Who's doing all this sailing?

It's Vince and Malcolm

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Weymouth to Yarmouth I.O.W 25th July 2007

23rd July, and the first thing to do is to ring Ron, and let him know where I am, he will join me from now on. He was going to join me in Cornwall somewhere, but the timing didn't work out due to me being ahead of myself, I have kept in touch to keep him informed of my whereabouts, and he said he would join me in Pool or Weymouth, when I suggested Weymouth was favourite for me, he agreed to arrive  on Tuesday evening 24th July, ready to leave the following morning. Ron likes yachting but is soon ready to start the engine if the going becomes too slow. With me it's the sailing I enjoy, with Ron I think it's the arriving that's important, although I like arriving too, Its better than the other option. This said we have had some great sailing together, the last time being when we chartered a privately owned Sweden 37 Yacht  in Greece for four weeks. We sailed the Saronic Gulf out of Mounikhias, Athens, and we sold berths to family and friends to help with the costs. If you have the Admiralty chart 1657. this lat and long, 037deg. 56. 240N - 023deg. 39. 602E will place you in the centre of the marina.

Ron is due Tomorrow evening and will want his oilies. He keeps them on Anita for his use and allows others to use them too. Tony Massarella was only too glad to borrow them to keep himself dry and warm, and I have used his salopettes due to my own leaking, so I will have to get a new pair. Weymouth doesn't look as nice as the last time I was here with Linda, maybe it's because its absolutely pouring with rain. I hope it clears up for when Ron arrives. With breakfast finished, I decide to brave the weather, and venture out, so its across the inner boat, and ashore to take some exercise by walking around the town. First stop the chandlers where I purchase a fine pair of salopettes which don't break the bank, but will keep me dry from now on. I spend the day to and fro trying to pass the time. I am going to eat ashore tonight, it saves cooking, and makes a change to sit at a table. I returned to Anita after the evening meal, and there is an Hirondelle Mk3 cat rafted up outside of me, with a solo sailor aboard. I tried to make conversation but it was hard going. I anchor if I want to be alone, and it might have been a good idea too because as he made makes his way ashore, it sounded as if he was wearing hob nail boots. The same applies on the inner boat, confirmed by the skipper, and his well behaved children, who tend to giggle at the noise.                Tuesday 24th July and thank goodness it looks like the rain has passed, as the sun rises over Weymouth. So it will be a nice day for Ron to join me. I spend the day checking out the boat, engine oil, batteries, electrical connections, navigation lights, rigging connections, safety lines and fixing points, fuel for engine and crew. I also sorted out the required charts folios for the rest of the voyage, placing them in the chart table, and putting the rest away under the forward bunk in a polythene bag. I walked to the station to meet Ron at 16:00. The train is on time, and I shared the load back to the boat. By the time Ron had his gear stowed, we go ashore for a walk. We decided to have an evening meal, before returning to Anita for the night. Ron is startled, and amazed at the racket as the cat man crosses our boat three times. we hope he has a good bladder.

 We are up at a reasonable hour this morning, and its another good day. The crews of some of the other yachts are preparing to leave, including cat man , so we might be saved the task of slipping out from the inside. Cat man is going our way so we should be leaving together, one thing he told me yesterday is that he hasn't had any formal training, but he seems to know what he is doing, and he arrived here safely, so I guess he has had plenty of experience. Its 10:00 and we are off, the cat leaves first and we follow, along with several boats. We motor out of Weymouth, raising the main as we exit the harbour, and motor sailing into wind. 11:05 and we alter course for St Albans Head. The Lulworth firing range is live today so our course is 122deg which will just clear the inner range.  Our new heading enables us to sail so its genoa set and engine off. The patrol boats must be bored today as we are approached and asked to alter course to 123deg to stay outside the range, when I said that's only 1deg to starboard I received a smile and a shrug. We altered course 10deg, and went on our way.

About half the yachts are going east, the other half west, and we all take different courses too. Ron and me decided to head for Yarmouth IOW, as we had been there before and had enjoyed the place. Once clear of the firing range we alter course for the Needles Fairway buoy course 067deg, and with good sailing conditions we are soon closing the buoy. A ship is on passage out of the channel and heading towards our position, and passes a couple of cables off our starboard side, a short time afterwards a helicopter passes overhead, and follows the ship, and upon reaching it hovers above until they are out of  site over the horizon.

We arrive at the fairway buoy at 16:12, and head for the Bridge West Cardinal, passing the SW Shingles port lateral buoy on the way. We will catch the last two hours of the east going tide through the Needles Channel, and it's just after neaps so we will have between one to two knots of tide to help us along. There are a few boats converging on the Needles Channel, and surprise, surprise cat man is just ahead of us, and as we pass Hurst Point together we part company again, and go our separate ways. We round Sconce Point North Cardinal, and keeping clear of Black Rock head for Yarmouth Harbour entrance dropping the sails before we enter. The harbour masters launch is waiting at the entrance and directs us to a pontoon berth where we raft up to a 26 ft motor yacht, the skipper of which asks if we are going to attach shore lines, which we do. He is a Military man and didn't give his name, so we named him the Colonel. He also told us he was going to Beaulieu tomorrow. We decided to get cleaned up, row ashore, and walk into town, I don't recognise anywhere, but we soon find the pub and call in for some refreshment. The few customers there are friendly, and I ask a chap who is sat at the bar looking at a phone book if he would look up a company named Lace as I can't see without my glasses, but they were not in the book. He asked where we were from, and asked why we were so far from our home port. I explained what we were doing, and without hesitation he put his hand in his pocket, and gave me ten pounds. Talking to another customer later, I was told he was a Lifeboat crew member, and also a nephew of Ed Dubois. Incidentally Malcolm raised nearly 3000.00 for the Lifeboats for doing this voyage, and believe me, he earned every penny of it in the week he spent with me, as he was ill all the time, and found manoeuvring around Anita difficult. After another pleasant evening, Ron and me finished our drinks, and returned to the boat for the night, making it safely back in the dinghy.