The updated weather forecast coupled with our delayed crossing necessitated a rethink. With the wind veering to the NNE in the evening, we didn’t relish the prospect of just bashing back in 25 knots on the nose. The better option was to take the 3 hour shorter crossing to the Needles, get in earlier and pick up a mooring buoy off Yarmouth for the night. An early start will catch the tide and should provide a good beam reach all the way back to the Chichester entrance, a sweet taste to end with and contrast all the laborious hours under engine.
Carl’s view from the galley:
Time is a great healer. Hold that thought.
Without a shadow of doubt and fear of contradiction I can confirm the first sixty hours of this passage rank as some of the worst of my short-lived life. As many of you will be more than aware, seasickness is a shocker and can bend even the strongest to their knee, both literally and metaphorically. Not that I class myself in that hearty bunch. Any longer.
So, having taken to my berth for the duration I do feel it necessary to bare my soul and confess my shortcomings: I have been woeful at best and useless at worst. I have justifiably been accused of going AWOL and of the wilful dereliction of my dietary duties. Billed as being the galley equivalent of the Galloping Gourmet I have underwhelmed at an unprecedented level and my sole contribution to onboard fayre amounts to passing-round the ginger nuts and unwrapping the odd Werther’s Original. Very poor.
Speaking of odd, my two erstwhile companions, First Officer Hoare and Captain Moans, are made of far sterner stuff but not without a surprisingly compassionate side. The former lacing my water with a foul-tasting diaralyte to keep me hydrated. The hardy latter covering me up with his grimy wool sweater as I lay both shivering and retching in equal measure. Touching. And not of the inappropriate manner. I won’t hear a good word said about either of them. Probably…
Thankfully, the arrival of last night’s helicopter heralded my long-awaited return to some sort of form. I had already been awakened by Nick’s somewhat worrisome calls with the French coastguard and what subsequently transpired was, to a dedicated (and recently reconfirmed) land-lubber, nothing short of exciting, to the point of me being an overly intense participant in a sodden episode of ‘Police Camera Action’. Thankfully, those in charge kept their heads whilst others were losing theirs – chapeau! Seeing/hearing Channel 16 being so effectively used in the intended manner and eventually, via our role as communications go-between, making contact with the stricken ‘Briony’ was both enlightening and rewarding. And with a happy ending. Over.
Now, back to time. The question I ponder is, will there ever be enough time in this infinite universe to make me consider embarking on such an escapade ever again with ol’ Nick Bligh? I’ve been fortunate enough to have enjoyed some tremendous passages with him and his nautical pals in the past, but those sixty hours were truly something else and, whilst I’m never one to say never…er, NEVER!