Appologies for the lack of posting for a while - I have been sailing in Live Magic but have been rather busy with a new SWMBO and so had very little time. Before I get started, I must confirm that these pictures are in fact mid November in the Solent - shame on you all if you have your boat in the carpark! I thought that sailing might make an impressive date early on in the new relationship so off we went to the coast.
We stayed on the boat for the night to make sure we got an early start with the tide. This went very well and Laura cooked the most amazing chorizo and prawn jambalaya in a single pot on the single ring cooker (she's a keeper this one!). We got up at 7 and showered ready for our day of sailing. We had a pretty good sail up the river until we reached Chichester bar. Unfortunately at this point there was a bit of a southeasterly wind and the tide was running out at a rate of knots. There were pretty big waves coming in and breaking on the Hayling Island shore which we were being blown onto. I decided to tack to get a bit more room but sadly too late and we made almost no progress away from the shore and thanks to the tide the boat was now going backwards with a new sailor on board.
I decided to start the engine to make sure we were safe, and sent Laura below so that I had room to manoever on deck. I got the engine started after a few pulls and turned the boat just in time to see the rather large red buoy fine on the port bows! I must have had a little panick in the eyes because Laura asked if everything was OK? "you'll see shortly" was my reply just as the buoy drifted past close enough to touch!
Once out of the harbour our luck did not change. The waves were enormous and in just the wrong direction which forced us to head straight for Bembridge much longer than planned. Eventually I gave in and motored for an hour to get back some comfort. Thanks to the motion of the ocean, one of the shrouds worked loose at this point and I had to leave Laura in charge while I went forward to retighten. An hour later and everything was much more calm, we were sailing again and the sun was shining. We moored in East Cowes marina just after lunchtime and had a well earned pint. Luckily this has not put Laura off and we've been sailing a couple of times since. She's even starting to pick up how to tack and handle the boat despite my shoddy methods of teaching!
I won't be sailing until the new year now due to a holiday in Cornwall but hope the rest of you manage to get out and that you have weather as sunny as we did.
Happy Christmas all.