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Jack in the galley

Leg one - the relaxed start

Fred Best At the beginning, we had no distance to go. We would start from Weymouth and end at the exact spot to enter our accoms for the party. So we were free to go where the wind would blow as long as we'd be back in time. The wind decided we'd sail along the South coast. We, that was Tiger, Jeremy Lang, Fred Best, David Pollard, Daniele and Irene Ravenna, Chris and Hugh Watt, Jane Clemetson and Phil Hodges, Kay Jaumees and Ina Koys with the permanent crew of Julius, Nora, Laura, Jack, Alina, Jonas, Ole and Bastien.

The ones who hadn't seen her since a while were happy to see the ship in good and glossy conditions. After 2009, when Ronald Herkert purchased her, many details were improved or fixed, some belaying points changed, but nothing really groundshaking. So we easily fit in again.

The first day was rather cool and rainy so one could be happy to have carried the waterproofs along. But it cleared off and when entering Poole harbour for the night, we enjoyed the beautiful surroundings in the beams of the low sun.

Eye in Cowes

Next morning, in sun and warmth, we left Poole for a lazy day hanging around on the channel and then towards Cowes. Arriving there, we get a real VIP berth on the most photogenic spot near the ferry terminal. Some of us took the possibility to top up the supplies and Irene and Daniele donated fine wine to celebrate Berlusconi's first kick away from the throne.

According to the winds, we set sails for Brighton and prepared ourselves for a nightwatch. Making the best choise between 8 to 12, 12 to 4 and 4 to 8 a.m. can be surprisingly difficult if nothing else counts than on's own personal taste. But in late evening we dropped anchor within eyesight of the town. Still, we never really went there as we rather set sails westward again next morning to reach Weymouth in time for the big party. To do that, we this time really kept sailing through the night and experienced the skies getting lighter again before 4 am.

We had time enough to drop the anchor again in the morning, but that nearly became a mistake. Something about the rather sophistcated prop handling did not work and required longer telephone conferences with the absent engineer. Meanwhile, we sailed before decks houses as slow as possible towards Weymouth into yachts and dinghis practising for races. But after an hour or two, the problem was fixed and we reached Weymouth harbour in proper conditions to greet the whole bunch of friends waiting for us at the quaiside.


And how many people there were! Old familiar faces for some, new friends for others, the way it used to be for so many years. Most people did not really change so it was like reconnecting after no time - even if the last time was 10+ years ago for most of us. But there wasn't time enough to have a chat with everyone - it never is! - as we had to leave the ship for our booked accomodations in and near Hooke, the party place.


text by Ina, pictures by Daniele Ravenna, Jane Clemetson, Paul Lunnon and Ina Koys

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