(Moody 346)

2009, On route to
 Mengeham Rythe

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Also, there are many other photographs on this subject held on file

  My sailing on Elizabeth started in May 2006.  Before then I was first asked to assist in her purchase by surveying her in Kip Marina, Scotland.  I am not a surveyor but my experience in sailing Moody 346’s gave me the knowledge as to what to look for which helped tremendously.  Once the purchase was made I also helped with a Winter mooring on the hard at Hayling Yacht and later a Summer pontoon berth near my own at Wicormarine.   Over the next few years I sailed Elizabeth in the Solent area, Gosport, Newport, Wootton Creek, Hayling Yacht, St Vaast, Cherbourg, Ventnor Haven, Lymington, Northney, Bosham and the River Hamble not forgetting her latest berth at Marchwood.

  Mid August 2016 I was asked if I would like to join Elizabeth for 5 days in the Channel Islands.  With just 4 on board and very good weather we slipped Marchwood first for Keyhaven for a night at anchor.   It seemed rather strange that whilst anchoring we couldn’t stop the boat let alone reverse her to dig in the anchor.   It was then we found out we had NO reverse gear.   A call to an engineer who knew this type of gearbox gave us the confidence to continue our passage but maybe a reserve for Beaucette (Guernsey).  Apart from being ‘buzzed’ by several dolphins, our passage across to Bray harbour, Alderney was uneventful and even with no reverse we picked up our mooring buoy with ease.   The following day we hired almost new cycles with 21 gears to tour the Island and with a stop for lunch in the Old Barn restaurant near Longy Bay.   The forecast promised rain midday and it came on time but we managed to shelter under an umbrella in their garden.  After viewing Telegraph Bay (The Gannets) we split up eventually meeting up in the Divers in Bray (where else).   The following day a short passage to Beaucette Marina, Northeast of Guernsey with some concern as we had no reverse.   We moored on one of their 4 (3 on a high tide) outside holding buoys for about an hour then followed the Harbour Master’s Dorie with “Follow Me” on its sides in through the walled entrance.  Entrance for visitors is plus to minus 3 hours from high tide and only with the Harbour Masters authority.  It should be of interest that the largest vessel that visited the marina was a 110 feet long  twin masted yacht and the largest currently moored is around 74 feet LOA.   It was not too difficult for us on a 35 footer with a high tide.  Fuel, water and showers for us all followed by a well earned drink then a meal in the only restaurant in the area and very nice too.   One certainly to be experienced and recommended.  This marina started as a Quarry where the Diorite granite had been mined and used for the steps for St Paul’s Cathedral, London, UK. It was eventually converted by the Royal Engineers in 1969 as a Training Exercise and Beaucette Marina was born to private owners.  The following day a walk around the north end of the island visiting all the German Fortifications ending up in a small cafe for a light lunch.  Nearby we boarded a bus to St Peter Port for some shopping (me for our forthcoming 50th Wedding Anniversary) then a drink in the “Terrace”.   A bus followed by a short walk back on board to the peaceful tranquility of Beaucette and a very cold beer.   Just how does one extoll the virtues of Beaucette Marina in just words - a true secret Jem.   Up at 0330 the following morning and we slipped at 0400 with me helming Elizabeth out of the Marina in the dark.  Once outside in the pitch black we gazed at the numerous stars and identified the navigation lights and ships on route.  Sailing at night is something I always love and look forward to. Through the Race at 11.7 knots then over 9 knots for a couple of hours on a clear day.  We were visited again by dolphins but very few and the visit didn’t last but a little while later we spotted a bird on deck.  Now that WAS a surprise especially as he made his way nearer ourselves in the cockpit.   We attempted to feed him but from the time he kept his eyes closed he obviously wanted rest and eventually flew off.     He (or she) was later thought to be a juvenile Reed Warbler on migration.  The forecasted rain never came and as we made such good progress we continued all the way back to Marchwood.   This allowed us to put Elizabeth away and drive home a day earlier than originally expected.  A very pleasurable and relaxing trip ticking off one of my “places to visit” on my tick list.   Thanks all to Graham & Mary and Michael.

Approaching our Keyhaven anchorage

Sunset at Keyhaven

Alderney, Bray Harbour

Dog and Owner on a Paddleboard (no lifejackets)

Mainbrace Water Taxi (Standing room only)

The infamous “Divers” pub

Lunch at the Old Barn near Longy Bay

Guernsey, Entering Beaucette Marina

Beaucette entrance, Rocks both sides

Another yacht makes the entrance

Around the Marina

Dinner in the only Restaurant (to be recommended)

We walk around the Northern coast of Guernsey

The near empty Marina in St Peter Port (from the Thai Restaurant on the Terrace)

Sign on a Marina Summer home

Juvenile Reed Warbler resting on deck whilst passaging the Channel

Panoramic view of the Northern coast of Guernsey (taken from Fort Le Marchant)

  Its April 2017 now with just a weekend trip this time to East Cowes marina for the YOSC Fitting Out Supper in the “Lifeboat” restaurant.   We couldn’t have picked a better weekend for the weather.   I even left my heavy foul weather clothes at home.   We slipped Marchwood Yacht Club late Saturday morning motoring past Southampton VTS then tacking all the way to Cowes eastern entrance where we made use of the new engine motoring to our berth.   It was rather cool even in the sun at sea but much warmer on our berth.  A quick lunch in the cockpit then exchange “the latest” with many of the other 9 yachts in our rally.   Later we all met in the Lifeboat for drinks and our meals.  The following morning the sun was up early to a very clear sky and after breakfast, again late morning we slipped and once outside Cowes tacked across the Solent to an anchorage just north of Hamble for lunch and demolish the remnants of 3 bottles of wine (not much really).  Lastly motoring back to Marchwood in glorious warm sun.

The Lifeboat Restaurant, Dave Dray ordering food

Cheers to all

And again

Our Fleet met on one table

  Early May and the YOSC visit to Southampton VTS was fully booked  I had been offered a berth on Elizabeth so we boarded Saturday morning and slipped Marchwood for Dan Bran in Lymington.  The YOSC Fleet visiting VTS on the day before were also joining us making a very easy (yet again) mooring in deep waters.

  May 2019 now and another passage on Elizabeth this time to the ever popular annual YOSC event in Island Harbour Marina on the Isle of Wight starting on Friday evening staying on board overnight on her mooring at Marchwood.   I had made it clear to the Skipper that I am suffering from severe Sciatica and very limited in sailing capabilities.  Saturday with Genoa only we sailed to Island Harbour Marina. I soon realised that having brought my trusty camera I was to be photographer for the event.  After lunch a walk for some (not I) to St Mildred’s Church at Whippingham where Queen Victoria attended and later Drinks & Nibbles on the Pontoon organised by China Girl.   In the evening we all enjoyed a meal in the Marina’s Breeze restaurant.  Sunday a day of leisure with our crew walking to Newport (again not I).  Lunch on board followed by the making of one or two Scrap Heap Challenge yachts made of course of scrap.
These could be very complex self gybing models, Quad or Trimarans, simply a plastic milk container or just an aluminium food tray even from lunch that day.  Knowing that an empty milk container will float on say 1/8 inch of water I thought that would form our base yacht.  Ours (representing Elizabeth-A) was to be a 4 pint milk container (the only one we had) with a wire coat hanger bent to support a thin small plastic bag for a sail. Another plastic container had its base cut out to form a keel for our yacht and with the rear top of the milk container cut out I stuck in a largish stone aft for ballast.  All items stuck with Duck take (colour optional).  Yep, that’s it. The actual race followed, now renamed the Graham France Challenge Trophy (after past Commodore Graham France who originated the idea and designed & built the Trophy as you can see with scrap) where all the entries are placed in the water ready to be blown to a predetermined finish line downwind.   Its just a fun event but from the excitement it produces and the dedication each entry is given being complex or simple there is a lot of cheering and wishing for the winner. This was followed by another fun event called the Blind Rowing event (another originated by Graham France) where two persons man a dinghy, one rowing wearing a blindfold and the other sitting but not able to talk.  Communication on the direction of rowing must be communicated in silence EG: tapping on the rowers knee. The course is simply out from a pontoon, around a buoy about 6 Metres away and return the winner being the shortest time.   Finally an evening BBQ on the green looking north all the way to Calshot Tower in view of the setting sun.  Monday morning a late breakfast for the deep keel yachts to slip for home later in the morning when more water was available or slip after a normal breakfast for the shallow draft keels (Elizabeth) and passage all the way north back to Marchwood.   The weather for the whole of the weekend was mostly sunny and dry although it was cold in the evenings but for us hardy sailors we made the best of it and it proved to be yet another very enjoyable event. Even those who were new to the event promised to attend next year.   Roll on 2020.

Bob & Terry on Flightline bringing back memories 'Resume the Position'

Welcome drinks and nibbles on the Pontoon

Rich, Pam & Lynne

Bob & Julie

Lynne, myself & Pam

Just one drink said Pam
(note bottle in her pocket)

In the Breeze we start
with a glass of wine

One of our two tables

Dinner in the Breeze.
Our other table

The enjoyment starts

Martin & Debbie dancing

And so do the after dinner speeches

YOSC year 2019 Graham France Trophy race starts with some 10 entries

My Challenge a clear winner showing its pace (its wake)

A late spurt from Rael & Maggie’s entry

Me holding my winning
Scrap Heap Challenge

Group Pic with Bob Crocker receiving the Trophy on my behalf

YOSC Graham France Trophy. In memory of past Commodore Graham France

Originally the
YOSC Scrap Heap Challenge
Designed & Built by Graham

Trophy winners 2006 to 2014

More winners and myself again in 2019

Blind Rowing - Hannah with Martin giving it all

Blind Rowing winners
Graham & John

The BBQ is lit and then the smoke

More and more gather
for the group BBQ evening

Richard & Chris wondering why its not ready

It's amazing what a little Lighting Gel does

'IADA' moored in Southampton Waters
 (The Lips on the bow)