Saturday, 31 December 2016

Highlights of my year 2016

It is hard to believe that another year has gone by.

We started of in January with London Boat Show and Simon flying out to Atlanta boat show at the same time, with a Lugger sold at London we started the year well.

I had to wait until May for my first time on the water, where I joined the May 1st rally at Porchester an managed to have an hours sail, although it was very hairy.

At the last bank holiday in May I was lucky to have a lovely day sail at Chichester with the usual group.

Kyle at Ashlett Sailing Club in August
We were then looking forward to the Drascamp event which was held in August, with lots of planning going on behind the scenes, Brad, Bob, Tony, Dick and I were all pleased when the day finally arrived for us to arrive and set up camp.

With a perfect location, a few lovely days of great sailing weather, this was just what we were expecting from the event. Evening entertainment in the form of camp fire singing, communal bbq, along with horse racing for children and adults, over the course of the event, we had 105 people attending and 32 boats, what an achievement for a first event. The plan will be to hold another Drascamp in 2018, look out for further details.

During Drascamp, Dick P and I visited Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy to  view the facilities for the Drascombe Golden Jubilee to be held.

With this all booked, all we have to do now is promote the event and hope for a good turnout.

I was lucky enough to have to overnight trips to the Isle of Wight, the first one was probably one of the best days sailing I have experienced in two years, while the other one had to have been the one with the most laughs.

With Southampton Boat Show in September, we had an enjoyable ten days, then back to work to work on the very first Drascombe Lugger "Katharine Mary" as our aim is to have her on display at London Boat Show.
With one last sailing trip to the Island in October, it was then time to pack away my sailing gear for another year.
One big highlight for me, was my eldest daughter turning 21 in August, this was a day of celebration with many family members attending.
Finally, Kyle the two year old grandson continues to be the apple of my eye, he enjoys visits to the boat yard, happily wears his life jacket, and next year will be joining me for some sailing.
Wishing you all a happy and healthy new year, here's to a good sailing season next year.
My next update will be during London Boat Show if time permits, with photos of how Katharine Mary has turned out.
Bye for now
Sharon xx

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Drascombe Supper at Chichester Yacht Club - November 2016

As we get near the end of another year, one of the last events of the Drascombe social calendar is the November supper at Chichester Yacht Club. I have become to really enjoy the two very informal suppers, one in February, and one in November.

Meeting the usual suspects at 'Spoons', it is good to catch up with Brad, Bob, Stewart, Tony, Jenny and Dick to find out what they have been up to since Drascamp. Simon has gone to Bristol tonight, I know I am in safe hands with these Drascombers.

Although after sharing a bottle of Prosecco with Jenny I do wonder if I will make the evening without falling asleep.

Sharing a bottle with a lovely friend
Heading to CYC, I meet with the usual crowd, luckily with the internet and Facebook, I do keep in contact with some of them, however, it is as always a pleasure to see them and have a good catch up, usually most people ask me how my Grandson Kyle is, and yes I am a very proud Nanny, as well as being very proud of my two daughters Lauren and Hannah.

After a lovely meal (yes I did have my usual lasagne) Richard G says a few words, and then hands over to Dick P, a general round up of the rallies which had taken place, along with a complete run down of Drascamp which had taken place in August, and one which we will run again in 2018.

John B talking about Morbihan 2017

After the run through of events, Dick had a few prizes and gifts to hand out.

Brad and I were given a canvas print of a photo taken during Drascamp 2016, the photo was taken by Andy Cooper and summed up what Drascamp stood for. Family fun, great location, and sailing. What more you could you want from one event.

This is the canvas picture presented to Brad and I

Tony W received the award for being rescued twice by the RNLI within weeks, and was given a collection box to be passed around at every Drascombe event Tony attends next year, what a great way to support a very worthy cause.

Tony Wood Award

Tony W and Bob B were both given sail bags for their help at Drascamp

Brad, who was the man who was brave enough to suggest Drascamp, was given an engraved pewter tankard as my appreciation for what his hard work.

Finally I presented to Dick P a wooden sign with Daislebee engraved on, for him to mark his boat space at Ashlett Sailing Club, Dick has once again suffered with me sailing Daislebee around the Solent, and two fun trips to the IOW, one which was a very hairy trip, but we both lived to sail another day.

Leaving the Sailing Club and heading back to the Premier Inn, a few stop of at Spoons for a last drink of the evening, a double G&T to round of my day with great friends was certainly needed.

Breakfast at the Premier Inn was full of chatter, and I remembered to present to Stewart his trophy for being one half of the duo to win the Harbour Quiz (or Treasure Hunt as I have been calling it) Jims trophy will be posted onto him.

Leaving Chichester, I head to Bucklers Hard with Dick P, as we have a boat to collect for winter work, Dick kindly volunteered to help with this collection as Simon has recently been off work, and it was one less task for Simon to do.

'Grace' all snug down for her journey back to CBL

 Delivering Grace back to CBL, it is time to head back home to see my family.

All in all a lovely couple of days, catching up with Drascombe owners, good food, great company, but more important, being with people who I very much value their friendship, and know when things are tough, they can be relied upon to be there for me.

Here's to the next Drascombe Supper in February 2017

See you soon x

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Last sail of the year

Receiving a phone call to say "I have two days off, and was thinking of sailing to the Isle of Wight, would you like one last sail of the year?" Well it didn't take too long to decide,

With my B&B booked, two days booked off work (only because I worked hard to catch up with all of my emails before I went) I get my bag ready for my last sail of the year.

Monday morning arrives and I head down to Ashlett Sailing Club, ready to meet with Dick. En route I get a call from Dick to say the traffic is slow on the M4, so I have time to sort lunch out. The next call comes through to say that there has been an accident on the M3, and he was being diverted, luckily I was able to guide him with a short cut and miss the M3 by going along the main roads.

I manage to get into ASC, only to find that it is lifting out day of many of the boats, which means the slip way can not be used, the day is getting worse. I call DP to give him the info, however he is not far away, so we will wait and see what happens.

Once DP arrives, it starts to rain, oh dear, it looks like we will be no sailing after all.  When it stops raining, we meet with Glenys, Ian and Nick who have come down to pack their boats away for winter. Then DP comes over and says all go, we can go sailing, well I have to say I have not seen a boat move so quickly to get onto the water, bags onboard, and launched in the water, one small problem, the water is further on than the pontoon, so off comes the socks and shoes and I wade across, great start!

Next we are off, reversing from the pontoon and heading out of Ashlett towards Calshot. The weather was fine, sunny with a good breeze, the sails went up as we were heading to Calshot, with a reef in
(just in case) I was at the helm and enjoying the sail, then past Calshot it got just a wee bit rougher,
with the boat heeling, I am sure Ian and Glenys heard me scream that I didn't like it, as they were stood watching from Calshot.

That was just the start, I actually felt very nervous of the sail over, and I just couldn't master holding the tiller and the main sheet (in case I had to let out the main sheet) I was more worried about falling overboard.

Although it was only an hour and a half sail, it somehow seemed longer, trying to keep my bearings, without hitting the buoys,

We head towards Shepherds Wharf, and I moor up (with two more attempts to ensure I make a good
job of it)

Once moored up, I head to my B&B and arrange to meet with DP in the bar of a local pub. We head off to an Indian Restaurant for a lovely meal. Soon the fresh air had beat me, so I headed off to my bed for a good sleep, leaving DP to head back to his boat with his heated blanket.
Monday evening

Tuesday morning

My favourite shop, I love those calendars

Time for a selfie

Tuesday morning we meet for breakfast in a local cafe, however we both seem full from the night before, so tea and toast for both of us.

Heading back down to the boat, Dick is more practical and puts his jacket on, me not feeling the cold keeps my jumper on. So off we go, out of Shepards and I am allowed to put the main sail up, this is actually harder work than you think, pulling ropes and trying not too fall in takes great skill for me.

Today I let Dick take the helm, and I wanted to enjoy a leisurely sail back, however it didn't seem to go like that, not as rough as the day before, with the boat heeling, I leave it to the expert who can
multi task. At one point, I said "at least we are dry today" with that a wave come up and we were wet,
lots of laughing from me today, gone was the nervousness, and I was really enjoying myself, although   my fingers must have left an imprint on the gunwale where I was gripping so much.

With a couple of tacks, and me looking confused as to where we were, before too long we had arrived  at Ashlett, and I was allowed to take the helm again back to the pontoon.

Once out of the water, time to unpack the boat of cushions and bedding, as winter will soon be drawing in.

Again, another great sail, good company, lots of laughs, and a few more hours sailing added up.

It is quite sad to think this is my last sail, however I am very grateful for the times I have been out
this year.

Back to the office for me, let's see what awaits me when I get back.

Keep safe, and happy sailing xx

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Drascamp 2016

Sorry that this is long over due, getting back from Drascamp and then getting ready for Southampton Boat Show, meant that I neglected my blog.

Time to get more organised, as I really enjoy letting you all know what is going on.

Here goes anyway......

Well the time had come to pack the car up with everything for a weeks camping, and what was needed for Drascamp, I can not believe how quickly it has come around.

Monday - After finally clearing up from Lauren's 21st birthday, the car is packed, double checked, and doors shut to ensure I get on the road to Cleavel Point. It seems strange going away on my own, but I knew I would survive.

Upon arriving at Burnbake   I go to say hello to Zoe who has been looking after the booking for me. I get my directions and head to meet a few of the others, ahhh I seem to have driven around the whole of the site before I finally find the place. WOW, what a view it is, I can see why Brad chose this location.

Meeting with the other few who had already arrived by boat, next is to put my tent up, haha, what seemed like hours later, and no instructions, my tent is up

Monday evening is a visit to the pub, and a final run through.

Tuesday - After breakfast with Brad, Bob and Dick, I head off to shower at Burnbake before Dick and I go into Wareham shopping, heading back to the site we see some of the attendees have started arriving, and are putting tents up, the site soon starts to fill up and look more like a friendly group gathering of Drascombe owners.

The cheese and wine evening, courtesy of Churchouse Boats went down really well, people were soon mixing and chatting with each other about their boats.

Wednesday - Day sailing, to start with it was the quick dinghy trip to get to Dicks boat, I have to say me and dinghies to not get on very well, as my last adventure saw me falling out, but hey ho!, something's you just have to do.

Time to ensure the dinghy is fully inflated

Once safely onboard of Daislebee, someone realises that he has left the keys to the boat on shore, but then we realise that the dinghy which was anchored up is not close enough to reach, so a quick shout to Marcus who comes to our rescue, it is a quick row a shore and back again for Dick.

Once back on the boat we head off, soon the sails were up and sailing gets under way, with so many tan sails out there, we start spotting and trying to name the boats. While the others were taking part in the treasure hunt which had been prepared by Bob, we set of for a lesson in tacking and jybing, I have to say a few days in the fresh air and I am feeling very sleepy. We anchor for lunch and enjoy the surroundings.

Back on track and heading round to the old base for the August Poole rally, we also sail around to where our friends the Hobie boys are at Rockley Park.

Getting back to dry land took a while, as we had to wait for more water to come in (someone turn the tap on more ) but soon we were back on dry land, and heading off to meet with the others and talk of some great sailing.

The usual communal BBQ with everyone else in the evening, followed by talking and drinking with the lads.

Thursday morning and Dick and I head of to Weymouth for a meeting with Peter from Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, this is the venue we have chosen for the Drascombe Golden Jubilee in 2017. Looking around the whole venue it is most impressive, plenty of moorings, along with showers, car and trailer parking, lots of water, and very welcoming, so we went ahead and made the booking, for more details please email and information and booking form will be sent when available.

Leaving the sailing centre, we head to Portland Bill, once place that I have never been too, so it was lovely to have a cup of tea and reflect on the talk with Peter regarding the event.

Our next stop is Cove House Inn which has the most spectacular views over Portland. This was a belated birthday meal for me from Dick, a lovely treat, great views, wonderful food and the company wasn't too bad either!

After lunch we walked along the sea front, what an amazing place this is, one where I will be coming back to at some point.

Heading back to the site, we stopped to buy some food for the evenings BBQ as tonight some of my family were going to be coming down to visit. Lauren and Jamie with Kyle along with their friends Sophia and Daryl drove down to join us for the evening, how I missed my little man, Kyle was full of beans and enjoying running around having fun. This showed what a great family event Drascamp is, I just wish they could have stayed longer.

While Dick and I were looking at the venue for next year, a group of the children and adults went to have fun on the high ropes at Brenscombe Outdoor Centre lots of fun was had by them all, and we are very grateful to Matt and his team for the opportunity given to the children.

The horse racing evening proved very popular, with the children enjoying showing the adults how to play the game, we even had a vet on site just to make sure the horses were behaving, when it come to the adults, it was funny how no one wanted to take a horse from a child :-)

Once the game was over, the musicians soon started playing, and one lovely little girl sang a solo, how very brave in front of all those people.

Tonight with all the visitors and everyone who had attended Drascamp, this gave us a total of 102 people and 32 boats, consisting of nine different Drascombes on site, what a great achievement.

Friday we woke up to rain and windy weather, some were brave to go out, but sadly this was the weather for the next two days, at this point some of the families decided to pull out, I have to say, with young children the last thing you want to do is try and entertain them in a tent, while it is raining, of all of those who left during the next two days, everyone of them had been complimentary of the event, and would be coming back again. No pressure on us !!

Saturday the weather was the same again, with the rain stopping, it was just very windy, my poor tent went from left to right and back again.

A few of us who were sat around talking, had the pleasure of experiencing a Tea Ceremony by Tony from Deeper Understanding of Tea  it was very interesting to be able to experience this, Tony is very knowledgeable. We shall certainly be getting more people involved at the next Drascamp.

Tony, along with David attended with a couple of older scouts, this was great to know that not only individuals and families attended, but that the 38th & 40th Strood Sea Scouts felt they also wanted to join in.

I had to leave part way through, as we had arranged a fish and chip supper on the Saturday evening, fish and chips for 32 was quite easy, all ordered in advance from Long Johns Fish and Chips the food service was fantastic, food was kept hot, and a welcome last meal together.

Sunday come around all to quickly, in a way I felt sad to be going home as I was enjoying some much needed 'me' time, something I do not get very often.  

The real thanks must go to Brad who was absolutely amazing at all of the organising, obtaining equipment, and setting the base up along with a finger pontoon for some of the boats to moor alongside.

With toilet facilities on site, and showers available at Burnbake Camp Site, we could not have wanted for more.

Dates for the diary

Drascombe Golden Jubilee - Thursday 6th July - Sunday 9th July 2017

Drascamp 2018 - Tuesday 14th August - Sunday 19th August 2018

Now back to my day job xx

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Birthday Celebrations

It is that time of year when I seem to have lots of birthdays going on.

Hannah, the youngest turned 19 on the 31st July, the partying started the night before her birthday with friends coming over and a few staying the night, it is amazing how much fun the youngsters get out of a bouncy castle.

With her birthday on the Sunday, it was a good day to have family around to help celebrate, much to Hannah's delight the weather was great, so plenty of wine, beer and none of Hannah's singing luckily.

Back to work for a break, I then take the Friday off work so I can go to Ashlett Sailing Club for the start of their annual regatta. Taking Kyle with me so that his mum can prepare for his birthday party the next day, we spend a lovely few hours in good company.

It is then my grandson Kyle's second birthday, I can not believe that he is two years old, he is such an adorable, charming, social little man who chats away to people he meets all the time.

With his small fiends at lunch time, we then have nearly thirty family members around in the afternoon for tea. What a great way to spend the day.

Finally, the big one!! Lauren is 21, my beautiful, clever, caring, mother to my grandson has finally turned 21.

How the time has flown since she was the small bundle, who was dependant on us all, but now is a mum herself, I am so proud of her.

Now time to get ready for Drascamp xx

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Preparing for Drascamp 2016

I do sometimes wonder how I got involved with Drascamp, however as the time has moved on (a year since it was first discussed) I have got used to the idea, and along with all the planning, I am now very much looking forward to the event.

However before then, there are lots of things to do, three family birthday over three weekends, with the last one only days before Drascamp starts, so I really am looking forward to my days away at Drascamp.

In the yard we have been busy with more refurbs and some insurance work, along with selling a Lugger for Southampton Boat Show and a Coaster for Chicago Boat Show in January 2017 - all exciting things going on here.

Anyway, back to Drascamp. We have 40 families signed up, 90 people (15 of them are children) and 30 boats consisting of 11 different ones, including 9 different Drascombes at one event (not sure if this is a record or not)

Horse racing pirates, Quiz evening, sea shanties, BBQs, Sailing, fireworks at Poole, Bournemouth Air Show and fish and chips are among a few of the things we shall be taking part in during the event, for me I will still be working as Simon and Hannah are going to a music festival, so the emails have to be answered and so will the phone calls at the end of the week. All in a days work for some of us.

Anyway, I am looking forward to writing up about our first Drascamp, but as always there are other people who are contributing lots too it behind the scenes. Brad, Bob, Andy P, Andy C, Tony and Dick, your contributions and help are much appreciated.

Now to get ready for these birthdays.

Happy Sailing everyone


Saturday, 25 June 2016

Katharine Mary -Update 25th June 2016

Katharine Mary Update

I would love to say that we have made a start with the refurbishment on Katharine Mary, however we have been very busy in the yard with refurbishments, insurance work along with the general day to day accessories and spares, which sadly means KM is still untouched.

We let Martin loose with the masking tape, marking out the areas for repairs, I can still see beyond the tape, and she will be finished and on display at London Boat Show in January, how can we not have her on show next to a brand new Drascombe Lugger for the 50th Anniversary, this is where I have to let the workers know who is in charge at the yard.

Someone told me recently I was mad to even contemplate restoring this boat, and all it was good for was fire wood. I have to say that person was soon informed that by restoring this boat meant a lot not only to me, but also knowing a piece of the Drascombe history, from where it all began, has been saved and will be refurbished.

Martin is a skilled wood worker, and with plenty of practice on old wooden Luggers recently, I know Katharine Mary will be finished to a high standard, she will never look brand new, as she is a 50 year old boat, however we will be proud to have her on show next year.

Below are a few photos of where Martin got carried away with the tape.

I will keep you update as we start work on her, the sails are off and ready to be valeted, the spars are all in good condition, ready to be stripped down and re-varnished.

Next task is to take off all the fittings, nothing will be new unless we really have to.

Til the next update

Sharon x

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Bank Holiday Rally at Chichester 2016

This time last year, I was attending my first ever rally, now I feel like I have been at these events for years. It is lovely to see so many familiar faces, along with meeting new ones who have ventured out for the first time.
I was lucky to sneak of from work on the Friday morning, after having to do a detour to the office to collect some chairs, where I saw Tony W watching Simon repair a small leak in his D22.
Upon arriving at Chichester, I park up and walk along to see who was already there and getting into the swing of launching their boats. Norman and Trisha re the first I see with their Dabber "Dabbler", they are such a lovely couple and always have time for everyone.
Trevor and his daughter Esme (not forgetting Buster the dog) launch their Dabber next, this was the first time for them at Chichester, so lets hope they have a good time.
I see Martin and Jane Lings who had arrived with their Coaster, so I stop for a quick catch up with them.
I am not doing too bad seeing the organiser of the rally is still sailing around in Chichester Harbour, anyway it is all good PR for me and Churchouse Boats
I go back and help Trevor to attach the jib to the stemhead, when my sunglasses slip of my head into the sea, not a great start, but with the help of Esme who walks in and retrieves them for me, I am truly grateful - Especially after my expensive trip at Falmouth last year!!

Soon I get the phone call to say that Dick has moored up, so I go along to meet up with him and the others, with greetings exchanged and a walk back down to the slipway, I take Dick off to Force 4 to by a Personal Location Beacon (just in case I push him in), then onto Tesco for the final top up of drink and food, then to Itchenor Sailing Club to pick up my room key.
When we arrive back we are joined by Alex, John G, Andy P, Peter T, Andy and Anne to name a few. Off for a quick change and we head down to Chichester Yacht Club for some food and drinks all round.
Back to my B&B for the night and hopefully a good sleep before some sailing tomorrow.

Arriving at the marina for 8am, just in time to have some breakfast alfresco, heading down to the meeting point for 9.20 Julian had arrived late the night before, and was ready to go.

Finally we are ready to go, so heading out to the lock we find that we are the last boat to go in, knowing I don't like water very much, Dick says I can either steady the stern of the boat or go on the coach roof, I still think I made the wrong choice.
Being next to Marcus and his Drifter, with Julian and John Stanage in front one side and Alex and Bob the other, this could be fun, climbing up, I hold the stays as I have been instructed, and then panic as the water starts making the boats move, not one of the most easiest of tasks, and I am sure most of the marina heard me, oh well it gave a few people a laugh.

Having fun in the lock - Thank you Bob for the photo

Heading out the lock and into the harbour, we found time to shut the engine and I was allowed to put the main sail up on my own, wow, there I was thinking it was going to be easy, think again, but at least I had a go and nearly managed it on my own.
There is just something magical about being on the water, the peace (when I am not talking), how different places look when the tides are high and low, along with all the other boats which are also out on the water.
We had a great time sailing along, with someone showing me how to tack and jibe, I will get the hand of it one day.
What I do find hard is to hold the tiller still while looking around, every time I move my head the tiller moves too, something else I have to learn how to control.

Julian Merson

Andy and Ann Cooper

Lovely way to sail

Alex Haig
We have company on route, Alex with his Deben Lugger (a Drascombe in disguise) follows us, and then goes off round some boats and before we know it he is back again.
We moor up next to Jim and his Gig Cruiser for some lunch and are soon joined by Richard, Tamzin and Annabelle (who slept in the Coaster for the first time), Trish and Norman and Alex.
This certainly is the life, sunshine, good food, relaxation, lovely views but most of all great company, there are not many places you get that combination.
Before heading off, Dick goes with Norman to sort out his jib sail as we noticed it wasn't sitting right, this was followed by him then going off for a quick sail with Alex in the Deben, this left me with the chance of  taking Daislebee back on my own, however I thought better of it this time.
Going back, we have a lovely sail, however needing a call of nature when someone keeps heeling the boat is not funny, soon it was time to go back to the mooring, something I was doing until I come a bit too close to a propeller and decided to let the expert take over.
Back at the marina, we set up the BBQ's for the evening and are soon joined by all of the other rally participants, the Drascombe band soon starts to play, food is eaten, plenty of liquid refreshments drunk and talking of the days activities.
All too soon it is time for me to pack my car up, and head back home to my family, another great Drascombe rally, thank you DP for organising it, here's too Drascamp, however I am hoping that I can get on the water before then, I will supply the earplugs if you want.
Happy Sailing Everyone xx

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Katharine Mary - The first Drascombe Lugger

We all know the history of how Drascombe boats began, for a few years now I have always been curious of the whereabouts of Katharine Mary.

With the 50th Anniversary of Drascombes in 2017, I thought how nice it would be to have the original Lugger on show against a current production Lugger, so I set out to find her. Luckily it was easier than I thought

So one Sunday back in October last year, I set off for the drive with my mum to visit the owner, Graham has owned KM since 1976, and for the past few years has been sat on dry land. Meeting with Graham and his wife was lovely, I went with the aim of asking if we could use her to go on show during the 2017 celebrations. However once we got talking, and I asked what their plans were for her, Graham asked if I would like to buy her, well to say I was surprised was an understatement, how could I say no to an offer like that.

After some talking and looking over the boat, I agreed with Graham a price which we would pay for her.

Upon arriving home and telling our daughters about Katharine Mary, Lauren and Hannah decided to buy the boat themselves, preserving a piece of Drascombe history.

Our plan is too refurbish Katharine Mary back to her originality as much as possible. Kate Watkinson and her son were delighted to hear that we had found KM, and what are plans for her will be.

I will update my blog as often as I can about her progress, as I am sure there are many of you interested in her.

Katharine Mary will hopefully be on display at the London Boat Show 2017 all being well, along with a new Drascombe Lugger, however if I have my way there will be a few more Drascombes on the stand .

What a great way to start the 50th Anniversary year.

Monday, 2 May 2016

First May Bank Holiday Rally

The first bank holiday in May is the starter for the season for many of the Solent Cruising Group.
With the usual Drascombers arriving at Ashlett on Tuesday/Wednesday last week to do last minute preparations to their boats.
On the Wednesday evening, Simon, Hannah and myself arrived at The Mill at Ashlett to join them for an evening meal, Curry and a pint for £7.00 not a bad deal.
Ian, Glenys, Tony, Dick, Brad and then Nick kept us entertained of stories and adventures. The highlight being when someone asked who remembered a torch to walk back to the boats, when Tony put his cap on, with a built in torch, how very civilised.
Tony demonstrating the hat


Leaving them to make their plans for the next day, we headed off home.
Saturday, I receive a message fro Dick to say that the group would be heading to Porchester in the evening as planned, and if we wanted to meet up with them then to head down to Porchester later on.
Simon and I decided to drive down early, and went to Wicormarine where we waited for them to moor up and headed to the little café for refreshments. As I was down here, I thought I would make the most of an opportunity of having a sail, the second one of the year for me.
Group selfie (with bits of me and Tony)


After getting my sailing jacket and life jacket, I say goodbye to Simon and headed off to meet the fleet.



After getting on board of Daislebee for the first time on the water this year, I was looking forward to some sailing, we motored out far enough for Dick t then put the sails up. 
Once the sails were up, off we went with Dicks guidance through the boats, what he has too remember is my last real time on the water was in August last year, and since then I have been running a business, home and been asleep since then.
Tacking, jybing, looking which way the wind is coming from, watching for the boats and buoys coming towards me, was starting to get too much, grrrrr men!!!!
Looking back at the other boats following us, we saw a lovely black cloud following us, haha, this could now be fun, after being told to get my sailing jacket on, off comes the life jacket, fleece and jumper, on goes the jacket, well it would if the Velcro didn't all stick to the wrong bits, and if I could do the zip up it would be easier, having a slight problem up top, looking down to put the two zip bits together with cold hands was proving rather challenging, especially when being rushed!!
I gave up in the end, leaving Dick to get his wet weather gear on, I lie on the cockpit while Dick does the zip up for me, along with lots of giggling, luckily just in time, as the weather turned horrid, with the boat heeling, I was holding on for dear life, however I was reassured that the Shrimper 19 wouldn't capsize, great, I was more worried about falling overboard with moving from one side to another of the boat.
Looking a bit black over yonder ..........
Once the rain come in, I dived into the cabin, as I realised I left my waterproof trousers in the car , lesson one be prepared!! Leaving Dick to bring the boat into Porchester, I was dry below.
Once moored up, we were met by Richard and Wayne who were out for the first time in a Coaster from St Denys Sailing Club. Simon and Glenys had been watching from the shelter of Porchester Castle, although there were a few giggles when I text Simon to say I was sat in the cabin, as I forgot my trousers, luckily everything is taken with a laugh and joke.
Taking shelter in Porchester Sailing Club, we were made to feel very welcome and was able to warm up. Sadly they did not provide food, however they did recommend a local fish and chip shop, and I have to agree we all had clean plates
Soon the evening come to an end and it was time for Simon and me to head back home, leaving the other to take to their bunks.
A lovely enjoyable time had by us all, but sadly no Stewart with Bolitho this weekend, so I still have to wait to go out sailing with my father-in-law.
Here's to the next sailing lesson, and maybe this time someone will go back to basics for me.
Happy sailing xx


Sunday, 17 April 2016

First sailing of 2016 at Queen Mary Sailability

A couple of weeks ago, David Jillings visited us at our office, during the course of the conversation he mentioned that the Sailability sailing would be starting us soon, this prompted Simon to invite myself along to one of their Thursday morning sessions.

So, Thursday 14th April saw me driving up to Queen May reservoir to see the first of the groups go sailing.

QMS is all run by volunteers, who give up one day a week to take out school children and adults with special needs and/or disabilities from the local area, and let them experience something different.

Watching the first children come back with smiles on their faces, is what building these boats are about for me, supplier and customer satisfaction.


The second group went out, and for this school it was the first time they had attended a session at QMS, when all of the children and helpers were on board, David took them out, this time there was a gentle breeze which gave the children a lovely sail, soon it was time for them to come back in, and the ones who may have been apprehensive at the beginning, certainly had a smile when they come back in.

As the sessions had finished for the morning, David asked some of the volunteers if they would like to have a go in the Drascombe Longboat.

So setting off, David had six of us on board. The difference with this Longboat is that they wanted a seat and a steering wheel, rather than use the usual tiller steering, the steering wheel system works well with the children.

The helmsman changed a couple of times, however I was quiet happy to be a passenger and enjoy the sail. With some tacking and jibing, I was really starting to enjoy myself, until that one moment when I was a bit to close to the water than I wanted to be, I am so pleased that the others found it entertaining.

I really do admire the work that the Sailability group provide, and was very grateful to see first-hand what they do.
This is the first of hopefully many sailing trips for me this year, and I am looking forward to the annual Chichester Rally in May.

In the meantime, Happy Sailing  xx