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 50years@drascombe.co.uk 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