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)
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
Back to the office for me, let's see what awaits me when I get back.
Keep safe, and happy sailing xx