‘Dirty British Coaster with a salt caked smoke stack
Butting down the Channel on mad March days….’
John Masefield, I think.
We had those fabulous and sunny days at the end of February and I was slightly annoyed that Riff Raff was still with Swallow Yachts having a few improvements* fitted. The work had been completed but I had been too busy attempting to “do some research” for my Phd.** So we missed several balmy days during which we could have drifted with the tide around Chichester harbour.
Now that these mad days of winds have arrived, I’m really quite glad that she’s ashore under her cover.
So my thoughts have been turned away from researching the past to contemplating the future. I had read a few back numbers of “The Marine Quaterly” *** for inspiration. No, Riff Raff and I are not going to attempt an Atlantic Crossing, nor drug running in the Mediterranean. Not even taking part in the Fastnet. I think we’re going to have a gentle cruise in the Western Isles.
At the moment, the detail plan is to collect Riff Raff from Gwbert (the home of Swallow Yachts) and take her to Northney Marina for the late spring and early summer. There she’ll sit on a pontoon and Terence can have a rest.We’ll have a few day sails to remind ourselves of how we work and may even have a trip to Cowes and / or Newhaven, whilst I make detailed plans for the trip.
The outline plan is to reunite Riff Raff, Terence and Martina in early June to trail up to Kyle of LochAlsh, cross the bridge to Skye and then launch from Kyelakin. We then abandon Terence and Martina in an appropriate car park before heading north and west to the Outer Isles. I have to be home for the 21st June for an important occasion so we should have a couple of weeks afloat. Then there are plans to attend the Swallow Yachts event at Mylor in the last week of June. Back to Northney for the rest of summer – after which we’ll have had enough of Terrance; perhaps we could think of an outing to somewhere in the Channel….
Then it will be back to the Phd. Somewhere along the line, I’ve to fit in a holiday or two with the owners agent, not to mention looking after an allotment and holding our breathe for the cabin boys GCSE (or whatever they are now called) results.
* It is hard to believe but Swallow Yachts (in fact any Yacht) can always be improved – even if it means taking previous “improvements” off…
** At least that was what I had told my supervisor.
*** An eclectic mix of stories of boats, yachts, ships, cruises, crossings and incidents that is published each Quarter (not that the name doesn’t give it away)