Over night, Heydays takes the ground gently as the tide falls, but this is the joy of a bilge keeler, as she settles gently into the mud on a (reasonably) even keel. The morning tide sees us ready for the off. The river is flooding rapidly and we consider for a little while how to a) get off the tight mooring without side-swiping another boat and b) how to turn round in a river only a little wider than the length of the old girl. Our deliberations are given an added tinge by the now crowded clubhouse (why are they all there on a Monday morning???) who will be hoping for a bit of early “entertainment”.
In the event, our plans pay off and we feel reasonably smug as we gracefully ease her into the stream and turn in her own length before waving a cheery goodbye to the (presumably disappointed onlookers). Actually, I’m being unfair, as the Redclyffe club turns out to be one of the very nicest places we have been to in a long while.
We decide that this mini cruise is more of a relaxing amble and so by lunchtime we are still in Poole Harbour, but anchored just off the beautiful Arne peninsular with its nature reserve….(and all this just a stone’s throw from the big ferry terminal on the other side of the harbour).
A short ride ashore in the dinghy, and we wander through the ancient woodland with few others in sight. A rustling in the bushes and there is the white stag in all his glory. After a short pause to take us in, he is off with an effortless and almost soundless bound back into the cover. This alone was worth the walk.
A few other boats are anchored near by in the only deepish puddle hereabouts, but as the tide recedes and the mud encroaches, the only sounds are from the sea birds quarrelling over their fish suppers.
So night night, as we need to catch an early tide tomorrow morning…