I would like to tell you about my day
My family, bless them, had decided to go camping near Swanage. Now I do not mind camping, Iíve done my fair share of it in my time, but I smelt a ribbing opportunity, so I had waved them good-bye the previous day, and prepared for a day on the water. The day dawned bright, sunny, and well, hot. By the time I had the trailer hooked up to the car, sweat had appeared on my brow! I couldnít help feeling it was daft, but I threw my Musto into the boat, before driving off.
With the boat in the water, car and trailer parked, it was yippee, bye bye Lymington, hello Solent.
I played around a bit, but the water was too calm. So off I headed to Swanage to see my nearest and dearest. It was 30 knots; harry flatters all the way.. As I got nearer to Swanage the Sun started playing hide and seek with some increasingly menacing clouds, but never mind, the forecast said sunny intervals. I spotted the family and went to the pier to pick them up. As number two son climbed down the ladder off the pier, there is a horrible graunch from the A frame area. The stern had swung into the pier whilst I had been concentrating on loading my passengers. Bye bye starboard nav light.
All aboard and off we potter to look around Swanage from the sea. We did not get far before the sky turned distinctly BLACK. I did not like the look of it, so I plonked my family back on the pier, and headed back across Swanage Bay. Then it hit. Big rain spots, and the vis went to something like 50 yards. My world became a small patch of water surrounded by gloom, oh, and with water falling from the sky. If it hadn't have been for the chart plotter, I could have imagined the rest of the world had disappeared.
As I struggled to get the Musto on, (thank heavens I stowed it), a dive boat came out of the gloom, circled around to check that I was OK, and disappeared back into the gloom. I do like divers!
I decided to sit out the worst of it, snuggled down between tubes and console. As the rain started to ease slightly I again set off, only to hear a pan pan over the radio, yacht with engine failure drifting on to Old Harry. Hey, that is just around the corner. Off I head and there it is heeled well over, already on the rocks. I took a line and tied it to one of the tow hooks at one side of my transom. Lesson; it is almost impossible to tow properly with the line off centre. Must make up a proper tow harness for next time! I was making no impression against the 43 foot yacht, so knowing the lifeboat was on the way I stood off and waited for them to arrive. They turned up with all their gear, put a man on board and proceeded in their normal professional style. Feeling I could do no more I set off back for Lymington. The trip back was somewhat rougher, with lightning crackling not too far away! I pushed harder, partly out of fear, and partly because I was concerned not to have to recover the boat at low water. On the way I heard Portland Coastguard canceling the pan pan; they had successfully got the yacht off the rocks and under tow.
Coming into Lymington, with the rain finally easing, what do you know, another yacht, one of those low wooden things, about 25 foot, with no engine and a three man crew, wanting a tow. Fortunately, this time it was merely that they had run out of wind. Good Samaritan efforts over, boat moored, I went to collect the car and trailer. What is this, the trailer has the right rear bank of rollers pushed out of line, and the mudguard pushed forward onto the wheel. The only explanation that I can come up with is that someone ran over it when the rain storm hit. It must have been quite a bang
Naturally no sign of an apology!
So I finished my day with the boat jacked off the trailer re-aligning rollers. Oh, and I think I may have learnt one or two lessons today! Still could have been worse.
Our little storm did not even get a mention on the local weather.
I hope your day went a little smoother.