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It's Vince and Malcolm

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Yarmouth I.O.W to Gosport 26th July 2007

We are awakened by someone knocking on the coach roof, and I climbed out of my bunk to investigate. It was the Colonel requesting us to let him out. Ron stirred and asked what was up, and on hearing the request he too got up without hesitation, then he said what time is it. 06:00 I said and saw the look on his face. The Colonel had told us he was leaving this morning, what he didn't say was that he was leaving at 06:00. Well it is seven miles away. and he had allowed about two hours before The tide changed from west to east. He could have just left without disturbing us. which is what I would have done. The weather forecast is for possible F8 gales later,  so we are leaving at lunchtime pushing the tide for a time. So we return to our bunks and snooze. Ron will have his sea legs now, it usually  takes him a day to feel OH but he's never sick. We have breakfast row across to the shower block for ablutions, have another walk around town in daylight, before returning to the boat for lunch, and to prepare for leaving. We cast off at 13:00 and head out into the Solent, and a west going tide of 1kn, which will change to west going after about 45 minutes. We follow the Starboard buoys, and as we pass Newtown River the tide slackens and begins to turn in our favour. We have full main and genoa set and are making good progress, and as we pass the Gurnard Ledge Buoy looking across at the East lepe buoy. We remember times past, when were on our way to Cherbourg at night some years ago. The navigator told the inexperienced helm to aim for the next red light, we were under full sail, and I had just said to Ron how brilliant the stars were looking from here, when we heard the dong of the buoy. seconds later it appeared starboard side from behind the genoa, the helm, having never helmed before steered the boat like a car steering to port, which caused the stern to swing towards the buoy. The collision was a glancing blow but, we hit a lifting eye which holed us at the stern, just below deck level. The repairs lost us a day, but we cruised to Guernsey and back without any further problems, other than four crew being violently sea sick on our way across the channel. We all learned something that week.

We round Egypt Point, Pass Prince Consort N cardinal, and head for E Ryde Middle W cardinal, leaving it to starboard. The wind is getting stronger, and with the wind and tide in our favour we are making good progress. We are soon past the N and NE Ryde middle buoys, and heading for the entrance to Portsmouth. Course 094deg to Spit Sand Fort, rather than cutting the corner as the sea over the shallows there won't be very nice, and the chop will be  uncomfortable, and wet. We Pass south of Spit Sand Fort, and round Spit Refuge port buoy heading for the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour. We plan to stay at Haslar Marina, Gosport which is close to the ferry terminal for Portsmouth. We follow the port buoys keeping close to the buoys, and keeping to the small craft channel. On entering Portsmouth Harbour we head straight for Haslar Marina, and take up a spare space on the visitor pontoons, opposite the green lightship, which serves as the bar/restaurant and, shower/WCs. The marina office is however at the other end of the marina, but we could do with the exercise. On returning to the boat we decide to have a look for a restaurant in Gosport, but we were out of luck. The area local to the marine is one of those places that the planners got wrong in the 60's, the only pub we saw had two guys with a female outside, and the female threatened to glass us for looking at them. Charming place but nothing a big bulldozer couldn't put right. Back at the marina three school boats came in, all with teenage crew and in a boisterous mood. While Ron and myself were eating our meal in the cockpit of Anita, the smallest of the young crews came up on deck with full oilies on, and proceeded to throw water bombs at the other crews, so there was a full blown battle that followed, with water soaked teenagers everywhere, apart from that is, the instigator of the battle, who was the only one suitably attired for the battle. We only suffered a near miss, and enjoyed the spectacle of youthful frolicking. We also had a visit from my nephew Craig his partner Shanie and Shanie's dad Peter. We had a good chat about things in general, and about what's normality for most people, you see Craig's dad, my brother Pete isn't as normal as most. There's nothing wrong with Pete, its that he's just, well Different.

  The weather forecast for tomorrow isn't good so we have decided to take the ferry across the harbour to Portsmouth, and to have a look around the town, I was in Portsmouth for the festival of the sea, but spent most of the time in the RN dockyard viewing the various ships, and exhibitions.                               We arrive back on the boat after a good day in Portsmouth, where there was a continental market in the new Gunwharf Quays shopping centre, selling various foods etc. We walked round the ancient harbour walls, down as far as Southsea Common, watched the ferries entering and leaving the Harbour, and noted the rough sea condition which we were avoiding. We had a meal before returning to Gosport, and after a shower etc spent some time in the bar of the lightship in the evening, before returning to the boat to prepare for the sail to Brighton tomorrow.