As we held the cruise briefing the wind was blowing a good F6’ish at Chi, but as the forecast promised, it was a relief to find it had eased to a NW F4/5 by the morning.
Some boats were already out, having retuned from the excellent Westward Ho Cruise, some left on Friday to break the 30 nm trip to Marchwood. Having left early before LW Jane & I motored against the wind and tide to get into Southampton water and stand a chance of being there before others to help them in. Once the tide turned with us we just had to have a sail, beating up Southampton Water on a lovely sunny morning.
Alan, the OOD, gave us a friendly welcome and gradually the fleet arrived, after what had been a lively sail, until by 19:00 the last of the fleet came in. We enjoyed the customary pontoon party in the sunshine, but with the wind still blowing it was a challenge to keep the nibbles from blowing away. On the way up to the clubhouse for dinner a few turned back to watch a container ship being turned, great photo, Jerry. Did we see extra fenders going out from the yachts on the outside berths just in case? The new chef produced a delicious 3 course meal for us all. And we chatted and laughed as we listened to a few of Trevor Ferris’s jokes, all making for a fun evening, especially with £8 bottles of house wine going down very well!
As we retired for the night, the sight of a tugs’ 3 white lights caught our attention, it was pulling a large container vessel out in order to turn it by our berths. Wow what a spectacle. We have seen this happen many times over the years, but I am still enthralled. What skill the pilot and tug skippers show as they co-ordinate in maneuvering the huge vessel so delicately and precisely.
After a quiet nights sleep I woke to the thrum of prop wash, experience told me a tug was approaching. It was 06:00. But it had to be done, a few clothes quickly donned and I joined others to watch a container ship being brought in within a hundred yards of us.
It had been a good cruise, the fleet of 15 boats had all made it, the chef fed us well and the container vessels put on a good show, we were happy. As one crew wrote in their thank you note, to thanks us for “good company and excitement in the middle of the night.“ Taken out of context that could be taken as inappropriate!
Saying goodbye to everyone as they cast off, we were soon to join others on our 3rd successive CYC cruise, The Far East Cruise to Eastbourne and back with Quintette. Did we make it there? Well you will have to read their cruise report to find out…
Thanks to Quintette, Raven, Aquaholic, Dawn Chorus, Good Time Girl, Kahoots, , Good Day Sunshine, Firedragon, Kerry Dancer, Serendipity, Or To Sail, Wandering Star and lastly our deputies Bob and Marlene on Magic Touch, for joining us. We enjoyed your company and thanks to Bob & Marlene for all your help.
– by John & Jane Gosnell of First Light