All helpers and crew arrived on time and after a lunch of the famous LSP pasties we set sail.
Unfortunately due to a regatta being held at Gunwharf Quays we were unable to stop over at Gunwharf Quays and therefore West Cowes was our stopover port for the first night. With a reasonable breeze we sailed through the North Channel towards Portsmouth and then tacked our way towards Cowes. We tied up at West Cowes Marina and after an excellent dinner we retired to the local hostelry. A live band was playing and all had a great time listening and dancing!! to the group.
The forecast was for a warm day with no wind until the evening. Therefore the crew went shopping followed by a proper cup of coffee ashore. We bumbled out into the Solent late morning and motored towards Osborne Bay where we dropped anchor. At that point someone ( the Skipper ) suggested swimming. Chris, Helen, Peter and Wayne all took the plunge into the warm ( Icy ) Solent. After our bracing swim lunch was served and eaten on deck. After lunch there were trips around Donald Searle for photos and instruction in driving the Coypu with a very temperamental outboard motor. The wind then arrived and we had a gentle sail back to East Cowes for dinner and entertainment.
The forecast was for a fresh wind and our plan was to go to Yarmouth for the last evening. We set sail mid morning and after leaving the river we put 2 reefs in the mainsail. Unfortunately during this evolution Andrew Downey slipped and fell injuring his back. After discussion with Andrew we turned round and went back to East Cowes. We arranged for the paramedics to meet us and Andrew was taken to the hospital for a check up. Wayne kindly volunteered to keep Andrew company. As we couldn’t now sail without Andrew we all took a bus to Ryde and proceeded to enjoy the delights of Ryde, crazy golf, amusements, ice creams and hovercraft watching. Andrew and Wayne joined us in Ryde after being given the all clear from the hospital. As we had failed to get to Yarmouth we had our traditional last night meal ashore at the Lifeboat Inn in East Cowes. A superb meal was had with the staff looking after us fantastically.
We awoke with a strong south westerly wind ( gusts of 30 knots ) and screamed back to the Hamble. We arrived back in glorious sunshine. Yet again another great trip albeit eventful. As always full of fun.