March Medina Report
We had a blast! Incredibly lucky with the weather – the last warm day before winter hit again. However the wind blew up enough to be uncomfortable for some and so Natasha Halliday must have been proud of her dad as he prioritised her comfort and escorted us to Gilkicker before heading back for Chichester Bar.
A mad March motley lot set off from Portsmouth. Paul generously insisted I take the helm and our cheerful Crew (Hightower) quickly checked his Insurance Policies
. Some of the hardy Western Solenteers made it to Pompey to join the blast and we shot off through & over the messy stuff (boat wakes and whipped-up Solent chop) to find more regular waves Island-side. Milo ( 2 boats plus 72 crew at least!!!!) wheeled around to catch us mid-Solent. Near Cowes we stopped to watch the boats as they shot past, crews grinning from ear to shining ear!. Hardboat Commodore Pete 7 slowed to head up the Medina and swept up the cabinet-full of Waterford glass which hadn’t done so well on the crossing!
There we were, minding our own business and thoughfully photographing the other boats on this most auspicious of days, when Nauti Buoy (fresh from checking on those waiting at Calshot
) decided on a most spectacular fly-by. I’ve never suffered a stuff at standstill before! All I recall was the impressive size of the yellow hull and then a quick duck as a large quantity of water landed on the back of my neck! I looked up laughing to see Paul hadn’t been so quick with the camera…. It was worth it just to see that Nauti face all the way up the Medina!!!
We caught some lively Zapcat action from Gray & crew before setting off in the sunshine for The Folly. On the way we hailed Powerboat Instructor Tim Griffin( keeping a student on the straight and narrow
). The weather brightened up even more as The Folly came into view. Once again the pub absorbed us all with no fuss and Martin and Anto met us in festive Paddy’s Day attire.
Biggles had his prize for the Caption Competition and so did a very young lady who managed the crossing during what were hardly easy conditions
. As boaters stripped in the warmth of the pub, Andre revealed (sadly not a bikini) a fetching moss-green fleece in honour of the day that was in it while Andy Hightower went for a paler hue (described later by Martin as ‘mint choc-chip green’. This may have been why you were divested of same at a later stage Andy! For the life of us we can’t quite recall!!!
It was indeed a privilege to meet such a lot of cheerful and hardy people from Dorset aboard the Milo 72 fleet! ‘JABS and Crew’ (apologies for the anonymity!!!) appear to be well converted to the joys of powerboating and Neil and Karen (Wendy!!!!!) had had an amazing run (‘flight’!!!) from Portsmouth. Jimbo, Laser, NoS and Liz all were in top form (look forward to seeing that new boat!). It was great to meet Peter (of Mayo origins) on his first RIBnet cuise.
The Guinness T Shirts were a popular idea. The box must have emptied well before we pulled into The Folly! To be sure there were forty shades of green but eventually everyone’s tummies settled down after the lively run and the hardy Littlehampton-Chichester lads even managed some sunbathing (Phil probably tried to fit in a nap!!! Get well soon Wendy! ).
Sadly all good things… And people made tracks for home. A hard core (the crews of Nautibuoy and Merlin & Antionette & Martin) lingered on however and we occupied a table well into the evening much to the obvious delight of The Folly staff
. This must be where the pastel green of Hightower’s outfit got too much for us all, Robin turned paparrazo and some of us used the special Paddy's Day dispensation to go back on the vino
. The indefatigable Holly tolerated us ‘grown-ups’ as we polished off some sundowners before finally waving off Nautibuoy, mooring Merlin for the night and heading off to our hotel to celebrate Martin’s birthday. We had a top weekend on the Island of Wighty before blasting back to work on Monday morning!
For us a Paddy’s Day to remember. It was indeed a Mad March Blast and a great beginning to the season for some. Paul’s photos will follow and sadly no, that’s not antifoul on Merlin’s hull!!! It has since been scrubbed by a pair of layabouts and looks a bit smarter! Thanks all for your excellent company and bonhomie and to Hightower for being such a cheerful crewman (even when nearly dumped in while videoing!) Thanks to RIBnet for making it possible to muster such a hassle-free day out!
Lá le Pádraig shona dhaoibh go léir!!!
(Happy Paddy's Day)
Kathleen & Paul
Notice To Mariners : The gArfish seems to have a part-time job at The Camber (see recent ‘Crane-Driver incident’ ) parking trailers for unsuspecting RIbsters.