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Weymouth 17th July
17th July, 2005
Another 'another beautiful morning'. This weather is starting to depress. What happened to being woken up by 'the rigging screaming like a thousand lost souls being herded into the furnaces of hell'? Well? We're British. We're not meant to have weather like this!
We untied from our berth in a dead calm and left without bumping into anybody for a change. We motored out into the North Channel and waved goodbye to the Parkstone Yacht Club for the last time and headed out to sea, bound for Weymouth. We passed the grand castle and buildings at the eastern end of Brownsea Island, birthplace of Scouting in 1907.
We were hoping to see Annie and crew aboard Mr Rhino as they set off back to Hamble Point but I guess that they had left a little after us and had failed to catch us up. So we exchanged greetings by telephone and motored down to Old Harry rocks.
We met the first overfalls as we passed Swanage and rounded Durlston Head. The water stood up in short steep waves which broke on the foredeck. I though it might be time to close the forehatch. Then I hauled in the first mackeral of the day, a beautiful little devil. When we turned westwards for St Albans Head there was not a breath of wind.
As we approached the overfalls off St Albans head I hauled in the line again and from each of the four hooks hung another shiny, plump fish. Five mackeral should make a handsome and sufficient lunch so the line was put away for the day.
As we left the disturbed water, we could feel a gentle breeze from the southwest so we hoisted sail and, before long, we were making a leisurely two and half knots towards Weymouth. But it was not to last and we detoured to Lulworth Cove to anchor for a mackeral lunch and to await the afternoon sea breeze.
Lulworth was heaving, boats everywhere and the beach wall to wall with pink bodies. It must be 20 years since I last anchored in Lulworth Cove on the way home from Alderney on the Red Admiral , Ocean Flame after an horrendous night at sea under the skippership, if I recall correctly, of the infamous 'lee rail' Dunstan! (That might get me cashiered from the GSA.) The weather today was certainly much nicer than that previous occasion. Prior to that I had stayed at Lulworth with the scouts in 1962, I think. We had a gale that week too. But today all was calm.
One of the good things about a spirit stove apart from safety, is that one can pick it up and take it outside to use. It keeps the smell of fish out of the boat and makes ones neighbours envious. So we cooked and ate alfresco; pan fried mackeral with fresh(ish) bread and a small beer. Fish don't come much better and certainly never fresher.
We hung around until 2.30pm but finally, bored with looking at firm, bronzed, young bodies we upped anchor and took our leave. There was still no wind so we motored in the direction of Weymouth. It was gone 4.30pm before the promised sea breeze showed itself and it was still pretty light. So I struggled out with our elderly genoa and hoisted sail and we finally turned off the engine.
We had an enjoyable sail most of the way into Weymouth where we anchored just north of the pier, about 5 cables off the beach (half a mile to you) and that's where I am writing this.
We've had a Clive's special, sausages in red wine and some of Patsy's delicious pecan and sultana loaf for dessert. Thank you Patsy and thanks for the weetabix cake. We now have tomorrow's afternoon tea all planned out.
There may be no news for a day or so. I need to return to London to answer the call of the accountant and get a tooth fixed. Clive needs to get the VHF radio working. I refuse to cross the Irish Sea without a decent radio.
While I am in London I plan to visit the manufacturer of our delinquent depth sounder too. I would prefer to have a working depth indicator before trying to anchor in any more bays with which I am unfamiliar.
But we should be on our way again in two or three days. Ireland awaits us. I bet they're preparing the fireworks already.