Making sure that everything was packed, I set off to Chichester Marina for the weekend of the last bank holiday in May, this is the second Drascombe rally of the year in the South Coast, and one which I was able to attend for three days.
Delivering some goods to a customer in Emsworth en-route, I arrived mid-morning to the lovely task of putting my tent up, once set up, it was off to meet with some of the others, Dick, Tony, Norman and Trish had arrived, followed by Alex from Anglia Yacht Brokerage with his Deben Lugger, this was Alex's first time at Chichester, and we are old friends now from seeing each other at various boat shows.
|Alex launching his Deben Lugger|
The day was mainly sitting out of the drizzle and watching some of the Drascombers launching their boats.
In the evening we headed to Chichester Yacht Club for a meal, during the evening I presented to Dick a drawing by Bob Heasman, of me still learning my manoeuvres.
|The picture which I presented to Dick|
After the meal at CYC Ken, Dick and I retired to have a night cap with the wonderful Adrian on his Coaster, soon it was time to hit the sack, I for one needed some sleep, after a long and busy week.
Saturday, sleeping in a tent is not the most comfiest of places, however I managed to get enough sleep even if there was a brief rain sower during the night. Once up and showered I joined Dick to have breakfast on Daisleebee, the sun was shining and it looked like we were in for a good day.
|Norman and Trish in their Dabber|
After the briefing I went to find Peter and his Drifter "Siesta" we were soon ready for the off, followed by Alex in his Deben Lugger. Out through the locks we went, and down through the harbour past all of the boats which were also out, soon it was time for the sails to go up, and once again I had that feeling of knowing I was going to enjoy every minute of it. The morning sail was down to East Head, where were finally anchored up for lunch, in the end there were seven various boats moored together: a Shrimper, two Coasters, One Drifter 22, one Drifter, a Character Boat and a Drascombe Lugger.
Peter is a very knowledgeable and experienced sailor, and I knew I would be in safe hands sailing with him, at one point Peter asked if I would like to take the helm, but I was enjoying myself watching all of the other Drascombe boats sailing, and I was able to take some videos.
After lunch I swapped over to let Roger and Anita go back with Peter, while I walked my way across the boats to Daisleebee for my return journey. Once again I am allowed to sail her back to her mooring, with some careful manoeuvring she goes back with no bumps or scartches, I am getting good at this reversing.
The evening is a social BBQ where we all cook our own food, while this is going on we are entertained by the Drascombe Band (sadly missing a few players, but they still sound good, and get others joining in)
Catching up with old friends and making new ones is lovely, every Drascombe owner is so friendly and always have a story or two to tell, for me, this weekend is about joining in the Drascombe community, these rallies are great social events, where people will travel to join in, let's hope it continues for many years to come.
Soon the evening was drawing in, and a few of us headed to Douglas Hopwood's boat for a drink or two, I would not like to give the impression that all we did was drink, as it is certainly not true, there was a lot of talking and laughing too!
What I was hoping for was one of Stewart's Gin and Tonic's, I keep getting told that he is an expert at making them, sadly Stewart was unable to make the rally, so I will have to wait for the next one. Soon it was time to say "Good Night" and head off for some sleep.
Sunday - Once awake and up, it was off to join Dick for some breakfast, it was not as sunny today as it was yesterday, but still good enough weather for us to sit out for breakfast (something I don't do at home)
After this mornings briefing, Glenys and I decided to swap skippers for the morning, this meant that I had the chance to go with Ian Cowie in his Coaster, while Glenys was looking forward to sailing in a bigger boat than the Coaster.
I found Ian and "Moksha" and settled in the cockpit for my first sailing in a Coaster.We headed out through the lock and into the harbour, past all of the boats who again had the same idea as us, out and about enjoy the beautiful weather. A couple of times I out my hand over the side into the water and made Ian laugh by saying that the water was cold, being that close to the water made me realise that these boats are sound and sturdy, and you really have to do something silly to make them go over.
What I have found is that no one is ever in a hurry when it comes to sailing, everyone goes at their own pace, this is so different to my working in the office, where sometimes I am juggling several things at once ( yes, women are good at multi-tasking)
We sailed out to Thorney Isalnd and saw a seal cub with its mother, this was a first for me, and the quietness of the sails ensured they were not disturbed. We anchored up against Daisleebee to enjoy a leisurely lunch, with Alex in his Deben and Douglas in his Drfiter 22 joining us. Glenys and I both enjoyed our morning sailing in different boats, not sure if Dick was pleased to have me back though.
After a leisurely lunch break we were soon on our way, Glenys and Ian headed off to meet a friend with their bigger boat for a cup of tea, while Alex headed back to the marina as he had to drive back home.
Next was certainly an adventure for me, so where are the toilets at sea? OK, this is where I
experience using a bucket for the first time, and that is all I am saying on the matter.
As we were anchored, we decided to stop for a cup of tea and a snooze, wrapped in my coat and blanket, it didn't take me long to fall asleep, this sailing makes me very relaxed and along with the sea air, very tired.
When we realised the time, I left Dick to pull up the anchor while I motored off heading back towards the marina. Sadly, this was the end of the rally for me, as I was going home.
Back at the marina, I reversed Daisleebee back into the mooring for the last time, then it was time to pack the last of my things in the car to head off home.
What I haven't said is that all the time I have been at my first rally in Chichester, Simon (my husband) had a boys weekend at Crystal Palace with some family members watching some Motor Racing, at least we both enjoyed our separate, yet different, weekend.
This weekend was a thoroughly enjoyable time for me, I was "me", enjoying myself with no one demanding my time. The business keeps me busy every day with many hours being put in at home, but that is my choice, being with my family is also very important to me, but I also need something which I can do to relax, and this is it. Being out on the water gives me that, and I am looking forward to my next adventure.
Come back and visit soon, as I managed to sneak off for one last sail out of Chichester xx