Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Jaguar 22 Aretia Trip up the Coast. Skegness Lifeboat

Well it's been a little while since the last update. But it was back on to the high seas yesterday with the ship and the one who wears the jockstrap on their head. The weather forecast was not quite as predicted. Originally it was fog am burning off pm. Great.! Sand banks everywhere plus 20 odd new wind turbines and the piling ship to hit, and not being able to see past the bow. I stayed on the boat overSunday night, and whilst eating the local delicacy, 'Fish and Chips' I was attacked by a mad duck trying to steal the fish from the wrapper. Lazy B'stard! Should catch it like all the other critters! After supper the fog rolled in along with some of the other boats. One looking particularly sheepish after gaining his 'stuck in the channel at low tide' wings. This award is only given to those who have endured 12hrs of all the local twitchers peering at them through their Bino's and thinking 'prat'. Luckily for the awardee the fog came to their rescue, obscuring them from those beedie lenses. New Crew- 'With his Biggles impression' Morning arrived and the sun was out with the wind was from the NE. Most importantly no fog. After unloading necessaries it was time to load the crew 'Big John' now known as New Crew. Not the easiest of task with a gammy leg. Mission accomplished it was a quick safety briefing of don't touch that and if I go overboard press the red button on the radio and don't dare steer the boat towards me! This was the first time the crew had been on Aretia for a saltwater cruise. Previous experience had been gained at the Spring shake down on Rutland Water. Out of the channel with the usual twitchy nerve and crew keeping quiet as the 'standing' wading birds 4ft away from the boat wished us bon voyage. Aretia in the Caribean with me at the helm. Off up north it was, a planned trip of 5 hours up hill and then 5 back. The first WP was a closer look at the Wind Farm. This is something of a concern to the local RNLI as they are predicting an increase in trade during the summer with all the Chavs/Tourists thinking they will paddle their dinghies out to have a look thinking the turbines are close to shore, when in fact they are nearly 3 miles away. Very impressive they are. A beat uphill was the game in the morning, plenty of white caps with the ship dropping off a couple and ploughing through a few more. The Genny had to be furled a little to prevent wetting the mast. At around 14.00pm we reached just south of Saltfleet after waving to my Aunt Pauline at Anderby. A run all the way back with the wind between a 3-4. On passing Butlins the Skegness Lifeboat came out for a look. As they say never go sailing unless the Lifeboat is out. First thought was ooops has the DSC been activated, but no, they were just on exercise and were checking all was good. I'm pretty sure the coxswain recognised the home port of Aretia by the thick line of mud around the water line which is synonymous with being berthed in the ditch. With a wave and offer from us that if they wanted to carry out an exercise with us, we'd be up for it, they blasted away creating the best surf wave of the day. Aretia with her new Tender. It may look like the Skegness Life Boat but don't be fooled! Support the RNLI, it's required to keep this site running when Aretia hits something she shouldn't. I think 'New Crew' when helming back to the entrance to the Haven didn't initially realise the closeness of the sandbanks. With the wind in the direction it was, the breaking was showing on the far side of the bank not our inshore side. So you do have to be a little careful not to hit the windward side of the bank nor the shoreline. Arriving at the haven entrance and 11/2 hours too early for enough water to get in we anchored off the entrance, and were treated to the Tornado's dropping things on the bombing range. At least they were above the mast today! The Radio was busy with a Mayday from a fishing vessel taking on water after catching a Pot. Hopefully this ended OK with the Wells ALB being dispatched. (Update, they were OK and were towed in to Wells Harbour) I had more pressing matters of not becoming an RNLI statistic and running aground on a lee shore coming in to the Channel. Assistance from New Crew was being provided. They were promptly told to shut up whilst I was concentrating picking my way through the paddy fields. A new challenge being the disappearance of several marker and the appearance of what look like a couple of crab pot markers. The Waders held out their wings and shook our hands on a good job well done as we motored by. No problem, coming in this time. Didn't even kiss the mud, as we had an extra 10cm of water under the keel. Giving a full 20cm of clearance! After coming along side in Skeggy fashion 'parking the bow in the mud bank' it was time to off load New Crew who needed their 8th pee of the day. After packing all away it was off the Aunt 'Pols' and New Crews for a well deserved late breakie. After New Crews first successful voyage, I think they will be joining Aretia for a few more. Distance covered 49 miles.

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