Thursday: Today was grey with much needed rain. And as we were in Hamble having things fixed, it didn’t exactly matter to us anyway.
Russell spent the morning with us and replaced the leaky tap and the broken holding tank, both in the forward heads. Really nice to get that done. He also gave us the replacement bits for the davits which Dominic will fit. And being handily in a marina we got more gas for cooking and a few other bits from the chandlery.
We ate a late lunch, and by 3pm we were on our way, heading for Whitecliff Bay on the east side of the Isle of Wight. It was a gentle sail up to 7 knots when the wind gusted for a bit. We put the watermaker on to fill up the tank. We had to go north of No Man’s Fort and we got a good view of it. I still can’t believe people pay hundreds of pounds a night to stay there. I guess I will have to try it out one day to give it a proper review! We sailed past Seawiew and saw 13 large tankers anchored out at sea, and also a rather nice Square Rigger.
When we got to Bembridge we decided it looked really nice there, so anchored just off Bembridge Beach near the life boat station. My evening’s job was to give the forward heads a really good clean! My reward was the most amazing sunset!
Friday morning: Had a lazy morning, breakfast out on deck in really nice sunshine though there were also very dark clouds around. Then we got a bit of summer rain, and a fantastic rainbow, what a lovely moment!
Today we’re off to Portsmouth. We had planned to go to Gosport Marina, but they said that no-one’s leaving due to the weather, so they can’t accept us. We rang Haslar and they said yes, thankfully. We started getting the anchor up at 11, and it was very quickly clear that it was stuck on the seabed. Dominic used the electric windlass as usual, but eventually the fuse blew. The windlass clutch was now slipping and had to be tightened. It is not possible to winch this chain and anchor manually, so Dominic shackled a long rope to the chain, and put the rope on the electric winch at the stern, and even this was proving almost impossible. By now we were right above the anchor, and little by little the boat’s rocking, and the efforts of the electric winch got the anchor up. Considering the winch takes a ton of weight, we must have anchored under a large rock!
At 11.30 we motored off, and with the wind having picked up quite substantially we motored all the way. Though in effect we were motor sailing as the wind pushed us along even without the sails up! We had a rather ‘exciting’ passage in 30 knot winds, gusting to 40 knots and it was quite rough in the Solent. Wet, and winded we moored up in Haslar, luckily with the wind blowing us on to the finger of the pontoon. Dominic located the 160 amp fuse that had blown, replaced it so he could put away all the chain that was piled up on the foredeck. Now we’re going to tidy up, clean our lovely home, do a bit of food shopping as we have two very good friends coming to see us for the weekend!