P&K opened a bottle of pink champs to celebrate a few first crossings amongst the group although all thoughts of camping went out of the window as Kath and Dave set off up the hill to find B&Bs. They turned down the first hotel at £180 per night
before squeezing the campers into B&Bs over the Island. She then commandeered the local carpet fitter with a large van at 5pm on a Saturday night and had him transport all our kit to each of the various B&Bs. Superb and as anyone who has visited Alderney will tell you it’s a long steep walk up the high street at the end of a long day. Dinner was held in the Bellevue Hotel and an excellent choice before weary headed for an early night
Sunday dawned with bright blue skies and an F2-4 SW forecast with a front coming through later in the day. The view from the taxi was interesting as he took us the scenic route back down the harbour but at least we saw something of the island. From the harbour office white waves could be seen out to sea but this was just the tide playing with the rocks in the Swinge.
With HW we were able to bring the ribs into the inner harbour and Brian who had been searching the island and camp site several times for us appeared just at the right moment to help with refuelling the boats
. With the tide dropping fast a final coffee with Brian in the Bray Hotel followed before it was time to head off again. In retrospect we all wished we had taken an extra couple of days to chill out in Alderney.
Out of the harbour the seas however were completely different as we set off at a comfortable 23 knots, but this time choosing to go round the IOW via Sandown. Lunch was called at after a couple of hours and a much more relaxed affair with the boats gently bobbing up and down. We checked on a few yachts on route and played in the wake of the big container ships before finally seeing St Cathrines 20 miles out. The calmer seas giving us a chance for photos and videos.
Then disaster, a smell of oil had been on the air for a while but we couldn’t locate it. Until suddenly 20 litres of diesel poured across the deck of Old Spice. A Jerry can had come loose and the top opened
. Diesel had now soaked the deck and into the rucksacs sleeping bags and tent. Wondering how to clean this mess up 20 miles offshore I decided to give Old Spice a Quick burst on reverse. With the low transom she can be forced down and under water and the deck flooded. First go worked well and we took 6 inches of water right up to the bow which took a lot out, therefore a second go should just about do it. Unfortunately we didn’t spot the stern painter go into the prop. The engine stopped and the rope queezed between the prop and the gearbox, bollicks
Only one thing for it now and that involved taking the prop off and freeing the rope. Whilst we were at it we changed to the bigger prop, careful not to drop anything. Phil and Steve looked at little shocked
but with the whole thing was completed within ten minutes we were back on our way. We waved goodbye to Voodoo and Looking Good at Ventnor before giving Ride Sands a wide berth
and finally arriving back in our home port.
Distance travelled, haven’t checked yet but about 180 miles over the weekend and apart from some cleaning and tightening a few bolts, all made it safely back. The group stayed closely together throughout the weekend always stopping if one boat needed to change crew or grab a bite to eat. So apart from a few weary bodies a great success, only next time its forecasting 4/5 on the nose we are going to Wareham for tea and cakes. Oh and after one particularly heavy landing Mrs 7 came out with the infamous quote from the film jaws:
“We need a bigger boat”
Pete and Viv