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Erm? They're Clive and Les aren't they?

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(the hairy one)


(the smooth one)

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Read more about Quintet, the boat that will carry our adventurers on their journey.

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Lymington 13th July

Yacht Quintet
Visitors' Moorings

13th July, 2005

<-Cowes 12th July Poole 14th July->

Click for a larger imageFirst thing this morning Clive was up and working on the depth sounder. But for all his efforts it failed to respond, giving a display which the manufacturer advises means 'No signal'. So we left it in pieces in the hot sun hoping a little more drying might return the numbers which we know and love.

You can't visit Cowes without shopping. Take my word, it has everything: Musto, Helly Hansen, Murphy and Nye (posh stuff), Slam, Henry Lloyd, Mad Cowes, Crew, White Stuff, Kangaroo Poo, Fat Face, all the best labels and some pretty good chandlers as well and, of course, Beken of Cowes. But if you've only got Clive to shop with, it's not quite as much fun.

Clive is one of those people who believes that shopping involves going into a specific shop to get something one needs and then going home again, poor misguided soul. Whereas we know that a successful day's shopping will have involved going into lots of shops which sell things that one doesn't necessarily want, though one might be persuaded, trying on lots of clothes and shoes, many of which one doesn't even like very much, and going home with something completely different from that which one was seeking, if one was even looking for anything at all. Even going home with nothing can be the conclusion of a most successful day's shopping.

So I looked in a few shops, even tried on a few things, but my enjoyment was much diminished by the look of Clive, standing with hang dog expression humming tunelessly and wishing it was all over so he could be back on his boat. Eventually I could stand it no more. We went back to the boat with a few essential bits, screws and things, and lunch; fish (huss) and chips for me and a prawn baguette for Clive. Consumed with a quantity of dry cider, it almost consoled me for my curtailed shopping trip.

Clive put the depth sounder together again and it still didn't work. So we will be leaving without its help, hoping it will come back to life sometime soon.

We have a spinnaker aboard which we have yet to use. It has been much abused in its past having had a bronze swivel laced to its head clew, an alloy pressed ring, using stainless wire and then wrapped in leather to create a nice, enclosed, damp atmosphere in which the alloy ring and some of the nylon of the head have been reduced to little more than dust by the process of electrolysis.

We have avoided using this kite (slang for spinnaker) for a couple of reasons. The main one has been that the wind has been a little too strong and scary when it has been behind us. However on the one occasion when we considered hoisting it, I looked at this damaged head and decided that it would not take the strain.

We have avoided using this kite (slang for spinnaker) for a couple of reasons. The main one has been that the wind has been a little too strong and scary when it has been behind us. However on the one occasion when we considered hoisting it, I looked at this damaged head and decided that it would not take the strain.

So around lunchtime today, I went into the sailmaker on the dock at Shepherd's wharf to discuss repair. He said he couldn't do it but recommended the sailmaker at Cowes Yacht Haven so we went round to McWilliams who has made most of the sails for Quintet. We were promised a repair in one and a half hours for a cost of 40.00. And sure enough at 3.00pm our sail was repaired and ready to go. Of course the wind has been in the west ever since so we have yet to put it to the test.

Having picked up our repaired sail, we returned to the boat and very soon we were slipping lines and heading for sea and our rendezvous with Ian (Grumpy) Grant in Lymington.

Click for a larger imageWe rounded the club house of the Royal Yacht Squadron, with its battery of bronze cannons still used to start races, and headed out across the Solent into a westerly wind across the west going tide.

The ride across was horrible. We bashed into a head sea for a couple of hours with spray breaking over the whole boat and coating everything with salt. But gladly the outer leads to Lymington: the yacht race starting platform and 'Jack in a Basket'; were becoming visible through the haze. As we picked our way through a large fleet of yachts, preparing to start a race, the mist became clammy fog and the temperature plummeted. The boats and channel markers disappeared in the murk and we felt our way between the race competitors into the narrow channel into Lymington. We threaded between the moorings, hoping that we wouldn't meet one of the ferries which operate from Lymington and which almost fill the channel as they come in and out.

As we came into sight of the town quay we saw that there were already boats parked three deep and we were nervous of trying to slip into the only likely place alongside so we headed for a fore and aft mooring from which we would have to launch the dinghy to go ashore. And there, on the quay, was Ian, waving with one hand and clutching a bag of goodies in the other.

We picked up our forward mooring and with judicious use of engine, wind and tide, secured the stern mooring too. We launched the dinghy, failing to close the deck hatch properly and breaking one of the struts. Well there's something to do tomorrow! Then Clive rowed ashore to pick up our guest and our gifts.

Ian came aboard and presented a large bottle of Bombay Sapphire gin to the skipper for which he showed much gratitude. Ian also had two parcels.

One parcel contained a replacement Gerber multi-tool. I had broken a blade on my old one and sent it back for repair. Unfortunately my model Gerber tool is no longer manufactured so replacement parts are unavailable. However the lifetime guarantee meant that Gerber happily provided the equivalent current model and no questions asked. Perhaps the manufacturer of our depth sounder will take the same view.

Click for a larger imageThe second parcel was even more exciting. Annie Griffith has embroidered the website logo on to a pair of crew shirts for each of us, and they are SMART! Thank you Annie so much. The cheque is in the post.

After a quick shower we donned our new shirts and went ashore where Ian took us to a pub called the Hobler, at Boldre, about three miles out of Lymington on the Brockenhurst Road. The food was very nice indeed. I had Sherpa's pie, a sort of cottage pie with Nepalese spices, Clive had a bacon steak which failed to be 8accompanied by the advertised 'bubble and squeak' but was still very good and Ian had ham and eggs. We were all impressed, and the Timmy Tailor's Landlord was excellent.

Ian returned us to the boat after dinner and promised to consider joining us for the ride to Poole on the morrow. We hope he does.

Les Sutcliffe

<-Cowes 12th July Poole 14th July->