It was time for cavers to do something else than cave (and sit in the pub talking about it). You may have heard that our esteemed editor (from now on to be referred to as Cap'n Pugwash) has been learning how to sail, so we decided to put this to the test. The weather was looking good (pissing down so hard that even a weather man would realise that it was raining), the ships company finely tuned (where should I put this rope?), the route meticulously planned (shall we go to Cowes then?). The trip was coming together.
After spending the evening in the pub, we had an exciting few minutes trying to find the on switch for the boat. Could not find the gas or the electricity switches. Comments like "we're doomed" were heard echoing across the water (if you could actually have heard anything over the wind and rain that is)
We were joined by Susan, and Gerry astounded us with an amazing feast for breakfast. The boat was readied and of we set. Simon took us out into the channel and we raised the sail (well, we tried to anyway). After pulling a few bits of string and fiddling with a few bits of material, we seems to get going and killed the engine (not literally - yet…). It was a bit rough and we headed out into the channel. There were loads of other boats around, all heeling over with the wind like we were. I was feeling a bit rough and suddenly we had to do a sharp turn (technically called a Jibe [actually we went about Ed.] but I will call it a Barf) and there it went, Gerry's loving prepared breakfast off to feed the fish. I now officially felt like Shit. The crew decided to show mercy on me and head for calmer water. We headed in shore and decided to use the engine to help. This is where nice things were supposed to happen, like the screw go round when the engine wanted it to. Unluckily, Mr Mooring line (which the well trained crew had stored nicely dangled over the edge of the boat) decided to join in the fun. What all that crap means is we tangled a mooring line around the screw and lost the engine. This suddenly livened up the day with a sail powered approach to Cows in crappy weather required. After careful deliberation as to who should walk the plank and join my breakfast, we decided to go for it. Herr Capitan did a surprisingly good job of not looking worried as we sailed in and with the help of a water taxi, made berth.
Problem, we now had to get the rope away from the screw. This cost £50 and the help of a rather hunky diver [Speak for yourself sunshine!] (who nobody knew about as he was not official???). The girlies were now in their element, it was shopping time (enough said, lets jump to Sunday).
Once again the weather man was wrong (nothing personal George). It was a lovely day with a gentle breeze. We sailed off down the channel for a delicious lunch (not seen again I hasten to add) at New something or other, I forget. Superb place to berth for lunch and a family of very friendly swans came to visit (probably heard about the lunch menu).
Had to motor most of the way back as the wind had decided to have a day off. Nice little sail into the harbour and a good parking job from Cap'n Birds Eye.