Tuesday 11 August 2020…more than 200m from our mooring!

A red letter day as we set off in sun and virtually no wind for Langstone Harbour…definitely unfashionable. But while not epic, it is good to hear water running under Heydays’ keels and to watch the old familiar landmarks slip past. We have chosen a marina this evening as there are thunderstorms in the forecast and we don’t fancy being the only people around with a long pointy metal thing up in the sky in an anchorage…

We leave Cowes and Southampton in our wake, past Osborne House (built by Albert for his Bride…although to be fair he probably required a chunk of our taxes to complete it) and on to the Eastern Solent. This part of the Solent has more commercial traffic and we chose not to argue with a couple of tugs and a long tow.

The old No Man’s Land fort passes and we manage to get some sail up with a freshening breeze and switch off the old iron lump.

After such a long time away, it is so relaxing to be pushed along by the breeze and to feel Heydays leaning at last to what she was designed for. The beaches of Southsea and Hayling Island mark the entrance to the Harbour and we pick our way up the very narrow and very shallow channel to Southsea Marina.

There is a curious sill here which opens automatically once the water above it is 1.6m…interesting use of passive hydraulics.

By the time we are tied up, we are all bathed in sweat once more and end up lying about like beached whales.

The little café serves up ice cream from which they forget to deduct Sunak’s 50%. She offers a refund, but we each have another ice cream for free instead. Almost worth voting for them!!!!

It turns out this is also a favourite spot for some starlings…who’ve been eating blackberries….

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In the cooler part of the evening we wander in search of what turns out to be an elusive shop. As Southampton supporters we chose not to sing ‘Oh When the Saints go Marching in’ as we find ourselves deep in a large (and presumably Pompey) estate…how feeble is that?

It turns out that starlings are not the only ones who like going to the top of the mast and James is hauled up to sort out a windvane which has presumably been damaged by previous birds…

Our plans to do some more fettling on the old girl are thwarted by the heat of the next day and we head for the beach instead. Much to James’ surprise he swims in UK waters for the first time in forever (as does Chris and John)…refreshing is the official temperature, but great none-the-less. The Chinese member of the party gets her toes wet! By evening we manage to get a table in the air-conditioned Indian as the sun goes down…

…and sweat curry for the rest of the night!

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