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Cowes 12th July

Yacht Quintet
Shepherds Wharf
Cowes
Isle of Wight

12th July, 2005

<-Gosport 11th July Lymington 13th July->

Ooh, sore heads again this morning. Why do we do it?

And the boat was a complete mess. We'd just stacked the dishes in the sink after dinner. The cockpit was littered with empty glasses and there were empty beer cans and bottles, a half empty red wine bottle and a scotch bottle with only a sniff of whisky (God, it was half full when we started!) in every corner of the cockpit. Heaven knows what the neighbours think.

So another slow day. But hot and beautiful, too.

We had a simple breakfast of cereal, juice and coffee. We shopped a bit for oranges and grapefruit for breakfast juice. We banked (mainly a process of taking money out), and we bought a replacement battery.

Clive had pulled out the house battery this morning. It is one of those sophisticated sealed units with an indicator: green for charged, red for needing charging and white for buggered. Ours showed buggered. So Clive had priced a replacement and we bought one. One deep cycle marine battery equals shed loads of beer, you know. The kitty is looking very slim. All offers of being taken to dinner will be gratefully accepted.

We lunched on fresh pineapple while I loaded three washing machines with dirty clothes. There does seem to be some discrepancy between the number of garments I have worn since our last laundering and those offered for washing by the skipper. I guess I'm just very messy.

Oh, and if you're ever in Gosport and want to do washing, the machines do an excellent job but take up to two hours for a wash cycle!

We finally left the mooring at Gosport at just after 4.30 this afternoon, fuelled up and motored out of the harbour looking forward to a pleasant hour or two sailing on a lovely sea breeze to Cowes. But after a little more than an hour the wind went aft and then died and we motored the last five miles, although we did manage to pole out the yankee for half an hour or so before giving up.

Click for a larger imageAs we crossed Osbourne Bay and came round under Carisbrooke castle we watched the tiniest square rigger motoring east and furling her sails. You can see she's not very big from the size of the man at the foremast. Bit of handful in a blow, I would think.

We picked our way through the moorings and turned into the Medina and headed for what I have always known as the 'Town Quay'. It's all changed. Twice as much pontoon space, increased fees, now part of Shepherds Wharf, and a new sea wall behind with work about to start on fifty or so new apartments. There won't be any afternoon sun on this dock in a year's time with a tower blocking out the sunset.

We moored at 7.00pm with help from eager hands waiting to take our lines, and Clive immediately started to dismantle the depth sounder which was showing signs of filling with water. He didn't even pause to open a beer, much to my disgust. We got most of the water out of the depth sounder, quite a puddle, and left it out to dry completely and headed for town.

Click for a larger imageCowes is full of pubs and the pubs are full of sailors, except tonight the Anchor Inn is full of wealthy bikers, from the looks of the extremely classy and expensive bikes lined up outside. We passed the Anchor Inn and the Pier, The Vectis and the Island Sailing Club and stopped at The Union Inn, tucked down Watch House Lane. After a pint of Gales bitter, which was fabulous, we ordered dinner. I tried for the Chef's Ocean Pie but they'd run out so I settled for the steak pie. Clive wasn't too hungry so settled for a Ploughman's platter with Stilton. He was a little surprised at its size when it arrived. And my steak pie with suet pastry was deliccioso.

Sadly the bitter was off when we went back for a second round so we chose the HSB as a substitute. Phew, that was enough for me.

We wobbled home to our little boat, all podged out.

Hopefully tomorrow will be as beautiful and hot as today but with a little more wind.

Les Sutcliffe

<-Gosport 11th July Lymington 13th July->