Friday, 29 May 2015

My first sail in a Drascombe at the Chichester Rally 22nd to 25th May

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

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Preparing for my first rally

With my first proper rally fast approaching, I was reminded by my husband that I should practice putting the tent up for next weekend - somehow I was talked into cancelling the b&b, and camp for two nights. That's OK for someone who likes camping, my last time camping was when my youngest daughter Hannah was two years old, and soon she will be 18.

Me putting the tent up
Luckily the tent wasn't too bad, how ever there maybe some tyga ties used when it comes to packing away. Once I managed to put the tent up, I made sure the sleeping mat and sleeping bag were suitable, much to the amusement of Hannah, who then zipped me up and told me to get out in the quickest time, yeah, right, OK.


Nice and cosy in my tent
Then come the fun but, having to put it all away, oh well I managed most of it, if all else fails, stick it in the boot for the girls to do when I get home.

 So now I have everything I need for camping, the weather had better be good. 

What am I looking forward too, well apart from a few days to myself, the opportunity to sail in a Drascombe, don't get me wrong, I am really enjoying my time with Dick and Daisleebee, but this is what my New Years resolution is really about.

Now time for me to have a quick taste of some gin and tonic, as there is usually plenty of that being drunk.

Come back after the bank holiday to see how I enjoyed (or survived) my few days at Chichester Rally xx

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

First Drascombe Rally of 2015

Friday 1st May 2015 sees me heading down to Chichester for the start of the first rally of the year for the South Coast. I am begining to know the journey to Chichester Marina well now. The sun is shining when I arrive - sadly it did not stay like that for long.

I arrived at mid-day to see Tony W (Tony had arrived the previous day after sailing from Ashlet and was already moored up), David M was sorting out his Gig and getting her rigged, she looked huge but I know she would shrink in the water, Adam with his Coaster had arrived too for his first Drascombe rally. Dick P soon arrived, so we went down to put our things on Daisleebee.

While I went off for a wander and have a chat with David, Dick was starting up Daisleebee ready for a trip out, we decided to motor out into the harbour to charge the batteries up. We headed out through the lock, past the dredging machine and into the open water. What a difference it was from when I was last out in February, all the trees are lovely shades of green.

Time for a selfie - not sure why Dick is looking worried though

With me at the helm, we head down towards Itchenor, on the way we see Peter T in his Drifter and manage to say a passing "Hello", motoring on we go down and around to moor up at the visitors pontoon at Itchenor, one day I might be jumping off the boat to tie up, but for now I will leave it to the expert. 

Putting the sprayhood up to keep the wind off us, it is actually quite warm, a polo shirt and fleece keep me snug. Lunch is courtesy of Dick, and we eat Al Fresco, I am starting to appreciate the peace and quiet (when I stop talking).

On our way back, those buoys still kept coming towards me, but luckily I missed them all, much to the relief of someone.

Taking the helm we head back down through the lock to the marina to see who else has arrived. This time, no reversing, it is straight in we go. Tony is on hand to help tie her up, and we head off to find some Drascombes and their owners.

John B, Ian C, Adam and Aidan with their Coasters, David with his Gig, and Peter T with his Drifter are moored up at the pontoon, we walk along to Peters Driter for pre-dinner drinks - now this is really the start of the rally. 

This is the first time that I have been on an original Drifter, and I have to say that I am liking it, a roomy cabin for sleeping in, along with a quaint little galley (sorry Peter), in the cockpit there were eight of us at one time. The wine, beer and gin were soon flowing, and many laughs were had, in between the rain showers.
Happy Sailors!

Soon another Drascombe arrived, this time it was Douglas with his Drifter 22, I have seen Stewarts D22 many times on a trailer, but this was the first time I had seen one on the water - a lot of firsts for me today!

Douglas arriving

Douglas soon come aboard and joined us, more drink, more laughs and even a hat show from Tony and Douglas.
Discussing hats!

Adrian arrived after some confusion as too where we were, so we had a few more drinks. I am beginning to wonder if the rallies are just one big social, with a little bit of sailing in between.

Soon, we said our goodbyes to the others and Tony, Dick and I headed back to Daisleebee, where super was cooked by Dick. 

As the evening light was starting to go, it was soon time for me to head back home, after a fun nine hours in great company, and lots of laughs, I was starting to look forward to my comfy bed. I may not have attended the full rally, but if those few hours are just a taster, roll on the next bank holiday, when I will join in for two days, and have my first sail in a Drascombe. Now, which will be the first Dracombe I sail in?

Thank you all for making me welcome, and here is to some good weather at the next one.

Come back soon for the next update xx