, and then to see my mum. Then home

Poole by car, 01/02 January 2022

Friday 31 December 2021

Julia and I went to the boat on Friday but I was constantly checking the weather forecast, which looked bad. So we took the decision not to sail, but to still go ahead with our planned meals and activities as though we had sailed. So we booked Holiday Inn Express Inn Poole, and settled in for New Years' Eve on the boat, which we enjoyed watching TV.

Saturday 01 January 2022

We were a bit sluggish as it was late when we went to bed. We packed up the boat, and popped in to see my mum, and then drove to Poole. Got there through some rubbish weather, and checked into the Holiday Inn. Then set off out and had drinks in the Soho Bar, which was quiet, but entertaining with a group of ladies on a night out. We then popped into the Slug and Lettuce for another drink, and then into Storm for dinner. The food was excellent, along with great service. I had oysters to start and Julia had sardines, which were quite filling. We then both had the gurnard in a mussel sauce, which was yum. We then discovered that the place had changed ownership and it was now Sandip who owned and ran the place - he was nice. last time we were there it was the guy who was Rick Stein's friend who caught his own fish and was so up his own arse ! Anyway - lovely evening. Back to the room and watched more Colony on Netflix and bed

Sunday 02 January 2022

Up fairly late, and found the shower wouldn't give hot water, so not happy about that and got a discount. We drove to Wareham and had a walk around town, and then into the Old Granary for lunch, which was lovely. We both had roast beef. It chucked it down with rain outside, so coming and going by bus as per the original plan, would not have been nice. Then Julia very kindly drove home, where we read the papers and had a quiet evening.

Lymington and Ocean Village, 03/04/05/06 December 2021

Friday 03 December 2021

Julia and I went to the boat late on Thursday, and so were there Friday morning. Simon had been on board and put a new exhaust elbow on and a new fuel pre filter. Also XW Rigging had been on and serviced the in-mast furling. We worked until 1100, and then motored to Lymington with wind on the nose, but not too much and a smooth sea. We had decided to go on Friday, because Saturday looked very windy and on the nose. We got into Lymington fast with a spring tide under us, and moored the closest we have ever been on H2 - right up close to the walkway. We had lunch and a short nap, and then resumed working. Then showers, and a drink in the Haven bar which was nice. Back on board, and Julia did dinner, and we watched a silly movie - Red Notice.

Saturday 04 December 2021

Nice lazy morning, and then in glorious sunshine, but with a very cold and fresh wind, we walked into town to the market. I bought Julia some nice jewellery and we got a few things in town and in the market. Back to the boat and had a snooze, followed by drinks and we then went to Nigel and Suzie's for dinner. Suzie cooked chicken. Lovely meal - nice evening. Very cold and windy overnight

Sunday 05 December 2021

Up early, and unfortunately it was blowing strongly from the North West. Being so close to the walkway, made it difficult to get out. Anyway, managed it ok, but a bit heart in mouth and needed sloe gin to calm down. We were away at 0730. It was windy, but the journey was ok up to Fawley, with the wind on the side, but then turning up Southampton Water, it was wild and bouncy, and very unpleasant all the way up to the Itchen River. In fact we had to slow right up for me to prepare fenders as it didn't calm until we were almost at Ocean Village. Fortunately, there was a lot of shelter in the marina and it was flat calm, and we moored uner the old yacht club. We then sorted out, got changed and went up to Gordon and Christine's flat for their drinks party, which was lovely. Lots of old and familiar faces. Back to the boat for a long sleep, and then we watched Strictly, had a drink, and headed to Bacaro, where we had a fantastic roast. It really was lovely, and a great atmosphere. Back to the boat, and watched the Strictly results, a Simon Reeve and early bed.

Monday 06 December 2021

Up early again, and away at 0730. You wouldn't believe it but the wind had gone 180 and was on the nose. Fortunately, it was light, so it was ok. Nice sunrise this morning, but stil bitterly cold, so we spent most of the journey inside with the heating on. Into Haslar smartly and all packed up and away at 1030. Home and back at work shortly after 1130.

Cowes and Lorna, 20-21 November 2021

Saturday 20 November 2021

Got to the boat Friday, after my booster jab. Saturday morning, off to Cowes at 1015. Motored over in a flat calm. Went to Lallows for fuel and then into the South basin inside the breakwater. Walked into town, and Julia went to Mia’s, then a quick drink in the Anchor, and lunch at Coast, which was lovely as always. We sat in the far left corner on a small table, but it was fine. We both had pizza. Back to the boat and motored back to Haslar. A grey day, but nice. Then we watched the rugby, a thriller with England beating South Africa 27-26 with a final kick from Marcus Smith. In the evening we watched the whole of strictly, and we had bits and pieces dinner of spring rolls, prawn toasts and mozzarella sticks. Then a movie – an animated one - the Whitcher: Nightmare of the wolf.

Sunday 21 November 2021

Slept until 0830 today. Read papers, and enjoyed a lazy morning. Then I left the boat open for Simon to do his extra engine work, and we drove to Lorna’s. Very slow traffic as it was half marathon, and so only one main road out, but we got there on time though, and even stopped off at Force 4 to buy some boat stuff. Then lunch at Lorna’s which was lovely, and brandies after, which was a nice touch.

Hamble, Boys trip 13-14 November 2021

Saturday 13 November 2021

Unfortunately, Rob Taubman cried off at the last minute, so Andy Thomas and Gareth Allen joined me shortly after 0900 for a boys weekend. The wind was firmly on the nose, so we motored to Port Hamble, downing a bottle of sloe gin on the way. We moored into G21 starboard side to easily enough, and the sun came out so we sat outside and had a couple of pints. Then we headed into the village and had lunch at the King and Queen, which was excellent. Gareth and I had the mussels, and Andy a baguette. After that we went to the RAF yacht club, and had a few rounds there enjoying the view and the atmosphere. Then back to the boat to watch England win 32-15 against Australia, and then off to Dolce Vita for dinner. Gareth and I had whitebait, and Andy a brie thing, and we all had pizzas. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't special either. Gareth was by now getting a little tired. Back to the boat for some music, and we retired.

Sunday 14 November 2021

Gareth wasn't too good overnight, but soon felt fine. We had to wait for the tide, so we had a lazy start. I cooked us bacon butties, and we set off about 1100. Motored out to Bald Head, and then hoisted all the sails, and we enjoyed a nice sail all the way to Gilkicker. And again consumed a bottle of sloe gin. I let Gareth and Andy steer. Back in and I tidied inside, while the boys scrubbed the decks, and then we packed up and all headed home.

Yarmouth, 06 November 2021

Saturday 06 November 2021

Unfortunately, Oli and Em couldn't join us, so Julia and I were up and away at 0930 to motor into a very big spring tide, which was just turning. I was keen to get into Yarmouth at high water. The wind was on the nose and started out 4-5 ending up 5-6, but the sea never really got up or slowed us down. Julia made hot chocolate and brandy on the way. We got in to the harbour and into the shelter of the hill, so mooring was relatively straight forward port side to, on the main visitors pontoon. We then had lunch and I had a brief power nap, and then we set off in mainly sunshine with some small showers to walk to Freshwater. We walked inland down there, where we stopped in the Red Lion for a drink, and then came back along the old railway line. From there we went into the Bugle, and caught up with Les Sanger, and then we headed back to the boat for pre-dinner drinks and to change. Then into On the Rocks, and had a nice dinner. Julia had seafood combo, and I had lamb and scallops again, as I had last week. Back to the boat and we watched England thrash Tonga 69-3 at rugby and then to bed.

Sunday 07 November 2021

Up and away for 0900 to take the strong tide. It was blowing a 4/5 north westerly, which was ideal sailing and I put the mainsail up for the first time in ages. It was hard to get out. Anyway, we had a lovely sail up to Cowes, where the wind eased, and the forecast had been for it to drop. So I dropped the genoa, as it was flapping, being shadowed by the main, but then as we cam across the Eastern Solent, the wind actually increased. Which was fine, but gave me a problem dropping the main at Gilkicker, as it had really blown up. It wouldn't go away downwind, so I had to round up in the end. After that we got into Haslar fine, although with the strong tide still flooding and the wind blowing us on, mooring was not as easy as always. We packed up and then headed to see my mum, and then home. A thoroughly lovely weekend.

Yarmouth with Phil and Graham, 30 October 2021

Saturday 30 October 2021

Phil picked me up from home at 0740, and we picked up Graham, and headed to the boat. Got on board, and I had quite a few jobs to do, as the Eberspacher man, Rich, had been to fit a new blower (ouch!). So we got away about 0920, and motored into a 4/5 which felt like 5/6 and was quite bumpy. But the sun came out, so it was nice enough. We got into Yarmouth which was very quiet, and moored on the blue pontoons which are the fingers along the eastern side and went port side to, nice and easy. Then I did bacon butties and had a snooze. Then we watched Scotland beat Tonga on board, and headed to the Wheatsheaf, which was a bit quiet and not really for us, so we headed for the Bugle. This has got much better now, with friendly service which it never was, so we liked that. Then we went on to dinner at On the Rocks, which was nice. I had lamb and scallops, Phil had steak, and Graham the rump lamb special. Back to the boat and watched the Wales v NZ match as we hadn’t seen the score. NZ won easily. Then some music, whisky and bed.

Sunday 31 October 2021

Felt rough this morning – got an extra hour sleep as clocks went back, but we were very slow. The weather was appalling – dark and raining and blowing old boots – recorded 46 in the boat. But the front cleared and the sun came out, although still very windy. We walked to the Off the Rails café and had breakfast – Phil and Graham had full English, and I had 2 poached eggs with hollandaise. Back to the boat and I slept for a bit longer. We hung around for the tide and set off at 1215, and just outside the harbour put up half jib, and we flew downwind. Gusting 40 knots at times – had to hand steer and it was tiring, big waves so we were rolling quite a lot. Finally at Cowes I was able to come onto a broad reach and the wind eased a little – still 20-25 with some gusts, but easier to steer. I let Phil have a go, which he really enjoyed. We got into Haslar and moored without problem, tidied up and Phil drove us all home.

Hamble with Aly and Graham, 16 October 2021

Saturday 16 October 2021

Up early and showered and Aly and Graham turned up on time at 0900 and we set off for Hamble. No wind, so motored and moored onto G29 starboard side too. Quite a bit of tide running but OK. Had lunch and then we went for a walk to the Netley country park, and went on the miniature railway, and walked back. Back, had a snooze, and then drinks and up to the Thaiger Lounge for dinner. Not as good as before though as the food wasn’t so good and the service was poor. It was OK. Back to the boat for music and Graham and I had some whisky.

Sunday 17 October 2021

Up early and away at 0830. We did manage a very slow sail for a while but as the tide turned we gave up. Back in and had breakfast and then cleaned the boat and all headed off.

Emsworth Visitors pontoon, 26 September 2021

Saturday 25 September 2021

Julia and I came down on the Saturday - bad journey because the motorway was shut. We put the genoa back up after XW Rigging had serviced the furler, and then had lunch. In the evening, we ate at the Thai in Gosport, which was nice, if a little noisy.

Sunday, Phil and Jane arrived about 1020, and we motored out, through boat passage / Dolphins, across Hayling Bay and into Chichester Harbour. Grey and drizzle to start, but soon cleared to be a lovely day. Up to the Emsworth Visitor pontoon, and got a mooring easily enough. Idyllic spot. Sat out in the sun, and then had lunch – really lovely. Then motored back into a bit of a breeze so bouncy and lots of spray. Chichester Harbour entrance was particularly bumpy.

Yarmouth 04 - 05 September 2021

Saturday 04 September 2021

Up and away about 0930. Light wind behind, so no sailing. Into Cowes and Lallows for fuel. Then on to Yarmouth. Asked to face east and went onto one of the smaller fingers that way. Had lunch in the hazy sunshine and drank lots of white wine, which didn’t quite agree with me, but lovely lunch. It was too nice not to sit out, so we didn’t cycle. Nice afternoon. Then drinks and into the new and re-shaped On The Rocks. Warm welcome from Josh and Sarah, and enjoyed our meal. Spoke to a nice couple with very well behaved daughters. Back to the boat and watched a nice easy movie.

Sunday 05 September 2021

Up and away at 0830 into the wind. Into Haslar after 2.5 hours, and onto mum’s for lunch. Then home and in the garden, but again quite hazy.

Weymouth with Neil and Jane 27-30 August 2021

Friday 27 August 2021

Neil and Jane arrived and Julia did breakfast. Then we left at 1100, and went against the tide. Took three hours to get to Hurst. Light winds from behind, so no sailing as such. We took a detour along the Jurassic coast to show them Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door. It was cloudy all day. We got into Weymouth shortly after 1900 and waited on the pontoon for bridge lift at 2000. Glad we made that one as it was getting dark as we moored. We were on B15, so I reversed in port side too, so as to face the weather if it was nice enough to sit out. Julia cooked tuna pasta, and we had drinks and music.

Saturday 28 August 2021

Nice lazy morning. We were all tired, and we all slept until 0950. Then coffee and showers, and we went shopping. Back from that and then I prepared smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, and then we all went for a walk around Weymouth and the beach. We had a drink in the Royal Dorset Yacht Club and watched Punch and Judy on the beach. It was really good. Then back for drinks and into Bacaro for 1830. Really great pizza and a nice atmosphere. The banoffee pie for puds was amazing. Then on the way back, Neil decided we were going into the Sailors Return and we ended up drinking Jager bombs. There was a great atmosphere, and everyone was happy. Back to the boat for even more drink and some music.

Sunday 29 August 2021

Up a bit earlier as we had visitors. Showered and coffee and then Neil’s cousins arrived and had a brief look around the boat before heading off with Neil and Jane. Julia and I then prepared lunch – roasting a chicken and boiling spuds and getting a salad and ham ready. Gareth and Doctor Rebecca arrived and Neil and Jane returned. We had drinks outside, and then lunch inside. Followed by more drinks outside. Lovely in the sunshine. A bit breezy but not too bad. Stayed sunny all day for a change. Then the visitors departed and we changed, had drinks, and headed off to Quayside – upstairs, which was fine. Neil and Jane had fish, I had ribeye, and Julia had surf and turf. Back to the boat and less drinks as we knew we had to be up early next day.

Monday 30 August 2021

Up at 0700, and off the berth at 0750. Hung around and got stuck behind some really slow boats. Out to sea, and it was cloudy (all day) and on the nose, and pretty choppy. Motored and eventually put some genoa out to keep speed up and rounded St Albans Head ok. However, after Anvil Point, it was very rough and the boat was slamming and the bow disappearing beneath the waves. So much so, that the vents were overwhelmed and things got wet in the focsle and stuff was thrown about. It settled down eventually as we crossed Bournmouth Bay into Christchurch bay and neared Hurst. Into the Solent and it was a lot calmer, but still choppy. Had the tide under us though in the Western Solent, so we caught up on time, and came into Haslar bang on 8 hours, but wind on the nose all the way – quite the ordeal. We all packed up and left pretty sharpish. Home for drinks and veal burgers, TV and bed

Bembridge with Nigel and Suzie 21-22 August 2021

Saturday 21 August 2021

Nigel and Suzie arrived at 0945, and we departed for Bembridge at 1020. Wind on the nose, so we had to motor over. Was actually quite rough and bouncy, which was a surprise. Arrived at what was supposed to be High water, but had trouble mooring as it was still flooding. That took the shine off the day. Anyway, we had lunch on arrival, and then took the water taxi over to Bembridge, and walked up and around the village. Then a drink in the wine bar, and walked back past the houseboats, and across the causeway back to the boat. Then a nap, followed by G&Ts on board, and walked up to dinner at 33 St. Helens, which was lovely. For starters, I had torched mackerel, and the others had monkfish in batter. For main, Nigel and I had steak, and the girls had fillet of bream. Great atmosphere as ever – Clare and the Canadian waitress Shelbi were great to chat to. Back for nightcaps and bed.

Sunday 22 August 2021

Nigel and Suzie went for showers and a walk along the beach. When they came back, Julia and I walked up and got the papers. Then breakfast, and we motored back. Wind on the nose again! Had to wait outside the harbour for HMS Prince of Wales to come out, which was fun, and then back into port. The weather was nice by now, and sunny, so we sat out on the back and had a beer or two. Then home, and as it was nice, I did a BBQ.

Hamble with Oli, 14-15 August 2021

Saturday 14 August 2021

Oli arrived early ! Put us into a tizz. Showered quickly and got up to the gate. We then had coffee and set off about 0920. Took the boat over to Ryde, and put sails up. Slow but lovely sail in sunshine to the Hamble. Into E15 starboard side to ok, and we then went to the King and Queen for lunch. We had a shared platter, but the whitebait wasn't great, halumi fries, and crab fries, which were delish! Back to the boat for lots of sunbathing – really nice sat on back of boat, and a nap although Oli fell asleep outside and went red. Then drinks and dinner at the Thaiger Lounge – nice - I had kang pang red duck curry, which was medium, Julia had kang panang duck curry, which was mild, and Oli had a pad-thai. Then back for drinks and whisky. Ouch!

Sunday 15 August 2021

Very slow this morning, and it was grey and wet. I got up and cleaned the starboard side with a hoe and the Scrubbis system. Got away about 1045, and it cleared a bit, and the wind got up, so sailed quite a way back too! Lovely. In and Julia did breakfast – bacon and eggs. Then Oli headed off, we went to Waitrose and saw my mum. Julia drove back.

Lymington with Gina 07 - 08 August 2021

Saturday 07 August 2021

Gina turned up a bit early, and the weather was foul. We motored to Lymington, and to start with, it was OK and manageable, but as we got to about 3 miles off, it got quite rough. Got into Lymington YH and got some shelter, and a sympathetic berth - H38 port side to, so blown on, although in truth, it was quite easy. Settled in and had lunch. I was very tired, so the girls went to Lymington without me. Crap weather all day, so all hung about – read etc. I did drinks and then we went to dinner early at 1800. We shared starters – a salmon sharing plate and whitebait, and then I had moules, Gina had dressed crab, and Julia had scallops as a main. We shared ice cream and sorbet for dessert. Back to the boat, and tried to watch a Bill Nighy movie that was terrible, so gave up on that and watched Love and Monsters.

Sunday 08 August 2021

It was wet and horrible overnight and still nasty first thing. Gina didn’t sleep well. Julia got the papers and we set off into rain and wind. Quite bouncy in the river, but settled once we turned with the wind behind, and I unfurled 3/4 genoa, and cut the engine. Lots of big boats about, and it turned out they had postponed the Fastnet start, so we had to sail through them all getting ready. Quite entertaining. Wind stayed 6/7 all the way, and eventually the rain eased a bit. Got into Haslar, and Julia did breakfast, then we packed up and came home

Summer Cruise 2021 - 02-25 July 2021, Weymouth, Alderney and Jersey - 287 nautical miles

Friday 02 July 2021

Gareth arrived about 1440 and we left at 1450 Lot of traffic, and the car park was full due to Round the Island Race. Got the last two trolleys! We then got sorted, and had dinner at Trinitys - Tempura prawns and lamb for both of us. Back on board for an early night

Saturday 03 July 2021

Up at 0320 and away at 0350. Viz quite poor and we had the radar on but didn't really need it. Grey and uneventful motor to Weymouth arriving in good time for the 1200 bridge lift. I did bacon butties around 0800 on the way. Had a beer on arrival and both snoozed. Dinner was at Enfents Terrible, which was great as ever. We had pre starters of Dorset Oysters, and Gareth had a dressed crab and I had scallops, and we both had trout. Yum! Got back and had some more wine. England won their quarter final 4-0 against Ukraine.

Sunday 04 July 2021

Change of plan, and headed for Alderney a day early due to an incoming storm Monday / Tuesday. We took the 0800 bridge lift and were in pole position. Motored out past Portland, and it was too tight to sail - being mainy Southerly and us initially being taken west. I did bacon butties. It got quite rough and bumpy and soon it was apparent that instead of 4-5, we were getting 6-7 and on the nose. Not nice. It really did get quite lumpy, and we were being rolled by waves. As the tide tuned, we were able to put out a small amount of jib, and that steadied us, but it was still bumpy. Had to drop the sail an hour out, and we got in after 9.5 hours. We were escorted over to the eastern end of the harbour, where we were in isolation until the morning to be processed. Had a beer and then cooked chili con carni with rice and rolls. Slept well

Monday 05 July 2021

Up early-ish as we had to be on standby for covid processing. They picked us up by water taxi, and until they had seen all our paperwork (through the Guernsey tracker) they were all in masks and gowns. We got dropped back and had to wait while they processed two other boats until our papers were cleared by Port Control. We then moved over to a normal buoy near the wall and well up the harbour. Never seen it so quiet ! We idled a bit and Gareth made a few calls. I cooked scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, and managed to toast using the grill for the first time. Then went ashore about 3:30 and sat in the Braye Beach Hotel having beers and people watching. A grey day, and drizzling, so we sat inside. Then up to the Georgian House, walking through the rain, which was by now pouring, where we had a bottle of champagne, and then a lovely dinner. We both had ribeye steak - very nice. It was raining a lot as we took the water taxi back.

Tuesday 06 July 2021

It blew hard during the night, and the noise kept Gareth awake. I had drunk quite a lot and had extra brandy, so slept better. It was still blowing hard most of the morning, so we stayed aboard. Gareth making a call, and me reading. Then I cooked scrambled eggs and smoked salmon again, and then we both had a snooze. Grey and dull day, but it cheered up later and the sun came out. We went over and sat out at the Braye Beach Hotel, which was nice. Then marched up the hill to find the Pesked restaurant. Got to where I thought it was and it was something else. A local told us it had moved back down the steep hill we had just climbed! So we went down, and found it has moved into what was Harbour lights. Food was good, and it was packed, but lacked the atmosphere that it used to have. We both had seafood starters. Gareth had duck and I had sea bream. Back to the boat for more wine and music.

Wednesday 07 July 2021

Despite the sunny end to the day before, it was grey and dull and the wind hadn't really gone down so much. So we had another awful lumpy wind on the nose motor down to Jersey with about 18-22 apparent and a very nasty seaway. I managed a few miles with some genoa out to steady, which worked but we sagged off course, so had to drop and harden up. When we finally turned the corner at the South Western tip of Jersey, it all felt so much better and the layers of clothes came off. We motored in to try to find a space on G pontoon as instructed, but no space. Radioed up and they said to raft on F, which we did. We then troopped around to the test centre to get covid tested, and back. I persuaded the office to let us go over to E pontoon as I could see a space, and we did that. We had to isolate until negative test result. We drank beer, and I cooked tuna pasta. Julia got her negative test result and mailed Jersey immigration. Then watched some tennis, and listened to music. Gareth went to bed, and I watched England v Denmark in extra time. They won 2-1 and are now in a final for the first time in 55 years.

Thursday 08 July 2021

Woke up to find the NEGATIVE test result, which meant we were free to leave the boat. Both had showers and coffee. I then went throgh the Jersey form with Julia over the phone. Went into town and booked dinners for the next three nights. Then sat outside in the square and had beer and coffee. Then back to the boat for relaxing in the sunshine to some reggae tunes. Then a snooze. In the evening, we walking into town and had dinner at the Little Thai, I had prawn curry, and Gareth had the duck - wok fried. It was good and back to the boat for Wimbledon Today and bed after a few more tunes.

Friday 09 July 2021

Lazy start - coffee at 0900. I went shopping for essentials, and then we went into town and sat out again in Royal Square. Then back to the boat for some reading time and some tunes. We tracked Julia's ferry and I went round to the terminal in time to catch her as she came through. Back to the boat for some champagne. Then we went to dinner in town at Soy, and we shared starters and I had peking duck, Julia had a poke bowl, and Gareth had sizzling prawns - and the boys had fries.

Saturday 10 July 2021

It rained overnight and was still raining for most of the morning. Gareth went and showered and got croissants and bread. I went up and showered and Julia showered on board. We had breakfast and lazed around the boat all morning, until the rain stopped. Then Julia and I went into town. Back in time for the Wimbledon Ladies final - a cracker with Ash Barty beating Karolina Pliskova in three sets. Sun came out and we sat outside, and soon it was time for dinner back at the Little Thai. Again we shared starters. I had the prawn curry again, Julia and Gareth had the duck. Back for some tunes and bed.

Sunday 11 July 2021

Gareth was up and out at 0830 for showers and bread shopping, and Julia and I got up gradually. Gareth bought bread and croissants and Julia got the papers. Read those and chilled until lunchtime, when we went to the St Malo Bistro for lunch. A nice proper French joint. I had moules frites, and Gareth and Julia had posh (dover sole) fish and chips. Back to the boat and Julia and I watched some tennis, until it was time for Gareth to wheel his enormous bag round to the terminal. We said our farewells and back to the boat. Started raining hard. Had bread and cheese and watched the Euro football final where England – yet again – lost on penalties to Italy. Waste of an evening. Brandy and bed.

Monday 12 July 2021

Rained throughout the night. Lazy morning, and then into town for the fish market, and we also got salad stuff from the covered market and some stuff from the nice hardware shop. Then back to the boat for eggs and bacon. A doze and then back into town later for shopping. I got all the 12v bits I needed and we came back and chilled. I prepared oysters and then cooked gambas in garlic. Watched some TV.

Tuesday 13 July 2021

Lazy morning, but up a bit earlier. Weather improving but not completely sunny. Went into town and bought steak etc. and then drinks at the sangria place. Chatted to Jeremy Peel, father of the owner (Mark), who also came out to chat. He owns this place and the Little Thai. Then back for lunch. A doze and then back into town to sit outside at a wine bar. Got chatting to two couples from Yorkshire. Then back to sit outside, and then I cooked ribeye. Then a movie with Bill Nighy.

Wednesday 14 July 2021

Lazy start, bacon butties, and then off on the bikes to Corbiere. Stopped at St Aubin and booked Lazin Lizard for dinner, then on the trail. Easy on the electric bikes! Lovely sunshine today. Tide was out, so we were able to cycle right out to the lighthouse for the first time. Then back to the hotel and sat outside for a couple of hours, soaking up the sun over a couple of drinks. Then back to St Aubin, and had a drink at the end on the sunshine, and then a great meal. I had scallops on sourdough, and Julia had goats cheese, and then I had sizzling teriyaki beef with prawns and Julia had a super sri-Lankan yellow curry. Yummy!! Nice cycle back into St Helier, and we watched a couple of Orphan Blacks, before bed

Thursday 15 July 2021

Lazy start. Nice and warm for the first time. I showered and we had coffee outside. Went shopping and stocked up, and then back for egg mayo lunch. Spoke to Paul at Sumas to reserve the terrace. Followed by a sunbathing afternoon. Then drinks and off to dinner at Sangrio in Royal Square. Lovely tapas. We had salted cod, an all fish dish, pork belly and potatoes. Really nice. Mark the owner, looked after us and his dad, Jeremy Peel came in for dinner, with his wife, and next door neighbours. Chatted to them, and then back to the boat for some golf highlights, until the data allowance ran out! So early bed. Fortunately it starts again at midnight.

Friday 16 July 2021

Another sunny day. Got busy and away on the bikes by 1030. Got to Gorey at 1130. Mooched a bit and then had a fantastic lunch on the terrace at Sumas. I had oysters and Julia had scallops. We both had turbot, washed down with rose and red wine. Cycled back a slightly quicker way, and I popped into the chandlers. Then lazed and drank. Julia had quite a long sleep. Then we got invited over onto another boat – Neil and Rebecca on their new purchase Joie de Vie. Then rolls and ham and cheese and the open highlights.

Saturday 17 July 2021

Another gorgeous sunny day. Went shopping, and then back for breakfast – eggs and bacon. Tried sitting out, but it was too windy, so went into town and drank in Royal Square. Then back, G&T and V&Ts and then back into town for the Jersey Crab Shack. I had fish cake, and Julia avocado. We then both had crab tacos – although it was mainly avocado, which Julia loved, but I could have done with less. So I have renamed the place the Jersey Avocado Shack. Back for more golf highlights and bed.

Sunday 18 July 2021

Another hot day with slightly less breeze. Went to the St. Malo Bistro for lunch. Sat outside, and had galets and I also had a crepe with calvados. Had more of their Cote de Provence rose. Lovely lunch. Back to the boat for sunbathing. Found a phone on the pontoon, and gave it back to the fishing crew when they came back in. They gave us three mackerel as thanks! I gutted and prepped them ready for dinner tomorrow. We had ham and chees as planned, and watched the highlights of the golf with Morikawa winning, and the highlights of an eventful Silverstone with Lews Hamilton winning after driving Verstappen off the track. Late to bed.

Monday 19 July 2021

Another very hot day. Up and about as we met Jeremy Peel and his mate Paul for coffee at 1030. We ate a couple of croissants. Spent an hour with them and then went to the fish market for oysters and Alliance for a few things. Then back the boat and sunbathed. Lunch was a roll, and then more sunbathing and reading. It was truly glorious. Oysters at 1900, and then I pan fried the mackerel we were given with some Jersey Royals and beans. Yum. Then a couple of Orphan Blacks and bed

Tuesday 20 July 2021

Looked at weather forecasts and decided that Wednesday to Alderney and Thursday for Channel Crossing is us. It does depend on the forecast being right about the change waiting until Friday, so fingers crossed, as it would be nice to have another hot day here. We cycled to St. Aubin and had lunch at the Salty Dog. I had crispy duck salad and Julia had halumi salad. Met a nice couple who trained horses and had sailed a lot. Back to the boat, and sunbathed. I finished reading Oyster River (again) and then dinner at Quayside, overlooking the marina. which was lovely. I had oysters and we both had two fillets of sea bream and fries. Back to the boat to finish Orphan Black and some brandy.

Wednesday 21 July 2021

Very hot again. Showers and coffee and then onto town for shopping. Back to the boat and made her sea-worthy, and then did scrambled eggs and smoked salmon. then waited for the gates to open at 13:56. Got away at 1355 and the sea was smooth, and although the wind was on the nose, it was a pleasant passage. Into Braye Harbour in just under six hours, and sat outside watching the sunset with drinks for a bit, as it was so lovely. Julia cooked chilli con carni. Slept well.

Thursday 22 July 2021

Up just before six and slipped at 0620. I let Julia sleep in. Couldn’t get secondary GPS to work for over an hour, which was worrying, but eventually by many reboots, got the GPS to talk to the iPad, and things were fine. Wind was on the nose, but again a smooth sea, so motored and it got warmer. Eventually got warm enough to stand outside and the wind went round, I put sails up, but there just wasn’t enough, so in the end I left the jib up. Coming round the Needles, I went to furl the job some, so that I could see, and it got stuck. Had to bear off and go up front to free it. Put it to bed and motored in. Sat on the foredeck having drinks and then showered. Came back to find a new boat opposite. We were speaking to one of the women, until we realised it was Jilly Blake !!! (Hair up and sunglasses) Out came Patrick from below, and we chatted while we drank G&Ts on foredeck. Then Nigel and Suzie Brooke came round to share a bottle of champagne (vintage – thank you Gareth) and then they split and Julia cooked Tuna pasta, and after some music, early bed.

Friday 23 July 2021

Easy morning, and sunny. Julia washed the boat down, and I got the bikes ready. We then cycled to Keyhaven along the coast path, which was beautiful. Had a picnic lunch on the benches at Keyhaven, and then came back in by road. Early showers and drinks, and then walked up to Lanes restaurant. Julia had avocado cheesecake, and I had crab for starters, and we both had fillet of beef. Food was superb, service good, but they had put us out on a table upstairs and away from everything, which we didn’t like. Back and watched an Amy Winehouse documentary, and bed.

Saturday 24 July 2021

Cloudy today, and it rained hard and was stormy overnight. Cleared by mid morning, and we went into the market. Bought some meat and Julia bought some books for more summer reading. Then back on board for lunch of ham and cheese, and then had a lazy afternoon in the hazy sunshine. Showered and drinks, and then to Nigel and Suzie’s for drinks, and then into the Haven for dinner. Julia had mussels, which were fab, and I had a whole sea bass and fries with samphire and capers. Back to the boat and watched a Baptiste on iPlayer and then bed.

Sunday 25 July 2021

Up at 0730 and made tea. Julia got the papers, and I got the boat ready to depart. Slipped at about 0830 and motored in no wind. Into Cowes at 1000 to Lallows for fuel – big fill up! and then back out and on to Haslar. Then packed up and went home. Julia went shopping, and later, Oli and Em stopped in on their way back from Somerset, and I did a BBQ of sausages and burgers – under the gazebo – as it rained on and off. Nice to see them. Then some TV and bed

Bembridge RNVR Rally 26-28 June 2021

Got to the boat Friday afternoon, and it was warm and sunny. which we enjoyed, sitting outside. Meal on board.

Saturday, no wind and motored over to Bembridge. Spring tide, and we were early, so difficulty mooring, being taken off by the tide and the wind! Anyway, tied up and enjoyed some lovely weather, sitting out on the back. Drinks at 1800, followed by a safari supper, based on Wyldwind. Allan and Gillian did starters, I did the main and Gordon and Chris did puds and cheese. Nice evening

Sunday, was grey and wet and so a lazy day. We did walk up to St Helens to buy the papers. Afternoon tea aboard Aquarius, and then drinks on Wyldwind. Then all in wet weather gear to go over to Bembridge Sailing Club for the RNVR Rally dinner. We were on a table with Gordon and Christine. Spoke with the Hanrattys and it was a pleasant evening, followed by nightcaps on Wyldwind.

Monday, the weather cheered up, and we waited for the tide, and I tidied the boat readying it for the big trip next week. By 1230, it said 2m depth over the bar, so we headed off and then as it was so nice, stayed aboard in the sunshine for a while. Just as well, since it poured it down on the way home. Nice long weekend and a good rally.

Lymington with Aly and Graham, 19-20 June 2021

Friday night, Rob and Rosie came to Wyldwind for dinner.

Aly and Graham turned up at 0830, and we cracked straight off. No wind, and grey and cloudy / drizzle. Quick motor to Lymington, and into M7 port side to. Had a breakfast on arrival, and then we all went into town for the market after a quick power nap. Nice market, and then back for drinks. Nice drinks, and went to dinner at the Haven bar – we went for 1900, but apparently should have been there at 1815 !! Anyway, it was ok. Back to the boat and watched a flim, but Graham and I fell asleep!!

Lazed in a bit. Lazy morning with papers, and I did scrambled eggs with smoked salmon. Left at 1200, and still cloudy. Then the sun came out, and we had quite a nice journey back. Quick motor back. Then packed up and headed home.

Brighton, Eastbourne and Bembridge, 29 May - 06 June 2021

Saturday 29 May 2021

Up early and away about 0630 to take the tide to Brighton. Little wind, but what there was, was on the nose. Saw dolphins on the way - they didn't play around the boat for long though. Got there in good time and negotiated round a dredger and into pontoon 16 berth 26, tucked in the residents area. Chilled in the afternoon – had a stroll around and had dinner at Prezzo in the marina.

Sunday 30 May 2021

Relaxed morning, and I popped out to the garage to get the papers, and then we walked into Brighton along the sea front – nice weather as well – lots going on and lively. Had lunch at Petit Pois – had oysters followed by roast beef – absolutely delicious. Then a mooch around, and ended up buying four shirts for me, and then met Sammy and Duncan in Plateau for a drink – upstairs so not much atmosphere but nice all the same.

Then back to the boat – we walked along the sea front and then had nibbles etc for supper.

Monday 31 May 2021

Really hot and sunny day, so a relaxed morning, then an Asda trip. And then we chilled all day. Cooked on board. I BBQ-d pork fillet kebabs, having marinated the meat since Asda.

Tuesday 01 June 2021

Quiet morning waiting for the tide. Did pop to Asda to buy a new kettle and get some wine. Then off to Eastbourne – into quite a lively bouncy sea all the way there – on the nose and quite lumpy. Too bouncy to prep well so a scramble to fender up for the lock. Got through and into B06 port side on the left as you go in, and had time to scrub up for dinner which was booked at the Thai Marina. We were put in a pokey little spot, and it was hard to get good service. The food was lovely but service poor. Back to the boat, some TV and bed.

Wednesday 02 June 2021

Fairly lazy start, but pondering the weather forecast at 0830, I reckoned that rather than cycle out to Pevensey, we should go early to Bembridge as that would afford us a sail with the Easterly breeze. The forecast for Thursday was going West and so another on the nose ride for nine hours, just didn’t seem attractive, and whilst we wanted to do Pevensey, we weren’t that enamoured with the place after the slightly sour note of the Thai. So I rang Bembridge and fortunately spoke to Gordon who said he would squeeze us in early for an extra day. Then I went round to get a refund, which took ages because of their system, and we locked out just before ten. They kindly locked us out early and let us get away. Carried sail to Beachy Head, and then cruising chute to Littlehampton, when the wind died and the tide turned, so we motored the last 15 miles, but it had been a sunny morning, and nice under the chute. Got into Bembridge just after HW at about 1945. I had rung up for berthing instructions, and we got a gap at 23 port side to. It was very busy.

Julia served up tuna pasta and we had garlic bread – yummy! Some TV and bed.

Thursday 03 June 2021

Lazy morning, and then we walked around to Bembridge village and did the tut shops, and couldn’t resist the sausage rolls fresh and hot from the local butcher, so we sat on a bench in the sunshine and ate those for lunch, and then went and sat out at the local wine bar – Framptons, having cold rose – sat on the pavement watching the world go by. Lovely. We then walked back and then Julia cooked up the chicken we had bought at Asda.

Friday 04 June 2021

It rained overnight and was pretty miserable throughout the morning, so we mooched about and had a late brunch. It was still cloudy and with a little drizzle, so didn’t cycle but decided to walk to Seaview along the coast as it was low water. We just made it back as the tide was coming in !!! Then G&Ts as the weather had brightened up a little, and a walk up the hill to the restaurant 33 St Helens, and had a lovely meal. We both had the steaks, which were really nice. The atmosphere was good and it was a nice evening.

Saturday 05 June 2021

I set up the bikes in the morning, and we set off to cycle round to Bembridge. We went out to the lifeboat station, and out to see the Crab and Lobster, and then to the windmill, and then back into town, and had picnic lunch on one of the benches in the sunshine. Then moved to the wine bar again, and sat in the sunshine drinking rose, watching the world pass by all over again. Then we cycled back, and I packed up the bikes. It was lovely sunny weather but sadly, too windy to sit out, so we sat inside for a couple of hours. Then we took the water taxi back over to Bembridge and walked up to Fox’s restaurant, where I had sole and Julia had plaice (only because they had sold out of sole!) Lovely meal and we did drink some red wine. Finished just in time to catch the 21:35 number 8 bus back around to St Helens, and then walked back down from there.

Sunday 06 June 2021

Up early and motored back into Haslar – no wind. Packed up the boat and got Lloyd over to review how to fix the sink outlet which hadn’t worked properly since he changed it. Then saw my mum on the way back and then home to site in the sun in the back garden. We had crab salad for dinner, TV and bed.

Yarmouth with Oli and Em, 22-23 May 2021

We all met up on the boat at 0830 Saturday, and despite the gales the day before, we motored into a reasonable sea to Yarmouth. Not as bumpy as we had thought and we avoided the showers. Had lunch on arrival, and Oli and Em popped into town. However, it kept raining, so we gave up thoughts of a walk, and ended up drinking the afternoon away. In the evening, we went to Cucina, a new restuarant for us, and had our first indoor meal out since lockdown. Very nice all round.

Sunday, with threatening weather and the tide, Oli and I got up just before 0600 and got the boat away in sunshine, motoring in no wind back to Haslar, while the girls slept in - and drinking sloe gin. Leaving as we did, we were able to take the last of the tide all the way, and made it into Haslar as the wind and the sea were getting up. We had breakfast on arrival, and then all went to see my mum on the way back.

Bembridge, 15-16 May 2021

Got down Friday after covid jab, and did a couple of jobs. Saturday, motored over to Bembridge in light winds, and onto 22 starboard side. Had lunch, and then a walk to Baywatch and St Helens. Evening, I cooked butterfly lamb - lovely. And watched a movie.

Sunday, we walked up to St Helens for the papers, but the shop was closed for refurb. Back down, had breakfast, and then as soon as we headed off. Quite windy, blown on but got off ok. Motor sailed back quickly - nice reach under genoa, and beat the showers.

Stayed in Haslar, 8-9 May 2021

We got to the boat Friday afternoon, and I put first coat of varnish companionway entrance. We took the decision to postpone Yarmouth and stay in port, as the Saturday forecast was very bad. Friday evening: had drinks on board Ruby in the outside cockpit tent, and Saturday had a chilled day. Julia doing the oven cleaning and me putting another coat of varnish on.

Saturday night we again went for drinks on Ruby.

East Cowes RNVR Rally, Sunday 02- Monday 03 May 2021

Julia and I went to the boat on Saturday as I had my second jab at 1600, so we drove on down immediately after that. So we missed the first leg of the rally to Lymington. However, we were apparently lucky as it poured it down on the coast whereas back up in Alton and Basingstoke, it was fine! We got aboard, and I cooked seafood Paella.

There was no wind on Sunday, so we motored over to Cowes shortly after ten. Punching a little tide, but not as much as we thought. Went onto the fuel pontoon, with only a short wait, and topped up, and then went into East Cowes just before 12. We reversed into B5 stb side to and were right in the corner, and had lunch on arrival. John and Nina were already there, and we said hello. Very soon Gordon and Christine arrived and they were on the other side of the pontoon to us, and shortly after Allan and Gillian moored behind them.

We then did some jobs - Julia the chrome and me putting new covers on the cockpit cushions. Then we went over to Gordon and Christine's cockpit tent and had a couple of glasses. Then we headed to the pontoon party and chatted away, leaving early at 1655 to get to the Lifeboat for a 1700 table for six. Great to be served outside - I had steak and Julia had a burger, and we had a great time. Later back at the boat we watched TV including the final episode of Line of Duty

The forecast for Sunday was doom and gloom - lots of wind and rain. Allan and Gillian and Gordon and Chris left fairly promptly. But we were trapped and had to ask Peter to let us slip out, so that we could get away. We slipped out and motor sailed back with an ever increasing wind. We got in and sorted out and in the car promptly, and got home before the wind and rain really set in. Great weekend though - seeing folk for the first time in ages.

Cowes YH, 24-25 April 2021

Saturday was a strong SE, and proved tricky getting off the berth. Used a mid ships line. Motored to Gilkicker, and then hoisted half a genoa and cut the engine. Very breezy, but behind, so a nice downhill sail. Mooring was ok, as we had help on the shore from the staff and I reversed into S5 std side to deep into the corner. We had breakfast, and then went into town, and ended up in the back garden at the Anchor drinking in the sunshine. Then back to the boat. I cooked ribeye and we watched Page Eight movie on the iPad.

Sunday was still windy, but this time we were into the breeze. Waited for boats ahead to move, and then drove out of a very tight space. Didn't touch anything though, and motored back into a stiff F5/6. Quite bouncy. On the way back, we saw the coastguard helicopter practising high wire. Into port, and mooring wasn't so bad and the wind had eased. Julia did breakfast, and then we went to my mum's on the way back and sat in the sunshine in the garden at home later.

Poole, Weymouth Lymington, 15-20 April 2021

Thursday 15 April, we set off from Haslar in little to no wind, but nice and sunny. Bacon butties on route. Motored to Poole and tied up all fine. Gareth and Rebecca picked us up and we ate outside at Rebeccas. Lasagne.

Friday 16 April, we had early breakfast and set off at about 12:15 and again nice sunny weather. Cold overnight and a slight chill to the wind. Motored around to Weymouth and just missed the 1600 Bridge lift. Waited on the pontoon. Julia went for a walk. I slept. Then into the marina onto A28 Starboard side to. Julia cooked up a nice stir fry.

Saturday 17 April - Lazy morning. Walked around Weymouth and then through the shops, and back for brunch. Smoked salmon and scrambled eggs. Then went for another walk in the afternoon to the Nothe. Lovely sunshine. Back in time for drinks and then to dinner at the Enfants Terrible restaurant, and although the service was slow, and we were sat outside, it was a lovely evening and meal. I had oysters - Julia escargot for starters, and we both had trout. Yum!

Sunday 18 April - another lazy morning and then took the bikes out along the Rodwell Trail. Back and sat outside in the sun drinking and enjoying the weather.

Monday 19 April - we were up and away at the 1000 bridge lift. No wind to speak of, and some fog outside the harbour to start with. It soon cleared and we motored back into the breeze, so felt cold - not much breeze, but enough when you motor into it. Bacon butties on the way. Got into Lymington and sat out in the deckchairs on the foredeck soaking up the sun. Then to Nigel and Suzie's for drinks and then to the Haven bar outside with heaters, where we had a lovely meal along with a lovely sunset. Julia and I shared whitebait, I had a steak, and Julia Hake.

Tuesday 20 April, we were up and away shortly after 1000 and motored again into a little cold breeze. Bacon butties on the way. Tied up in good order and after tidying the boat saw Gemma in the cockpit for drinks, and then drove home.

Haslar Marina, February and March 2021

With the lockdown, we decided to ask Lloyd to get many of our retirement jobs done which included:

    New charger
    Two new batteries for thruster
    Crane for outboard
    AIS Transmit
    New winch under sprayhood
    Changed the locker catches
    Bow thruster battery monitor
    12v output in focsle
In addition
    lift out and anti-foul
    Full service
    Fixed exhaust water trap
    We had the wood brought up to spec
    Replaced the wind sensor at the top of the mast
    Greased the rudder
    New plastic table top

Deacons Hamble, 03 January 2021

We went to Deacons and motored the boat back to Haslar to get it in before lockdown announced - which was Monday 4th.

Deacons Hamble, 23 December 2020

We got Lloyd to move the boat to Deacons for us, and went down to check it all over once he had delivered. On the way back they put Hamble into Tier 1 anyway and that put paid to us being able to use Deacons as a base (Being Tier 2 - not Tier 1)

Yarmouth, 05/06 December 2020

Very windy and huge angry seas outside the harbour. Went out the long way to avoid the Haslar Bank, as it was crashing there. Got rolled badly heading across – sloe gin bottle and winch handle into saloon - the bottle somehow did not break! Got past Gilkicker and put some genoa out, then motor sailed on a very rough and angry sea. The wind and sea eased up at and just past Cowes, and we heard on the radio that Lloyd and Gemma had got their big motor boat out. We got into Yarmouth and moored easily enough on the inside of the hammer head on blue pontoon, starboard side to. Lloyd and Gemma came into Yarmouth too, soon after and we did sloe gin, socially distanced on the pontoon with them. Then it blew old boots and rained hard. Eased a little when we went for more socially distanced drinks outside, and then we went in individual groups for dinner at on The Rocks. We were separated on two separate tables - Julia and I both had sirloin steak this time. As usual a great meal, and then we went back to our respective boats.

Sunday, I wanted to go at 0900 as we had quite an agenda. So we got away and into a much smoother sea and tight motor sail up to Cowes. Then with wind easing and now on the side, it became quite nice going back in. Quickly sorted out and headed to my mum’s for 15 minutes outside the front door, and then home in time for the rugby. Final of Autumn nations, England France at Twickenham. Went to extra time which England just won 22-19. Then watched a cracking grand prix!

Port Hamble, 17/18 October 2020

Saturday, motored in no wind and grey with a little hazy sunshine to Port Hamble. English breakfast on arrival, and a long sleep. Then into the shop Sea and Sky and then a walk along the beach to the Netley Chapel. Then g&t & v&t and then to Thaiger Lounge for a lovely Thai meal with great service.

Sunday, grey again and zero wind. Motored back and headed home for brunch.

Ocean Village to see Gordon and Christine, 10/11 October 2020

Saturday, sunny and windy but on the nose. Down to the boat leaving at 0730. Not too bashy but a shame not to be going the other way. Berthed under the old RSYC building, and had breakfast. Then a snooze and into Southampton. Shopping at West Quay. Got two pairs of earrings for Julia. Back and read papers and then drinks and dinner with Gordon and Christine. Lovely evening.

Sunday, sunny but no wind until we got into harbour !! Nice morning though. Then to Waitrose and mum’s for a roast. Then home, doze, read papers, and lazy supper and TV.

Yarmouth with Aly & Graham 26/27 September 2020

Aly and Graham arrived just before 0830. It was sunny, but bitterly cold in a NNE which meant we had to motor and slam-bam into it until Fawley, when we did get a windward sail down to Yarmouth. Had brunch and snoozes and then a nice walk past the station café and back along the seafront and then drinks in the Royal Solent YC. Then more snoozes and drinks before dinner in On the Rocks. Back on the boat, I was DJ for music night. Great fun including dancing on our ballroom floor.

We all had a lie in, and were slightly jaded! Lazy morning reading papers, and breakfast, waiting for the tide to turn. It had threatened to be still very windy, but it eased to only a 4/5 and it was very sunny. We beat up to Fawley and then reached home – sailing all the way. One of those sparkling sails you will always remember. Then hosed off the boat and all headed home.

Cowes with Gina and Portsmouth Harbour with Jane and Phil 19/20 September 2020

Saturday, Gina arrived and we motor-sailed over to East Cowes. Got fuel at Lallows as our usual place had a big queue, and then into East Cowes – A6 starboard side to. Small problem with a boat Nordic Mist that hit us coming in to moor, but I had placed the fenders well, and so no damage done. Walked to the ferry – Jenny M as chain ferry out of service. Went to the shop Mia as always, and Julia finally got her leggings.

I then went to ISC and sat on the balcony in nice weather, while the girls did some more shopping. They joined and we had drinks, and then into Coast for dinner. We all had whitebait for starter, Julia and I had IOW fillet steak and Gina a crispy duck salad. All very nice. Smaller ferry boat back, and then music and bed.

Up at 0700 on Sunday as we had a packed agenda. Away at 0845 and motored back to Haslar. Gina headed off and Jane and Phil turned up at 1100, and we motored up the harbour to Wicor. Big tide and a big stream running, so I had to moor bows in after one failed attempt. We were on the walk ashore as far out as you can go F6, channel side. Then a Long lovely walk in the sunshine to Portchester Castle, then cold beers and a nice lunch. Walk was rather longer than I anticipated and the musto deck shoes caused me pain on my second right toe. (ouch) I did prawns and salmon starters, and Julia produced lasagne, garlic bread and a salad. Then motored back into Haslar. Then a quick pack up and over to see my mum, and then home – exhausted.

Brighton Bank Holiday 29/31 August 2020

Rolling downwind motor sail to Brighton in sunshine mainly. There was a threat of rain and storms but we escaped bar a few drops of rain. A big storm did threaten us off Brighton, but it went slightly offshore and rained on the wind farm off Brighton, but we stayed dry. We cooked on board - I did stir fry sirloin steak

Saturday, we had a lazy morning, and walked into town to meet Sammy and her friend, Jenny at the Flint House, where Duncan works. We sat outside in blustery cold North wind. Then Julia and I had a mooch round and got a coffee, and then had a wonderful seafood dinner at Englishes. I had oysters, Julia calamari, and we both had plaice for main. Great service from Tomazzo, who is from Italy and looked after and chatted to us. We got the number 7 bus back.

Sunday, was again sunny first thing, but cold North wind again. We walked into town for lunch at Petit Pois, a french place, and that was wonderful too. Julia had a roast sirloin, and I had beef short rib. We then did some more mooching and walked back to the boat. Had a snooze and then nibbles and some TV and bed.

Up at 0730 and made tea. Nice sunny morning. Little or no wind. Left at 0915, and motored back to Haslar on a flat sea in lovely sunshine. I had a doze as did Julia. Got in after 6 hours, and Julia drove back. We then had a BBQ outside at home.

Bembridge with Aly and Graham 22/23 August 2020

Big spring tide this weekend, and lots of wind, so decided to arrive at HW, so leaving much later than usual. Aly and Graham arrived late morning, and we had a proper breakfast. It continued to blow hard from the SW, as it had done for a couple of days - Friday being incredibly windy. So the sea was up and it rarely got below 30 knots on the way over to Bembridge. Fortunately it was a SW, so a reach, and we did have a cracking sail with half a genoa from Number 4 buoy to St Helens Fort. It was bumpy though, and hard work as I had to weave around a barge under tow, and a mad rib fishing, that kept moving into my path. Tricky mooring (30 stb / premier section) in such a breeze at the Duver pontoon, especially now due to Covid, they are all finger pontoons which are across the current and the prevailing wind. Chilled afternoon, followed by a walk up the hill to the restuarant, Number 33 St Helens which provided a superb meal, with great service and banter from Clare who was front of house. Nice walk back along the causeway, and cheese and port on board.

It was still windy Sunday morning, but in the early 20s, not 30s, and gradually dropped into 18-20 range. Julia and I picked Sloes in the morning, and Aly and Graham went for a walk. Then a nice lunch, and we headed back. By now the sun had come out, and with 18-20 knots SW, we put main and 3/4 genoa (so as to see other boats in the Solent)out, and had a fabulous beam reach all the way back to Spit Sand Fort. That was really nice. Then packed up and headed home - nice weekend.

Yarmouth RNVR YC Rally 15/16 August 2020

Up and away by 0830, on our way to our first RNVR YC Rally. Very poor viz, so radar on, although it was about half a mile, so not too bad. It was wet as in mizzle, which turned to full on rain from time to time. We motored as there was no wind, and got into Yarmouth about 1030. Because the weather was so poor, the usual exodus hadn’t happened, so we had to hang off the non walk ashore. We picked up Gareth and his gear, who had come over by ferry to join us, and then hung around a bit until we got called over to a space where the RNVR rally boats had been allocated. We reversed into Y2 and soon after Alouette came alongside, with Tom and Madelaine and Mike and Eileen. We finished our coffee and chatted to Gareth and then had drinks at the Royal Solent, and got some nibbles on the way back from the deli. Had a doze, and then we had champagne with Gareth and shortly after John and Nina Kavenagh joined us at our invitation, as Nina had very kindly sponsored us into the RNVR. Then we all got dressed up in club rig, and went to dinner at the Royal Solent, where we were also seated with the Kavenaghs. After dinner, Gordon and Christine and Allan and Gillian joined us for drinks, and a good time was had by all.

On Sunday, Gareth had to take the first ferry so we were all up and about, and we went into town with him to say goodbye and get the papers. We then had to wait for those outside us to head off, before we could go, and unfortunately, by the time we could get away at 0930, the tide was against us all the way. Again no wind, and it did not stop raining either, so it was mainly a motor from inside with the windscreen wipers on. It was still chucking it down as we came in so we got soaked, tying up and unloading. Then home, and by the early evening, it brightened up and we hosted a BBQ for our neighbours Tom and Steph. Nice evening.

Yarmouth 08/09 August 2020

We both worked Thursday evening and started very early Friday, so that we could get away Friday afternoon. It was a lovely sunny hot day, with a light SE, so we were able to carry the chute. It was lovely, and then we had Sir Ben Ainslee whizz across our bows, very close (see the photos section). We carried the chute up to Gurnard, where the wind died, it went cloudy and the light wind came on the nose, so we motored into Yarmouth and onto V5 starboard side to - seaward side. The harbour was absolutely rammed, and it was a tight squeeze in!

Saturday, we went for a walk to the Red Lion, but hadn't booked and there was nowhere to sit for a drink, so we walked back up the other side of the water, and flopped after 4.1 miles in searing heat. Chilled in the afternoon and met Aly and Sharon in Scooby, a boat they had chartered from Mercury, who moored next to us with three of their four daughters. Then we had drinks on deck and went to On the Rocks, which was hot, but still great. Chatted to Josh and then back for drinks on deck and bed.

Sunday was again hot and sunny - into the thirties again. We got the papers and headed back under motor to Haslar. We had lunch on arrival, and then home ahead of the traffic and a BBQ at home.

Cowes with Oli and Emily 01/02 August 2020

Sunny at first, then sunny intervals. Quite a westerly breeze to motor into. Oli and Em arrived on time, and we had coffee. Motor sailed over in lovely sunshine, but wind on the nose. Queued for the fuel pontoon for quite a while. Then into Cowes YH onto S4, starboard side to just behind a beautiful old motor boat called Camero, with an RSYC couple on board. We had lunch, and then Oli and Em met up with George and Lottie in the Anchor, and Julia and I went shopping. I bought new Dubarry boots (donating my old ones to Oli) and then we met them all in the garden at the Anchor.

Then all back to the boat for more drinks, and then Oli, EM, Julia and I went to Coast for dinner. Lovely meal and evening. Julia and Oli had fish and chips, Em, a pizza, and I had steak. Back for nightcaps and bed.

Oli was up a bit too early, so I got up. Emily stayed in bed until Haslar. We had coffee and left about 0900 to take the tide. Forecast F4, but no wind. We did try to sail, but gave up. Motored in and had a full English, and then all to my Mum’s via Waitrose. Then we all split

SummerCruise 04 - 26 July 2020 - 345 NM

Passage to Lymington, Sat 04 Jul 2020

Gareth and I were away at 0930 smashing into 30-38 knots apparent on a long bouncy motor to Lymington. It was more of an ordeal than anything, but we needed to be at the other end of the Solent ready to go cross channel as soon as the weather allows. Moored in Berthon, had a couple of beers and lunch, popped to the shops, then chilled. I cooked magret de canard and we had a music night. Still very windy.

Lymington, Sun 05 Jul 2020

It was sunny but still ver windy with some very strong gusts and the sea was rough, so we stayed in Lymington. I cooked bacon butties and Gareth did some cleanin. We chilled and got an Indian takeaway in the evening

Passage to Cherbourg, Mon 06 Jul 2020

Gareth and I were away at 0400 out of Lymington, lit by the "Buck" moon. It started to get rough as we went out through the Needles channel and when we got to Bridge, we hoised 2/3rds genoa and sailed fast through a very rough sea. The boat was flying but it was very rough. The forecast was 5-7 WSW going W then NW decreasing 5-6

The tide took us East and a bit further than I would have liked, and when the wind neither eased or went even West let alone, NW, we had to smash our way into Cherbourg, with wind over tide. We were doing 9 knots but being slammed all over by the confused seas. We got in after 12 and a quarter hours, and it was lovely and sunny. We were tired. Evening meal of steak in the marina restaurant Equipage. You had to wear a mask to walk through the bar, but not in the restaurant itself, which was about 20 feet away !

A day Cherbourg, Tue 07 Jul 2020

A day in port for us today. Lazed in bed and Gareth got the croissants and it was another lovely sunny day with hardly any wind. We went into town, had a coffee and then into Carrefour for a new hoover and a breadknife. France is pretty relaxed about the covid rules. You are supposed to wear as mask indoors in shops, but we didn't need to wear one in Carreour, but they were marshalling social distancing at the tills.

We then chilled on the boat - me sitting in warm sunshine on the deck. Then into town for a drink and another steak at Pantagruel. It tasted great, but we both had very instant bad stomach issues. Early night again.

Cherbourg to Dielette, Wed 08 Jul 2020

Up and away at 0500. Very grey so quite dark, and the wind was a steady 5-6, so we had 25-30 knots apparent on the nose, which was all very unpleasant. Another rough trip - very rough indeed at Cap de la Hague - with one monster slamming wave that stood us up. Then rolling down to Dielette, and a surf into the harbour. Grey all day. Both of us very tired. Three rough passages.

Very quiet and grey day in port then. Walked up to the nice restaurant but while open at lunchtime, he said closed this evening, as was the other one in the marina. So the moules place, which was fine. I had fish and chips, and Gareth had a burger. Back on board for music and wine and bed

Dielette to Granville, Th 09 Jul 2020

Both slept very well until 0900. Another grey F5 SW kind of day. relentless. I did bacon butties, and it was a lazy morning. Left at 1300 and smashed out to the headland. Turned left and it was too tight to sail but a nicer sea than any of the previous days.

Gradually as we headed South, the sea got calmer, the sun came out, and the wind went onto the beam at 15-18 knots. Out came the sails, off with the engine, and for a couple of hours, it was a wonderful sail. It got windier so we dropped to genoa, and sailed with that to the Granville headland. It had clouded over, and was a bit blowy. The gates opened on time at 2018, and we came in shortly after to let the initial rush settle. It was not busy and we were able to go back onto the berth we had last year right next to the Visiteurs sign. A nice spot with a view of the entrance.

We rushed off and got dinner in the nearest restaurant which was fine, and then flopped into bed.

Granville, Friday 10 Jul 2020

Slept until 0900. A lovely sunny warm day, albeit with a breeze. Gareth got the croissants and bread, and we had coffee and breakfast. I sorted out the paperwork with the marina office. Nice warm and sunny day. Gareth cleaned the boat and I did a few jobs. Julia didn’t arrive until 6pm, and then we drank the magnum of pink champage, and I had booked Pirates, which was a great night out.

Granville, Saturday 11 Jul 2020

Lazed in until 0900, and then Gareth got breakfast as usual. Gareth then drove us south of Avranches to a Carrefour hypermarket and we bought wine and Leffe. Then lunch and went for a walk around the old town. Evening we went to the Morrocan, which was OK.

Granville, Sunday 12 Jul 2020

Another warm sunny day. Gareth got breakfast as usual, and then we moved the wine and beer from Gareth’s car to the boat and Gareth’s kit to his car. Then fond farewells. Chilled in the sun, and went out for a pizza in the evening at La Bisquine along the commercial front. Early to bed, but I was woken by yoofs fishing, drinking and talking on the pontoon. Julia slept through it all.

Granville, Monday 13 Jul 2020

Still warm and sunny. Up at 0900 and had tea, and papers and I had a shower. Then we bought gambas and I booked the Chausey trip for Thursday and met Julia in Carrefour. Then lunch in Pirates in the sunshine. Service and food average this time – they were too busy. Back to the boat and we both read in the sun, until it started to cloud over. Then inside on laptops and back outside as it warmed up a bit.Got chatting to Ann and Guy in Mooie meid (Nice Girl) and invited them aboard for drinks. We then shared dinner, eating in their cockpit. Then inside theirs for more drinks. Lovely evening. Unfortunately again, we had some more fishermen at midnight, this time quite unpleasant types who wouldn’t move away. I rang the police, but by the time they arrived the blokes and their girl with a pushchair had gone.

Granville, Tuesday 14 Jul 2020

Bastille day in France. A bit jaded this morning. Moved the boat to the other side of Ann and Guy, to be away from the fishing spot. Had mackerel and some crab for lunch and bought a chicken for dinner and then went for a long walk through the shops and around. Many places closed because of Bastille Day. Grey and miserable all day – and odd bits of drizzle. Reheated the chicken with boiled potatoes in Dijon mayonnaise and then invited Ann and Guy round for drinks.

Granville, Wednesday 15 Jul 2020

Lazy morning again. Still grey but getting warmer. Out to the shops and booked for dinner, and I booked a haircut. Back for lunch – yesterday’s chicken. Then my haircut while Julia went shopping. Nice cut, if a little short. Then I bought three shirts in Devred. Always buy stuff in that shop every trip to France. Back to the boat for drinks and a snooze. Then a lovely dinner at the Cabestan down on the commercial front. Patrick and Blandine rang, and they are coming to see us on Sunday. Back to the boat for some TV - iPlayer Ashes to Ashes and bed.

Granville, Thursday 16 Jul 2020

Up at 0630 for shower. Then on the ferry to Chausey. Quite cool and grey through the morning. Arrived and straight in for a coffee. Then walked for two hours – really nice island. Then into the Hotel du Fort for a beer and then a really nice lunch. Julia had tataki tuna and I had gravelax salmon for starters and we both had moules. All good. Then another hour or so walking as the sun finally started to appear, and it turned out to be nice and sunny and warm for the rest of the day. Back to the Hotel du Fort for another couple of beers and deck chairs in the sun, and then the ferry back. Quick shop and sat in the sunshine. Then had a light supper, and final drinks with Ann and Guy. Then iPlayer again and bed.

Granville, Friday 17 Jul 2020

Another grey day. Lazy day today. Met Nick and Vanda in a Hanse 385 who moved next to us because of the fishermen – same issues as we had. It stayed grey all day and only brightened up a little quite late on. We didn’t do much other than walk into town to the butchers. I had a really shitty email from work which took the shine off the day, but otherwise we didn't do much. We ate on board – stuff we had for lunch, and we bought brochettes we brought earlier with new spuds and beans. We watched a movie and bed.

Granville, Saturday 18 Jul 2020

At last a proper sunny warm summer’s day. We got up and went into the market which was fun. Back and ate sausages from the market and then went for a walk out to see the harbour entrance at low water, and also walked around to the other end of the marina. Then sunbathed and I paid the marina, ready for our depart on Monday early. While we were looking one way, we could see some folk on another boat getting excited and reaching for their cameras. After a minute or so we turned to look and there was a dolphin playing right there in the marina. Of course by the time, I got my camera out, it had gone underwater and slipped out without surfacing again. We then had drinks with Nick and Vanda and went out to dinner at the restaurant Parfum Poivre, recommended by the lady who cut my hair, and we had a fabulous meal. The best chateaubriand I have ever tasted and Julia had salmon. Nice evening. Back for some TV and bed.

Granville, Sunday 19 Jul 2020

Grey and depressing this morning. Did jobs on boat. Some water under the engine which I think is from the rudder stern gland, which probably needs greasing or the volvo seal which may be in need of replacing. Went into town for shopping and there was a brocante which was fun. We bought some wine glasses. Then we got a call from Patrick and Blandine who were already on our boat. We quickly finished our shopping and got back. We had a bottle of champagne with them and then off to lunch at the Le Cabestan again. Great meal. This time Julia and I both had the cooked oysters. Julia and I both had cod. Great to be with Patrick and Blandine again.

Back to the boat and by now it was hot and sunny. Chatted and drank a few more with them. Then they left and we did another shop and then had drinks on board inviting Nick and Vanda aboard. Then a nice supper of herrings and Vietnamese crab sticks. Then TV and bed.

Granville -> Dielette, Monday 20 Jul 2020

Up and away at 0523 as soon as the gate showed 2m. Bit of a smash bash for the first couple of hours, but as the sun came up and things warmed up, it eventually went smoother and slightly less wind on the nose. However, it was on the nose all the way to Dielette. Got in after 7.5 hours in glorious sunshine. Moored inside the lower pontoon waiting for the gate to move into the upper area shortly after 1730. Found that the moules place was shut, so stayed aboard. I did oysters and then Julia cooked gesiers for us. Lovely evening. Lovely sunset.

Dielette -> Cherbourg, Tuesday 21 Jul 2020

Up at 0630. Very cold this morning. Away just before 7 and a nice morning. We had a spring tide under us, and were quickly up to Cap de La Hague. It was very smooth for a change, and at one point we hit 13.4 knots SOG. Becoming a warm summer day, and we got into Cherbourg after a little over three hours. Had bacon butties which I cooked, after Julia hosed the boat. We then went into town, got shopping and had a drink at our old haunt, the Bucaanier. Drank a new ( to me ) Belgian beer call Cisey. Nice. Hot and sunny there, but a bit windy back on the boat but ok. We were both tired, so slept for a bit, then up and off to Pantagruel. Where we both had filet steak, as Julia’s favourite liver dish was off the menu. Back to the boat and sat inside reading and chilling. Lovely sunset, but a little too chilly to sit outside. Early night.

Cherbourg, Wednesday 22 Jul 2020

Lazy morning. Cold again first thing, but becoming a warm summer day with much lighter breeze. Went and got bread and croissants, which were consumed outside with OJ. Weather was nice and sunny but too windy to sunbathe. So we went into town and had drinks at the Boucanier in the sunshine and out of the wind. Came back and snoozed / read, and then gin and tonics in the cockpit and out to dinner at the Galette place - Le Ty-Billic, where we have been many times. It was a really good meal and we both had the campagnarde. Back to the boat for more iPlayer, Ashes to Ashes, and bed. Liverpool beat Chelsea 5-3 and were presented with the Premiership trophy.

Cherbourg, Thursday 23 Jul 2020

Grey and humid today. Up and into the market, which was great. Bought seafood and veg and strawberries, and then drinks at Boucanier again. Then back to the boat for lunch and sat indoors the afternoon. It stayed grey and rained in the evening. During the afternoon, we booked a replacement holiday to Greece as our previous one was cancelled. Then we went into town and had a fabulous pizza at the Moulin just along from Pantagruel. Back to the boat, got seaworthy, and relaxed with an early night for me.

Cherbourg -> Lymington, Friday 24 Jul 2020

I didn’t sleep that well, waking up regularly. Up at 0330 (FST) and away at 0400 into picth blackness. Lovely picture looking back to Cherbourg. Sea very lively and the wind F5 W. Much more than forecast. Julia stayed down below for the first seven hours, as it was a bit bouncy, but it calmed and calmed. I had full genoa and half main as soon as it was light with light engine – tried without, but too slow. Full main as it got less with more revs and then full 2800 in the end. Gas ran out which was odd, but later discovered that it had come out of the strap and worked the valve loose, so it had leaked gas. Stank of gas in the chain locker ! The wind picked up a bit and then fell back. Dropped all sails at the needles and motored into Lymington. It had been a grey day but it did brighten up a little as we came in but still a bit too breezy for sitting out. I slept for a bit, and Julia had a shower and a mooch into Lym. I then showered and after spending time on the phone to Easyjet (1.5 hours waiting to sort out a spelling mistake) we had G&Ts and Oysters and fish-kebabs with filet de gode. (eglefin / haddock) Lovely evening. Bed early for me – Julia stayed up and watched TV.

Lymington, Saturday 25 Jul 2020

Well it rained overnight, and it is windy and grey and drizzle with more rain forecast, so actually, we are please covid cancelled our party plans as an outdoor event today would have been a bit miserable. Had showers, and coffee, and then went into the market. Lovely trip to the market. Bought more pies, I got my cable ties, and we got a present for the neighbours. Back to the boat for brunch, and then chilled until Nigel and Suzie arrived for drinks. During which time, it rained very hard. Drinks was fun and then we saw their house and went to dinner at the Yacht Haven. Very nice I had ribeye but It was in a paris butter which actually had curry powder, so although the meat was good, it spoiled it a bit for me. Nice evening.

Lymington -> Haslar, Sunday 26 Jul 2020

Weather cheered up a bit. Walked to the Haven for papers. Back for coffee and then away out of Lym. Lovely F5/6 SW, WSW. Genoa up at Jack in the Box, and sailed all the way to Wooton, and motor sailed in from there, dropping round Gilkicker. Loaded wine and beer and got away before 3, and made M&S in Alton. Home and watched the Premiership finale, read papers, had dinner, TV and early bed. Had a great holiday - weather though very mixed.

^^^^^End of - SummerCruise 04 - 28 July 2020 - 345 NM ^^^^^^^^

Day trip to Lymington, Sun 13 Jun 2020

We were both awake shortly after 0300, so we said, why not go and take more of the tide, so we got up and headed down to Haslar, and were away at 0545. Lovely SE breeze, so sailing with a small amount of motor. (2k) 2.25 hours and onto the Town Quay, which is all new, and very well appointed. Lovely sunny day, with some breeze. Had a snooze, and then headed into Lymington, and the market was on. I got my watch batteries changed, and we bought meat.

Back to the boat and Nigel and Suzie came for drinks in the cockpit in the sun. But out of the breeze. Then we had lunch and headed off at 1345. Rough old motor back. It had gone East so right on the nose with a nasty boat-slowing chop. Took over three hours. In and away promptly. Home and I did a BBQ.

Day trip to Bembridge, Sun 07 Jun 2020

Nice sunny morning. Off to the boat and over to Bembridge – scraping in on the rising tide. Lots of tide running so abandoned the first offer of G4 and went onto G5 ! Not many other boats. Got a taxi ride over to the beach and did the walk around the town and along the houseboats. Then beer in cockpit, and Russ and Lisa turned up and moored alongside. We then had a socially distanced lunch and then headed off at 1430. We then popped up to Lee on the Solent and saw my mum outside. Then home, and it was now a darkening sky. I put up the new gazebo just in time, and then did BBQ lamb again. With boiled spuds in mayo and green salad. Corn on the cob for starter

Day trip to East Cowes, Sat 30 May 2020

Up at 0630, on the road at 0720 and boat 0810. I fuelled up and topped up water and we left at 0915 with Lloyd, Gemma and Taylor in Sapphire just ahead. We steamed past and arrived in East Cowes onto A6 in reverse port side to. Hot and sunny day. They pulled up alongside in A5 and we then had sloe gin and got our free bottles of wine from the office. Then walked into Cowes via chain ferry. Had drinks outside bought from Coast. Then back for cockpit lunch. Motored back – Lloyd zig zagged. We headed for home. Sat in the sunshine out front, then I did a BBQ burgers and weird sausages. Lovely. We then watched movie Late Nite with Emma Thompson.

Another Potter up the harbour , Mon 25 May 2020

Bank holiday Monday - hot and sunny. Off and away to the boat at 0830, and after I did a couple of jobs, speed, fixed the steps, etc. we motored up to harbour to the very top of Wicor and sat on the end of their last pontoon (Wicor West) and had lunch and watched the world go by. Lovely! Motored back at 1400 as the tide turned, and headed for home at 1500 ahead of the Bank Holiday traffic. Then relaxed in the garden. Then did a BBQ

Day trip to Bembridge, Thu 21 May 2020

Another hot and sunny day. Gordon at Bembridge rang as we drove down and we were booked in. We motored over and got G3 finger and we went for a lovely walk. Then spoke with Gordon and had lunch. Back into Haslar and then home – dinner at home this time. It has been hard on my knees these past two days, and I was / am very tired. Watched Chelsea Flower show from previous years as it’s off due to C19, and another life on mars.

Day trip to Newtown Creek, Wed 20 May 2020

Saw the weather was going to be good and hot, so took a couple of days off ahead of the bank holiday, and hopefully, the crowds. We were up and away early and so got a buoy and it was filling up quickly. Glorious hot and sunny weather. Nice lunch, and we even managed the chute up on the way back, but then it got a bit messy as the snuffer wasn’t working too well.

Got in and Julia did her girls call on the foredeck in the sunshine and I started dinner. Gas ran out, so had to change the bottle which was hard with my knees, and I had to cut the strap!

Potter in the harbour - first trip out after lockdown, Sun 17 May 2020

Not so warm and sunny as hoped for. Up and away to the boat. Stopped at Gosport Waitrose, and then onto the boat. Had breakfast and then we went for a motor up the harbour. Primarily to turn the boat round as Lloyd had left it in backwards. Sunny but a small breeze and sweatshirt weather. Back in and then saw my mum outside of the building. Then home and chilled, slept. I did burger on the BBQ and it was finally warm enough to sit outside.

Blast out and back, Sun 22 Mar 2020

Six weeks after my knee operation (both knees replaced), we were aware that lockdown was imminent, so we went down to the boat and whilst it was quite windy, I wanted to see how my knees were on the boat We sailed out to Horse Sand fort and back, which was exhilarating and it was sunny. My knees held up OK and the mext morning the country went into Lockdown!

Cowes with Gareth, Sat/Sun 01/02 Feb 2020

Julia was on a Girls weekend up in London, so it was a boys weekend. Gareth came down on Friday night, and we ate in Trinitys at Haslar. Saturday morning, we had sunshine and a 5/6 on the nose, so motored against a changing tide over to Cowes where we fuelled up and went into the Yacht Haven. I then did bacon butties, and we went into Cowes and drank at the ISC.

Back on board to read the papers etc, and had bubbles pre-dinner. We ate at Coast, which was splendid and then nipped into the Anchor for a beer, and then back to the boat for some red wine and music.

Sunday, also sunny with a good 5/6/7 blowing from the SW, so we hoisted sail outside the harbour and sailed all the way to the war memorial. It was gusting F7, so glad we only put the genoa out, especially as it was mostly dead astern. Cracking sail to finish this phase of sailing, before I go into hospital and get both knees replaced! It will be nearly Easter by the time I am sailing again. Great weekend with Gareth, and look forward to sailing with him again later this year.

Bembridge with Richard and Helen, Sat/Sun 25/26 Jan 2020

Richard and Helen arrived shortly after 0900 on Saturday morning and as there was hardly any wind and what there was, was on the nose, we motored over to the Duver pontoon at Bembridge Harbour. Hardly any boats so easy mooring. We then paid and took the water taxi over to the beach, and walked up to the Olde Village Inn for lunch. Then the girls walked back and I went with Richard in a taxi, stopping briefly at the Vine to make sure the beer was still OK :)

We ate on board. I was supposed to cook, but didn't feel too good, and sat out the meal - joining later as I improved. Still a nice evening.

Sunday, was grey and rain and wind were on the way, so we went as soon as we had enough depth and got into Haslar before the rain arrived. Breakfast on arrival, and then off our separate ways.

Cowes, Sat/Sun 18/19 Jan 2020

Up and away to the boat early. Lots of traffic on the road. Motored over to Cowes Yacht Haven, and into S8 – reversed right up to the end. Breakfast. Lovely sunshine and warm on the water. First proper weather since September. Cold too! Into Cowes – Julia's favourite Mia was closed for refurb, like most of Cowes, but up to ISC and a nice drink. Then back to the boat and a snooze. Gin and Tonics and then to Coast for my birthday meal. Nice fillet steaks, but they were mean on my scallops for starters – only three for £10! Otherwise pleasant. Back to the boat and tried to watch an Amazon Prime movie but internet too slow. Chatted to Amazon and they refunded. I then downloaded from dropbox and we watched another movie.

Lovely sunny morning. I made tea. Then Julia got the papers and I cooked scrambled eggs and we had them with smoked salmon. Then it was lovely and warm in the sunshine despite the cold and a motor back in the sunshine to Haslar. Then to my mum’s and then home to read papers etc. and then to Gina’s who did me a birthday roast lamb. Then home for TV. Best birthday present of the day was Liverpool beating Man Utd. 2-0 and going 16 points clear with a game in hand !!! So stayed up late watching match of the day.

Yarmouth, Sat/Sun/Mon 28/29/30 Dec 2019

Saturday morning, Motor sailed up to Yarmouth - very grey with little wind. Managed full genoa with engine to Cowes, when it got too tight and so dropped it. Glided into Yarmouth and had brunch. Then went into Yarmouth and met up with Les Sanger in the Kings Head, who we haven't seen for a while, and then back to the boat for a G&T, and then off on the bus to the New Inn, where we had dinner. There wasn't the usual big fish selection, and it was not as great as it had been in its heyday, so won't rush back.

Sunday was was still grey, and we bought the papers and took the bus into Cowes. (change at Newport bus station) We then had a great brunch at the Island Sailing Club - eggs benedict, and then sat and read the papers. Then wandered around the shops in Cowes and Julia bought some more trousers at Mia, and then we took the bus to Newport, where as we had a half an hour wait, we also checked out the Newport Mia! Then a lovely bus ride back into the setting sun to Yarmouth, and a quiet night in.

Monday, it tried to brighten up at last, and we had hazy sunshine, but no wind, so a gentle if quick motor home on the top of a spring tide. In and had brunch, and then headed home for the new year.

Ocean Village, Sat/Sun 21/22 Dec 2019

Saturday morning, Motor sailed up to Ocean Village in sunshine. Very tight F5/6 until Southampton Water, and then freed a bit. We were literally the only yacht out in the solent. It blew up horribly as we went to moor under the old clubhouse, and rained. Had to take a second go! Settled in and walked the new long walk around to the new office under the hotel. Then back and a snooze. It then really chucked it down which was unfortunate for Gordon and Christine who came round for G&Ts and dinner. I cooked cassoulet, and a good evening was had by us all, and it was great to catch up with them

Sunday was lovely and sunny, with a F5/6, so we sailed / motor sailed over to Cowes for fuel and a lunch stop at the Yacht Haven. Again, we were the only boat out, although we saw another two throughout the afternoon! We filled up at Lallows this time, and after brunch, Julia did some shopping. The eberspacher was playing up again so I fiddled with that. Then a lovely downwind sail, surfing our way back into Haslar. I then stripped out the eberspacher fuel filter and cleared out the muck, which solved the problem.

Stayed in Port, Sat 14 Dec 2019

We had planned to go to Cowes and Coast for lunch on Saturday for Julia's birthday, but it was blowing old boots on the nose, so we panned that idea, and became bus wankers for the day, taking the bus into Fareham and after some shop browsing, we had a wonderful lunch at Antonio's. Very good. In the evening we again took the bus to Southsea for the Area 15 Xmas party, and Russ and Lisa very kindly gave us a lift home.

Sunday we went home.

Lymington, Sat/Sun 30 Nov / 01 Dec 2019

Saturday morning, headed for Lymington, 5-7 Easterly which should have been a nice sail, but it was very rough. We were rolled about all over until Cowes with beer cans flying and so forth. It calmed down in the Western Solent and was a bit lighter as we came into Lymington Yacht Haven. We went port side to onto G27 next to a versa-berth and it was all fairly easy. Had brunch and a snooze, then paid the bill and saw Nigel and Max briefly, and then walked into town. Back to change and then drinks with Nigel and Suzie and dinner with them at the Yacht Haven restaurant. Unbelievably, a first for us, and it was really good.

Sunday was lovely and sunny, but quite cold with a biting northerly / nne 5/6, so we motor sailed up to Hillhead, ducked behind the racers and hoisted sail and got a lovely reach along to Gilkicker - quite wonderful - and it was just one of those sparkling sails you will always remember! Then we saw my mum on the way home.

Yarmouth, Sat/Sun 16/17 Nov 2019

Northerly 5-6-7, so from Gilkicker, we had an exhilerating sail all the way to Yarmouth - full genoa and half main. Really lovely to have such a nice reach. Went for a nice walk around Yarmouth out along the coastline and back via the railway line. Then a drink in the Yacht Club and lunch back on board. Snooze in the afternoon, drinks and then dinner at On the Rocks.

Sunday was lovely and sunny, and we motored back. It was lovely but just past Cowes, we learned that Julia's mum had just died. This was a bit of a shock and so sailing in was less enjoyable. Nonetheless, it was a nice sailing weekend.

Hamble, Sat/Sun 09/10 Nov 2019

Lovely and sunny first thing as we motored round to Port Hamble. Clouded over and drizzling as we paid the bill and checked in with Sea Sky Design shop to check we were still listed for the course on Sunday morning. Then by the time we were back on board it was proper raining and stayed that way until the evening. We chilled and read etc. G&Ts at 6pm and then up to Thaiger the new Thai - rain now stopped. Nice table by the fire and excellent food and service.

Sunday was lovely and sunny, and we went up and did a course on making garlands. I enjoyed it and got to sew mine up. Then onto the fuel berth and motored home in the lovely sunshine. No wind again. Troubles with the Eberspacher all weekend - not heating up properly, so need to get Rich from Krueger out this coming week.

Cowes to meet RSYC friends for lunch, 27 Oct 2019

As a gale blew in Friday and lasted through much of Saturday, the RSYC Newtown Creek Rally was cancelled. We were still determined to get on the water though, and the forecast for Sunday was sunny and calm, so we arranged to go to the Island Sailing Club for lunch, and casually invited Bob and Jackie and co. They said they would join us and Gordon and Christine came with them. We had a lovely sunny motor over and went shopping - Julia buying in her favourite shop Mia. Then up to ISC, where to our surprise, more folk had invited themselves to our lunch, so 11 of us sat down !!

We were joined by Angela and John Rice, Richard Fernie, their friend from the USA, and their other friends, Eddie and Tupi. The carvery was excellent as usual and we had a great time. Then a wonderful motor back in the sunshine.

Gins on the Beaulieu River, to meet Gillian and Allan, 12 Oct 2019

Very windy and bouncy, but great sail on half a genoa from Gilkicker to the Beaulieu River entrance, and then motored up to the Gins Clubhouse pontoon, and were guided to a spot by Allan, who was acting boatman for the weekend. We went up to the clubhouse and enjoyed a few drinks in the bar and caught up with Robin and Rebecca Funnell. Then back to the boat for a snooze, and then Allan and Gillian joined us for drinks before going back up to the clubhouse for dinner which was good. Nice evening.

Very miserable overnight, and pretty grey and rubbish on the motor back. We have now been temporarily moved to G26 whilst they dredge and so tying up and getting organsied took a lot longer than usual. Then off to see my mum

Yarmouth, 21-22 Sep 2019

Away early in quite a big SSE wind at 0830, and nice weather - last of the summer sunshine. Some great sailing, and it got quite bumpy across Cowes. Got into Yarmouth and got the bikes out and cycled to the Red Lion at Freshwater, where we sat in the garden and had lunch.

Back to the boat for some sun-bathing, and then drinks and over to On the Rocks, and had a lovely dinner as usual. Josh and team looked after us as usual

The rain came in overnight, and that was it - summer is over! It rained all morning, so it was a miserable motor (no wind) back, and then to my mum's for her famous ham egg and chips !

Folly, Cowes with Oli, 31 Aug/01 Sep 2019

Oli came on his own and was on time at 10:30. We motored to the Folly and got ahead of the rain. We were on the walk ashore. When the rain cleared we walked to the Bargeman’s Rest at Newport and got a taxi back to the Folly for dinner. My steak was rubbish, so I got another. There was no dancing on the tables, and the music was a bit durgey, so we went back to the boat.

Lovely morning, and a breeze, so we left a little earlier than planned and sailed (quite slowly) all the way to Gilkicker. Great! Then we popped into Marion’s to get the lamb from her freezer and then Oli met us at home, and I BBQ-ed the butterfy lamb and we had a great time.

Poole August Bank Holiday, 24 - 26 Aug 2019

Saturday, we were up and away at 0530, motoring into a beautiful hot sunny bank holiday weekend. A quick trip of 5 hours, with bacon butties on the way, and we tied up in Poole Quay Boat Haven on C14, port side to. We sunbathed and chilled until Gareth picked us up at 1600 in the Bentley - roof down. We cruised Sandbanks a bit, and then back to Gareth's for champagne, BBQ and a lovely evening. We stayed over to avoid taxis etc.

Sunday, we had a lazy morning, and after brunch, we headed down to the water and aboard Gareth's motor boat, Vistar. A day on the dark side ! It was fun to see dry berthing in action. We loaded and unloaded the boat on dry land, and a forklift put it in and took it out of the water. We headed off to Old Harry's Rock for a picnic lunch, and then a tour of Poole Harbour round the back of Brownsea Island. Gareth dropped the car off, and came back by taxi to Wyldwind for drinks and then we had dinner at Ranchos the steak house right by the marina.

Monday, we had an easy morning and headed off at 1045, taking the last of the ebb out of Poole and then the flood into the Solent. We enjoyed the weather - motoring all weekend, and got home in time for me to create and cook brochettes on our BBQ back home

Fareham by land and sea, Saturday 17, Sunday 18 Aug 2019

Saturday, we took the car to Haslar, then the bus to my mum's for brunch, and then on by bus to Andy and Jen's BBQ in Fareham. Great afternoon and evening, and back by bus to Wyldwind.

Sunday, we were originally planning Itchenor for lunch, but it was due to blow in durign the afternoon, which would have made the return journey uncomfortable, so we opted for a sail and motor up to Fareham, and then back for lunch at the Lightship. Very pleasant day. Lightship food OK, but service poor.

Daytrip to Hamble for lunch, Sunday 11 Aug 2019

Saturday,a gale blew in, so we abandoned plans to go to Yarmouth. Got down to the boat in the afternoon, and had dinner aboard.

Sunday, we were up and away at 0830 – fun driving straight out (Lloyd had left the boat in backwards) It was still quite windy and rough on the nose, so splashy trip to Hamble – with some nice Rainbows. Got into Port Hamble and tied up on E32 starboard (Just inside hammerhead) after trying F14 which still had a boat in !

Wandered into the village, got papers, went into the little shop we like. Then a coffee and papers, but spoiled by noisy children. Went into the King and Queen where we had reserved and had lunch – two sharing platters which we ate half of and had a big doggy bag. Then we got a great sail back – nearly all the jib and sailed from just past the fairway bouy to where we turned in for the memorial. Moored up and Lloyd and Gemma came round as I wanted to agree the new filters job with Lloyd, so we had a few drinks and a chat as well. Didn’t get away until 6pm.

Summer Cruise, 09-28 July 2019

See the photos section for pictures.

Monday 08 July 2019: Julia dropped me at the station and I got the train to the boat. Lots of work throughout the morning, and cycled to Waitrose. Gradually cleared work, and then sorted out the boat – clearing space for Gareth and generally getting ship shape. Gareth also came by train, and got a taxi to Waitrose for his provisions. I had a table booked at the Lightship and we had a nice meal and an early night.

Tuesday 09 July 2019: Up at 0330 and away at 0400. No wind, and warm and sunny day – flat calm and so deck chairs all the way. Into Braye Harbour at 16:30 – 88. 6 miles in 12.5 hours. Not many buoys free, so we had to sit in the middle row, which was tight when swinging. We went ashore in the water taxi, and had a bottle of champagne and dinner sat outside in the sunshine.

Wednesday 10 July 2019: Up at 0500 and away at 0530, round the corner and into the race. Same flat calm and warm and sunny, all the way into St Helier. As we came into St Helier, we were hailed by Daniel Trocherie in Agapanthe, and I was then aware that Patrick and Blandine were in port. 44 miles in 5.5 hours.

We moored on the outside pontoon so as to get away and initially rafted outside a boat, which soon left and we were then inside berth. We got two more outside us, but they all knew we were away early next morning. It was hot and sunny, so we chilled. Patrick and Blandine came by on their bikes, as I had rung them, and we drank a bottle of pink. We then had drinks with them and another couple (Gerard Le Gall & Wife) on Carpe Diem, and then a meal at the Little Thai – just Gareth and I.

Thursday 11 July 2019: Away at 0630 after moving the outside boat. A bit more overcast to begin with, but still motoring in flat calm. Into St Malo Port des Sablons at 12:30 – 39 miles; 5.5 hours plus half an hour going up and down pontoons. We were on the visitors pontoon A, and then later they told us we had to move for a regatta coming in. We said not now – we’ll do it in the morning. We then walked into St Malo itself and had two sets of drinks in the sunshine, and then into a nice Michelin starred restaurant, Le Chalut – lovely seafood. Probably the best oysters we had both ever had.

We stopped at the Cunninghams bar in the sunshine on the way back, and did some music and drinks on board when we got back. A big night out.

Friday 12 July 2019: We were both a bit jaded on Friday morning and so moving the boat over onto E pontoon was done rather dreamily! Anyway nice berth, although in amongst a load of charter boats. Again very hot and sunny, so chilled day. In the evening we had pizza at L Hortensia in St Servan.

Saturday 13 July 2019: Julia arrived on the Brittany Ferry, Bretagne, and we were there on time to meet her. Brunch on board, and chilled. Then into St Malo and drinks in the sunshine and another meal at Le Chalut, this time with Julia – just as good.

Sunday 14 July 2019: – Bastille Day in France Lazy morning, and then we had lunch sat outside in the sunshine in St Servan at La Cale – tuna done very nicely. Gareth then departed on the ferry and Julia and I chilled, had supper on board, and watched the fireworks in the harbour. A bit windier today, so not as hot for Julia.

Monday 15 July 2019: Went into St Servan town – coffee at the Café de Theatre, and shop in Carrefour. Still a bit windy, so settled on the pontoon out of the wind. In the evening, we had pizza at L Hortensia and then watched Poldark.

Tuesday 16 July 2019: Up early to look at the brocante, which was a bit small and not properly started. Then off to the fuel berth, topped up and motored in lovely sunshine to St Cast le Guildo. Lovely little marina and town with a fantastic beach. We were ushered to a berth, and settled in. We walked into town and did some more shopping and had a drink in the sunshine. Then bought fish at the marina, and in the evening after the heat went down and sundowner drinks, I cooked smoked haddock (eglefin fume) and we had a super meal.

Wednesday 17 July 2019: Lazy morning, with us both on board catching up on things. Julia got bread from the marina office – which they do! Wasn’t much cop though. Then a lazy afternoon as it got sunny and warmer as the day wore on. I cooked confit in the evening.

Thursday 18 July 20:

Grey and raining, first thing and mainly grey. Cycled into town and had lunch – galettes and shopped. Back and saw we had new neighbours. Eve and Andy on Penguin from Guernsey. We cycled round the headland (pushing the bikes up the hill!) and back into town for the evening market, which was ok but a bit small. We bought prawns at the poissonerie at the marina which I cooked in garlic and butter. Later we had Eve and Andy aboard for drinks, and we had a calvados nightcap on theirs.

Friday 19 July 2019:

Up and away at 0845, and on a waiting buoy at the barrage about 0920. It was all very chaotic getting into the lock with people not queuing and barging in. We rafted on a cat and had a French boat hanging off us. Then motored into quite a breeze and it was grey. We got to the road bridge, and calculations showed that we might be quite close for air clearance. Chart says 20m – our stats say 15.5m from the water and we have a vhf and tv aerial up there too. Anyway, we ran alongside the bridge sighting until we felt we could get under, which we did.

Then into Plouer sur Rance – a lovely quaint countryside marina by a mill. We were greeted by the harbourmaster lady, who I had spoken to on the phone for a berth, and although it was a tight fit, we were port side to on A30. We cycled up to a local restaurant for moules frite which were decidedly ordinary!

Patrick came and collected us at 1800, and took us to their new house in Dinan, which is fabulous and modern. We gave them champagne and some biscuits gift wrapped, we had purchased in St Cast, and we sat outside on the terrace with the champagne. Blandine then cooked guinea fowl and small roasted potatoes, and then we all took a stroll around Dinan. Very pleasant.

Saturday 20 July 2019:

Stayed in bed until 0900, then a nice breakfast, and Julia and I went shopping. It rained hard, but we sheltered in shops, and then it started to clear. Patrick took us back to the boat at 1230 and we said our fond farewells – until the next time. We then we spoke to Trevor and Val in Hullaballoo and enjoyed the sun. I cooked the brochettes we had bought in Dinan for supper and we had an early night, for an early start.

Sunday 21 July 2019:

Up and away 0530 local time – just light. We were worried about there being enough depth, but it was OK, and going under the bridge was no less terrifying, even though we had 7 metres less than when we came under before. We got to the lock at 0630 and it was already open with one yacht in, so we tied up in the lock. Only two small motor boats joined us, so it was completely different to going upstream!

We then motored over to Granville, and Julia went back to bed for a while. Into Granville and got on G58 port side, right next to the big Visiteurs sign – with a nice long pontoon. We went into town and had salads and rose wine at La Bolee Normande in the street, and then back to enjoy the sun. Back out to Carrefour for shopping, and then a light supper and watched the fun when the sill opened. Then watched a bit of Golf Open highlights, and then Poldark episode 2 and bed.

Monday 22 July 20:

Lovely lazy morning. Stayed in bed until 1000! Hot and sunny day. Walked up to the old town (lots of steps) and admired the view – seaside both ways from the headland. Then down to see the hotel les bains where we stayed when we came by car years ago. Then back to the boat via Carrefour. Evening we went for a meal along the front by the commercial port – Les Casteliers although all you see outside is pub a manger ! It was good. We both had monkfish. Back and watched the boats coming in and a Lucifer.

Tuesday 23 July 2019:

Late up, and then some jobs. Julia cleaned all the fenders. It was very hot today. We then went shopping in town. Bought a roasted chicken (for evening meal), and had lunch back on board. More sunbathing in the afternoon, and then chicken with new spuds and salad for supper.

Wednesday 24 July 2019:

Up at 0800 got ready to leave. Chatted to Philip and Margo Shwarz on the pontoon. They have a 395 Ovni kept in Sutton, Plymouth, and Swansea in the winter. He used to know Pat Blake. Julia cooked eggs on muffins – awesome! And then we were off to Dielette. Hot and sunny, and no wind. Motored all the way, and arrived towards low water, so moored in the lower all states of tide part of the marina. Very bouncy, so all fenders out. Then we had booked a restaurant Le Bouche a Oreille, recommended by Nigel and Suzie. Nice walk up a beautiful country lane, and very nice meal cooked on open fire like Pantagruel in Cherbourg. We both had turbot. Lovely. Nice walk back still hot, but breeze building. G&T & V&T on return, and then inside for cheese and TV

Thursday 25 July 2019:

Yet again, they say today is going to be the hottest day – seems to be getting warmer day by day. We bought gris de gris rose wine in the shop and left Dielette at 10:40. A bit hazy towards the race, but it was hot. No wind again, and a flat sea. It stayed hot and sunny and no wind until we entered the inner harbour at Cherbourg, when the hovering black cloud finally caught up. The wind got up, drops of rain, and thus mooring was slightly trickier being blown on. We berthed right hand side of P – P24, starboard side to, and just over from Ghostly Goose, who called hello. Had a quick beer, and went to the marina office, and then to Boucanier, our normal bar in the sunshine,. By now the weather was ok, but cooler and more mixy. Huge blow, in that Boucanier now doesn’t serve Leffe ! So we’ll be searching for a new place! Then tried the local Carrefour City, but it was poorly stocked, so went to the big one, and lugged shopping back to the boat. We then invited Paul and Kath and Lucy and Cala over for drinks as we were getting some sunshine in our cockpit. It was good to catch up with them.

Then we got chatting to a Dutch boat “Amiga”, an older Bavaria 38 Caribic with Gino and Amanda Seissing aboard, and then I cooked the brochettes we had purchased. Later, we invited Gino and Amanda aboard, and we drank and chatted until 01:00! Good to meet them.

Friday 26 July 2019:

Lazy morning. It was grey and not so nice. Julia went for a mooch round the shops while I caught up on a few things. Had a drink at the yacht club at lunch time, and a lazy afternoon. Free drinks at the marina at 1800 – chatted to a couple from Chatham, and the Dutch again. Then we had a meal at the yacht club. Poor attitude from the waiter, but nice meal. Early bed.

Saturday 27 July 2019:

Up at 0400 BST (Now! – 0500 French) and away at 04:30. Grey and cold to start with but as the day wore on, it got sunnier and warmer. Tight NW and 10-13 knots – just not enough and too tight for proper sailing – in Wyldwind, anyway. So motor sailed. Did get some sailing on the surf into the Needles, and then we came through the Solent, got fuel in Cowes, and into Haslar. Quick shower, and a glass of champers (24th wedding anniversary tomorrow) and then to dinner at Hardys. Very nice, and good service. Shame they only do fat chips though! Back on board for a nightcap and bed.

Sunday 28 July 2019 – married 24 years today:

Lazy morning. Then unloaded the wine to the car, tidied up and headed home.

Cowes with Aly and Graham, Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 July 2019

Saturday morning, very light winds on the nose, but sunny and warm. Deck chairs on the stern motoring kind of trip. We got fuel, and then were originally booked into East Cowes as our sister marina, but they said we would have to raft, and we thought well if we're going to raft we might as well be right in Cowes, so we tried Yacht Haven, full, but then we were lucky to be early enough to get into Shepards. It was a long tricky reverse and we ended up like a motor boat stern to, which was actually jolly nice - being able to use the ladder. It quickly filled up and by the end of the day you could walk from one side to the other over the boats!

We went into town, shopped and drinks on the balcony at the Island Sailing Club in the sunshine. Then dinner at the Basque Kitchen right next to Shepards, which was excellent!

Sunday, it was so different. It was light but persistent rain and grey. No rush to go as we were so boxed in, there was no rush to leave. Julia did breakfast and the team popped into town for a coffee. When they returned, I had the boat all prepped and a gap had opened up, so we motored out.

On the way back there was a little wind on nose (Again !) and it was grey damp and wet with poor visibility. We motored and didn't hang about. Nice weekend with Aly and Graham - boat is now all prepped up ready for the summer cruise.

Lymington - dinner on board with Nigel and Suzie AND Max!, 29/30 June 2019

Lovely sunny weather again – and this day was the mini heatwave. We motored to Lymington, and went into the market. Julia bought a hanging basket, and I bought us a teak table for the back of the boat ( at last!)

In the evening, Suzie and Nigel and Max their dog came for dinner. We had champagne, and I cooked seafood paella. Lovely evening.

A bit cloudy and cooler on Sunday. A motor back with some genoa out. Then went to see my mum, who did us ham, egg and chips ! Then home and quiet evening.

TWO daytrips to Cowes for lunch, Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 June 2019

Saturday, it was blowing hard from the south west and the sea was up from the gale overnight. Kevin and Lorna arrived, and said they were up for the bumpy ride and so we motored slowly and in a bouncy way into Cowes, with lots of spray coming over the bow. It was gusting 35+ knots on the nose, so not that nice. We went on the outside at Shepards and into town for shopping, a pint at the Anchor and lunch at the Island Sailing Club.

Of course on the way back it was much nicer and we got a cracking downwind sail, surfing the short waves. Kevin helmed most of the way, and enjoyed sailing for the first time in about 10 years. In the evening after Kevin and Lorna had gone, we went to Rusty's 50th party in Alverstoke.

Sunday, it was so different. Flat calm and sunny. Martin, Tom and Simon joined us and this motor over was far quicker and flatter! We went straight to the Island Sailing Club and had a drink on the balcony in the sunshine and then the classic sunday carvery that they always do so well.

On the way back there was a little wind, and as it was dead aft, I thought we might play with the cruising chute. It filled for a few minutes and then just died, so after a few tangles we put it all way and motored back in.

Brighton, Dieppe, St Valery, Fecamp, Saturday 25 May - Saturday 01 June 2019

Saturday, it was flat calm and sunny. Nice smooth motor to Brighton, and for the first time, we got a pontoon (15/41). We took the bus into town and wandered around the lanes and the shops. I bought a jacket in the second (discount) Italian Suit Company shop, and we got free drinks at Phase 8 where Julia tried on some dresses. Came back and had dinner at Prezzo

Sunday, we walked into town and met Sammy Ryan for lunch at PetitPois, a lovely french style restaurant. We then went to the bar that Duncan manages and had a drink there and chatted to him. We then came back to the boat, had a light supper, some TV and early to bed.

Monday (27 May) we were away at first light - 0415 and had a rolling sea over to Dieppe. Nice sunshine, but a lot of short chop which didn't suit Julia. Did some sailing and ended up motor sailing with genoa to keep passage speed up. The sea really lumped up on as we approached the French coast, and as we motored into Dieppe the engine noise changed and it started to falter - no power, no revs. We were almost in by now, so without anything but way on (motor on but no power) we glided onto a finger pontoon. Passage 74.5 miles in 11 hours. We rang Sea Start who said they would help organise an engineer next day and talk me through some checks. Discussing it with them, and thinking it through, it was obviously a fuel problem, and we hadn't been able to book a service before coming away, which I knew it really had needed, as they all get so booked up, and we hadn't run up the hours as quickly due to the boat being out at Destys.

Next day (Tuesday 28 May) I could see the pre filter was clogged and Sea Start arranged for an engineer to come at the end of the day. We went into town and sat outside at the cafe des Tribunaux and then had lunch (galettes) outside in the sunshine at the Cafe de Paris along the front by the marina. Later we went out on the bikes around town, and then I cycled to the next village to a chandlers to buy the blocmarine book. We had a light supper, and at 8pm, Bruno the engineer came and changed the pre filter and the main fuel filter and she fired up all nice and smooth.

On Wednesday (29 May), we were up really early again and away at 0450 (BST) to make sure we got to St Valery en Caux for High Water. Some wind on the nose and again a nasty chop but nice and sunny, so we motored and arrived bang on time as the gate went up ! Passage of 17 miles in 3 hours. St Valery is very quiet, but a nice spot. We wandered around town, had coffee, went along the beach and in the afternoon walked around the old medieval cobbled streets. In the evening we ate at a brilliant pizza place called La Barcarole, which filled up with locals very quickly. Great pizza.

Thursday morning we had to wait for high water, and took the 10:00 local time bridge lift. It was grey and quite a strong breeze on the nose with the same nasty chop. It threw up a lot of spray, but was only another 3 hour passage - again 17 miles. When we got into Fecamp, there was still a breeze, but now the sun had come out, and after a wander round we sat outside at la Boucane overlooking the marina. There were the same two single handed boats a Tradewind 35 with Paul in it, and Athene a Victoria 30 - Peter. I Had a look around them both and we invited them in for drinks before we went out to dinner. They were both ex navy and heading for an RNSA rally for D day 75 year celebrations. In the evening, we ate at La Fourchette which was great and amusing. Back and watched more Fleabag.

Friday, We got the bikes out again and cycled up into town and sat outside at a great bar - Le Rex, and then went round the shops. Devred had an amazing sale on - 2 jackets for 80 euros, when they are normally 139. Indeed I paid 129 for one a few weeks ago in Compiegne ! So I bought two ! When we got to the boat Paul and Glenys arrived next to us in a Westerly Longbow which I think was called Tremmugin or similar. They were nice and they invited us for drinks before we headed out to dinner, this time at Le Daniels near last night's one. This meal was really good - we both had tornados rossini. We invited Paul and Glenys round for later drinks and we had a good chat and laugh.

Saturday 1st June, up before dawn and away at 0345 BST aiming to get into Portsmouth before the tide goes foul at the end of our long passage. It was a glorious warm summer day, flat calm, and smooth sea all the way until the Solent chopped up a bit. Passage of 85.5 miles in 13 hours all on engine.

We had booked dinner at the lightship, and sat next to Pat and Alan Clifton, friends of Chris and Chris Swain. We had a great chat to them. Nice meal. Sunday we packed up and saw both mums on the way home

Daytrip to Cowes for lunch, Sunday 19 May 2019

Saturday, I did the varnishing on Wyldwind, whilst Julia did the hanging baskets at home. Evening was Gemma's birthday drinks and the berth holders party. The crab and chips were good but although not raining it was cold and not enough space inside the tent, so we left early.

Sunday, Gina joined us and we motored over to the Yacht Haven, Cowes and moored just inside the outer wall again in the North basin. We did some shopping and then had lunch at Coast which was excellent.

Motored back as it was light.

Poole bank holiday weekend, Saturday 04 - Monday 06 May 2019

Steady Northerly F4/5 so got a great sail all the way from Gilkicker to Poole. Fab! Overtook Twister and Aquarius on the way into the harbour, and tucked into a finger. Went out to buy a bucket and then back for a rest. Drinks with RSYC and then dinner upstairs at Da Vinci. Drinks on Wyldwind afterwards.

Sunday, the RSYC moved on, and Gareth and Marie arrived for brunch at 11:00. We then went over to Brownsea Island - saw a red squirrel and then took a break until dinner in the evening, for which Gareth had also reserved Da Vinci. This time we were downstairs though with a nice window table

Monday the wind went round onto the nose and was quite cool, so we motored and spent a lot of time inside!

Seaview for lunch, Sunday 28 April 2019

Oli and Em came down on the Saturday as we had planned a weekend in Yarmouth, but there was a gale blowing and after waiting most of the day for it to subside, we gave up and went over to Gunwharf for a meal at Loch Fyne.

Sunday, the wind was F5, so we sailed over to Seaview and got a bumpy lift ashore. Had a walk around Seaview, and lunch at the Yacht Club.

Motored back as it was too tight, and all headed home.

Weymouth, Easter weekend Friday 19 April 2019

Spring tide and motoring as light winds, so made the 1600 bridge lift in 7 hours, which we hadn't expected. Glorious sunshine, so we relaxed on deck, and then dinner at Prezzo.

Again, sunny and warm. Lazy morning and then shopping, sunbathing and dinner at Enfants Terrible, which was fab as ever.

Sunday, again hot and sunny. We cycled the Rodwell Trail and on to Portland Marina, where we had coffee with Chris and Chris Swain. Then cycled back, sunbathed and took the last bridge lift at 20:00 and moored on the waiting pontoon, for an early start on Monday. Live music in the Anchor, so after fish n chips, we went over and enjoyed the music ourselves.

Monday the wind was on the nose, so motoring back was quite cool. I let Julia have a lie in, and most of the journey was from inside. Lovely weekend, and so lucky with the weather.

Warsash, Wednesday 17 April 2019

I had a day off on my own to chill, and had hoped to join the Rex group, but they weren't going. However, I emailed the group and Graham Sparks and Ed Ford agreed to join me for lunch at Warsash. They were in a yacht called Grace. It was sunny but misty, with little wind, so I motored round, and we had a nice lunch.

I had intended to go up to Emsworth and chill there Thursday, but as I came back, it became thick fog, so I went back into Haslar.

So Thursday, I just chilled on the boat and waited for Julia to finish work and join me for the Easter break.

Yarmouth, Saturday 06 April 2019

Richard and Helen joined us Saturday morning, and with a good NE blowing, we got a good sail past Cowes until it went light. Lunch on arrival in Yarmouth, and then off to the Yacht Club. Saw John who we met a fortnght ago, and then a drink in the Kings Head, which has re-opened again.

We went back to the boat and a quick G&T and then dinner at On the Rocks, which was great as ever, and this time Josh was there.

Sunday it was very poor visibility and very little wind - some of the crew were a little jaded. It cleared to blue skies after re-fuelling at Cowes, and Julia did bacon butties on the last leg.

Yarmouth, Saturday 23 March 2019

It was very grey on Saturday with very little wind in contrast to the gales and strong winds of late! Motor sailed to Yarmouth and it was so flat, that Julia made bacon butties on the way. Then we went to see the model railway at Fort Victoria, and then went for a drink at the Yacht Club, where we joined a gang at the bar. John, John, Nick, Pete and Geoff.

We went back to the boat and had a snooze and then dinner at On the Rocks, which was great as ever - although Josh wasn't about.

Sunday it was a wonderful sunny day with no wind. We motored back and did some cleaning and jobs back at Haslar, and then home

Bembridge shakedown sail, Saturday 09 March 2019

At last, the boat has come back to us, almost like a new boat underneath. We had planned to sail Saturday and Sunday, but the forecast prevented Sunday, and so we just went for lunch to Bembridge.

It was very windy, but we had a nice half genoa sail over in the sunshine. Mainly 30 knots but gusting to 37. We had lunch on the pontoon - we were the only visiting yacht, and then back over to Haslar and home.

It was wonderful to be sailing again !

Lift out at Destys, Friday 04 January 2019

Lloyd crewed me as we motored the boat round the corner to Destys in some nice sunshine first thing Friday morning. It was bitterly cold.

Julia and I had previously taken the sails off and cleared the main saloon and galley area as the engine has to come out and the keel dropped off the boat. Once the amount of damage is known and assessed, the yard can then re-laminate and strengthen everything and put the keel back with fresh bolts.

We expect the boat to be in Destys for 6-8 weeks.

Lift out at Deacons, Sat 10 and Sat 17 November 2018

Julia and I took the boat round to Deacons to be lifted out for a week, so that Lloyd could do a number of jobs for us and we could get a routine survey done. I was concerned that there was a problem with the keel and sadly the surveyor confirmed the worse.

Basically, before we bought the boat, she had a massive grounding that had been poorly repaired and over time this let moisture into the joint and the keel is now in danger of coming away. The surveyor declared that she should not put to sea until this was fully investigated and repaired.

Julia and I motored the boat back round to Haslar the following weekend and we have not been sailing since, whilst we worked through Lloyd to arrange the work.

Bucklers Hard, Sat/Sun 03-04 November 2018

Julia met me on the boat Friday afternoon and we caught some lovely late afternoon sunshine as we motored up the Beaulieu River and tied up as it was getting dark. We walked up to the Master Builders Yachtsman Bar and met Allan and Gillian Beswick for dinner. Crap service, and poor food, but great company. We left after one course and retired to Wyldwind for drinks

Saturday, we walked to the motor museum where they had a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang exhibition, and had a nice day out. Julia cooked in the evening and we watched some TV.

Sunday morning, it was damp and light rain. We motored over to Cowes to get fuel and then back into Haslar. It cleared up a little by the time we got in. We saw my mum on the way back.

East Cowes, Sat/Sun 27-28 October 2018

Over to East Cowes followed by Lee and Sam who had Rob and Rosie aboard, and Russ and Lisa. We all moored up and had our own lunches. We went over to Cowes and met Russ and Lisa in the Anchor. Evening we all had drinks aboard Diablito and dinner at the Lifeboat

Sunday morning, we left early and motored back against the wind. It wasn't too nice

Lymington for Merlin Rocket annual dinner, Sat/Sun 20-21 October 2018

Motored to Lymington in glorious sunshine. Saw Nigel on arrival and then went to the market, and then back and sunbathed. In the evening we joined the Merlins for a black tie Silver Tiller dinner. It brought back memories for me.

Sunday morning, it was misty to start and then thick fog - less than 1/10 mile. I was totally on radar. We heard later a ferry had gone aground and sunk a boat in Cowes. We went past Cowes really close and never saw it. It finally cleared to glorious sunshine as we were nearly back in Portsmouth.

Bembridge, Sat/Sun 13-14 October 2018

F7 southerly on the nose over to Bembridge but fairly sunny. Not many there. Walked up to St Helens and went in the book shop. Dinner at Baywatch on the Beach, which was fab as always

Sunday morning, The wind had gone 180, and we had to motor into F6 Northerly! And it rained - yuk!

Boys trip to Yarmouth, Sat/Sun 29-30 September 2018

Sunny day. Phil Ridgway and Graham Ryan joined me for a motor to Yarmouth. I cooked bacon butties at Haslar, and then off to Yarmouth. Drinks at the Royal Solent outside and then dinner at on the rocks.

Sunday morning, we were all jaded as you would expect. I cooked breakfast and we managed a little sailing and then motored in.

Day sail for lunch in the Hamble with Oli and Em, Sunday 16 September 2018

Saturday evening, Oli and Em joined us on board and I cooked us all dinner

Sunday morning, we had a great sail to Port Hamble, had a walk around, and lunch outside at the King and Queen in lovely sunshine

Sunday afternoon, we also got a great sail back.

Late Summer Cruise and Oli and Emily Engagement Party, 23 August - 02 September 2018

Thursday 23 August

A first long trip on my own. It was sunny but windy on the nose. I got away at 0645, and had a bumpy ride to Weymouth. Made the 1600 bridge lift. I had to raft, but the people took my lines. Then into the marina and a lad came down to help me moor up. Then rested as I was tired. I got on the phone and finally managed to get booked into Torquay which was a relief.

Met Julia at the station, and we went straight to dinner at the Enfants Terrible along the water front. Nice but we both played safe food-wise and were tired.

Friday 24 August

What a shitty day and grey mainly and then some horrible squalls. F6/7 on the nose – Julia lost the day lying down, and it took 10 hours instead of 8, so knackering. Anyway made it into Torquay, and ate on board.

Saturday 25 August

Nice day. We were messed around in the morning by the rental car man. (buying cheap rentals!) Then it ran out of fuel, and so we lost the whole morning to this. Then we took it to Sainsburys and shopped. Nice afternoon, walk along the front and cooked on board.

Sunday 26 August 2018 - Oli and Emily’s engagement party

Torrential rain and windy overnight and all day. Shit journey to Bicknoller. Stopped in Taunton, and the rain eased. Taunton is nice. Onto the party and it was fun. Julia drove back. Not as bad as my drive there.

Monday 27 August – Bank Holiday

Had to wait for the car guy to pick up and then headed to Dittisham. Sailed all the way into the River Dart entrance. On the way out of Torbay, we had a port and Starboard incident with Diligent - one of those big tall ships for tourists where we were on Starboard, and they made no effort to change course, even though it was obvious a mile out! What can you do with people like that - they think because they're big, they can get away with it.

Being a bank holiday it was all very busy, and we had to raft at Dittisham, but they left next morning. The weather was grey though, and never really cheered up.

Tuesday 28 August

Lazy morning – then a superb lunch at the Anchorstone Café. Back to the boat and then took the dinghy up to Stoke Gabriel. The outboard played up on the way back – probably shit on the prop in retrospect. With the weather being grey, we had enough of it down west, and decided to head east in the morning. Better forecast and to get the big journeys out of the way to chill more as the holiday got towards the end.

Wednesday 29 August

Up at 4:15, but still very dark. Because the weather was a bit grey, it was still pretty dark even at 0500, but we left and felt our way out of the river Dart, often by torchlight. It got more pleasant, but we never really sailed until rounding Portland Bill, and on the plus side, Julia was OK on this Lyme Bay crossing. We went into Portland, and went for a walk, and then a meal at the Boat that Rocks.

Thursday 30 August

Well we must have been poisoned or infected last night, as Julia was violently sick all night, so I was knackered holding and fetching bowls and helping her. I still got up at 0630, and got us away and went out through the middle entrance by calling on ch 74, which was a new thing for us. It wasn’t rough, but it was quite bouncy all the way into Poole Bay, when it finally settled down to a smooth sea. Julia still not good, so I took the boat into Yarmouth on my own at about lunchtime. It was very crowded, so it wasn’t easy. I had a beer as usual, but I didn’t feel right, and I started to feel crap too, so I went to bed, so we lost the whole day.

Friday 31 August

Weather was ok next day, so we walked to the Red Lion up the old railway line, and had lunch there. We had On the Rocks booked, and so we still went but we weren’t too bright and brought most of our food back in doggy bags.

Saturday 01 September 2018

We decided to go back to Haslar, and waited until the massive raft in Yarmouth opened up a bit, and actually had a nice sail back! Quiet night - we ate the meat from On the Rocks that we had brought back!

Sunday 02 September

Lazy morning, although I did a few jobs, and then Julia’s friend from New Zealand, Jenni and her husband Pete joined us for lunch. They had come down from London especially. Then we packed up and headed home. Got to the car and discovered that someone had smashed the back and of course, not left any note. Oh dear - not what I would expect of Haslar folk!

Two day sails: Cowes for lunch Saturday, Seaview for lunch Sunday, 18/19 August 2018

Saturday morning we motored over against the tide and wind to the Yacht Haven and met Gillian and Allan Beswick for lunch at Coast. Really nice lunch and it was great catching up as we hadn't seen them for ages.

We got a great sail back to Haslar and ate on board.

Sunday, Jane and Phil Ridgeway arrived and we sailed and motor sailed over to Seaview in a SW 5/6, and had lunch at Seaview YC. The weather was drizzle though, so we ate inside. We had lunch and then went for a walk and it brightened up. We got a fantastic sail back, and I let Phil helm that. Nice to see them both, and then all home.

Lymington for the seafood festival, and seeing Nigel and Suzie, 11/12 August 2018

Got away just before 0900 and motored to Lymington. Tied up well in the Yacht Haven, and into the Seafood Festival. Ate on arrival and then saw Nigel and Suzie. Drinks at the Sailing Club and back for a further mooch around the stalls. We then split off and went to the normal market and then back to the boat for a sleep.

Then later, we went round to Nigel and Suzie’s where she cooked a fabulous dinner – home made Thai Curry – very nice evening.

Sunday, it was grey and raining on and off all day, but nice enough to be outside with a decent Southerly breeze. We got to the Jack in the Box, and hoisted full sails, and sailed almost to Gilkicker. Nice to be sailing for a change. Then off promptly to my mum’s for ham egg and chips lunch. Then home.

Parkstone, Poole, Gareth's birthday party, 03 - 05 August 2018

I got to the boat ahead of Julia on the Friday, and got everything ready. As she stepped on the boat, the engine was already running and we motored off to Parkstone Yacht Haven, Poole Harbour, where we were booked into F37, port side to. It was hot and sunny, but what little breeze there was, was on the nose, so it wasn't as nice as we'd hoped.

We got in after 5.5 hours and mooring wasn't too hard. Anna and Gareth then picked us up and we enjoyed a fine evening and bbq at Gareth's pad and enjoyed meeting his girlfriend Marie, and his brother Nigel and family. We got a taxi back to the marina.

Saturday was a chill day for us, and then we took a taxi to Gareth's again for pre dinner drinks and then a fleet of taxis to the restaurant where we met up with even more people and more champagne. Nice meal, and nice evening. Taxi back.

Sunday, we motored back, stopping at Cowes for fuel, which was fun as it was Cowes Week and very busy.

Summer Cruise, 06-21 July 2018

Friday 06 July, morning, I let Julia sleep in, and at 03:25, I slipped and motored out of Haslar. It was dark, but just starting pre-dawn. Saw a lovely sunrise and the day set in to be hot and sunny like the heatwave we have been having. Fog patches had been forecast, but is was just hazy, poor viz, with blue up above. Motored all the way. Had the main out whilst the wind was West, but it came on the nose about 25 miles off Alderney and was dropped and it felt cooler. Never really got properly hot at sea. We got into Alderney at 15:45 - 85 nautical miles. Already quite full, but we got a nice buoy - number 25! Third week in a row we moor on number 25. We took the water taxi ashore, and had already booked the Braye Chippy from out at sea. BYO as ever, and a great meal of fish and (curly) chips with white wine. Back to the boat and watched Wimbledon and bed.

Saturday 07 July, we lazed in a bit, and then blew up the dinghy and went ashore about midday. We walked up the hill and had drinks in the garden at the Georgian House, then checked out the restaurant, Le Pesked for the evening, which we had previously booked. Then back to the boat for lunch and a snooze and sunbathe. Back ashore in the evening, and had pre dinner drinks outside in the garden at the Georgian again, and then a fabulous meal at Le Pesked, which was rammed, mostly with locals. We both had see bream fillets. Really nice meal and good service. Back to the boat for a nightcap and bed

Sunday 08 July, we were up a bit earlier, and set off walking. We went along Braye beach and then along the coast almost to the lighthouse, and then headed South across Longis Common, and then into the Old Barn, where we sat outside for lunch. It was a little over-priced for what it was (the salad was really a couple of leaves) but it was very pleasant. We then walked up to Fort Essex and across the middle of the Island back to the Harbour and back to the boat, where we sunbathed and snoozed. I had marinated chicken in the morning, and set about a BBQ but our Force 10 BBQ wouldn't work, so I had to cook the chicken in the griddle pan down below. Still it was a fine meal, with some red wine.

Monday 09 July, we were up early to leave for St Helier. It looked like it would be, and it did become a very hot and windless day. We left at 07:25 and the sea was like glass. We left one hour before HW Dover, and thus hit the Alderney Race at the right time. We motored all the way, and it was very hot. We got into St Helier Marina at 13:00 and Patrick was there on the pontoon, directing us to a free berth near his motor boat and that of their friends Daniel and Michelle. Mooring was easy, port side to, on E10 - bow facing back out and towards the West. We exhanged greetings with Patrick and Blandine and Daniel and Michelle, and then got on sorting the boat out. We sunbathed, and sadly one of our deck chairs died. Shopping tomorrow, so we'll add that to the list. At 18:30 we were invited to drinks aboard Carpe Diem, Patrick's boat, with the others, and had a lovely time. Blandine served so many apetisers, that we decided against cooking when we returned, and just had camembert. We had downloaded Poldark, and watched that and then bed.

Tuesday 10 July, Shopping and usunbathing. We hosted drinks for the four French at 1800, and then they went to watch France play Belgium, and we went to the Little Thai. Lovely meal.

Wednesday 11 July, I cooked smoked salmon and scrambled egg, and then we cycled to St Aubin, and checked out the club and the restaurants, and decided on the club for Saturday lunch. Back to the boat - sunbathed and then drinks on Daniel and Michelle's boat, and then I cooked pork stir fry. (England lost their World cup semi final against Croatia)

Thursday 12 July, Up and cleaned the sprayhood, and then cycled to Gorey and lunch at Sumas. It was wonderful as ever it was, sat on the terrace in the glorious sunshine. Cycled back and had a snooze, and chilled. Ate various leftovers and invited Daniel in for a drink, who by now was on his own.

Friday 13 July, we were up earlier and showered and went to Vicki for crab ,but she was unusually closed. Back to the boat and saw Daniel leave, and then to the Fish market and the market itself. I brought the shopping home and Julia went girl shopping. I did another clean of the sprayhood, and then I applied the waterproofing. Sunbathed again and then said Hi to two other Nauticat 35s. Tim in Brice, and his other three crew. He came around and had a nose. We had already looked at his. Then we all went to Tiger Blue and nosed around that hosted by Martina and Christian. We invited them all round, but only Martina and Christian came around. Then I did the seafood BBQ, which was fab, and we watched tennis until 11:00 - semi between Nadal and Djokovich.

Saturday 14 July, We were up early and got some crab from the real Vicki. Dropped that back and then cycled out to Corbiere. It was tiring and Julia's gears failed. I was able to fix them though. Lovely weather with the sun shining and the smell of pine trees. Back to St. Aubin and a mooch round the teeny market and drinks in the bar next to the club. Then into the club and a drink and a lovely lunch, as ever. In the afternoon we were chatting to Christian and Valerie on Cobus, a 37 Evasion - old boat , next to us, and the invited us in for drinks, which was nice. We got on well with them, mainly speaking French. Then back on board, grazing food and we watched the conclusion of the semi final - Nadal lost, and the womens final, where Kerber beat Serena Williams. England lost 2-0 to Belgium in the third place pay off!

Sunday 15 July, lots of boat moving as it was rammed solid last night. Much amusement. Then we shopped, and I put another coat of waterproofing on, and Julia did the chrome. I typed up the blog to date, and spent ages grovelling around the bilges, as we appear to be filling up slightly. I have identified a tiny leak in the volvo shaft seal, which we will replace soon when Lloyd does the cutlass bearing. There's a tiny drip up the front of the keel, but neither of these would fill up as we have been. It appears the non return valve on the bilge outlet is leaking back the contents of the outlet pipe.

The weather continued to be wonderful and we just chilled and sunbathed. France won the World cup, and Djokavic beat Anderson. Then when Christian and Valerie got back, we prepared some nibbles and drinks and they came over. We had a great evening laughing and chatting, and we got on really well with them. I expect we will see them again, as they invited us to their place near Paris, right in Monet country, apparently. Lovely last night in Jersey. We watched Poldark, and to bed.

Monday 16 July, it was still hot and sunny to start the day, and we were up reasonably early. I topped up the water tanks, and brought the dinghy aboard, and we said our farewells to next door. Then we motored to the Havre Gosselin bay at the beautiful island of Sark, and picked up a visitor buoy in a slight swell. It got cloudy and a little misty as we approached and I am writing this as we swell up and down in the grey at midday. It's still warm though. Julia had some work to do, and we were chilled, so we didn't go ashore until 3pm. It then got very warm and hot, with a breeze up top. Fun tying the dinghy up using nearly all the long red line. We walked into the avenue, but soon realised most places were closed already. Went into a couple of local stores and then went on to Stocks. Sat by the pool and drank, and then went inside for a meal. Very nice. Got back to the boat to find the wind had gone West, meaning it got very rolly. We watched unforgotten, as the internet was ok, but the boat was swinging about. A few other boats were in difficulties - two had rafted and had to un-raft. Not a pleasant night.

Tuesday 17 July, Bad night, so we abandoned the extra day in Sark, as the forecast was for more West, and it was grey and overcast. We motored over to St. Peter Port, fighting the tide to get around the rocks, and then had to wait a long time in the queue for fuel. Topped up and came into the main Victoria marina. We were given a tiny pontoon right down on the road, where it's shallow, but got on with it. When the man came to collect fees, we said jokingly, we should only pay for 7m to match the berth. He (Tomo) was in a good mood and said ok, if you stay for two nights, which we hadn't been certain of!! It was indeed shallow, and at low water we were just aground. We then went to both chandlers and came back for a drink on board, as the weather was improving. We stayed chilled on board, and I cooked rib-eye steaks, and then we watched the boats coming and going for a bit. Then watched the Handmaid, and bed.

Wednesday 18 July, A bit overcast this morning, but blue skies and a forecast of sun this afternoon, so jobs this morning and then chill. It came in hot in the afternoon, and we enjoyed the sunshine. Julia prepared a crab salad for supper, and we watched a rather disappointing movie - downsizing with Matt Damon.

Thursday 19 July, grey to start but with blue skies around, we finally left the Channel Islands. Sad to see St. Peter Port disappear behind us. Wind from the North and a bit too tight to sail, so motored up to the Alderney Race with mainsail out for extra power. It got warmer and warmer as we approached Cherbourg and we found it very busy, but got into P13, starboard side to, facing the office, which was the only slot that side. We went and paid and chilled enjoying the sunshine, when Julia reminded us we were now on French time and should crack on to make dinner ! We got sorted and had time for a drink at our favourite bar, Bucannier, and then into Pantagruel, which has been a favourite for years, and indeed, the translated menu into English, I did for them. To be honest, it wasn't as good as it has been, and the previous trip with Gareth, where we ate at the Yacht Club was better. But never mind, it was still good. Watched a movie after and bed.

Friday 20 July, lazy morning, and then shopping at Carrefour, and then a drink at Bucannier again at lunchtime sat in glorious sunshine again. Lovely!! Then back to the boat for a salad lunch and then more chill and sunbathing. We saw Argo come in and went to say hello, and they invited us for drinks, and we reciprocated later when they came to us. (Mark, Diana and Henry their son, from our Pontoon in haslar) I then cooked brochettes we got at Carrefour and then we watched another movie and bed. Sad for our last night

Saturday 21 July, woken at 0400 by the Dutch around us going, and dozed until 6 when I got up, and we left at 0645. Grey to start, but became a splendid hot day with glassy seas - 11 hours, 77 miles and into Haslar. No wind, so little sailing but it was a lovely day. Had a drink in the cockpit and then showers and put the roast spuds on and the chicken we bought in Carrefour. Then brought this blog up to date before serving.

This was the best holiday we have ever had boating - the weather was so wonderful - we shall always remember the summer of 2018!

Yarmouth, 30 June - 01 July 2018

Lovely hot sunny weather again - the heatwave continues. However, we did manage an hour under the cruising chute, before motoring. Got into Yarmouth on the upstream side, starboard side to, on 25. We sunbathed and chilled. Then showered and had a drink outside at the Royal Solent YC on the lawn, before dinner at On the Rocks. Nice night.

Sunday, we motored back, stopping at Cowes for fuel. Then we used the Bacchus berth to clean the port side.

Deacons, top of the Hamble, with Nigel and Suzie, 23/24 June 2018

Lovely hot sunny weather meant motoring all weekend. Very tight into Deacons - Berth A25, starboard side to. Went for a short walk to Force 4, but mainly enjoyed the weather

We had drinks and then dinner at the Jolly Sailor, which whilst a limited and wintery menu, was fine with good service.

Sunday, we had a beautiful motor down river and breakfast when we came in.

Lymington, Market and dinner with Gareth, 16/17 June 2018

Spring tides at the wrong time and a likely strong wind on the nose at lunchtime, meant I got up and away for 03:50. I motored on a flat calm sea with a little headwind, and woke Julia at the Jack in the Box. We moored up on B42 Starboard side to at 06:15, which is upstream and even with the little wind, the current still pushed us away from the pontoon - not an easy place. We went back to bed for a couple of hours.

We then went to the market, which was great. It was however cloudy all weekend. We came back for lunch and a chill afternoon. We showered and then Gareth arrived for drinks and we went to the Ship for dinner which was a nice evening out. Gareth stayed over.

Sunday, I cooked scrambled eggs served with smoked salmon. I had to use a hot plate as the new cooker is not connected yet. Then Gareth headed off and we got fuel and then had a cracking downwind sail all the way back to Haslar under Genoa. F5/6 SW. Very relaxing, but still cloudy.

Hythe to drop off Rex's wine, 02-03 June 2018

Richard and Helen couldn't make it, as Richard was ill. Saturday was hot and sunny, and it was a lunchtime tide, so a lazy morning.

We motored towards Hythe and then got a cracking sail from Hillhead, dodging racers including Martin Collen. Got into Hythe on freeflow, and moored on a neighbour’s berth next to Rex’s pontoon. Had drinks and tea with Rex and Joyce, and Paul Frampton came around. Then we met Robin and Rebecca Funnell for a drink and had a meal with them at La Vista. Very ordinary, but the pizza and wine were ok – it just wasn’t very Italian ! They came back for a quick drink and then bed.Julia still not well and coughing

Hot and sunny again. I made scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, and served it on Rex and Joyce’s patio. Then Rex took me for a spin in the V8 Aston Vantage, and then we booked to go out of the lock. Forgot about that ! Took an hour’s wait. Finally got out and motored home into the wind. Into Haslar and round to mum’s and then back home for ribeye steak on the BBQ and baked potatoes and salad. Lovely. Some TV and bed.

St Vaast with Gareth, 23-29 May 2018

We all got the boat Tuesday evening and the gas ran out, so I changed the bottle but it was then dangerous in the galley. Gareth and I drove around but could not buy gas, so instead of cooking we had dominoes pizza!

Wednesday 23 May 2018 0400, I was up and we left Haslar at 04:33. Julia asleep as she had a bad cold now, and Gareth and I were up top. Never got the F5 NE but the sea was rolling, so Julia stayed in bed until the last hour. We motored and had sunshine but couldn’t see more than a few miles. It took 11 hours, and we came into St. Vaast and moored easily on C pontoon. Only Paul and Jan Crouch about in Aeolus. We ate at the local marina restauarant. It was OK, if not great.

Thursday 24 May

We were up slowly, and Gareth fetched breakfast. We were then out looking to see if we could buy gas and ended up walking out to the Carrefour. No chance – different canisters. That wasted the morning. Had a drink and did the Gossellin wine order, including stuff for Rex, and back to the boat. Easy afternoon. Very foggy all day and was for several days. Bob and Jackie arrived, and I put the pots on the bbq to cook Tuesday night’s dinner!

Friday 25 May

Foggy but some sunshine at times. Julia and I cycled to Barfleur and had lunch at the Café de France. Really lovely sat outside. It brightened up while we were eating. We stopped at the beach on the way back, and came across country, seeing some lovely properties. We stopped in town for a drink and met Gareth who bought the brochettes and we did a real BBQ on the boat, but it was too windy and quite difficult. Got there in the end though.

Saturday 26 May

Lazy morning, then into town to the market. More boats arriving etc. In the evening we had a table for 11 at the Chasse Maree, which is now run by new owners. It was OK. We had Bob and Jackie, us three, Tim and Sarah off Caribou, with Hils and Chris Maskell, and Kevin and Sue, new couple on a motor boat (Eleanora). Rally also included Crossjack: Peter (magic) and Emma with crew Peter and Val (used to have Celtic Storm), Paul and Jan Crouch on Aeolus, Wild Rival Steve and Cathy, and 4 blokes who didn’t make the Sunday.

Sunday 27 May – lovely sunny warm day for the al fresco.

Out at 0900 to order the meat and buy prawns and oysters, and had a drink at Le Commerce. Then back to the boat to prepare the prawns onto plates ,and others shucked the oysters. The wine was delivered at 11. Bob and Jackie hosted laying out the table, and the socials began. Gareth got the meat – 2 lamb legs and 2 chickens, and we carved them and served. We sat on Caribou, and I rang Rex and put him on speaker. Really lovely. After a snooze, we went for a drink at the bar with Kevin and Sue and Peter and Emma, but everywhere was closed except the café next to Chasse Maree, which was ok, but lousy service.

Monday 28 May 2018

Lazy morning, did some shopping, and then motored to Cherbourg. Prepared lunch for Bob’s birthday, and we had champagne. We then walked to the Capitainarie and paid, booked a table for dinner, and then went to Bucaniers where we sat in the sun and drank. Then Gareth split, and we went to Carrefour. Then dinner at the Yacht Club, where Gareth bought some lovely wine, and Kevin joined us for a drink, and we learned of his sailing past. Off to bed fairly early.

Tuesday 29 May

Up at 0400 and away at 0440 – it was raining and miserable to start with. Julia in bed – again all day as it was on the nose so OK, but a bit bumpy for Julia especially when the tide turned. The sun did come out for a while. As usual the last few hours were a slog. 12 hours back. I had a beer and then we all left for home. Had eggs and bacon for dinner and drank some home wine, as we left the Gossellin wine on board to sort out on Saturday.

Seaview with Gina, Haslar party, and seeing Lorna, 19/20 May 2018

Met Gina at Petersfield and went in convoy to the boat on Saturday morning.

Got fuel at Gosport, and then over to Seaview for lunch in the sunshine Motored back to Haslar and Gina headed off. Julia and I fixed the bilge pump and cleaned out, and then went to the Berth holders party, which was fun. We sat with Colin and Julie and Russ and Lisa and some of their friends.

Sunday, we lazed in, and then went to Lorna's for lunch, and home.

Brighton May Bank Holiday, 05/07 May 2018

Friday evening was sunny and warm and we cooked on board.

Saturday I got up at 0600 and left at 0635, motoring in flat calm. Julia got up at 0830. Bacon butties on passage. Arrived Brighton after 6 hours. Nice easy mooring. Into town on the bus. Had a drink and then shopping and back on the Volks Electric Railway. In the evening we ate at Casa Brasil and watched a movie.

Sunday, we lazed in, and then Julia went shopping and I did boat jobs, then we sun-bathed and I did a BBQ on the back of the boat - brochettes again

Monday, I got up at 0415 and left at 0450 into mist and almost fog. Lovely sunrise. Julia got up at 0900. Again a flat calm motor for six hours.

We got in and headed for home to beat the bank holiday traffic as we had two cars and sun-bathed at home

Southampton with Richard and Helen, 21/22 April 2018

Friday evening was sunny and I sat out on the foredeck having a beer. Gillian and later Chris and Chris came round, so I invited them for drinks when Julia arrived. Gillian and Allan came round soon and we all sat out, and when Chris and Chris joined us we went inside. Nice drinks session. I then cooked ribeye steak for the two of us.

Saturday morning we managed to get the cruising chute up for most of the trip up to Southampton. It was a bit misty but ok

We had lunch and went into the shops and then to the Platform Tavern. Dinner at Bacaro. We managed to dodge the rain there and back, but once back on board, there was an almighty thunderstorm which went on well into the night.

Sunday was a lovely sunny morning and we sailed all the way back on a reach - really lovely.

We had brunch on arrival, and then it gradually clouded over.

Yarmouth with Aly and Graham, 14/15 April 2018

Saturday was very thick fog, and was the worst I have known. We used radar all the way to Cowes, where we stopped for fuel. As soon as we were beyond the chain ferry, we were in sunshine. After fuelling, it was back into the pea soup!

It cleared by Newtown and we sunbathed into Yarmouth. Went for a walk to the fort, and had dinner in On the Rocks.

Sunday, we were all a bit dull after a nice evening and we motored back. Julia cooked brunch on arrival

Cowes with Ed and James, 07/08 April 2018

Ed and James arrived on Friday, and we had a pleasant evening.

Saturday, we headed to Cowes and did get some sailing, which pleased Ed. We had drinks in the Anchor and ISC, then a nice meal in Coast.

Sunday was terrible weather - grey and raining and we had to leave quite early for the tide. It was a bit miserable and mainly inside

Then saw my mum and Julia's mum on the way back.

Weymouth Easter weekend, Friday 30 March - Monday 02 April2018

Friday 30

A really bad weather weekend. Friday was heavy rain and a little wind behind us, but not enough to sail on, so motored mainly and it just rained and rained. We were mostly inside with the wipers on.

Made the 1600 bridge lift and went to Prezzo for dinner which was nice

Saturday 31

Still damp but not such solid rain. Went shopping and had a fairly lazy day. I cooked supper on board and we watcghed a movie.

Sunday 01 April

A much nicer day. I got the papers and we had a lie in. Then we both did some jobs and went for lunch at the Enfant Terribles - a french restaurant along the front past the harbour office. Really lovely meal and great service.

We took the 1800 bridge lift and spent the night on the waiting pontoon. Weather getting worse.

Monday 02 April

Wet again most of the day, and very rough seas especially until Anvil Point. Really horrible day. One to forget.

Haslar Pontoon with Nigel and Suzie - 17/18 March 2018

We were due to sail to Yarmouth with Nigel and Suzie, but although Saturday was windy but ok, Sunday forecast said no and snow. So we stayed in port. Ate at the Lightship, and had a great weekend on the pontoon!

Day trip to Cowes, Saturday 24 February 2018

Julia and I went down early and went over to Cowes for lunch at Coast. Nice meal and then back to Haslar and home.

Bembridge, 17/18 February 2018

Saturday 17

Drove down to the boat Saturday morning. No wind. Lovely sunny day. Motored over to Bembridge and were the fifth boat on the pontoon. Had lunch and walked all the way round the marina, up to the village and back. Lovely day. Evening I cooked lamb and we watched a movie.

Sunday 18

Grey morning, so lazed in bed and read papers. Breakfast and a motor back - still no wind.

Gins - met with RSYC, 10/11 February 2018

Saturday 10

Motored to Gins early – cold and wind on the nose but not rough. Onto the pontoon first and Gordon and Chris with John Webb in his Nimbus 34 came soon after, and we were the only boats. Forecast was bad, and the rain and wind came in at lunchtime – hence our early start. We had lunch and a snooze. Then we had them over for drinks, and then I put the six nations rugby on. They stayed for the first half. England Wales 12-6. Then up to the club for the jazz night dinner. Still raining hard and windy. Food ok. Good to see Gordon and Chris again.

Sunday 11

Lovely sunny morning and wind forecast, so we left against the tide – it was very neapy, so not too bad as plenty of wind. Motored over to Cowes and fuelled up, and then motor sailed with the genoa back, surfing the waves in the sunshine. Lovely.

Cowes - Capricorn Rally, 20/21 January 2018

Saturday 20

Julia and I drove down to the boat Saturday morning. Malcolm and then Richard and Helen all turned up and after a nice lunch provided by Helen, we motored over to Cowes. Wind SE but not enough to do anything with. Weather grey and miserable all day, but good company. Went into the Anchor and then a snooze, bubbles on board and dinner in Coast. Lovely evening.

Sunday 21

Really miserable and wet today. Had a lie in, and Julia made breakfast. Then we motored back. The wind refused to come from the West as forecast, and the sea was up big and rough after a shit night. Real bucking bronco trip back. Horrible. Best forgotten.

Yarmouth, 13/14 January 2018

Saturday 13

On board overnight, and away at 0930. Nice SE 4/5/6 breeze, so from Gilkicker, we had a really cracking three quarter reach pretty much all the way. Really nice sail. Had lunch on arrival. A rest, and then a short walk, and popped in to see Diana and Robert at their rented cottage by the boatyard. Had bubbles with them, and then back to the boat to change and off to On The Rocks - just the two of us. Great, as always.

Sunday 14

Up and away early at 0730. Wind on the nose and cold, so after a bit we went inside and steered from there. Heating went on when we arrived on Friday, and hadn't been off, so it was lovely and warm. Went to my mum for lunch, and then saw Julia's mum on the way back.

Cowes with Bacchus, and New Year's Eve with Area 15, 30/31 December 2017

Saturday 30 December 2017

Motored into very rough seas and lots of wind to Cowes Yacht Haven in the morning. In the afternoon, Bacchus came down from Lymington to join us with Lloyd, Gemma, Taylor and Rob Taubman on board. We went into Cowes for drinks at the ISC and in front of the fire at Pier View, and later had dinner at Toninos, which was average. Coast and the Grill were both booked out.

Sunday 31 December 2017

Up and away at 0800. Very wet, miserable and windy, but at least it was downwind and not as rolling a sea as yesterday. Juniper (Andy Thomes borrowing) and Skoolie joined us across Hayling Bay, and we all piled into Northney Marina. We walked to the Ship for a birthday lunch for Rob. It was truly wet and miserable on that walk.

In the evening we had a fleet of taxis take us to Lee and Sam's house for the New Year's Eve party. It was a great party, although I was still under the weather with my ongoing chest infection. I managed to summon some energy for around midnight though. Taxis home at 0100.

Monday 01 January 2018

Up and away at 1020. Little wind now but raining and a shit swell at the bar. Wyldwind powered through it all though and we were soon back into Haslar where Julia made us a fine breakfast.

Area 15 Xmas Party in Cowes, Sat 09 December 2017

Saturday 09 December 2017

Lots of deliberation about the weather forecast for Sunday. In the end we decided to go over and come back after dinner. We only took three boats - Bacchus, Wyldwind and Diablito. We had Andy and Jen and the girls and Alice and Matt on board with us. We motored over at lunchtime and went into the Yacht Haven on a short stay. Did some shopping and had drinks, then dinner at Coast. Slightly subdued as we knew we couldn't drink too much. Then we motored back in a flat calm and back into Haslar for some late night drinks. The predicted storm came in at 0300 and it was gusting over 50 knots out there, so we were vindicated in our decision.

Yarmouth with Bacchus, 02/03 December 2017

Saturday 02 December 2017

Bit of a lie in and then got ready. Lloyd and Gemma came round for sloe gin before we departed at 10:00. Motored to Yarmouth, and had lunch. Then want for a walk and into the Kings Head. Sleep in the afternoon, and drinks before dinner at On the Rocks.

Sunday 03 December 2017

Up and away at 0800. Some wind aft, but not enough contrary to the forecast! So we got the genoa out a couple of times, but mainly motored. Went round to my mum’s and had brunch with her. Julia cooked.

Day trip for my work colleagues, Sat 18 November 2017

Work colleagues, Mark Smith, Mark Barrington, Rosalie and Ola arrived at 10:15. Weather grey and drizzle and wind increasing. Bumpy motor over to Cowes. Up to ISC for lunch. Nice. Cracking sail back downwind. All OK, and all enjoyed. They went shortly after 5. We went to the New Bengal. Not as good as it was.

A couple of days with Ed, 09/10 November 2017

Wednesday 08 November 2017

I picked Ed up at Basingstoke station due to train strikes. We called in to see my mum on the way to the boat. Later, I cooked us a meal, and we watched a movie, and generally caught up on things

Thursday 09 November 2017

We went onto the sea lift for a scrub, and then motored to Newtown River and had lunch. Then into the Yacht Haven at Cowes, and after a snooze, went to the Anchor and then to Coast.

Friday 10 November 2017

Up bright and early, and the sun came out with a stiff Westerly breeze. We sailed goose winged back and had a great sail in the sunshine. Then Ed off to Yorkshire and me home to work.

Lymington with Richard and Helen, 04/05 November 2017

Saturday 04 November 2017

Motored to Lymington, and had lunch on arrival. Then went to a new place, Coopers wine bar. Then dinner in the Shipyard, where were joined by Nigel and Suzie. Nice evening.

Sunday 05 November 2017

Lazy morning, had brunch and then got a sail home.

Area 15 Halloween, 28/29 October 2017

Saturday 28 October 2017

Sunny and warm again. Matt and Alice arrived about 0830, and we were out on our way, motoring at 0850. Met Diablito in the harbour entrance and had a nice trip over. Got into East Cowes and took up on pontoon A5/A6. Diablito went in front of us. Later Jazzmine and Juniper on the same pontoon. Decorated the boat, ate cakes, had lunch with Lee, Sam and Rob from Diablito joining us. Nice atmosphere. Matt, Alice came with us in the water taxi over to Town Quay. Drinks in ISC, then shopping. Julia bought me new Musto trousers. Then into the Anchor for a G&T and then back to boat. Had a snooze, and then got into fancy dress, and headed for the lifeboat for dinner. 13 adults and four kids. Great evening.

Sunday 29 October 2017

Grey to start, but sun came out and wind reasonable, but NNE. We had breakfast waiting for the tide. RSYC motor boat rally came in and both Bob and Linda came round to see us. Then we motored right over to Hill Head to get a nice reach down to Gilkicker. I let Matt steer a bit. Wind died at Gilkicker as usual, so motored in. Nice weekend. Home in separate cars, and then chilled. Watched Strictly, and Gunpowder, and followed Lewis Hamilton winning his fourth world title on the internet.

Bembridge with Neil and Jane, Sunday 22 October 2017

Saturday 21 October 2017

Storm Brian kept us in port. I had postponed Yarmouth and On the Rocks and booked dinner at the Lightship. Julia and I had a lazy morning, expecting Neil and Jane at 1100. However they rang to say they were late, so we whizzed out and got fancy dress for next week’s Halloween bash. Neil and Jane arrived and we had a drink, and lunch. Then later we walked the pontoons, had snoozes and dinner at the lightship, which was fine.

Sunday 22 October 2017

Sunny and wind easing from the 40-50 knots, but still very windy. We went to Bembridge and had a great reach over with some big gusts - wind 5/6/7 - small amount of main and half genoa. We were the only boat there. Had a walk up to the Vine, and then back for breakfast. Then I let Neil bring her back, and we had up to 30 gusts just under genoa. We came nicely into port, and they shot off back to Cornwall and we headed home.

Newtown Creek with Gillian and Allan, 14/15 October 2017

Saturday 14 October 2017

Another early start – away at 0830, and motored to Newtown. Picked up a buoy, and settled in. Solent Blue rafted alongside (John and Nina) Weather pleasant eventually. Went for the standard walk at 3pm, and then drinks on Solent Blue. Then in Allan’s dinghy, my outboard to the New Inn and dinner. OK evening as usual.

Sunday 15 October 2017

Lazed in bed all morning waiting for the tide and I needed a sleep. Julia did breakfast and we motored back. Then Julia to her mum and me to mine. Then home

A small Autumn Cruise to Poole, 05-08 October 2017

Thursday 05 October 2017

The gale was later than forecast, so we delayed going to the boat, and got there for 10:00 ish and got away about 11:30. Wind easing all the time, and the sun came out. Motored to Cowes and got fuel, and then sailed to Hurst. It got too tight (NW) and so motor sailed to Poole and got in about 5:30. Lovely sunshine, so had a beer on the back of the boat. Then changed, G&Ts and off to Bingleys for a meal, which was wonderful. Nice evening.

Friday 06 October 2017

Weather was fine and sunny, and our little hire boat was delivered shortly after 10. We then motored up to Wareham, and tied up at the bridge. Lunch upstairs in the old granary. Mainly sat in the sunshine, but it clouded over earlier than forecast, and so took the “shine” off it. Came back and had a jolly around the harbour over to Pottery Pier, and then back to the marina. They picked up the boat, and I paid. Then we had a snooze, and then watched a movie – Another Mother’s son about Jersey in the war. Good, and we had supper in a break. Then watched Cold Feet and went to bed.

Saturday 07 October 2017

Weather gone bad. Wet and windy overnight. Lazed in bed until 10:30. Julia went shopping and I did some catching up on things like this blog. Julia went shopping and I got through a load of admin on the laptop. In the afternoon we did boat jobs. Julia fenders and I did the teak.

Sunday 08 October 2017

Up and away at 0730, and fought the tide out of Poole. Grey and motoring day. Back in at lunchtime. Bacon butties on the way. We went to see Marion in hospital again on the way back.

Hamble, 30 September, 01 October 2017

Saturday 30 September 2017

Up and away to the boat at 0800. Grey and drizzle, but a good sail from Gilkicker to Bald Head, and motored into Port Hamble. Went to shops, had lunch and chilled. Lazy resting day. At 18:30 Tom and Annie joined us for drinks, and then dinner at the Boomerang. Served by little Vesula again. Nice evening

Sunday 01 October 2017

Grey and drizzle again, but enough wind for another cracking sail from Bald Head to Gilkicker. Into Haslar, and then off for lunch at the Bun Penny with my mum.

Bembridge, 09/10 September 2017

Saturday 09 September 2017

Well the sun was shining and it was a lovely morning. Left at 08:00 and got to the boat. Looked at the tide height and decided to run into Bembridge early. Got a super sail over on a beam reach, and into the harbour with 2.2 metres over the bar. The forecast frightened off six rallies and it was quiet all weekend. We had lunch and enjoyed the weather. It threatened to be awful, but never was really. We just chilled. Had a snooze, and drinks before walking round to Baywatch. Had lovely pan fried whole sea bream, and white wine. Lovely evening. Back and watched independence day 2.

Sunday 10 September 2017

Lovely sunny and calm morning. Papers delivered at 08:00 and read those. I cooked scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and the croissants that were delivered. Then picked sloes – 3kg. Weather on the turn but had to wait for the tide. Then as soon as we could, we slipped as the wind was building and it said 2.1 metres, and we got out although some of the depth readings were a little worrying. Then set the jib as it blew SW 5/6/7. Set nicely, but a tanker was in our path – the only boat, but in our line, so I had to hang fire into an increasing breeze, and although we pulled back behind it, the sail was never as nice. Good weekend though, and the sloes are bagged for the next batch of sloe gin.

Ocean Village to see Gordon and Christine, 02/03 September 2017

Saturday 02 September 2017

Drove down first thing and away by 09:30. Lovely sunny day with little wind. Motored up to Ocean Village and moored in the RSYC Pool, which Gordon had booked for us. We then cycled up to Shamrock Quay and replaced my sunglasses and bought a new fender. Back for Brunch, and then we cycled to the Duke of Wellington Pub just inside the town walls and sat outside in the sunshine. Cycled back and had a snooze. Then Gin and tonics with Gordon and Christine aboard with us, and we all trooped off to the local Italian Tapas, which was great. Nightcap back on board and to bed.

Sunday 03 September 2017

Well summer went overnight and it was grey and starting to rain. I took us out of the pool at 0800, while Julia was still below, and we motored into the wind down Southampton Water. Once we were at Fawley and able to bear away a bit, we were able to beat along close to the shore to Gilkicker, which was great as the wind was piping up to F5, F6 gusts. Full main, three quarters genoa. Tricky mooring as wind from the South as we came in, so I reversed down the trots and drove in hard to get the "ferry-glide". Julia executed her part well, and it was a stress free mooring. Came straight home and had brunch there.

Weymouth August Bank Holiday, 25 - 29 August 2017

Friday 25 August

Glorious sunshine and for all five days !! Got away at 11:30 and motored in little wind, and that on the nose (as you would expect) and at the bridge waiting pontoon at 19:00. Fish and chips was abandoned as the queues were too long, so we ate lunch two!. Bridge lifted at 20:00 and we went onto A20 starboard side to. Then walked to the Boot for a drink and bed.

Saturday 26 August 2017

Lovely lazy morning and smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, we went into town and did some shopping. We then explored the town and checked out the restaurant for later and had a drink on the sunny decking area at the Royal Dorset Yacht Club. Back for drinks and then a meal sat outside at the Crows Nest - which was good.

Sunday 27 August

Another sunny lazy morning, and then we cycled the Rodwell Trail to Portland. Back for lunch and after some sunbathing, we took the dinghy out of the harbour and landed on the beach right at the far end, which was the only place we were allowed to land without a prop guard. I had prepared some brochettes and marinaded them during the day so in the evening I BBQ-d them off the back of the cockpit. Then we watched a movie and bed.

Monday 28 August 2017

Up and took the 0800 bridge lift and motored to Yarmouth. Mainly hazy, but sunny when we came into harbour. Bacon butties on the way. Once in, we met with Gareth Phillips in his motorboat Vistar and some of his friends, and then Dianna Edwards arrived with George the Red Setter. They all left and we took the dinghy up the river Yar. Then we had drinks with Gareth aboard Vistar and the three of us had diner at on the Rocks, a nightcap and bed.

Tuesday 29 August 2017

Some cloud but a lot of sunny spells still as well. Lazy morning and Julia cooked breakfast for us and we invited Gareth too. Then motored home to Haslar and sunbathed for a bit before heading home. A truly lovely mini break. I simply can't remember the last time a bank holiday had good weather all the way through!

Lymington with James and Dani, 19/20 August 2017

Saturday 19 August

James and Dani arrived on Friday night, and we set off early on Saturday morning, motoring into the wind and a bit of sea. not as bad as I had expected until later. It was sunny. Into Berthon, and Julia did cooked breakfast, then to the market and the Kings Head. Then a lazy afternoon. Never got warm enough to sit out. Showers and pre dinner drinks. Then a meal at the Koh Thai.

Sunday 20 August 2017

Another early start due to the tides, but it was sunny, and no wind, so we had to motor again. Nipped into Cowes for fuel ahead of the bank holiday, and then home. Lunch and then round to my mum's and then all on our separate ways.

Cowes and Yarmouth with Derek Lowe, 16/17 August 2017

Wednesday 16 August

I arrived at 0600, and Colin picked me up in the rib and I joined Lloyd and Bacchus over on the Gunwharf pontoon to watch the new huge aircraft carrier coming into harbour. Then back, and Derek Lowe arrived and we motored off to see the carrier for him, and then to the Folly and rafted outside Rex - Rise and Shine Too, and Paul came in on Victory outside us. Nice drinks and lunch, and then we motored to Yarmouth. Got in up against the pontoon alongside the wall. Evening we ended up in the Bugle which was rubbish, and then listened to music and early bed. It rained and howled overnight.

Thursday 17 August 2017

It was grey and horrid until lunchtime. Lazy morning, and then the sun came out and we prepared to go. Then Tony and Heather Birr came round to say hello, and then we got a cracking sail in a 4/5/6 SW under genoa reefed. Great sunshine and lots of wind. Derek very happy. He went at 5pm, and I had a lazy evening. Cooked myself a meal and early bed.

Seaview for lunch with Allan and Gillian Beswick, 13 August 2017

Sunday 13 August

Nice and sunny, and Julia got the papers while I did the covers on the seat backs using fender socks. Then coffee, and Allan and Gillian arrived and we motored over to Seaview, went ashore by rib (M2 Slip), and had Sunday lunch – we all had crab salad. Then a walk, back on the boat lazed and then motored back over. Very sunny and warm. Lovely day.

Newtown on my own, 10/11 August 2017

Thursday 10 August

At last, as forecast, the sun came out and I motor sailed against the tide to Newtown. There was a good Northerly breeze, so with genny out, I managed a good speed, which I wouldn’t otherwise have got. Lovely weather. Came in expecting it to be full, but empty. Skoolie Too there though so moored up near to them and said hello. A lot of current and wind, so it was the third attempt. Lesson – make sure the line is free enough. Refused invite to join Skoolies at the New Inn, got solar panels up and dinghy inflated, and outboard engine on. Then lovely lunch, then went exploring in the new dinghy. All OK, but I think old fuel in the outboard ruined the last bit. Back and chilled and read an old diary. Then invited Skoolies over for drinks 5:30 – 7pm, then they went and I did a BBQ and watched the sun go down. Chilled.

Friday 11 August 2017

Nice lie in, and sunny again. Had a coffee and read the Sunday Times. Did some jobs, and then motor sailed back in lovely sunshine. As I got to Haslar it started to cloud over, and the wind was getting up. No bother mooring although Gemma came down the pontoon to offer help. Then had lunch and came home. Showered and then we went to pick up my new car, Mazda 6, RE17YKA, soul red. Came home and we had a nice meal and watched a movie.

Hamble (fastnet start) with Gina, 06 August 2017

Sunday 06 August

Gina arrived at 0900, and we went to the boat. Motored and saw the Fastnet start, and then into the Hamble for lunch at the King and Queen, outside in the sunshine – very nice. Then a cracking windy downwind sail home. Fantastic. Got home about 6:30. Watched some TV and ate, and early night.

Yarmouth and Cowes, 29/30 July 2017

Saturday 29 July

Got away early and motored to Yarmouth in sunshine. Martin and Michele had decided not to join us as the forecast was bad for the weekend, but Julia and I still had a great time. We got into Yarmouth, had brunch and took a taxi to Cowes to soak up the race village. Yes it rained, but it was OK. Had drinks in the Island Sailing Club and then gins at the Fever Tree stand. Took the bus back and ate at on The Rocks in the evening. Nice as ever.

Sunday 30 July 2017

Cracking sunshine and wind, as we had a cracking downwind sail dodging through the Cowes racing fleets.

Emsworth, 08/09 July 2017

Saturday 08 July 2017

Hot and sunny again as it has been all week and hot. Motored to the Emsworth Visitors pontoon, and the dinghy has finally died. Ian, the new harbour master taking over from Sid, ran us in for an hour, so we couldn’t see Lee, but we had lunch outside at the Bluebell – scallops ! Then a wander round and Ian took us back out. Got too windy to sit outside, so we went to bed ! Lovely. Spoke to Beatrix HSSC, who had a Lodestar ultra light and so decided to buy one of those at £1170. Julia ordered it when we got home. We also spoke to a lovely couple on Babushka – a 28 foot boat. G&Ts and then I did a BBQ in the evening , and we watched Allied. Good movie.

Sunday 09 July

Lovely sunny morning. I folded up the dinghy, did a couple of jobs and cooked scrambled eggs with smoked salmon. Then we motored back into Haslar, and sunbathed and I drank beer. Spoke with Jennifer and David next door. Then to mum’s and saw Neil and Margaret. Then home, drinks outside, and supper, TV and bed.

Yarmouth and Cowes with Oli and Em, 01/02 July 2017

Saturday 01 July

Oli and Em were on time, and we motored to Yarmouth. Weather great all weekend. We got in and had brunch and then took a taxi to Cowes, and sat outside at ISC. Gemma and co joined us and we waved Kraken in after they finished. Back to Yarmouth and had dinner at Saltys. Overpriced in our view. Then watched two episodes of Desperate Romantics.

Sunday 02 July 2017

Lovely morning, and away at 10:00. Emily steered us out of the harbour. Motored back in glorious sunshine. Julia did bacon butties. Then into Haslar and went to my mum’s. Then home and Julia and I sat outside in the sun.

Port Hamble, 24-25 June 2017

Saturday 24 June

Sunny weather gone now, and cloudy weekend with the odd sunny spell. SW 4/5/6, and so motored over to Ryde and set into a lovely beat to the Hamble. Well heeled and reefed but sailing well. Great sail in fact. Into Hamble on F27 port side just off Banana Wharf. Bacon butties and then a walk around. Evening we ate at theBoomerang. Served well by short greek lady, Vesula. Great service and food. Nice night. Back and watched Interstellar – a long film

Sunday 25 June 2017

Same wind, and another cracking sail back – slightly eased more, but reefed

Poole with Ken Oakerbee, 16-18 June 2017

Friday 16 June

Up and away at 0530 and motored to Poole. Heatwave now well under way – been good all week, and forecast into the weekend. Bacon butties on the way. Got into Poole Quay Haven C8 stbd side to. Went for a drink on the front and then some lunch. Evening Ken cooked up his casserole he brought. Early night.

Saturday 17 June

Up and on the train to Wareham. Walked into town. Baking hot. Sat in the Old Granary and read the papers and had a lazy lunch, and train back. dinner was steak at Ranchos, and a reasonably early night.

Sunday 18 June 2017

Lazy morning. Watched Andrew Marr show for Ken and then motored back to Haslar. I again did bacon butties on the way.

St Vaast, Cherbourg and Lymington, 26 May - 04 June2017

Friday 26 May 2017

Allan and Gillian joined us on Thursday night and we had supper in Haslar.

Up and away at 0500, with Julia and Gillian staying in bed. Nasty chop that persisted all day, and so everyone was under the weather except me. Arrived and anchored off after 13 hours. Not quite time to have dinner as needed to rush in. Had to raft outside Magic. Had supper, and tied the marina bar, but it was closed ! Boo! weather had been sunny but never a decent sail.

Saturday 27 May

Got up quickly to move but missed a slot, but soon after got into one next to Rex. Into the market – weather still nice enough. Got cheese as usual. Evening Lou and Adam had organised a restautant on the front, and it was a nice meal with Bob Jackie, Lou Adam, us four and Gordon and Chris.

Sunday 28 May

Blessed with reasonable weather so we were able to eat out across Northern Star and Rise and Shine. Afternoon drinks aboard Wyldwind.

Monday 29 May

It rained horribly. Allan and Gillian moved to Northern Spirit – they on to Alderney, others all set off for Cherbourg. We waited until the tide was really with us and got there in three and a bit hours and no rain until we had tied up in Cherbourg. Julia and I met Rex and the boys in the marina bar.

Tuesday 30 May

Weather improved, and we went into Carrefour and brought a trolley back. We prepared lunch for Gordon, Chris and Bob and Jackie, and this went on through the afternoon. We decided to stay in Cherbourg looking at the forecast and not go to Alderney. Evening we went to our favourite bar Les Boucaniers, and then Pantagruel ! Lovely

Wednesday 31 May

Again, shopped in the morning, and then chilled in the afternoon. I did some work. It stayed cloudy even though sun was forecast. Evening the sun finally came out and we tried another bar by the Halls. It was OK but not the same as our favourite. We then ate at the Moulin, the pizza place, and that was good.

Thursday 01 June 2017

This day had always been forecast to be sunny and it was. We shopped for brochettes as I planned to try out the new BBQ, and it was market day, so we had a mooch around that. Sunbathed in the afternoon, had a drink at Les Boucaniers and then I did the BBQ. Nice last evening in France.

Friday 02 June 2017

Up and away by 0500. Smooth and glassy most of the way. Not enough wind for us, so we motor sailed all the way. Weather was bright and we had a nice crossing for Julia. She was able to read ! We were booked into Lymington Berthon and tied up around 1630. We had booked the Koh Thai and so we went up there which was fine.

Saturday 03 June

Up and into the market, where we bumped into Nigel. We then went on the train and ferry over to Yarmouth as the Old Gaffers festival was on and this time around the full town carnival as well. We bumped into Grumpy Bear, but none of the others. We had a drink in the yacht club, and then back over. Evening, we went to the Shipyard, and that was excellent.

Sunday 04 June

We went into town and then got away late morning and it was sunny and we were at last able to have a nice sail back into Haslar. Got sorted and then home.

Bembridge with Richard and Helen, 13/14 May 2017

Saturday 13 May 2017

Richard and Helen were a little late, so we left half an hour late, but got into Bembridge OK, although they claimed it would be really busy. Lovely sunny weekend. We had brunch and then taxi over to the beach and a drink in the Pilot, then a walk back. Evening drinks and meal at Baywatch.

Sunday 14 May 2017

Lovely wind and weather. Lazy morning, and then up to St Helens for a drink in the Vine after a full breakfast. Then away about 1430 and had a great sail back. Home and drank outside in the sun, and then TV etc.

Yarmouth with Malcolm and Sue, 06/07 May 2017

Saturday 06 May 2017

Sue and Malcolm turned up slightly late, and we headed out ahead of Diablito. The sun came out and we had the cruising chute up all the way from Osborne Bay to Yarmouth ! Wow! Into Yarmouth, it got grey though. Had brunch with champagne. Diablito came over for more drinks. Later we went to see Diana along the coast by Sconce and I made us all Pimms and we sat in her garden. Evening, we had drinks aboard Wyldwind and dinner at the Wheatsheaf: John, Julia, Malcolm, Sue, Lee, Sam, Diana & Robert. Good night out. Quick nightcap on ours.

Sunday 07 May 2017

Up early and away shortly after 8. No sailing and grey. Motored sailed home. Had brunch, and then Malc helped me get the sails off and the boom. They he and Sue went and Julia and I took the boat round to Gosport Boatyard, where I disconnected the mast electronics. We left her there for mast out this week. All very tiring! Home and sat in the sun with a drink

Area 15 Rally to Brighton, Early Spring Bank Holiday 29 April 2017

This Area 15 Rally included only Diablito and us, but Lloyd brought his customers Tim and Chris along in Charisma. We had Gemma and Taylor on board, and Lloyd slept on board Wyldwind Saturday night.

Saturday 29 April

Gemma and Taylor were round in time and we headed out at 06:30 heading for Brighton. Met Lee, Sam and Sam (Lee’s brother) on Diablito in the harbour entrance, and Lloyd as delivery skipper on Charisma with Tim and Chris an hour or so behind us. Got quite a bit of sailing in and it was a favourable SSE all the way. Neatly into Brighton and we all arrived. Drinks on Diablito in the sunshine, and then into Brighton for shopping. Number 7 bus delayed so we took 21, which was a mistake, as it went all around the houses. Anyway got into town and shopped. I bought Musto trousers, a very expensive jacket, and drinks at Bella Italia in the sun. Then back to the boat and in the evening we all went to Prezzo on the boardwalk. Not great service and Julia not too well, but enjoyable company. Julia went to bed, whilst everyone else went drinking on Diablito. I went for a short while and retired. Very windy overnight as worse weather came in. Lloyd slept on ours along with Gemma and Taylor

Sunday 30 April

Lazy morning. Then we showered on board and after coffee, walked into Brighton and Julia did some shopping and bought a dress. Then a fantastic lunch at English’s seafood place. I had oysters in tempura batter with Soy sauce and we both had tandoori monkfish, and a bottle of muscadet ! Excellent. Evening, Gemma and Taylor took the train home, and Lloyd was with his customers. We watched the final episode of Line of Duty. Weather outside not good – windy and a dire forecast.

Monday 01 May

Lloyd didn’t go at 0500, but did go at 07:15. Bad forecast, but we really had no choice and after breakfast, we set off with Daiblito at 12:15. SW 6-8 we got and it was rough. Very rough through the Looe channel, and then as forecast, it finally came in NE 5 ! Great sail and some sunshine on the final hour into Portsmouth. Got in around 18:30 and home by 20:00. Had nibbles and an early night

Area 15 Easter Rally to Poole, Friday 14 - Monday 17 April 2017

I organised an Area 15 with some help from Colin when Brighton wouldn't take us. The boats including Bacchus, Skoolie Too, Jazzmine and Juniper.

Friday 14 April

Bubbles and sloe gin on the pontoon by Juniper for their naming ceremony, and we met our new neighbours in their Moody 36, Magic Mood – David and Jenifer.

Then we motored out – Bacchus, Skoolie, Juniper, Jazzmine, and formed up as Paul Howard came the other way and took our picture. I even got an Area 15 flag passed over from Bacchus on the water ! The wind was more or less on the nose, but motored out to the Needles to try to sail. Very rough at the Bridge, but got the sails up and tried. Ended up motor sailing. Got into Poole Quay Haven first and we were on hammer head C. Everyone arrived and it was quiet night – some drinks and all the girls collected fish and chips. (onion rings instead of chips for us !)

Saturday 15 April

Lazy morning, and shopping. Chandlers and Tesco, then shoes for Julia. Then into the pub and more shopping. Evening, we had a massive meal at the Brewhouse and drinks back on Juniper. Big night out

Sunday 16 April

Not too hungover, and up and on the bus with Russ and Lisa to Swanage. Had coffee and split. We did shops and then Old Brick Pizza for a long lunch. Eventually the others caught us up – Andy, Jen, Ella and Elsie, along with Gareth and Lou, Esme & Etienne, and Russ and Lisa. All the others stayed at Poole. Evening – a few drinks just with Russ and Lisa aboard ours and we ate nibbles and watched Line of Duty.

Monday 17 April

Weather had been sunny intervals all weekend but cold. We all got away about 08:30 and managed a sail across Poole bay as the wind gradually came onto the nose and then went light. Motored through the Solent, and then home in good time

East Cowes for lunch with Rex and the gang, Wednesday 05 April 2017

I had the day off, so Richard Stoneman joined me in the morning and we had a cracking sail to Cowes - F3/4 Northerly/ Drinks on board Rise and Shine Too, and lunch at the lifeboat.

The lovely sunny weather continued and we had another fine sail back. A glass or two and then dinner in Hardys which was frankly poor. Richard headed home and I stayed on to have the boat ready for a full service next morning

Lymington, Friday 31 March - Sunday 02 April 2017

Julia arrived at 17:00 Friday afternoon, and we motored in nice sunshine to Lymington Yacht Haven. Cooked and watched a movie. Saturday we were up and into the market. Good shopping day - Julia bought a top and we bought new lifejackets. Evening, drinks with Nigel and Suzie and then dinner at the Berthon restaurant - the Shipyard

Sunday still sunny, and after a lazy morning motored back. Had breakfast on route and saw my mum on the way home

Hamble Universal, 25-26 March 2017

F6 NE so great sail to Universal. Walked round to Jolly Sailor after lunch and back for dinner at Bistro 8 - great food and service

Sunday still windy, and well reefed, we got a great beat along Lee on the Solent shore

Ocean Village and Cowes, 18-19 March 2017

F6 WNW on the nose uncomfortable motor up to Ocean Village. Suffered the rugby and enjoyed a fantastic evening at RSYC for Gordon and Christine's Wedding Anniversary party

Sunday F6 but WSW. Nice sail down Southampton Water but rough across to Cowes. Met Bacchus and Skoolie Too at the Island Sailing Club for lunch Marvellous downwind sail under genoa back!

Yarmouth with Richard and Helen, 11-12 March 2017

Richard and Helen joined us and we motored to Yarmouth quickly on the spring tide. Thick fog and radar until Gurnard, when we had some warm sun, but by Yarmouth it was murky and stayed that way all weekend. Arrived and had lunch on board, and then into town and the Kings Head. Sleep and drinks and dinner at on the Rocks.

Sunday still foggy but not thick enough for radar. Motored back, and had brunch on arrival. Went to see my mum and home.

Cowes to meet Gordon and Christine, 25-26 February 2017

Motored over to Cowes in strong winds but the sea not too fierce. Got fuel then moored with some difficulty. Gordon and Christine arrived in the afternoon. Drinks and then a meal at the Grill

Sunday was better than expected and the sun came out a bit and we even got a sail.

Hamble with Richard and Helen, 27-28 January 2017

Motored over to Ryde, and hoisted sail. Great fetch all the way up to the Hamble. Really enjoyable in fine weather. We went ot the pub during the afternoon, and dinner at the Italian, which was fine.

Sunday was miserable and we motored back staying inside for the first part.

Yarmouth my birthday bash, 21-22 January 2017

Motored to Yarmouth in company with Bacchus and Jazzmine, and met up with Daiblito there. Drinks in town, drinks on Wyldwind and dinner at On the Rocks. More later on Bacchus - quite an evening !

Sunday, the weather was nice and we came back in company - really nice ot be on the water, even though we were perhaps a little jaded.

Cowes, 07-08 January 2017

Motored over to Cowes Yacht Haven, and had bacon butties on the way. Calm and grey. Out for a walk and into the Anchor. Lloyd, Russ, Alex, Colin and Matt all popped in - out on a boy's jolly. In the evening we had dinner at Coast - not as good as usual.

Thick fog on Sunday morning and it was very hard getting across the Solent. Visibility was down to less than a tenth of a mile. You could hardly see the buoys as you went by. Really hard getting into the harbour entrance and lots of commercial traffic. Then onto my mum's for lunch.

Potter around Portsmouth Harbour, 01 December 2016

I needed to check and set the boat before we went away to LA for xmas, and I took a potter up to Fareham and back in grey and murky conditions. It was just nice to be on the water !

Yarmouth with Lee and Sam in Daiblito, 25-26 November 2016

Weather was grey and no wind, or a little airflow from the NE. Motored to Yarmouth, overtaking Daiblito along Haslar bank. Into Yarmouth and Lee and Sam came round for drinks and lunch. Later drinks on theirs and off to On the Rocks for a lovely evening. Back to Daiblito for a glass of port and bed.

Lazy morning, although I did get the papers. Breakfast and coffee and then motored back into a 4/5 NE and tide for the first hour. It brightened up a bit as we came in and we arrived well before dark

Cowes with Richard and Helen, 19-20 November 2016

Fairly lazy morning and Richard and Helen arrived and we motored over to Cowes – sometimes inside as it was cold. Got onto S5 and made sure I pointed South ready for the overnight storm. We had food and went to the pub etc. Dinner at Coast which was good even though we were upstairs. We were all very tired so it was an early bed.

The big storm blew through and after breakfast we got a nice sail back to Haslar.

Lymington 05-06 November 2016

Sunny intervals, and a bitterly cold NNW wind. Lazed in as we didn’t leave until 12:20. A tight fetch for us all the way to Lymington. Went into the Yacht Haven. Evening I cooked dinner for Nigel and Suzie and it was cold and lots of fireworks outside.

Lovely sunny morning. A cracking sail all the way back into Haslar – sparkling, and the boat was going really well. Magic.

Yarmouth 29-30 October 2016 - with Bacchus

Motored to Yarmouth followed by Bacchus. Met Diana and Robert for a drink at the Club, then sleep, drinks and a meal at On the Rocks.

Lovely sunny day, and we walked to the Red Lion for lunch. Then motored and sailed back in lovely weather. Nice weekend.

Gins 15-16 October 2016

SSW 4/5 Motored over to Ryde and set sail and had a great fetch into the Beaulieu. Moored on the pontoon and were invited for drinks aboard next door with Paul and Pricilla and Geoff and Jo. Sunny all day, and pleasant.

We had a snooze and got changed and went up to dinner. Only 30 for this event. Sat with Gillian and Allan. The food was the worst we've ever had at Gins, and the music was very dated and rarely got out of the sixties. In all it wasn't a great night. The company was great though!.

Sunday morning, there was again a great southerly breeze and we got a brilliant sail home.

Cowes 24-25 September 2016

Came down on Saturday morning for a change and away by 09:30. Big southerly blowing ( 4/5/6 ) and it was rough coming out of Portsmouth harbour. Motored over to Ryde and popped out the genoa, and had a fab sail into Cowes. Went into the Yacht Haven, on S6, right by the office and over towards the residents' berths. That kept us away from the large sunsail fleet and general loud melange that is always the haven on a Saturday. Even though we still got rafted.

We got the bikes out and cycled to Gurnard and foung the Little Gloster. In the evening, we ate at the Grill, we had venison, which was nice.

Sunday morning, we had plenty of time before the tide went slack / East, and so read the papers, shopped at Sainsburys, and after smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, got away at 11:30. It was now a big westerly, 5/6 occ 7, and I set the genoa only again, running well over to the other shore, before turning onto a broad reach, which gave us one of the best sails in the sunshine for a long time.

Bembridge RSYC Rally, 17-18 September 2016

Not much wind and wanted to get in early as they had 9 rallies, so motored over and rafted next to Rex in Rise and Shine. Picked sloes and relaxed. evening we took the taxi over to the sailing club and had dinner. Really nice evening.

Sunday morning, the weather was nice again, and we played boules and then BBQ lunch. We then motored back in glorious sunshine.

Late summer cruise, 26 August - 4 September 2016

Friday 26 August 2016

Beuatiful hot sunny day. Motored to Yarmouth and tucked into the western side. So nice we had lunch at the Yacht Club and then sun-bathed. I cooked again in the evening – magret this time.

Saturday 27 August 2016

Cycled to Freshwater. Shopped at the Coop and then ate lunch on the beach. Cloudy and windy but a warm day out of the breeze.

Dianna and Robert came for drinks at 5:45 and we had dinner at On the Rocks at 7pm. Lovely evening.

Sunday 28 August 2016

Bit hungover. Weather naff for boating – windy and some rain etc. So drinks at the Yacht Club with Robert and Dianna, and then back to theirs with all my cooking stuff and I cooked at the house. Summer cassoulet! All good. Then back to the boat – quiet night and TV.

Monday 29 August 2016

Motored and sailed a bit to Gins for lunch, but no chef, so we left and went and picked up a buoy just below Bucklers. Lovely – nice weather and watched the world and boats go by. Evening we went to the Yachtsmans Bar at the Master Builders and Allan and Gilian joined us for dinner. Great fun. Back to the boat in the dark.

Tuesday 30 August 2016

Motored down to Newtown – another blue skies hot day all day. Went down the line of buoys and all full, but coming back up a motor boat lifted off and we went straight in. Yes! Then sun-bathed, and explored in the dinghy. Ran aground, and engine wouldn’t start, so rowed back, but it cleared back at the boat. Changed, and G&Ts and then to Shalfleet to the New Inn for dinner. Sadly my fish was rubbish, and it spoiled it a bit. Also very noisy kids. Lovely sunset, ruined by kids noise, but stars coming out was good.

Wednesday 31 August 2016

Got a cracking light airs downwind sail to Cowes, goose-winged, and met up with Rex’s rally number 506 in the Yacht Haven. Drinks aboard Rise and Shine, and then lunch at the ISC. Great fun. Then onto East Cowes – weather still nice. The steak I had gave me the runs so I wasn’t so good in the evening and we watched TV.

Thursday 01 September 2016

Another beautiful day. We both showered and did emails etc over coffee.

Then we walked into Cowes and looked at the shops and then had lunch at RORC, which used to be the Royal Corinthian, out on the balcony in the sunshine – lovely. Then we went back and sunbathed on the boat. In the evening, I cooked the tagine, and we watched a lovely feel good movie – Man up with Simon Pegg and Lake Bell. We laughed and cried.

Friday 02 September 2016

Well that was the last of the good weather. It was grey with a W F4, so we had a long downwind sail, with more goose winging, right into the harbour and sort of even racing another boat on the turn to East Head. Then motored and picked up a buoy off Itchenor, just before the heavens opened. So we abandoned plans for a walk and stayed aboard.

At 6, we went ashore and met Lorna for dinner in the Ship. It was ok, and really nice to see her.

Saturday 03 September 2016

Another grey day, and a steady 4/5 SW which was on the nose as we motored over to Bembridge, where we had booked a premier pontoon berth. Hard mooring with wind and tide blowing us off but got on in the end. We had brunch and then a long walk right round and up the hill and back and got in ahead of the rain yet again. Drinks, and went to Baywatch for dinner. The rain eased. Really nice meal – whole sea bream, and back to the boat.

Sunday 04 September

Had the papers delivered along with croissants and had a lazy morning. Then at 11:30 we left and had a breezy WF5/6 sail back. Tidied the boat and came home in the two separate cars. I watched the grand prix, and then dinner and tv evening. Staying up late to watch lots of Victoria and the new Poldark.

Bembridge with Aly and Graham, 20-21 August 2016

It was blowing a gale F8 SW/SSW, and we saw 41.9 knots ( just into F9 ) as we entered Bembridge Harbour. It was exciting but everything was fine. Very few boats in the harbour, and none other than us arriving! as the picture shows, even moored up it was over 30 knots. Had lunch and then a walk and a drink at the Vine. Evening was dinner at Baywatch and was good as usual.

Sunday, we went round to Seaview YC for lunch and then had a nice sail back in a F5.

Ocean Village, 13-14 August 2016

Got a lovely sail from Lee up to Ocean Village in patchy sunshine. Chilled and went up to the club and had a drink. There we met James and Jackie who also crewed Gordon and Christine's narrow boat, immediately after us.

We chatted for so long that we were late out to dinner and missed the last table at the Thai Tapas, and after some walking around, settled for La Regata, the tapas by Red Funnel, which was OK

Sunday was a lovely warm summer morning and we lazed and read the papers. Then a motor back to Haslar, and home for a BBQ. Quiet weekend - just the two of us - nice.

East Cowes, Yarmouth and Gins with Oli and Emily ( Pickle ), 30-31 July 2016

Saturday 30 July 2016

Oli and Em arrived more or less on time and although it was warm, it was only partially sunny and no wind. We motored over to East Cowes, and then took the Zafira to Yarmouth. Had drinks at the yacht club, a short walk and then over to Diana’s place and met the new man Robert Condon. He was nice and we had champagne. Back into Cowes and walked to Coast for a super meal.

Sunday 31 July 2016

Really warm sunny morning. Motored over to Gins and had Sunday lunch, which was great and then got a lovely sail back! Really nice weekend. Home and had a nice evening.

Gins and Seaview with Martin and Michele, 23-24 July 2016

Saturday 23 July 2016

Got to the boat reasonably early after supper with Rob and Rosie at theirs the night before – warm sunny day. I got on with cleaning the waterline and cleaning the smears on the port quarter where the exhaust had marked. This was incredibly tiring. Got all jobs done that we could and had showers.

Martin & Michele turned up just after 2pm as planned and we headed off promptly to get ahead of the 200 boats watching the Americas cup. Got away and motored to the Beaulieu, and after speaking to John the bosun, we got our usual buoy. We went ashore for a quick drink and said Hi to June and Bob and back on the boat by 6 when John finished. I then cooked magret and we had a really lovely evening.

Sunday 24 July 2016

Cloudy and mizzle to start, and then some sunshine but not as warm or nice. Wind getting up as we waited for the tide to rise above the bar, and when we got out it was 15-22 knots SSW, so we sailed with main and 2/3 genoa pretty much all the way to Seaview. Instantly got the water taxi, and ashore for a nice lunch with the Americas Cup over on the horizon. Short walk around Seaview and then motored back into Haslar. They went home, and we got home and had toasted sandwiches and watched some TV. Great weekend.

Biscay and beyond, 18 June - 10 July 2016

Saturday 18 June 2016 - John, Rob and Lloyd delivery crew for the trip to Ile de Re

So off at 0900 in nice sunny weather – all in good spirits and drank lots of sloe gin. went through into the dark and then left Lloyd and Rob to fight against the tide.

Sunday 19 June 2016

When I came on at 0500 they seem to have gone south a bit, and as the day wore on we had more and more headwind and less progress against the tide. As we got towards dark, we made it through the Chanel du four but were going to miss the Raz and the weather was not kind – wind and sea getting up. Last forecast was 5/6. We decided to go outside the Raz to carry on and after an appalling time in the Chanel overfalls and just avoiding a huge racing fleet, I went to bed.

Monday 20 June 2016

Woke up to the boat being sailed hard on its ear - perhaps not best in my opinion. Lloyd and Rob went to bed, and I sailed on and the wind was touching 33 knots – it wasn’t nice and a very big sea - the boat was being rolled big time, but was generally moving through steadily. During the day we had dolphins which Lloyd filmed. Late afternoon, we lost the engine and couldn’t fix it – Rob having been sick all night and not well – Lloyd tired, so I called pan pan and we got towed into Port Haliguen. 1800 euro bill. Which eventually the insurance paid less my 500 pounds excess. Had a meal and a beer, and bed.

Tuesday 21 June 2016

In the morning got towed to the fuel berth to rule out running out of fuel. Confused by only 114 going into the port tank. Anyway filling up didn’t fix it, and after Lloyd was able to get at the copper pipes it turned out to be what I thought – the switch over valve between tanks was gunged so we couldn’t get the starboard tank going. Also we had taken a lot of water and shit into the system. Lloyd cleaned it all and we set off at 1700 into a nice sunny evening. I joked about all we needed was thick fog and a thunderstorm, so….. After I went to bed, the boys had thick fog.

Wednesday 22 June 2016

When I took watch at 0500, it was a nice sunrise with fog lifted – sailed for a bit. Lloyd went to sleep and then I got the mother of all thunderstorms around me. There’s a picture of it on the radar.

Anyway, later it got warm and sunny. Wind little but unbelievably still on the nose all the way – now from the south.

Finally anchored off Ile de Re and radioed in asking for pontoon side. waited ages and went in and got a good spot. Really hot – 30+ degrees – I thought this might be good. 340 miles into Port Haliguen, 109 miles to Ile de Re = 449 miles and 75 hours at sea 57 & 18.

Settled into Le Skipper and got to know the landlady Mayliss – French but spoke good English with an irish accent ! Had a meal there – I had moules frites of course although in blue cheese Roquefort.

Thursday 23 June 2016

Still warm but cooled during the day. Tidied the boat up and explored a bit – Lloyd and I went up the tower. Rob slept a lot. Patrick arrived so we arranged to have a meal with him after drinks on his motor boat Carpe Diem which was fantastic. The meal was at La Baleine and was expensive but nice.

Friday 24 June 2016

Rob about a bit more today but weather going off and very windy. Shopped for BBQ in the evening and gave drinks to Patrick and briefly Blandine when she arrived

Saturday 25 June 2016

The boys got packed up and Patrick and Blandine took us all to the airport where we waved them goodbye and went to La Rochelle for lunch. Warm and sunny again today although not as hot. Went back to the airport and met Julia and then back into La Rochelle for seafood at the best place in town - Andre. Really nice meal and evening.

Sunday 26 June 2016

Lie in. Then went for croissants, coffee, fresh OJ at Le Skipper. St Martin has a lovely harbour (gated) and great choice of restaurants and shops. Fairly up-market. John took Julia up the church tower (his 2nd visit) which had superb views and a perilous staircase. Visited the indoor Le Marché and bought lunch for al fresco dining on the boat. Chilled on the boat in the sunshine. P & B came for champagne on our boat before we all went for dinner at Baleine Bleu restaurant (John and Patrick’s 2nd visit). Superb cuisine and lovely view across the marina.

Monday 27 June 2016

Patrick and Blandine took us around the island in the car and we had lunch out – nice day. Looking at the weather, and the miles to go, which I had clearly underestimated, we decided to go next day. Did some shopping – I bought Julia a dress.

Tuesday 28 June 2016

Wasted a lot of time at the fuel berth without getting fuel, then up to Ile d’Yeu. Started ok, but quite a lot of swell which floored Julia. Got better and we got into Port Joinville where Martin and Michele of Filibuster greeted us. I had to do some smart reversing to get in. We had drinks with Martin and Michele and then I did another BBQ – for Julia this time. Just finished that when Richard and Helen Harden came round and had drinks with them.

Wednesday 29 June 2016 – Ed is 26 !

Late morning planned but we had to move. But we got a finger and Martin and Michele came over next to us too. Then went exploring as the shops shut ! Had lunch at pink place and back to the shops again. Had M&M round for drinks then Julia cooked pizza and burgers. Then nightcaps on Filibuster.

Thursday 30 June 2016

Up at first light and got fuel on a tricky fuel berth. Pretty sure we got some dodgy fuel there. Then off to Lorient – a long day with a big swell and wind on the nose or none at all. Quite rough coming out. didn’t have time to stop at Belle Isle and getting into Lorient was tricky being rolled in on a big sea against the outgoing tide. Got in at 8pm local and could only get on a hammerhead at Port Louis. tired but determined, we went into town and had a great pizza and a walk about. Back on the boat enjoyed a music party for just the two of us.

Friday 1 July 2016

Up really early again, so never paid ! and a nasty sea getting out and all the way to Loctudy where we planned to spend Saturday. Not a great trip but not bad. Let Julia go back to bed until 0900 having left at 0500. Had trouble with money limits on the fuel berth on arrival as having to use the small port tank as starboard seems to be buggered. Managed to get in in very tricky conditions with swirling currents and a lot of wind. Quite a few Brits there and a few helped us in. Big community of Brits including Ian and Meg on Spring Tide (friends of the Hardens). After the Capitainerie, walked into town past a visiting circus. Curious array of animals tethered near the marina, inc camel, buffalo, etc. Enjoyed a drink in the main town bar but too windy to sit outside. On way back, looked at the seafood shops at the water front – large fishing industry in Loctudy. Enjoyed magret de canard back on the boat.

Saturday 2 July

Spent the day in Loctudy. Rented free bikes from the Marina to visit Carrefour and fishmongers, where we purchased mackerel. Chilled on boat and then walked in to town and had lunch at Oceane which was disappointing. Julia had seafood salad and John very disappointing moules. Enjoyed some late afternoon sunshine on the boat but too windy to eat barbecued mackerel, so ate down below. Wind dropped later and chilled in the cockpit.

Sunday 3 July

Up at 3 am to make the Raz. Horrendous sea state/dark and not all guiding lights in place. To top it all, it then rained. Sea so huge, slowed the boat down so not able to make the Raz in time. Went in to Saint Evette, Audienne and moored on a buoy. Chilled for couple of hours and John slept as knackered from the awful trip. Water taxi took us ashore at 5 pm. Lovely location with a beautiful sandy beach. Walked to the far end and dined at La Grande Large, enjoying Entrecote steaks overlooking the sea. Walked back along the beach and water taxi back to boat. Wrote up blog.

Good stopping place if not able to make the Raz.

Monday 4 July

Up and away at 8 am. Headed to the Raz in cloud and then fog descended after 40 minutes – less than quarter of a mile viz accordingly radar. Several boats close by but only saw on the radar. Arrived Raz 30 minutes early. Calm seas finally so easy and flat to traverse the Raz. Fog lifted enough to see the lighthouse and towards the Chanel du Four but came back as we entered the chanel. Motored through with a large French racing boat which overtook us when the wind was right to sail and we overtook it when motoring and the wind died. Picked up east going tide as we round Le Four – did 9/10 knots all the way to Roscoff. Approach Roscoff though a channel with Ile de Batz on the other side. Enjoyed sunshine and view of old harbour and bridge finishing in the sea. Very modern marina and nice young marina lady to assist. Went to the fuel pontoon first (credit card issues again ) and then moored on A30 starboard side too with lots of current swirling round. Ate chilli con carne and left over magret de canard on board.

Tuesday 5 July

Cloudy start for the day. Walked into Roscoff through lovely streets to the old harbour. Hurrah – sun came out. Stumbled upon a brocante and we finally bought some cut glass wine glasses for the boat. Superb brocante. Then walked round old Roscoff which is lovely – beautiful medieval buildings. Bought faux fillet for bbq dinner on the boat. Left at 13.00 bst. Reached out under sail to sea and then the wind behind us so motor sailed. Sunshine and arrived at Treguier. First day we left and arrived in sunshine! Beautiful river up to Treguier. Saw 2 large dolphins that played for quite a while. Mooring tricky with swirling currents and spring tide. Lined up but pushed off the pontoon. All OK. John barbecued the faux filets and nice evening.

Wednesday 6 July

Lie in until 8.30 BST. John slow out of bed after 2 days of hard work boating. Into Treguier as market day. Bought loads of stuff and enjoyed more medieval buildings and lovely town square. Back on the boat, lazed in the sunshine. Lunch alfresco in the cock pit. Dinner at restaurant in town. Not very busy (3 sailing Brits together and 2 single Frenchmen) but good food. Pregnant waitress. Drunk French chef who came out to talk to everyone and was great fun. Free Armagnac.

Thursday 7 July

Departed first light up the river. Beautiful watching the sun rise. At the sea entrance the 2 same dolphins came to play. Made their entrance known by bumping the underneath of the boat which was a bit nerve wracking. Came as far as the last marker buoy and then went back up river. Seem to treat as their boundary. Motor sailed in sunshine to St Peter Port. Arrived midday getting cheap fuel first and saying hello to Richard and Helen from Petersfield on the fuel pontoon. Moored on the outer pontoon as departing early next day. Ended up 3 deep. Lunch on board and then went in to town – M&S, bank and book table for dinner at Dix Neuf. Visited a really friendly jewellers. Then met up with R & H in a pub and good catch up. Back to boat to shower and change and then dinner at Dix Neuf with R & H. Late port back on our boat.

Friday 8 July

Up at 6.30. Boats moving and departed at 7.30 am. Sunshine again and had hoped to sail but no wind so again motored. Arrived 11.15 but sun then disappeared and windy in Braye Harbour. Went ashore on the water taxi and walked up to St Annes. Drinks out at the Georgian but drizzled. High Street improved and new restaurants. Water taxi back. Snoozed and showered. Watched Wimbledon with Roger Federer being beaten. Drinks at the Sailing Club and chatted to the locals. Dinner at Braye Beach Hotel – prosecco in the sunshine outside. Lobster and crab salads which were lovely.

Saturday 9 July

Depart at 3 am which John did on his own. Foggy and rolling sea all the way back. No sunshine. John snoozed after Julia got up at 9.00. Came in via the Needles and Hurst narrows was exciting. Arrived Lymington at 2.15 pm. Went in to town to shop and met up with the Wheelhouses and friend Danielle and son for dinner at the Mayflower. John lost a filling – yuk.

Sunday 10 July

Left at 10.30 am and were able to sail all the way to Cowes and then motor sailed. Starboard engine OK until Gilkicker when fuel problems again, so quickly switched to port fuel tank and all ok.

Lymington and Seaview YC with Aly and Graham, 4-5 June 2016

Motored to Lymington as it was light winds and a strong spring tide under us. Had lunch and then into town for the market and a drink at the Kings Head. Dinner at the Ship on the Quay and later drinks on board Wyldwind. Amarant, the HR 40 next to us turned out to be John & Anne Katrine, who used to be on A pontoon with an HR 37 ages ago. We invited them in, and we all had a merry time.

Sunday was at last properly sunny and warm. No wind. We motored to Cowes for fuel, and then picked up a buoy at Seaview YC and went ashore for a fine lunch with a view. Motored quietly back into Haslar

St Vaast, 26-31 May 2016

Set out on Thursday at 16:30 with Neil and Jane aboard, and motor sailed into an Easterly 3 occ 4 until dark at around 10pm. At about midnight, the wind came on the nose and blew up, so we dropped sails. Had to dodge a few boats on the French side, and Neil was learning how to use the AIS. Missed the gate and anchored off at 05:30. Went in when they opened along with Gordon and Christine on Aquarius Ventures. Moored next to Rex. Met his boys Neil and Chris, and along with Gareth we all went for beers along the marina.

Had food, and then went for a walk and later we all ate in the same bar. Saturday we went to the market and as usual we got a load of wine and bought the cheese for Sunday. Chilled and then drinks aboard Arabesque and then dinner at Fuschias with Gordon and Christine and Bob & Jackie. Chris and Neil joined us for brandy later.

Sunday the weather was nice and sunny for the boats lunch and we had 45 people this year as it's Rex's 90th birthday soon. Great day, and we were even treated to a magic show in the cockpit ! Monday we had to leave early and smash our way back into a northerly F5/6 - my worst crossing I think, but it was the right call as Tuesday was horrible. It took 14 hours and was very tiring. We then went to Hardys for a meal which was nice.

Tuesday we slept in and then went to Cafe Rouge in Gunwharf to pretend we were still in France! Nice lunch, then packed up and we went to see Aly and Graham where we all had dinner. Neil and Jane stayed there, and we finally got home.

Bembridge and Seaview, 14/15 May 2016

Up really early 0430, and motored over to Bembridge. I had pre-arranged where to moor – round the other side for a change, and we went back to bed, then had breakfast and enjoyed nice weather.

Later we took the water taxi over to the sailing club and walked up the hill, and back and then past the moored homes and up to The Vine at St Helens for a drink outside as usual. Then back to the boat and watched the Nauticat fleet come in. It was now quite windy and cool, so the abandoned the pontoon drinks party. But when we got to the BBQ area they all started cooking so no real drinks and socialising and they chucked a load of stuff on that wasn’t specifically for anyone ( we later learned it was thrown away ) so we couldn’t find any space to cook.

So we went back to the warmth of the boat and I cooked BBQ on our griddle. Later Alan and Theresa stopped by for drinks, so in the end it was a nice evening.

Sunday was a nice sunny day. Started early again to get out on HW, and then picked up a buoy at Seaview YC as pre arranged also. Went back to bed again. Went ashore for a walk and then lunch at the club - really nice club and we shall do this again. Then a leisurely motor back into Haslar and home.

Yarmouth with John and Clare Cotton, 7/8 May 2016

John and Clare joined us in glorious sunshine and we had a lovely cruising chute ride to Cowes and then we had to motor sail to Yarmouth. Go into Yarmouth and had lunch and then a walk and sat out at the Yacht Club. Then to on the rocks for dinner. Very nice.

Sunday it was windy and almost on the nose. Came out and managed a tack over to the mainland shore and then motored back. Julia cooked us a nice breakfast, we then tidied up and went onto my Mum’s for a cuppa on the way home.

RSYC Rally to Yarmouth and Royal Motor Yacht Club Poole 29/30 April 2016

Got away Friday afternoon and had a horrendous motor into an F6 peaking at F8 on the nose off Newtown. Got into Yarmouth and joined the RSYC rally. Drinks on board Slipaway and then we headed out with Allan, Gillian, Bob and Jackie to on the Rocks and had a great time.

Saturday, we had a cracking sail on a broad reach from the North to Poole. Tricky getting into the visitors berth but nice and snug just inside the second entrance. We went for a walk in the sunshine around the Sandbanks peninsula and then we had drinks on ours and then went up for the usual superb dinner at the club upstairs.

Sunday we had a lazy morning and then cycled to the Banks Arms pub and met the others for drinks. We had Gordon and Christine round in the evening and I cooked them dinner. Nice evening.

Monday everyone left ahead of us, but we waited to use the tide at its best and it was very windy and cold coming back. F6 touching 7/8 through the Solent but it was SW so behind. A bit rolly but a great sail. Got back very quickly with the tide under us.

Ocean Village and Cowes, 22/23/24 April 2016

Motored in the rain up to OV for a party on Howard and Ann's barge and then dinner at the club. Very enjoyable

Saturday, the weather was better and after unblocking the Y valve on the heads (yuk) we had a nice downwind sail to Cowes Yacht Haven. We met the Skoolies for a drink in the Island Sailing Club and just the two of us had a lovely dinner in Coast. Afterwards we went onto Goose for drinks.

Sunday we had a cracking sail back to Haslar and then had breakfast.

Lymington with Richard and Helen, 02/03 April 2016

Brilliant sail to Lymington and then into the market, and then into the Kings Head. Evening we ate at Rivaaz, the Indian at the top. They are a bit up their own backsides. Food ok, service not bad but not good either.

Sunday Julia did breakfast and then we motored back into the wind. Mainly inside as it was cold

RSYC Cruisers Dinner, Ocean Village, 19/20 March 2016

Lovely sail up to OV in a chilly NE F5. Did sail inside a lot when it was cold. Gordon and Christine came aboard for gin and tonics and then a nice evening. Chris and Hilary came back and stayed over with us, and we watched the rugby ( England winning the Grand Slam ) on catch up before bed.

Sunday Julia did breakfast and then after the others left we motor sailed back in a lighter NE.

East Worldham day trip, 05 March 2016

Paul, Zara, Sue and Nick joined us on a lovely Saturday morning for a day trip to Cowes for lunch. We had a great breeze from the North, and sailed both ways. Lunch was at the Island Sailing Club.

Rob and Rosie engagement, 27 February 2016

Rob and Rosie joined us for the weekend. Rosie thought it was just the four of us, but we had the surprise engagement planned. We actually had a good sail there with a good Easterly. Just after we moored at Gins, Jazmine, Skoolies and Bacchus came by with banners on and Rob proposed and Rosie said yes. Lots of champagne followed and a lovely dinner in the clubhouse where it was just our group.

Sunday we motored quietly back into Haslar !

Yarmouth with Richard and Helen, 23 January 2016

Richard and Helen arrived at 0930 and we headed for Yarmouth into fading fog / mist. Lovely sail as far as Cowes where we got fuel and motored on to Yarmouth, overhauling the new Bacchus just off. In OK with a smooth mooring and had lunch. Got some fun birthday presents from Richard & Helen. Then had a walk and then G&Ts and off to On The Rocks, where we were joined by Lloyd and Gemma. Great meal. Back onto Wyldwind for more drinks.

On Sunday, we motored out and motor sailed back with Richard surfacing at Haslar. Had brunch and then we came home, and I slept, and Julia went to see her dad in hospital.

Hamble RSYC Rally, 16 January 2016

Lovely sunny motor to Mercury and there were four boats. Had a snooze, and then drinks on board Solent Blue ( Bav 46 like Lloyd’s old one ) hosted by John and Nina Cavenagh. Also, Zara, Maxi 1050, John and Jean Rackstraw, and Paul and Priscilla on Araxian. Then dinner in the Water’s Edge. Also there Peter and Joy, Linda Waugh, Paul King, Maggie Lund & her friend Jane, Brian and Leslie and Anton and Laurie.

Sunday was grey and drizzly. Then the wind and rain got up and cold and on the nose! Went inside, but the wiper that Lloyd had fixed came off as feared, so stood outside again. Nice mooring, then to my mum’s for ham egg and chips, and then saw Ron in Winchester Hospital

Yarmouth, 19 December 2015

We had a nice close winded sail to Yarmouth in plenty of breeze - 4-7 SSW, and then walked to the Red Lion at Freshwater where we met Diana and her mum Jean for lunch. Then back to their house with the view over the Solent - right by Sconce. Popped into the Kings Head, now open again and saw Les.

Saturday night, we watched Strictly on board, and it was very windy overnight. Great sail back on Sunday morning with a SW 4-7, and it was still exhilarating even though it rained at Gilkicker. Really enjoyable - surfed a bit off Gurnard, but not too rough at all.

RSYC Folly, 22 November 2015

The Newtown rally was cancelled due to the gales. Chris and Hilary came aboard Saturday evening and I cooked us all a cassoulet.

Sunday the wind had died and it was a pleasant motor to the Folly where we met our usual Newtown friends. Had a great lunch and sailed all the way back which was nice

Yarmouth, 31 October 2015

Lazy morning which was nice. Julia came down and we motored to Yarmouth. Wind too late for the hoped for sail. Went for a stroll and had a drink at the Royal Solent. Bacchus was there and they joined us to watch the Rugby World Cup final. New Zealand beat Australia. We then watched Strictly and I cooked a Cassoulet – they went to On the Rocks. When they got back they called and we went over there for drinks and watched X Factor with them (!)

Sunday was thick fog. We left about 11, and radar was intermittent as usual. It cleared by Cowes and we popped into the river for fuel. Hazy sunshine was nice, but when misty was cold, but overall, it was very mild

Gins Laying up supper, 17/18 October 2015

NNE F4, so a lovely sail to the Beaulieu River, if a little cold - mainly grey with a little brightness. Took our usual bouy and went ashore to say Hi to June. Then, tea and cake with Gordon and Christine. Then a rest and back for dinner. Great night. We sat with Chris and Hilary and Gordon and Christine. There was a magician, but the disco was naff.

Sunday was grey again, only clearing on arrival in Haslar. Wind was round on the nose and less, so motored back. Saw Mum Strudwick and Richard and Helen

Hamble with Aly and Graham, 03/04 October 2015

Motored in mist, clearing to sunshine later, but little wind and that on the nose. Had lunch, walked to Hamble point where Graham looked at a Nelson 38. Then took the pink ferry over to Warsash and walked up to Universal and back in glorious autumn weather. Evening we ate in the Bugle, which was not as good as recent times.

Sunday we had some toast and again motored back as the wind had gone 180 and what little there was, came on the nose again! Had brunch on arrival, and after a puncture on the way home, we had a BBQ with Oli later

Bucklers Hard Area 15 BBQ, 26 September 2015

Motored in good weather but little wind to Bucklers and rafted outside Bacchus. Quiet day, and then a BBQ in the designated area, and watched rugby and then drinks on Skoolie Too.

Sunday we left early to take the spring tide and motored back into a cool easterly

Bembridge RSYC, 19 September 2015

Late tide but had a nice motor over in good weather to join RSYC rally. Drinks on Spirit of Avalon and dinner at the Sailing club by taxi.

Sunday we picked sloes, had lunch and had a lovely slow sail back downwind in the sunshine.

Ocean Village Boat Show, 12 September 2015

Lloyd and I had a great sail up to Ocean Village and Gemma and Julia joined us by train for the evening in the Oxford Street Basserie. Cocktails and sloe gin on the way back in a new bar.

Saturday we went to the boat show and had a great day.

Sunday Julia and I motored back in little wind

Late Summer cruise to Dartmouth and Salcombe, 28 August - 6 September 2015

Thursday 27 August 2015

We both finished work early and got away from Haslar at 18:10. Unfortunately the wind was going to be F4/5 and on the nose. It got quite bumpy from Hurst until well past Portland Bill. Yuk!

Friday 28 August 2015

Julia stood a watch when it was light for me to get a little sleep, and we got into Dartmouth about 11:30. It wasn't as busy as expected and we were able to raft outside a J122 on DA pontoon, and they only go two out, so it turned out to be quite good for watching things. Had another snooze and then went ashore where the regatta was in full swing, and the weather wasn't too bad. Did a little shopping and later ate at the indian - Spice Bazaar. Excellent!

Saturday 29 August 2015

We saw Alan and Theresa Warrell and their friends John and Clare Cotton and arranged to see them later. Then Julia went shopping and I went over to the chandlers on the Kingsweir side to get something to fix the outboard bracket with as this had more or less disintegrated overnight, and we were lucky it was still hanging on. I was able to buy a nice complete bracket and fixed that on by the time Julia came back.

After lunch, the gang turned up and we had drinks and watched the water activities and an air display and the RNLI chopper. I cooked dinner and we then had the fireworks in the evening. Next door was Jason who rents out J boats, and his kids Josh and Eloise. We let the kids watch from our boat, and in the end they all just hung out with us! Nice day.

Sunday 30 August 2015

Sunday morning, I got the papers and we motored up to Dittisham. The weather was wet and awful and had been going downhill the day before. We stayed aboard.

Later JennyAnyDots came alongside with the gang ( Alan and Theresa ) - two identical Nauticats together. Later we met Richard and Jude Murray on Myriad, a HR42, as they rafted outside us for a while. They seemed nice, but moved off to share a buoy with their mates Nick and Maggie in their Sigma.

We ate at the Ferry Boat with the gang, and Richard and Jude were on the next table, so we got talking, and it turned out they were from Salcombe and heading back the next day so we suggested maybe meeting up. Great evening.

Monday 31 August 2015

Weather was still wet but improving, and we motored round to Salcombe in little wind. Managed a small sail round Start Point, but that was all. It was a very low tide being Springs that day, and we had to be very careful going into Salcombe Harbour.

By now the others had caught us up and as I doubled back to avoid going aground, we ended up following them in. We called up on ch 14 and were given the choice of either the buoys in the main channel or the quieter visitors pontoon in the Bag, and they weren't busy, so we chose the latter.

As it happened this was right next to Myriad's buoy, so after we all tied up etc, Richard came over and invited us on board for drinks, which was lovely, and by now the weather was improving. We all got on, and then Andrew Sterling, another local turned up, and it transpired that he and I knew each other many years ago when I was in the music business. He is still good friends with Phil Dudderidge.

We all then went up to the Millbrook pub for dinner, and we even managed to get a table next to theirs and all had a splendid evening.

Tuesday 1 September 2015

At last, we had a really nice day - the first one of the holiday ( and only one of two !) so we popped into town and explored, but soon got back to enjoy the weather in the cockpit. Quiet night aboard - I cooked.

Wednesday 2 September 2015

This was our swallows and Amazons day as we rented a Salcombe yawl from a man called Scratch (wife Jane) another well known local, which we collected and rigged ourselves just off the Normandy pontoon and had a lovely sail up through the Bag.

We tied up at Wyldwind for lunch and then had another trip up the Bag and then sailed out to Black Rock where the NW wind was very flukey as predicted by Scratch. We couldn't sail the boat back onto its mooring as the tide was so low. We had to beach her short of the buoy. However, by the time we put her to bed, there was enough water to leave her properly.

We had invited Richard and Jude back for drinks and so we entertained them early evening, and then they gave us a lift into Salcombe where just the two of us had booked the bistro - The Boatswain and had a lovely meal. We got the water taxi back.

Thursday 3 September 2015

Grey start but brightened up and we motored up to Torquay. That place is a real dump! We finally found the hole in the wall pub, and found the Yacht Club dead. Back on board, I cooked.

Friday 4 September 2015

Glad to leave Torquay, we were away with the pre-dawn light at 0530. No wind and a very smooth sea. It was amazingly quiet past the Bill and into Poole, where we tied up at the Poole Quay Boat Haven after 11 hours. Later, we ate at the Guildhall Tavern, which was good as before.

Saturday 5 September 2015

We had some issuse with the bilge outlet pipe as two jubilee clips had sheared. I got replacements at Piplers chandlery along the quay and had a messy time down in the bilge. We hosed off the dinghy and stored that on deck, and set off for Lymington in hazy sunshine, but it soon turned grey and stayed that way.

Tied up in Berthon and walked around the market and went for a drink in the Kings Head, where we met Scott and Tracy who have Westerly Merlin. We chatted to them and may see them in Bembridge in a couple of weeks apparently as they have a Warsash SC rally there the same time as our RSYC one.

After that, Nigel and Suzie came around and we had drinks on board, and then I cooked supper.

Sunday 6 September 2015

At last another sunny day, so we had a lazy morning. We briefly inspected Nigel and Suzie's latest boat - a J80, and then after getting fuel, we motored ( in no wind again ) back into Haslar. As it was nice, we enjoyed the weather before heading home via Julia's parents who needed some meals on wheels service.

Paimpol by ferry and car, 15,16,17,18 August 2015

Took the ferry to Cherbourg and rented a car and joined Bacchus in Paimpol. They very kindly let me stay on board.

Enjoyed the festival with the gang and came back with Rob Taubman

Warsash and Cowes, 12 - 13 August 2015

Joined Rex and crowd at Warsash for one of the Wednesday lunches. I was completely sailing on my own for the first time on Wyldwind. Rafted outside Rise and Shine OK, and had a nice lunch. Weather was very nice. Then after a message from Martin Collen, I decided to go over to Cowes in the middle of Cowes week and say Hi. I motored over and got onto a hammerhead at East Cowes and joined Martin and the Contessa 32 fleet for drinks.

Thursday morning it was very wet and there was a huge thunderstorm. I had to thread through all the racers and got back into the finger berth at Haslar on my own OK. Quite pleased with that.

Beaulieu River with Goose, 08 - 09 August 2015

Saturday we motored against the wind through the Cowes week racers and met Goose in the Beaulieu River. We took a pair of buoys as rafting was apparently not permitted. Weather was nice. They came over and we met Calla for the first time. They later come over again and I cooked us all dinner.

Sunday we had a lazy morning and popped into Cowes on the way home for fuel - again doging racers.

Summer cruise, 10 - 26 July 2015

Friday 10 July 2015

Up very early and drove down to Haslar, and unloaded the stuff for the holiday, and then took the train up to London. The car hire people picked up from Haslar office. Very busy day, but got away on time and got to the boat a little ahead of Julia.

We headed for Yarmouth pretty soon after she arrived. Motored to Yarmouth, and had supper on the way. Then drinks at the yacht club.

Saturday 11 July 2015

Weather still good but wind on the nose so rough ride over St Albans Head. Into Weymouth to see the seafood festival was on – we did not know. Made the bridge lift, got into the marina and had lunch, then went out – great afternoon. Bought Julia a Weird Fish top.

Sunday 12 July 2015

Weather a bit miserable all day. Stayed in and watched Wimbledon.

Monday 13 July 2015

Forecast made the West Country impossible for several days and the forecast for Jersey looked much better, so we cracked off south. Very rough through the Shambles and very windy out at sea, blowing 25 – 33 knots consistently from the West. Great sail, but autohelm working hard. Julia had to lie down. Difficult getting through the shipping, but the boat behaved well. Into Alderney, with the waves still very big after 9 hours ( 57 miles ). Went ashore for a drink at the divers on the water taxi, and also a drink in the Sailing club. Ate on board.

Tuesday 14 July 2015

Motor sailed down to Jersey. Still quite grey until we came to the South of the Island, when the sun came out. Plenty of spaces in St. Helier, but the sun went in though. Ate at the Little Thai and met our neighbours Patrick & Blandine.

Wednesday 15 July 2015

Shopped and bought seafood in the market. Lazy day. I cooked sea bass in the evening.

Thursday 16 July 2015 This was the day it was supposed to be hot and sunny, but it was grey all day. Very disappointing, so we did jobs and had drinks with Patrick & Blandine. Watched the Open Golf and I cooked scallops on black pudding.

Friday 17 July 2015

Set of to ride to Gorey for lunch, but it started raining, so we turned back and bought some lobster and crab from Vicky’s seafood shack. We then took the bus and had lunch at Sumas on the balcony. The weather was miserable all day, but the balcony is covered now. Back and watched golf Saturday 18 July 2015 There was a fete in St. Helier which was fun and in the morning the weather was pleasant, so we wandered around the streets. We then cycled to St. Aubin and back in the rain. Julia watched a movie and I fell asleep early

Sunday 19 July 2015

Cycled to St. Aubin to the Yacht Club for lunch, and Patrick and Blandine joined us by bus. Lovely lunch and we walked out to the castle. Sunny, but after we cycled back it rained and was miserable again.

Monday 20 July 2015

We headed out at 0600 as soon as the gate opened and headed for Carteret, which was fine. It was sunny on the water but grey again on arrival. Cycled out to the point and had a drink at the Bar du Port. Holed up and watched the delayed lastday of golf.

Tuesday 21 July 2015 Headed off up to Dielette and it was a nice day. Had moules frites in the sunshine, and had a walk. Tried to have dinner in the restaurant in the marina but it was closed that evening, so we went to the hotel in the old port. It was ok, but a bit stuffy.

Wednesday 22 July 2015

We took the free bus to Les Pieux, which is sadly a one horse town. We explored, which took no time, and had a drink, and a really lovely lunch. Bus back and we had dinner at the marina restaurant, which wasn’t as good as we had hoped.

Thursday 23 July 2015

Nice weather but the forecast for Friday was horrible, so we decided to go cross channel. We had to wait for the sill, so that meant getting in at 11pm in the dark, but we had a nice sunny and pleasant crossing.

Friday 24 July 2015

Next day it was very wet and miserable and windy as forecast so we were a bit smug. We went to the French restaurant in Southsea to pretend we were till in France, and actually fooled Andy Thomas and others on FB ! We came back in the rib Baby Bacchus and got soaked but saw the Americas Cup fleet coming back in from the official practice race. In the evening we cooked for Lloyd, Gemma and Colin and Taylor. Lovely evening.

Saturday 25 July 2015

We joined the big gang and went over to Southsea for the first races of the Americas Cup series. The weather was nice and we had a great day, and Sir Ben Ainslie won the first race and came second in the next one. We made our own way back and cooked on board.

Sunday 26 July 2015

Sadly the weather was awful – very wet and very windy, so the racing got cancelled. We packed up and went home.

Lymington, 27 - 28 June 2015

Saturday we motored against the wind in the sunshine to Lymington. Went to the market and then later Nigel Brooke came aboard for a livener and then we followed him back to his house where Suzie was prepping supper. Lovely evening with them.

Sunday we were against the tide but whilst there was enough wind and sunshine, we flew the kite. By the time we got in, the rain was starting, it was grey and little wind. Great seeing Nigel & Suzie though.

Cowes, 13 - 14 June 2015

Had dinner on Friday evening with my mum and got the boat not long before Julia who had been out on a girls night. It was raining hard when she arrived. Saturday it was blowing hard on the nose, but nice enough weather. It was a bit rough motoring over, and we reversed into a tight slot in Shepards onto the edge of a raft with High Spirits on the inside. We were later rammed on solidly.

Then we walked to East Cowes and took the Area 15 Zafira for a ticky-tour circuit of the Isle of Wight, stopping on the south side for lunch at the Wight Mouse. Then back and in the evening, I cooked the main and Richard and Helen brought a starter and cheese and port, which was a lovely evening

Sunday it was really grey but a decent breeze. We had hoped to leave with the tide, but being boxed in, we did not get out until much later than we had hoped and remembered why we avoid the place. Had quite nice sail back, but we were qute focussed on getting back as we had things to do.

Bembridge, 06 - 07 June 2015

Went down Saturday morning, and the sun was shining and it was blowing a good 6 SW. Fabulous sail over and rafted 2 out. It was a classic Bembridge weekend with most rafts being 6 deep. I was tired after a long week, so we stayed aboard and I cooked us a seafood paella.

Sunday it was really warm and sunny. We had a lazy morning, breakfast and had a stroll up to the Vine. The raft wanted to leave at 1400, so we had to go with the flow and had a lovely slow sail in the sun back in a light SE. We had hoped to sun-bathe back at Haslar, but the sea breeze got up and it was just not quite good enough. So we headed home after a while.

Lymington via the Hamble with Neil and Jane, 30 - 31 May 2015

James and Neil and Jane all arrived on Friday evening. Early start on Saturday, and we went via the Hamble, stopping in Port Hamble for a couple of hours whilst Neil and Jane viewed a potential boat to buy - a Vancouver 34. Bit too much work to do I think. Then we had a short sail but had to motor into the wind to Lymington. Sunny but not warm as we were going into it. Got in, had lunch and went to the market and the Kings Head. All ate at the Ship on the Quay which was a great fun evening.

Sunday it was raining and not nice. Fueled up ( after x channel previous trip ) and had a short sail but with the tide against us, we had to motor sail in the end.

Back into Haslar and had breakfast and Neil and Jane left. We then went with James to my Mum's and then James headed off and we came home - Great weekend.

RSYC Rally to St. Vaast, 21 - 26 May 2015

Rex is 89, but still hosted this superb rally. Julia and I sailed overnight on the Thursday and had a cracking sail in the sunshine as dawn broke on Friday. Got there in good time for the gate opening and got in about 11:00. Had a sleep and then lunch in the marina. In the evening Rex organised La Chasse Mare for us which was great.

Saturday we did the market and bought the cheese for Sunday and Rex had origanised dinner in the marina.

Sunday, the weather was kind and we had our usual al fresco lunch.

Monday we got up early and went round to Cherbourg, where we met Chris & Chris. We lazed and sat in the sun at our favourite bar, and then shopped at Carrefour. In the evening, we ate all out in the Yacht Club, which was good.

Monday we motored back across the channel in no wind and sunshine, but cool as it was from the North mainly

RSYC Rally to Royal Motor Yacht Club Poole, 02 - 04 May 2015

Stiff F5/6 SE gave us a good sail to Poole on Saturday - a bit rough and rolly, and the entrance to Poole was very rough.

Had a great time at dinner as usual at the RMYC and on Sunday we took the bus to Swanage. We hosted drinks for Ruby Star who we were rafted alongside on Sunday after a supper on board.

Monday was light and we motored back - great weekend

Road trip to Ocean Village for French themed evening, 18 April 2015

Julia and I decided to go by car and had a fun evening.

Mid week cruise to the Needles and Lymington with Oli, 15 - 16 April 2015

Oli and I had some warm and sunny weather for a couple of days off. Oli got down on Wednesday night and I cooked him magret de canard.

Wednesday we motored in lovely hot sunshine to the Needles and into Berthon at Lymington. Little or no wind. Lazed on deck and later ate at the Angel and Blue Pig.

Thursday, we had a lazy morning and I cooked us a nice brunch and we motored back and continued to enjoy the warm sunshine

We went over to Gunwharf and at the Tapas, La Tasca, and Oli headed back to London.

Easter trip to Eastbourne, 03 - 06 April 2015

Motored out just before dawn and headed East. Some NW in the wind, but not a lot or anywhere near as much as forecast, so motor sailed from Main Passage as it got light. 8.5 hour passage and into Eastbourne for the first time. Went into the North basin under the yacht club. Had a look around and then a rest. We then dined at the Thai in the Waterfront boardwalk, which was excellent.

Saturday we took a cab into Eastbourne and did a load of shopping for me, as I will stop working at home soon and need some work clothes. We found a lovely little Tapas for lunch and then came back and had a fish supper from the chippy and watched a movie - Tom Cruise Edge of Tomorrow.

Sunday we took a cab out to Pevensey, and had a super lunch in the Royal Oak and castle, then went around the castle itself, and walked down to the beach and got a cab back from there

Monday, we could not get out as early as I would have liked as there was not enough water outside the lock, but we got away in nice sunshine, but cold around 0930. The forecast wind which should have been with us, was not and so it was even colder as we motored into a headwind. The journey was mainly inside with the heating on. Took 10 hours as we had no wind assistance until the past 40 minutes.

Mini Rally to Yarmouth with High Spirits, 21/22 March 2015

Saturday we had a N 5/6 giving us a superb sail in sunshine from Gilkicker to Yarmouth. A bit chilly, but a nice sail. Watched England beat France but lose the Six Nations, and did Gin and tonics for all at 7pm. Then to On The Rocks for the usual great night out. Good to see Richard and Helen.

Sunday was lighter but sunny, if a little cold, so we motored. Then took my mum out for a belated Mothers Day lunch as she was away last weekend.

RYSC Rally to Royal RAF YC, 14/15 March 2015

Saturday we had a NNE 5/6 giving us a superb sail in sunshine from Gilkicker to the Hamble. A bit chilly, but exhilarating. Showered and went for lunch at the King & Queen pub, and then a snooze and drinks on board Northern Spirit. Then dinner at the club. We sat with Adam and Lou, Allan and Gillian as they were only tables of six. Great night. We invited Gordon and Christine back to ours for Whishy Macs

Sunday was 4/5 NE, so still a good sail but more of a fetch becoming a beat towards Gilkicker. Cloudy and a bit miz though. Got in and had brunch, and then the seat cover man came and we chose the colour and material for those - due to be fitted in April.

Quiet weekends on the boat, 28 February and 7 March 2015

Saturday and Sunday 28 February and 1st March, we just stayed in port and went to Southsea for lunch at Kitsch n D'Or, which was great and had a bracing walk back along the front. Sunday read the papers and then went to see my mum and on to Gina's for a family meal

Saturday 7th March, we got to the boat on Saturday and I cooked duck. Sunday was grey and we sailed over to Priory Bay in what was supposed to be a 4/5 dropping and have lunch at anchor, but the wind was 6/7 SW and although the sail was great and exhilarating, we decided against anchoring, and came back and had lunch in Haslar. Back home and a great family meal with Ed and Oli to say goodbye to Ed who is off to South America for six months.

Trip to Gins Opening Party, 7 February 2015

Windy but sunny. F6 from the North, so all sails up and a great sail. Had to wait on a buoy before rafting at Gins, then had a snooze and a shower. Evening, we went onto Aquarius for drinks with Gordon and Christine and later their friend Jan. Nice dinner and sat on a good table. Late drinks again with Gordon and Christine, and then bed.

Sunday, was lovely and sunny but not enough wind for a sail, so motored with some jib. Went to Cowes and topped up with fuel and then back. Popped into my mum and Julia's parents on the way back.

Trip to Yarmouth with Bacchus, 31 January 2015

Bitterly cold and windy. Motored into a F6/7, went NNW so by Osborne Bay, we got some jib out and really got some speed. Tricky mooring in Yarmouth as blowing straight in, but all tucked up OK. Evening, we went to On the Rocks and had a great night going onto Bacchus for cheese and port after.

Sunday, bit jaded in the morning, but both boats had a laze in bed morning. Quick drink in the Royal Solent and then motor sail back with NNW F6/7 easing after Cowes. Back in as the sun set - great to be on the water, but it was cold and we did a fair time down in the Saloon. However, to Cowes from Yarmouth in the sun was not too cold.

Area 15 Xmas bash, Folly Cowes, 13 December 2014

James joined us on Saturday morning and we had a sunny motor over to Cowes with Bacchus in company. We rafted outside them, and later Scally & Skoolies came in behind with Jasmin ( Russ & Lisa - new ) outside. Various drinks on ours, Scally & Bacchus and then Xmas dinner and dancing on the tables

Sunday, we had a nice motor back - expected wind did not come in until later, and some rain but sunny spells. Great weekend.

RSYC Rally to the Royal Corinthian, Cowes, 25 October 2014

Neil and Jane joined us for the weekend. We had a nice beat over with Neil helming and then had drinks in the Anchor as usual. We then had a nice evening with drinks before and a pleasant meal at the Royal Corinthian,

Sunday, we had a nice SW downwind, fairly light sail back

Gins Sixties night, 18 October 2014

Went to Gins for their sixties night which was fun. We took our favourite buoy, so that we could leave at 0700 back.

RSYC Newtown Creek Rally, 04 October 2014

One of our favourite events of the year, and we enjoyed it. We had a good sail at 0800 - 0900 to Cowes in a southerly F4/5 then it rained hard and went on the nose so we dropped sails and went inside to the entrance to Newtown. The rain eased a bit as we moored and then came back until about 2:30 when the sun came out and stayed beautiful until Sunday night! We went for the usual walk with the gang and then picked some sloes. Then the dinghy to Shalfleet - this time in the light for the first time. Great evening and back in the dark - had to tow Lou and Adam and Mark and Jane back!

Sunday it was sunny and we chilled through the morning with breakfast in the cockpit and then took the tide home

Lymington, 20 September 2014

We had a quiet weekend to ourselves and went to Lymington in time for the market. Sunny weather so nice. There was a Merlin open on, so I met up with a few old friends Pat and Jilly Blake and Nigel and Suzie Brookes. We cooked on board and then joined them for drinks at their bash at Lymington Town SC in the evening.

Sunday it was sunny but a cool stiff breeze on the nose. We had to motor sail back against the tide - yuk

Family trip with all three boys, 13 September 2014

James and Ed made it down Friday night and we enjoyed ourselves. Oli got on the 0520 from Waterloo and managed to join us first thing Saturday morning. We went to the Hamble for lunch at the King and Queen and then on into Yarmouth with a memorable sail under crsuising chute. Yarmouth was rammed but we had reserved a finger pontoon. I cooked Magret de Canard and then the boys went out and enjoyed themselves.

Fairly uneventful motor sail back and then lunch with my mum.

Late summer Cruise, 30 August 2014

We sailed to Brighton on the Saturday morning and spent the afternoon in Brighton. Mooring in Brighton was tough as it was a six and we could only get a slot on a blown off berth and it howls through there. Sunday things were calmer and we motor sailed over to Dieppe. We liked Dieppe and had warm sunny weather there.

We then moved onto Fecamp and spent one night there - visited the distillery and then on the Friday crossed the channel and into Haslar. Saturday morning we moved onto Yarmouth and joined an FCS rally with the meal at On the Rocks. Great night out. Had thick fog on the way back Sunday morning, which gave us some radar practice.

Gins and Area 15, 24/25 August 2014

After spending Saturday evening with Allan and Gillian, we drove to Haslar and motored in no wind to Gins where we were booked for lunch. I mentioned the destination to Goose, and Goose and Scallywag headed also for the Beaulieu. We took Buoy 95 just up river from the pontoon, and had a splendid lunch, and we secured a table for Paul, Kath Lucy and Andre. Mike and Sue came with the dogs and sat outside where we joined them after eating. We then piled back to Wyldwind for drinks and socialising, and then Julia and I had a quiet night in. I cooked scallops on black pudding. The weather turned wet and miz.

Monday was a truly awful day - (classic Bank Holiday!) wet but not as windy as forecast; we did not get much on the water. We managed a bit of a sail and the rain was not so bad until we were ashore. Went to my mum for lunch and another quiet night at home

Cowes with James and Dani, 16/17 August 2014

After a great family evening at home on Friday, we got down to the boat in good time, and set off into sunshine and light winds ahead of the stronger winds forecast. I was keen for Dani to have a smooth ride, and although the breeze got up just off the entrance to Cowes, this was achieved. We had lunch, and then went to the Anchor and the Island Sailing Club for drinks. James and Dani went off on their own for a bit, and then later we had dinner at Tonninos.

Sunday, was quite windy but downhill, so I stayed on the Island side and we actually had a cracking fast sail. I gybed at Ryde Pier and then it was a bit bouncy going across to the War Memorial, with the tide and small waves coming through from abeam and chopped up by the ferries. We sailed under 2 thirds jib all the way dropping just off the Memorial. The motor in was also lively, but all in all quite a smooth ride.

We then saw both my mum and Julia's mum and Dad and later Oli came out for supper

Bembridge, 9/10 August 2014

It was a very windy weekend, and we had a cracking sail over, and Bembridge was almost empty. Nice weather though away from the breeze. We walked up to The Vine at St Helens and then later Aly, Graham and Gina came for drinks and we ate at the Baywatch, which was great.

Sunday, we were pinned to the pontoon and the dutch guy astern of me was a little close and nervous, so I did not use my preferred method of leaving using the prop walk, but rather we used Jonno and Kyle and some bystanders to man-handle the bow out. Once away, we had a lovely sail back, although it was mainly F8. There was only one other boat out! Coming into Portsmouth was rough but we had no problem tying up. The boat felt safe and stable apart from the harbour entrance.

Hamble, 2/3 August 2014

Had a quiet weekend in Port Hamble - just the two of us. It was the start of Cowes week, so I motored past one of the starts and then we had a great sail into the Hamble in a fairly stiff breeze. It was tough mooring up as they had few berths available and we were seriously blown off and the tide was ripping through.

Once tied up though, all was well, and we had lunch in the sunshine at the King and Queen, and later I cooked on board. Sunday we had a fabulous sail all the way back to Haslar

Itchenor with Neil and Jane, 26 - 27 July 2014

Got over from Gunwharf and picked up Neil and Jane and motored to Itchenor, where we picked up a visitors buoy just off the pontoon. Blew the dinghy up and then relaxed and watched all the boating activity. Lorna joined us for drinks, and then I ferried us all ashore for dinner at the Ship which was nice and then we had a drink at the Sailing Club.

Sunday morning we chilled and had breakfast and then motored out of Chichester Harbour. There was no wind to sail, so I motored over to Priory Bay, where we did pick up a light breeze to sail back into Portsmouth with, so we did some actual sailing.

Summer Cruise, Channel Islands and Cherbourg Peninsula 11 - 24 July 2014

Set off at 0339 NE 4/5 forecast, but Misty and dark and light. Motored round Bembridge ledge dodging military exercises ended up motor sailing as it never came on strong. Weather became glorious and we had the tide under us for a whizz into Alderney.

We took the water taxi ashore and had dinner in the First and Last which was really good. Saturday we had a walk around the western end of the island and discovered St.Vignalis garden where we had a picnic lunch - hot and sunny as the day wore on.

Sunday, we headed for Jersey, but had a spring tide and a lovely F5 on the beam, and glorious weather, so we sailed all the way to Granville, taking the tide all the way. We met up with Richard and Helen in High Spirits and we had dinner together - moules frites, of course.

We stayed in Granville until Thursday and the weather was lovely. Went to St Helier on Thursday - motored in no wind and sunny. Ate on board on arrival

Went shopping and sunbathed on Friday, and ate at the Little Thai that night. Saturday, we took the bus to Gorey and had lunch at Sumas on the balcony - superb! Sunday we took the bus to St Aubin and had drinks at the Yacht Club, and a picnic lunch. Evening we watched the Grand Prix and the golf and I cooked a seafood BBQ. We had gone out to the outside pontoon to give us flexibility on Monday

So Monday we were able to get away as we wished and had a fabulous sail from Jersey to Dielette. We had never been there before and we liked it. The weather was also hot and sunny which helped! On Tuesday, we went on a tourist trip in the morning and then left at 1400 and motored in glorious sunshint to Cherbourg. Just after we tied up, Opus J with the other Richard and Helen ( Richard and I went to Hampton together ) tied up two pontoons away in their HR. We went and ate Galette and were invited for drinks aboard theirs after.

Wednesday was Carrefour, our bar, and sunbathing - then Pantagruel for our wedding anniversary dinner,which was superb, and then on our return we had drinks aboard opus J.

Thursday we crossed back and went into Haslar, ready for the wedding on Friday. Motor-sailed back. Friday we went over to Gunwharf and joined the gang for wedding of Andy and Jen. Great night.

Brokers Wine Bar Boys trip - Cowes and Yarmouth, 05/06 July 2014

The boys all arrived about 21:00 and had a picnic style supper. We then enjoyed a few drinks and then retired quite late. Saturday morning, Roger cooked a splendid breakfast, and then we headed out into an on the nose westerly of about 4/5/6.

We motored over towards Ryde and then sailed, well heeled over along the Lee on Solent Shore. After enjoying our upwind sailing, we then motored into the Yacht Haven, West Cowes. We piled into the Anchor for lunch and also had a drink at the Island Sailing Club.

Then we motored down to Yarmouth, and actually the sea was not as choppy as the wind was easing. We parked up on V28 port side to, and headed into the Anchor and then ate in the Wheatsheaf which was excellent. We then enjoyed music and banter until the small hours and the brandy was gone.

Sunday we had another Roger cooked breakfast and were lucky to have the wind behind all the way back. I had rigged the chute in port and we hoisted this at the end of Yarmouth pier and dropped it at Gilkicker. It was a bit shifty and gusty, so it was a hand steering job and apart from a couple of the boys nodding off, it was a great sail enjoyed by all!

Julia came down on Saturday morning with Aly and Graham, and we headed off to Yarmouth. We managed a bit of a sail, but from Cowes had to motor into a SW 4, which was uncomfortable. This week we were port side to on V24, and after lunch, Aly, Graham and Julia set off for Carisbrook Castle, and I went to the Kings Head where I bumped into LJ and Les, and I spent the afternoon with them. Les introduced me to BODs and Anita from Poole who have a lovely replica of a Victorian gentleman's yacht - Vivid. They are interested in buying a Nauticat 35, and so they came back to have a look over Wyldwind, and I also went and looked over their lovely boat. Complete contrasts, but they have had enough of the hard work, and want an easier cruising life.

In the evening, we had dinner at On The Rocks, which was splendid.

Sunday was frustrating as the wind had gone around to the North East and was on the nose again, and it gradually got lighter, but at least it was very pleasant in the sunny spells. We anchored in Priory Bay and had brunch, and then motored back into Haslar. A very nice weekend.

Day trip to Cowes with Phil and Jane, 22 June 2014

Sunday was sunny with a little wind, and we had a nice motor over to Cowes to the Island Sailing Club for lunch, which was fab as usual apart from them being a bit busy being the day after RTI and the girl messed up our dessert order which we cancelled in the end after waiting too long.

On the way back there was a bit of sea breeze and with the little prevailing wind though it was coming from Gilkicker, so we sailed over to Lee from Cowes to at least do some sailing before motoring in.

Yarmouth, FCS rally, 14-15 June 2014

Saturday morning was sunny with a little wind, and we sailed for a while until it went light, and then motored down to Yarmouth.

It was very busy as the weekend weather was nice, but we were reserved so went starboard side to into V21. Later Diana came around for a drink and then a bit after that Phillip and Lydia joined us for more drinks in the sunshine.

In the evening, we went aboard Sujani for the FCS drinks and then dinner was at the Bugle. The food was OK, but the service was crap. I saw and spoke to Les.

Sunday was a NE 3-4, so on the nose in the Western Solent, so I motored right up to Hillhead, so that we could have a nice sail down to Gilkicker which we did - so nice to sail after having had to motor so much recently!

Were were in at lunchtime which is often the way with a srpring tide weekend, and went and had lunch with my mum at Lee on the Solent, where my niece Steph and husband Matt joined us. Later Oli came out to Alton as it was Fathers' day and we went to the pub whilst Julia went to see her dad.

Later, when Julia was back, we had a meal and a great evening with Oli!

St Vaast Cruise with Gillian and Allan aboard, 21 - 27 May 2014

We cracked off at 17:30 on the Wednesday, as the original plan of all day Thursday showed a F5 southerly, so we set off as soon as we could and were able to motor sail until about 11:30 when the wind went on the nose earlier than the 0300 forecast. I had prepared an evening meal which we consumed once clear of the Isle of Wight and before the first shipping lane.

Sadly after the wind went onto the nose, it rained hard, and was pitch black, so it was a bumpy old motor over from there. Arrived in the early hours and got in before the gates shut which was good, and then all went back to sleep for a while. We then went for a walk and ended up buying some wine and then ate on board.

Friday it was raining so we did not cycle to Barfleur for lunch, and took the taxi instead. Sadly they did not have any mussels but it was still a great lunch anyway. Later we had drinks on board a lovely motor boat belonging to David and Kate Kenyon, Bulldog.

Saturday was the market as usual and we had a fish and chips lunch at the Tomahawk by the bridge, which was good. Evening meal was at La Chasse Maree and was excellent.

At last the sun came out on Sunday, which was brilliant for the al fresco lunch, which was a great success. Later I had drinks with Gareth in the Marina and the others joined me later.

Monday, we headed off to Cherbourg hoping for a sail but no luck - grey and no wind. Did some shopping at Carrefour and then dinner at Pantagruel.

Tuesday we were away at 0430 and again had the wind on the nose so no real sailing possible! It was still a reasonable trip though. We had a great time with Allan and Gillian on board and a loverly week away.

Hamble, 26/27 April 2014

Oli was supposed to sail with us this weekend, but did not do so. Shame for him as we had a fantastic sail to the Hamble with a F6 Southerly. Magical sail with sunhine and breeze. We had fun mooring in Port Hamble as the wind was blowing and the tide ripping through, but all fine. We had planned to eat at the Thai on the corner, but discovered that it has closed ! We had a drink in the King & Queen, and in the end, I cooked on board.

Sunday was forgettable as it was raining and on the nose, so we motored from inside as soon as we were off the berth. (SE F5) Still tricky berthing on our home berth with the tide and wind blowing us off but Julia was brilliant as ever, and we tied up safely and efficiently.

We then went to have lunch with my mum.

Early May Cruise - Poole, Solent and Gins, 3 - 11 May 2014

Friday we went down to Yarmouth late afternoon, and moored alongside Smooth Torque & Northern Spirit. Although they went ashore and we were invited, we stayed onboard as we had food and I was cooking. Very early Saturday morning we left at 05:30 and had a great sail, if a little slow across to Studland where we anchored for breakfast. This was the first time we had tried the new Rocna and I am very pleased with it. We then motored into Poole harbour and were directed to a buoy outside the Royal Poole Motor Yacht Club. We took the launch in and went into town by taxi. Did some shopping and had a drink, and had to get a taxi back as there was some problem with the buses.

When we got back they found a space for us in the little marina, so we motored in gingerly to a tight berth but good to have walk ashore. We had a fabulous meal at the club Saturday evening - great food and service - lovely club. Sunday a big group of us set off for the Bankes Arms along Studland - we cycled and the others walked. Sunny weather and a nice day out. Came back and had a snooze and then I cooked for Gillian and Allan and we were invited aboard Ruby Star for drinks by Malcolm and Mary.

Monday we had a hard sail on the wind to Yarmouth - it was meant to be a southerly but was south easterly. We used full sail and dug the rail in. Hard work but she sailed very well. However, we really cannot see under the genoa and rolled it in as we approached Hurst to see the traffic. Ate at On the Rocks in the evening - excellent. Tuesday we cycled to Freshwater for shopping and had a drink in the Red Lion. In the evening, Diana came and picked us up and I cooked for her and her mum Jean back at their lovely townhouse at Fort Victoria.

Wednesday, we motored up to East Cowes and hid there for a couple of days as bad weather came through and I was not too well. Friday first thing in plenty of breeze, we motored over to Gins and got a good spot on the pontoon. It blowed a gale pretty much all weekend. Friday night we had safari supper aboard with Hilary and Chris doing starters, I did main (cassoulet), Lou and Adam pudding and Allan and Gillian provided the port and the cheese.

Saturday we went for a walk and apart from dressing the boat overall, did not do much. The 50th dinner in the evening was OK. Sunday we waited for the tide to turn and then surfed back in mainly a westerly force 8 - occasionally dropping down to 7! The autohelm worked OK, but she was smoother when steered by hand. Back in without incident. Quite tired though as it was hard work.

Hamble, 26/27 April 2014

Oli was supposed to sail with us this weekend, but did not do so. Shame for him as we had a fantastic sail to the Hamble with a F6 Southerly. Magical sail with sunhine and breeze. We had fun mooring in Port Hamble as the wind was blowing and the tide ripping through, but all fine. We had planned to eat at the Thai on the corner, but discovered that it has closed ! We had a drink in the King & Queen, and in the end, I cooked on board.

Sunday was forgettable as it was raining and on the nose, so we motored from inside as soon as we were off the berth. (SE F5) Still tricky berthing on our home berth with the tide and wind blowing us off but Julia was brilliant as ever, and we tied up safely and efficiently.

We then went to have lunch with my mum.

Easter Cruise - Poole and Weymouth, 18 - 21 April 2014

We motored into a head wind to Poole and caught up Maple Leaf as we entered Poole Harbour. Tied up and had drinks aboard Maple Leaf with Chuck and Chris, and then we headed to the Guildhall Tavern for dinner with them, which was fantastic.

Next day, we again motored, this time in no wind and chilly at first so we rode inside round to Weymouth and in good time for the 1600 Bridge Lift. For a lot of the journey, we listened to a Mayday where a PLB had been set off and the coastguard could not raise the vessel - a boat called Sole Trader a good way off Portland Bill. We heard on the radio that the helicopter had found them and the lifeboat was towing them in and they were safe and sound.

On arrival at the bridge, the lifeboat turned up just after us with this boat!! They only had a hand held VHF and their engine had failed - they did not have a small outboard as backup. Later when we walked into town for a drink at the Yacht Club, we saw they had fixed their engine and were motoring under the bridge back to the fishermans' quay. I did BBQ-d butterfly lamb on board which was yum.

Saturday morning, Julia went shopping and I fixed the broken wiper arm above the steering position (the spring had rusted and broken) and replaced all the blades. Then we had dinner at Bella Italia and watched a movie.

Sunday, we lazed as the weather was grey, wet and miserable! We read the papers and went to the Royal Dorset for lunch. Then we had Paul and Hanna from the Marinas and Chris and Kim off Rumours on board for drinks, and then we had a Skype video call with Ed. I cooked moroccan lamb and after some TV, we retired reasonably early

Monday was bright and sunny, but a bit cold to start - but no wind. We got the 0800 bridge lift, and motored into a bumpy Weymouth bay, as it had been windy the day before. But by Anvil Point it was warm and sunny, and T-shirt weather outside. We had breakfast and motored and sun-bathed into the Solent. As we got into Haslar it got grey and drizzled, so we had been very lucky with the weather.

Yarmouth, meeting up with Lee and Sam on Deviation, 12 April 2014

Julia came down on Saturday morning and we motored into the wind down to Yarmouth. It was pleasant enough and sunny, but quite cold, so we stayed indoors for most of the trip and Julia did some homework for her accounting course.

It was getting very nice as we tied up in Yarmouth and we had brunch. Lee, Sam and son Jack arrived in Deviation ( Westerly Griffon ) and after they had lunch, they came round and we socialised. They went off for a run ( super fit people ) and we relaxed.

In the evening, I had booked the Wheatsheaf and after drinks aboard Wyldwind, we had a good meal there.

Sunday morning, was a lovely sunny day, but a light wind and a foul tide. We had coffee on board deviation, and said our farewells, and then went to the fuel berth and topped up. We then motor-sailed back in the sunshine, but again it was still quite cold, until just after Cowes, the wind eased and it was lovely.

Tied up without incident, and then off to Gina's for supper

Haslar based weekend 5 April 2014

The FCS were having a rally in Gosport, so we had a non sailing weekend. Nigel & Ann came down from London on Friday afternoon and I cooked supper for us all. Tough day for me as I had an endoscopy in the morning with only a local which was a truly horrid experience, but the news was good - no bad things going on and so just regular Zantac style drugs long term.

Saturday Julia and I went to the new Mary Rose museum which was excellent, whilst Nigel and Ann went shopping in Gunwharf as they had seen the museum.

We then took Wyldwind for a motor up to Port Solent where we had lunch on board and visited the chandlers. As ever with Premier, the lock held us hostage against our will, and freeflow was cancelled just as we approached, and then they held us up for almost 40 minutes grrrr - like Chichester - never going again!

In the evening we went over to Gunwharf and joined the FCS crowd for drinks in the Old Customs House and dinner in Cafe Rouge, which was excellent.

Sunday, we did breakfast and then said our goodbyes and drove to Turners Hill to see Malcolm and Mave for lunch. We went to the local new Italian, which was really good.

Cruisers Briefing Supper, Ocean Village, 29/30 March 2014

Nice stiff ESE 5-6, occ 7, sometimes 4, which gave us a cracking sail from Portsmouth Harbour entrance to the entrance to Ocean Village. We had hazy sunshine all the way, and once tied up found that we were out of the breeze and it was warm enough to sun-bathe in the cockpit. We were also able to use our lovely new cockpit table for the first time as well.

We then went for a walk into Southampton and had a drink out, and then back for a snooze, since we had an early start due to the tides.

The evening was pleasant and we sat with our usual crowd of Gillian and Allan, Adam and Lou and Chris and Hilary.

Sunday was another early start made worse by the clocks going forward overnight. It started cloudy but ended up with hazy sunshine, but the wind was E and totally on the nose so we motored and as it felt quite cold, we did most from inside until about Lee when things warmed up and the breeze eased.

We got in and gave the boat a jolly good clean and I did the teak, and then as it was Mothers Day, we went to my mum's for lunch and then to Julia's mum for tea.

Mini Rally to Bembridge with High Spirits, 22/23 March 2014

Nice stiff SW 5-6, occ 7, gave us a cracking sail over to Bembridge on Saturday morning. The earlier rain held off and we mainly had sunshine all the way. High Spirits was already in, having arrived on Friday, and we got postitioned a little further along the pontoon. We had lunch in the saloon in the sunshine. We discovered that there was a Legend Rally around us, and they were pretty much the only other boats.

We walked up to the Vine where we met Richard and Helen, and had a couple of drinks up there, before coming back to Wyldwind, where we had G&Ts and I cooked supper. They bought the cheese and port and we had a lovely evening.

Sunday there were more showers so it was a sunshine and showers walk around to Bembridge and up the hill to the Village Inn for lunch. Service was a bit slow, and although the steaks Julia and I had were fine, they did not do a good job on Richard's meal amd so I doubt we will go there again.

Had another drink in the Pilot Boat on the way back and got the water taxi back. High Spirits stayed on and we headed for home. It rained as we left, and we went inside behind the windscreen wipers motoring into an F5 NW on the nose. But by No Mans Fort, the sun came out and we went outside again and it was a nice motor back in.

Trip to Yarmouth, 08/09 March 2014

Very foggy and miserable at 0700 when we needed to leave to take the tide to Yarmouth, but the wind was SSE so we managed a reasonable sail. As we approached Yarmouth, the sun came out and a weekend of fine sunny weather began. So welcome after the dreadful winter we have had.

Tied up and showered and said hello to Richard & Helen from High Spirits, as they were there co-incidentally. Then we headed off for a lovely walk to the Red Lion at Freshwater where we met and had lunch with Diana and her mum Jean, and the dog George. Great lunch as ever, and we enjoyed a great walk back - DIana and GEorge joining us part way. Had a snooze, and then had drinks in the Kings Head with Richard and Helen, and Diana came in to collect us and take us back to her mum's house near Fort Victoria, where she cooked us dinner, and we had a super evening with them in a very lovely townhouse overlooking the Solent. Diana kindly gave us a lift back.

Sunday was beautiful and sunny with a keen SSE, so we had a cracking sail up to Cowes, where it went a bit flukey and on the nose, so we motor sailed the last few miles and had cooked breakfast in the cockpit.

Got back in and went home and saw England beat Wales on the TV and later, Oliver came down and stayed the night.

RSYC Frostbite Rally to the Royal Southern YC, Hamble, 15 February 2014

Overnight Friday there was a horrendous storm with hurricane force winds, but I was determined to get out in the boat as the continuing stormy weather had been a pain. The forecast showed that it would ease from 40-50 knots down to about F6/7 by 15:00 on the Saturday and Sunday would be sunny with light winds and an ideal day to be on the water. So we went to the boat Saturday afternoon about 14:15 and left making a final decision ( driving otherwise ) until 15:00.

We set off at 15:15 and it was very rough outside Portsmouth Harbour and past Gilkicker and the gusts remained in the upper 30s and early 40s until about 16:15, but Wyldwind took it all in her stride. It was made worse by a squall coming through which had not been forecast and it got very wet from seawater over the bow and rainwater from above. I retired inside behind the windscreen wipers until beyond Gilkicker, where having had the wind and tide on the nose, I was able to bear off a little, enough to put a small amount of genoa out, and motor sail. Apart from the big gusts, she stabilised and sailed really well - it was just a shame I could not bear away further, but I didn't fancy being on the beach at Lee! And I wasn't tacking either.

It settled down to a good F6 by Hillhead and was easing all the time, but our progress initially had been much slower than planned so it was nearly dark as we came into the Hamble River and the navigation lights went on. By the time we tied up to the Royal Southern's walk ashore pontoon, the wind was quite docile. We went ashore and had a few drinks in the bar before the main crowd arrived and we enjoyed a great evening with our cruiser friends. We sat with Adam and Louise and Brian and Lesley.

Sunday morning, was a lovely sunny day, and even quite warm in the sun as the morning wore on. Light winds from the West and a complete contrast to the day before. We managed a sail along by Hillhead and then it got flukey so we motor-sailed in from Lee, where my mum came down to the beach to wave, as we were due at mum's for lunch and did not want to be late.

Had a great lunch with mum and reflected on what a capabale yacht we have - fab weekend.

RSYC Marchwood Rally, 18 January 2014

We went down Saturday morning, and were greeted with a stiff F5/6 SSE going S breeze which gave us a marvellous downwind sail up to Marchwood in lovely sunshine. Conditions on the pontoon were very uncomfortable with that wind direction and the turning container ships. We had lunch, and went for a short walk, and then had tea and cake aboard Aquarius Adventures with Gordon & Christine. Then a break and drinks on board with them again, and off to dinner with the RSYC crowd. This dinner being hosted by Rex, who very kindly gave me a present for my birthday and got everyone to sign a card.

We had Allan & Gillian and Gordon & Christine back for drinks and then a fairly early night which was disturbed by the ships and tugs and stiff breeze.

Sunday morning, I was up early and left at 0700, letting Julia stay in bed. There was no wind. The port & starboard lights failed to come on - another job to do, but it was almost light and a gorgeous sunrise, and a lovely sunny day.

We then drove up the A3 and joined the FCS gang for the Normandy Lunch hosted by Brett & Susan. Great do with another lovely crowd. All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable birthday weekend.

Capricorn Rally, Cowes, 11 January 2014

Ed came down on Friday afternoon, and we set off for the boat, but the Avensis broke down, and ended up in a garage needing a new alternator. We took everything out of the car and crammed it into Julia's car, and eventually got down later in the evening. I cooked magret de canard washed down with medoc.

Saturday we motored over to Cowes in glorious sunshine and filled up with fuel. High Spirits was already in the Yacht Haven. We had lunch and then all met up in the Anchor. Afternoon nap and then drinks on board Wyldwind. We woke up only minutes before !

Then we had a great dinner at the ISC, and had a good time. We were all in good spirits.

Next day, the weather was grey and miserable and the wind was getting up so we went back earlier than planned and had a very rough entrance to Portsmouth. Probably the worst in this boat - certainly on a par with trying to get into Brighton with an onshore breeze.

Another one of our Great annual events. It was a shame that this year Malcolm and Mave could not be with us, as Mave has not been so good.

Area 15 New Years Eve Bash, Cowes, 31 December 2013

Julia and I got down Saturday and went over to Cafe Rouge in Gunwharf for a nice meal. Up on Sunday and motored over into a headwind, and got safely into East Cowes. The weather was going through storm after storm, so we were quite lucky to have sunshine. We ate lunch in the Lifeboat and I cooked in the evening.

Monday and Tuesday we worked on board, and throughout the period I wasn't too well, so we kept a low profile. The Area 15 gang came over and had drinks in the Lifeboat Monday evening and Lloyd very kindly picked us up in Baby Bacchus for the drinks party on Goose New Years Eve.

Nice drinks aboard and then off to Toninos Italian for the meal. Drinks back on Bacchus and then Julia and I got the last chain ferry at 00:50 and walked back in foul weather.

Next day, the weather was so bad we could not get back, so we had a quiet day. Thursday, there was a gap in the weather and we picked up Rob and Gemma at Shepards on the way back making a ferry service to Haslar. Motor sailed back and remarkably, the sea state was calm after such a storm the day before.

Another Great event with the gang: Goose, Bacchus, Skoolies and us.

Area 15 Xmas Party, Bembridge, 14/15 December 2013

Neil and Jane arrived late on Friday after I had cooked Julia a birthday meal. Lots of wind was forecast, but first thing on Saturday it was a flat calm, and so I told Neil and Jane who were tired to stay in bed and enjoy a lie-in. We had to leave at 0800 as HW in Bembridge was 0906, so I motored out. The wind piped up a little and we managed a short sail, but not much speed. Neil was up and into the cockpit to enjoy the sail, but I had to put the engine back on. We got into a very empty Bembridge and soon after helped in the Skoolies and Bacchus. Then I cooked us all a big english breakfast.

We then took the water taxi over to the beach and walked up past the shops and had a drink in the old Village Inn. We then walked down the hill and had another in the Pilot Boat, and then walked past the house boats and back round to the Duver. We then all had a snooze and then drinks on Goose. The wind had been building all day and it was wild and beginning to rain as we walked up to the Vine for our Xmas dinner. Great night out, but got soaked coming back.

A fairly early start back on Sunday, but the wind was F4,5,6 from SSW, so we had a really great sail back into Portsmouth. We then had a nice lunch provided by Neil and Jane, and then they headed off and we popped in to see my mum on the way back.

Great weekend with the gang: Goose, Bacchus, Skoolies, Peyto and us.

RSYC Rally to Newtown River, 30 November 2013

I was up at 0630, and letting Julia sleep in, I got the boat away at 07:10 - it was only just light. Wind varied from F3 - F4 occ 5 Northerly, but it was not steady enough to make good speed under sail, and the tide was turning, so as it was more about getting there, I motor sailed. Julia got up off Gurnard and we made it into Newtown River at 09:10 on HW. We moored right opposite the jetty in 4.5m. I thought it would be tight, but OK. I got the dinghy blown up and the engine on, and then we had breakfast. I had a small snooze and then we went for the usual circular walk in glorious autumn sunshine. Back aboard at 13:45 with LW at 14:16 - with a few other RSYC boats there. We only had 1.7 showing and we were just afloat, but when we came back in the dinghy, you could see under the water line stripes.

Gordon and Christine moored up next to us and came over for G&Ts and we also invited new members James and Jackie Miller from an LM30, Kingfisher aboard for drinks. We then had a snooze and headed off as usual in the dark for Shalfleet jetty and the walk to the New Inn. Great night out and despite us being 26, the food was still good. We sat next to Adam and Lou and Chris and Hilary. Back to Bob & Jackie on Arabesque for a night cap and then to back to Wyldwind.I took the engine off and put the dinghy on the deck ready for another early start to beat the tide back in the morning.

Up at 06:30 and away at 0710 again, but a cloudy morning, so a little darker, and no wind at all. I let Julia lie in again, and she surfaced towards Gilkicker. Uneventful back other than Arabesque going by. Back into Haslar and I cleaned the dinghy up and stowed it away, and then we had breakfast and read the papers and I had a little snooze.

Then off to my mum's for a lovely Sunday lunch - yum.

Mini Rally to Cowes with High Spirits and Bacchus, 23/24 November 2013

For a change, we didn't go down until Saturday morning, and we were lucky to have a sunny day with a steady F4 Northerly, so apart from being a little cold, it was a fabulous sail over. Bacchus were just ahead of us and High Spirits just behind, but as they both went onto the fuel berth in Cowes, we were first into East Cowes.

When everyone was in, we piled into the Lifeboat and had a few drinks there. Then into Baby Bacchus and roared up to the ISC pontoon in the RIB. We then had a drink in Berties, and dinner in the ISC, which was good apart from the Rowing Club do, but the food was superb as always.

Back to Bacchus for more drinks, and all stumbled to bed. There were some jaded people alround on Sunday morning. I cycled down and got the papers, and we had a relaxing morning. Intelligence tells me that some crew on High Spirits did not surface until 6pm....

Sunday was grey and dull, but there was still a steady Northerly, so it was a little colder coming back, but still a fabulous sail. Tucked into our berth sweetly, and headed back to Alton to see the 50th Anniversary Doctor Who program, which was AmazeBalls.

FCS event at Warsash 16 November 2013

Friday night we thought we might have a quiet night, but the Skoolies came round for drinks and then Baby Bacchus turned up from Portchester, So it was a late night - but a great mates night.

Saturday morning, we motored around to Universal in glorious sunshine but no wind. After we tied up, we had a super walk down to Warsash SC where we had lunch with the FCS crowd who had walked there.

Great lunch and then a walk back to Paul and Daphne's house, where we watched the rugby ( England lost to NZ 22-30 ) and they very kindly gave us supper. The crowd had thinned for supper, so the others by then were Keith and Audrey who gave us a lift back to Universal and Paul and Jan.

Sunday was grey and dull, with litle wind, so motored back. I did try sailing for a while and then motor sailed. Uneventful and back up to the Eight Bells on the way home.

Mini Rally to Yarmouth with High Spirits 9/10 November 2013

Saturday morning, the weather was truly appalling, and it chucked it down virtually all the way. Once out of Portsmouth, we stayed inside. We had to go against the tide so it took 4 hours, but we did want some time in Yarmouth and we were warm and dry inside. There wasn't much wind but we did get a 30 knot squall off Gurnard and almost zero visibility in the driving rain.

The sun came out at Newtown and we tied up next to High Spirits in sunshine. Quick shower and then into the Kings Head for the afternoon. Quick snooze and then Richard and Helen came aboard for drinks and we had dinner at On the Rocks - great food and great night out.

Sunday morning, it was glorious sunshine, and a nice F4 NW, which gave us a perfect sail back in just over two hours! Fantastic sail. At Gurnard, Baby Bacchus appeared and took some great pictures of us under sail - thanks Colin!

Back in and back up to Alton

Area 15 Halloween bash at Wicor 26 October 2013

Saturday morning, Andy & Jen and Ella arrived and we motored up to Wicor in a lot of wind. Moored up in a tight spot, being blown off but that gave us a quieter night and an easy off. We had a buffet lunch and then Area 15 members dropped in for drinks during the afternoon.

Then after I cooked our usual sausage and onions dish and heated Andy & Jen's in the oven, it was all ashore for the bash. Everything was very well organised by Lloyd who stepped in at the last minute after Island Harbour let us down. As it happened with the storm due, staying in Portsmouth Harbour worked out well.

Sunday morning, it was gusting 32 on the way back from Wicor, but eased back to 28 as we tied up. We almost missed the gp start as we had to help out a small catamaran in difficulties. He had lost engine and could not get onto his buoy and did not have a radio. We liaised with QHM for him and stood by until help arrived. Got tied up in Haslar, switched tv on just as the red lights went out on the start! Julia then cooked breakfast which was consumed during the Grand Prix.

Back up to Alton and snugged down ahead of the storm

Gunwharf Quay for Neil's 60th aboard HMS Warrior - 12/13 October 2013

Saturday morning we motored over to Gunwharf and the weather just got nicer and nicer. Neil, Jane and Ashton came around about 10:30, and then no sooner had they gone, than my mum turned up for lunch on board.

After lunch Neil and Jane returned with the two couples they had been on holiday with, and we had a few drinks. It was so nice, we stayed in the cockpit.

I walked Mum back to the Gosport ferry and in the evening we headed off to HMS Warrior and enjoyed a splendid evening fro Neil's 60th bash.

Sunday, it was grey and wet, so we moved back over to Haslar fairly promptly. Julia did her homework for her accounting course, and I did a few jobs. Quiet day.

Lymington - 5/6 October 2013

Saturday morning was supposed to be dry and sunny, but stayed cloudy and even drizzled. There was an F2 on the nose, so we motored down to Berthon. We filled up with diesel, and I executed the first reverse mooring onto the fuel pontoon. We had lunch and then cycled out to the Chequers for a drink, and then back for a snooze.

In the evening we went to Pizza Express, which was excellent food and service, and then watched TV back on board. Worked out that fuel consumption in the first 1000 nautcial miles is better than Selene was!

Sunday was warm and sunny from the word go, and it was a t-shirts day. No wind again, so motored, but this time sun-bathing in the cockpit. Lovely - it was a joy to be out. It was nice to have a quiet weekend - just the two of us for a change, as we have done a deal of socialising recently, and there is much more in the coming weeks.

Hamble & Cowes with Andy, Jen & Ella-Mai - 28/29 September 2013

Saturday morning was supposed to be a morning of jobs for me and homework for Julia, but when I got back from the shops, I discovered that Area 15 YC had arrived. Although we were waiting for Jen and Ella for an afternoon departure, Andy arrived with his bags and also Rob and the Skoolies were all on board drinking with Julia. We then went round and helped Colin out with putting the sail bag back on Skoolie Too and when Jen turned up we had a cracking sail in an F5 Easterly round to Port Hamble. Brilliant sail. Tucked in and after bubbles in the cockpit, we headed off out for dinner at the Bugle, which was excellent.

Sunday started out wet and cloudy with light winds but the sun came out and the wind got up to a nice F3/4 and we had another great sail over to Cowes Yacht Haven. Andy helmed whilst I mainly kept a lookout at the bow, as we used all the genoa and it gets very busy around Cowes. Tucked into the Yacht Haven and hooked up with Richard and Helen from High Spirits in the Anchor, and then onto the ISland Sailing Club for one of their fantastic roasts.

The wind was on the nose on the way back, so we motored over and wrapped up a great weekend.

Bembridge mini rally with Mudlark 21/22 September 2013

Had a great upwind sail over to Bembridge and then motored in fairly early. Saw Mudlark with Malcolm and Mave on the way in. Good job we were early as they had six rallies booked in. We got a slot on the pontoon, which was good and Malcolm and Mave got a finger further down. A nice Nicholson 32 with Ian and Linda aboard rafted outside us and later two more boats went outside them.

We hosted lunch and as we were enjoying that Malcolm spotted Sam (Jim and Val Saunders' daughter)and her husband Lee coming in. Malcolm took their lines and they joined us for drinks. Julia and I had planned a walk, but the afternoon disappeared as we socialised. I rang Baywatch and we added Sam and Lee to our table, and before we knew it, it was time to head for dinner.

We had a really good meal - good service, no long wait, and good food. Very enjoyable meal.

Sunday morning, Julia and I went up and got the papers from St. Helens and then had cooked breakfast. The other guys left earlier than us as they were on fingers and we had to wait for our raft to move. There was no wind, and like the whole of the weekend, it was wall to wall cloudm, but not cold. Motored back and popped in to see my mum on the way back.

Autumn Cruise to Brighton and IOW - 7 - 16 September 2013

Saturday we made it to Brighton. Bloody hell, what a trip. Nothing like the forecast. Supposed to be 4/5 occasionally 6 at first. Started out that way, and then got worse. Large sideways waves, wind either 13/14 knots or 25/26 in cycles of about 3 minutes, plus squalls. Hit the wall of death at Boulder Bank - the entrance to the Looe Channel. Literally hit a wall of water with all sails up. The bow vanished under the water, and yet she did not stop, she carried on without any loss of speed, re-surfaced and carried on into the next one and did the same. Massive slam down below, and things moved a lot ..... Anyway, then entering Brighton was terrifying. Massive waves and wind blowing into the marina. Took forever to get moored but now know a lot about how difficult she is - but no damage, shouting or issues in the end.

Andy, Jen & Ella-Mai drove down to Brighton and we spent the evening with them, and enjoyed the centre of Brighton. Sunday we had hoped for a nice relaxing morning in bed, but a motor boat put paid to that. He got into difficulties mooring and in swinging around caught and deployed his liferaft. He did not spot this and dragged it round with him as he moored behind us. Result: Liferaft and strings snagged on Wyldwind. Worse, the clam shell was open and this scraped down the side. So I had to go and untangle etc. Later, we went into town and saw the guys again before they headed back. Monday the weather was miserable, so we worked so we could get the following Monday off in the hope of some promised good weather ( which never happened )

During the morning, I took the lines of Chanticleer, and later we invited them in for drinks. Nigel and Ann Raincock are such lovely people and we had a great little drinks do. Next morning, they invited us in for bubbles aboard their beautiful Cabo-Rico NE400 motor-sailor, and after we all did a day of sightseeing - we saw the pier and the Pavillion, we all met up at English's - a great seafood restaurant in the Lanes and again had a great time. I do hope we see those guys again.

Wednesday we headed for Bembridge and were greeted by 35-37 knots of NNW for the first two hours. As it was a reach and the sun was shining, it was actually a great sail with just half the genny out. It gradually eased and eased so that we motor sailed and then when it went on the nose motored into Bembridge. Here we were expecting a quiet evening, but discovered we had by chance run into the Royal Southampton "Wednesday/Rex Cruising crowd" and it turned out this was their first ever overnight rally - number 422! So we joined them for drinks aboard Latimer Lady, and then dinner at Baywatch on the beach! A great time.

Thursday, we picked sloes and then motored into East Cowes where we tied up behind our mates from Portland, Chris and Chris in C-Squared. They gave us drinks and then we went aboard another Portland Yacht Club boat belonging to Phillip Stringer ( with his crew Martin and Kate ) who cooked us a lovely evening meal. Friday, we all took the Sally taxi and Redjet to the Southampton Boat Show. The weather was rubbish all day, but we had a good day out, and afterwards had a Thai meal with Gordon & Chrstine Agnew. Very miserable and wet coming back in the Sally Taxi!

We were due to stay in Cowes and join the Skoolies at the ISC, but I took the view that I didn't fancy getting up early the next day, and fighting the tide to beat the very bad weather coming in. We therefore, slipped our lines and had the most fantastic sail back to Haslar on a beam reach - wow! One of those great sails. We then headed over to Gunwharf, and had a drink with Oli and Aline, before a nice steak in Cafe Rouge. Sunday, Oli and Aline joined us for champagne on board, and then we had lunch in Hardys with the Skoolies. Weather still rubbish and wasn't great all week, so we bailed on the holiday at this point! However, it turned out to be a great social holiday.

Cowes day trip with Jane & Carolyn and Chichester with Malcom & Mave, August 24/25/26

Saturday, Gina and Carolyn arrived for their day trip. The weather was grey but the rain stayed away all day thankfully. The wind was NW 4, so we sailed for a while and then motored in (to make lunchtime) and went on the outside at Shepards Wharf. We enjoyed a lovely lunch at the Island Sailing Club on the balcony outside, and then the girls went shopping whilst I had a pint in the Anchor.

The wind got up seriously on the way back largely NW F6, but top end of, as we were downwind under genoa it wasn't too bad, but got a bit rolly for novices at times. We had a light snack on arrival before Julia and I went to see my mum who hadn't been too good. Then we came back and slept aboard.

Saturday morning Malcolm and Mave arrived and we headed off to Chichester to join an FCS Rally. It was a NNW 4 so was perfect for a nice sail, and we were hoisted by the Dolphins and had a great sail to West Pole. We motored in from there and locked into Chichester Marina. We got parked way up the back on K27, and had lunch which was fab.

During the afternoon, the weather improved and we popped round to see the Scallywags and had a nice glass with them, and then there was the usual drinks party for a rally. This was aboard Moonshadow, and it was good to see this gang again. The meal was at the Yacht Club, and the food was OK, but it is all a bit airport terminal like these days, and typical of modern caterers, they had 8 things on the menu, but only 6 available and you didn't get told that until you gathered it by being in the big queue to order. Not amusing. Anyway, a good night was had by all, and we David from Chancer come back aboard for a late night drink along with a couple from Brighton Eileen and Steve who were moored on our pontoon next to us.

Sunday morning finally brought a good day's weather, and Lorna joined us for breakfast, which I prepared. Then Brett and Susan stopped by and we were relaxed. However, in our relaxed mood, we didn't realise that basically unless we had booked an exit slot really really early we weren't going to get out at the favoured 1300 I wanted, and only booking at 12:00 as we did put us 68 in a queue that ended up being 85. They were at 21 when we joined and it takes 15-20 minutes to get 3 or 4 boats out we discovered. So we didn't get out until freeflow at 1438 - I was not amused. I really think they should have made it clear to all visitors so that we didn't waste time thinking we might get out. Had we known for sure, we could have made plans up until freeflow. Anyway, we finally escaped the prison, and although the weather was lovely, the wind promptly died and there was no chance of a decent sail plus we were well into the afternoon by now, so we motored back in fine weather. It was good to see Malcolm and Mave again, and we all had a great time.

Yarmouth with Aly & Graham, August 17/18

Friday night, I cooked on board (ribeye) and Julia and I watched unstoppable.

Saturday, Aly and Graham arrived at 0800, and we quickly motored out so that we got to Yarmouth ahead of the bad weather forecast. Wind was on the nose anyway, so we simply motored. Got in and tied up, and then walked to the Red Lion for a lovely lunch. Aly and Graham walked to the south coast of the island, and Julia and I headed into the Kings Head where we met up with locals, Baverlee, LJ, and Les. Aly and Graham joined us and by now the weather was wet n windy. Graham sold his T-shirt for £20 to a stag as the wording on the t-shirt said "a staggerinly good event"

In the evening I cooked us "Wyldwind seafood Paella", which was well received and then we went to Saltys for a drink and enjoyed ourselves.

Sunday the weather cheered up and we had a windy WSW 4/5/6 and plenty of sunshine. We hoisted the genoa outside Yarmouth and sailed to the line in at the Memorial at Southsea. A lovely sail with the wind touching 25 - 26 knots from behind at times.

Emsworth with Neil & Jane, August 10/11

Friday night, I cooked on board (tuna pasta) and Neil and Jane turned up later.

Saturday, we came out and flew the chute from Spit Sand fort to West Pole, and luckily got a spot on the Emsworth Visitors Pontoon. We then blew up the dinghy and headed ashore - it was warm, but a sunny intervals day. We had a drink in the Coal Exchange and then lunch at the Lord Raglan. We then went to the Yacht Harbour and had drinks with Lorna and then back to the boat. The wind got up much more than forecast abnd was on the nose going back to the boat so we all got soaked - Neil and Julia more so as they were at the front of the dinghy.

I cooked us warm chicken caesar salad and we had merry evening.
Sunday the tide wasn't favourable until lunchtime, so we had a lazy morning and I cooked us scrambled eggs served with smoked salmon and muffins.

We motor sailed down the harbour as visibility is resticted under the genoa on Wyldwind, and by Hayling Island SC it was chaos as usual. When we got out, we had a W F4/5 and did some of that tacking business - Mavis would have disapproved :) - had a good sail to the Dolphins and then motored back in. We had a few problems furling the genoa which had started on holiday, so we need to get that looked at.

It was good to see Neil and Jane again. When we got back in we bumped into Peter and Betty who had brought their NC 39 into Haslar for a day or so. See the photos tab for all the pictures

Summer Cruise, July 19 - August 4

The heatwave unfortunately was just ending as we set off, and we went to Portland instead of Alderney as we won't sit in a NE there again, and we thought that if the weather held, we would go onto the West Country. It didn't, so after a day in Portland we headed South as planned to the Guernsey and Northern France. In Portland we had a great Saturday evening with Paul and Hannah and Lester and Sharon.

Sunday was a rough crossing to St. Peter Port, but we got a finger pontoon and stayed there through Monday. Tuesday, we set off south and had very poor visibility all the way down to Paimpol. We moored alongside Argo at Paimpol, who are just opposite us on A pontoon in Haslar! We enjoyed Paimpol, and then headed to Perros-Guirec for the weekend. It was much bigger than we expected but we learned to like it. As we were going to be sailing on our wedding anniversary (18 years ) on the Sunday, we made the Saturday our celebration day. We cycled round to Ploumenach, and had a slap up lunch there at Des Rochers.

Then, Sunday we had a wet and yuk day going back up for an overnight on the pontoons outside at St. Peter Port. The wind was strong and it rained. We stayed indoors for this trip! Just as we were a few miles off Guernsey, we were caught in the worst thunder storm I have ever been in. Visibility went down to zero, and the wind howled, and the lightning was very very close. The pontoons were full of people sheltering from the weather and it was chaos especially the way the French "park" their boats.

Next morning we headed to Carteret where we met our Area 15 buddies Bachuus and Skoolie 2. The weather was sunshine and showers. The following day we had booked the train to the local market, but the weather was appalling - raining cats and dogs - we were all in oilies, but still had a great day out. Wednesday, we all left us heading North and home and the others South as they were just starting their holiday.

The sun finally came out for our few days in Cherbourg and it was great. We sunbathed on the really hot day, shopped in Carrefour, and went on the bus to St. Vaast and enjoyed a lovely Cote de Boeuf for two in our favourite restaurant Pantagruel. The fish restaurant Au Tire Bouchon was also good as was La Cale.

The crossing back on Sunday was perfect, sunny and downhill. We flew the chute all the way from Cherbourg to Ventnor. See the photos tab for all the pictures

Port Hamble with Ed & Richard and Helen, and Mum on Sunday, July 13/14

Ed arrived on Friday, and we got down to the boat on Saturday morning. The hot weather continued, and it was going to be a scorcher. Richard & Helen arrived and we motored round to Port Hamble in very hot sunshine. We had lunch on arrival and then enjoyed the weather.

Saturday evening, we went to the Bugle and then to the King & Queen, followed by port and music aboard. A great evening, slightly spoiled by my meal not being much good and quite slow service.

Sunday we motored back to Haslar on another scorching day. Richard & Helen departed, and then we picked up my mum and took her out for a jolly. We went out through the Dolphins and then back into harbour. The sea breeze was up, so we managed a sail as well! My mum is doing great for an 82 year old!

Dropped mum off and back home for a BBQ, although Ed headed straight on up to London to stay with Oli.

Bembridge & Cowes with Aly & Graham, July 6/7

Friday night, Neil and Jane stayed over as they were looking at a Moody 31 in Haslar. Nice surprise!

Saturday, Aly and Graham turned up and after a quick peek at the Moody with Neil, we left Neil and Jane and motored over to Bembridge in glorious sunshine. We thought we would be early enough, but it was mayhem by the time we got there and we ended up being third out right at the far end. However, we were still able to plug in which was good to keep everything cold! We walked up to St. Helens and had a drink in the Vine and then back on board for lunch. Then we all sunbathed and later went to dinner at Baywatch on the Beach, which was excellent. We all had whole fried sea bream.

Sunday we motored round to Cowes on another scorching day. We rafted outside at Shepards and had lunch at the Island Sailing Club which was as good as ever. Then went round to Osborne Bay and rafted alongside Bachuus for a while and generally lazed around.

Whilst we enjoyed the sun, Andy Murray won Wimbledon and I got the telly on in time for the match points. Then we motored back into Haslar. We zoomed home and had a BBQ completing a fantastic weekend. Summer has at last arrived and long may it last.

Fri 28 June - Tues 2 July 2013 - Weymouth & Cowes

We tried our best but we had F5-7 on the nose all the way to Weymouth and the nasty chop in Poole Bay and Weymouth Bay simply slowed us down too much and so we missed the last bridge lift by just under 20 minutes. It was a very rough ride, but everything was fine down below. On arrival, Julia went to the fish shop right next to us, and we had a well earned supper.

Saturday, we took the first bridge lift into Weymouth Marina, and Hannah (Paul Swain's girlfriend ) was there to take our lines. We then went up and chatted to her and had coffee, and got ourselves booked into the Portland Marina berth holder bash / hog roast for the evening. We then had a wander around and chilled. Drinks were taken at the Royal Dorset, where we read the papers. The weather was fine and we were able to sit in the cockpit and enjoy the sun - but hiding from the breeze a bit.

We caught the bus to Portland and met up with Chris and Chris Swain and of course, their son Paul, the marina manager. We had a great time and I got to dance with the lovely Hannah! We got the bus back without incident.

Sunday morning, we did jobs. I fitted the new water pump and changed the fridge spring so that it doesn't close on you as you reach in, and then the Chrises turned up on their bikes. We threw together a picnic lunch and we had a drink. The weather was now nice and warm, so we were again in the cockpit.

In the afternoon, we strolled out to the new tower and found we were the only passengers on the 1700 ride, so it was like a VIP service - we even opted for the glass of champagne - why not! In the evening, we did our usual visit to Bella Italia, where we enjoyed a nice dinner.

Monday, we had planned to go to Poole, but I wasn't liking the weather on Tuesday, and so we opted to go to East Cowes. We took the 1000 bridge lift and enjoyed a pleasant sunny sail / motor sail into the Solent. It wasn't too warm in the breeze though, even though there wasn't much of it. In East Cowes, we ate at the lifeboat and watched TV.

Tuesday, we did jobs in the morning - I finally sorted out the hot water and the burgee halyards whilst Julia popped to Waitrose. We then had a late breakfast and motor sailed back to Haslar. There was no wind as forecast but it was grey and miserable, so we were pleased to only have a short trip anyway. Nice break and good to get Wyldwind out of the Solent.

Sat 22, Sun 23 Jun 2013 - Stayed in Haslar!

Another rubbish forecast F7 - F8 coming from the SW, so decided to stay put and relax in Haslar. Friday, I went down ahead of Julia and did some jobs and cooked on board when she arrived.

Saturday, the Scallywags came into Haslar (looking rather windswept) to spend Saturday with us on their way back to Chichester. They came round after lunch with champagne, and a long session started. Lorna popped into see the boat during the afternoon, and then I cooked for the Scallies and us, and afterwards, the Skoolies came round. Julie Skoolie showed off her singing as we we used YouTube to bring up music requests from around the table.

On Sunday, my mum came to see the boat, and we arranged for her to be brought along the pontoon by golf buggy, and I had borrowed some very nice steps to save her going up the ladder and so she came aboard. We then had lunch with her at Hardys and on the way back saw Richard and Helen in the pub with no name. Exhausting socialising!

Fri 14, Sat 15, Sun 16 Jun 2013 - Lymington again - this time a Nauticat Owners Rally

The forecast for Saturday was F7-F8 on the nose, so we left work early, and motor-sailed down very quickly to Lymington and moored in front of rally organiser John Claisse in a Nauticat 33, Zarzuela. He had Alan Warrell on board as crew. After sorting out mooring fees and electricity, Julia caught up on work, and then we had some wine aboard Zaruela. Shortly after this, Schuss, the Nauticat 39 also from our A pontoon at Haslar turned up and had to raft outside us due to some Solent Event boats also on the Dan Bran pontoon. Julia then cooked supper and we retired.

Saturday, it was bright but very windy as forecast, so good decision made. We went to the Kings Head for lunch and then did the market and Force 4. Got dressed up a bit and went up to the Royal Lymington YC to join in the rally dinner. Had a really good evening and met some lovely people in the Nauticat Owners Association: Maurice who lives on Old Possum (NC33) in Haslar, Brian and Esme (NC33 Betsy Lymington YH), and their daughter Judith and husband Tim, Theresa, Alan's wife, and Stan who was taking over crewing from Alan on Zarzuela for the leg back to Haslar.

Sunday, we motor sailed back to Haslar and as it was miserable drizzle, I drove from inside a lot and found that it was OK even dodging between Sunsails! Oli had come down by train and we rushed off to see my mum, before treating Oli to a roast at ours later.

Fri 7, Sat 8, Sun 9 Jun 2013 - Wicor Marine, Gins & Cowes

Friday night we motored up and tied up alongside Bachuus at Wicor, and had drinks aboard. Then we went ashore and had a BBQ followed by more drinks on Wyldwind. Great night.

Saturday, we went to Gins for the Hog Roast, and had a really good day. Sat with a really good crowd at dinner, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Sunday, we motored over in slightly bouncy conditions to the Yacht Haven, Cowes, where we were joined by Bachuus and we went for Sunday lunch at the Island Sailing Club who were up to their usual excellent standard. Bachuus had Rob and Rosie aboard - this being Rosie's first outing. Andy, Jen and Ella joined us later having sailed over in Aquaholic, and we shopped and drank in the Anchor whilst waiting for the tide to turn.

Motored back in the sunshine in calmer conditions and Lloyd kindly took some great pics of Wyldwind

Sat 1 Jun 2013 - Lymington with Neil and Jane

Friday night Neil and Jane arrived, and I cooked us dinner. Saturday, we sailed and motor sailed to Lymington, and then took the ferry over to Yarmouth to see the Old Gaffers. Really good to see, and we went aboard the Nancy Blackett.

After drinks at the Royal Solent in glorious sunshine, we came back over to Lymington and had drinks aboard and dinner at the Ship on the town Quay.

Sunday, we sailed all the way back in glorious sunshine - absolutely wonderful!

Great weekend and good to see Neil and Jane again - really enjoying the new boat. There are still a number of issues to sort, but we will get them all done

Sat 25 May 2013 - Our first weekend

We sailed to Lymington in glorious sunshine and met Allan & Gillian in Twister of Mersea in the Yacht Haven. We had champagne and walked into town for some shopping and then later dinner at the Tapas. Food was good, but service useless

Sunday, we all headed for Gins for lunch, motoring in no wind, and we tied Wyldwind to a buoy for the first time, and the four of us had a great lunch. We came back into Haslar and joined the Skoolies and the gang over in Gunwharf after drinks on Skoolie 2. Afterwards, we had drinks on Wyldwind and later Skoolie 2.

Monday, we headed for Whitecliff Bay where we planned to anchor for lunch.But the anchor wouldn't hold, so we sailed gently back and had lunch in the cockpit. There wasn't enough chain, so I plan to buy a more modern anchor and lots of chain!

Tuesday, we finally unloaded the Avensis and generally cleared off the previous owner's stuff and put ours aboard. It rained hard all day!

22 May 2013 - She arrives at Hamble point and is commissioned by the UK Nauticat people

She arrived too late for the crane on Wednesday, but was in the water on the morning of Thursday 23rd and handed to us Friday 24th at lunchtime

Unfortunately, it blew F8 until mid evening, so we were unable to take her round to Haslar and load the second car load!

May 14 2013 - She is now British registered and owned by us

Ready for shipment to the UK.

Work continues in Hamburg April 2013

The bow thruster is being fitted and the electronics are taking shape. The paperwork continues to take time and it will be at least the end of April before we get her

Work is under way in Hamburg March 2013

The mid ships cleats have been fitted. The new electronics are going in and the new radome has been fitted to the mast - it has a special bracket that keeps it level. And I can see the new toilet has arrived as it is just visible in the photo in its box!

She now heads into the indoor large shed for the new bow thruster to be fitted, and the re-varnishing in the worn areas along with a fix to the leaking window and some other maintenance: replacing all hoses, engine service, sea-cocks, gas check, replacing defective mast lights, and some gelcoat repairs.

The new electronics are Raymarine e95 GPS & display at the helm, repeated inside, radar and AIS and the wind repeated at the helm also. Meanwhile, we wait for the ship registration to slowly work its way through the bureaucracy on both sides of the North Sea.

Name confirmed and reserved on the Part 1 register 6 March 2013013013

The tonnage survey was carried out in Hamburg and the name Wyldwind in the port of Portsmouth reserved on the Part 1 register. We have to wait for the German de-registration to complete before the formal process in the UK

Selene leaves us Saturday 23rd February 2013

I met Martin and Ian, the new owners of Selene on board and showed them how everything worked, and then shed a small tear as they took her away for new adventures.