Boots, Buses and Bikes, 7 – 10 May 2019

Despite the forecast of strong winds and rain 15 boats were signed up for the Boots, Buses and Bikes (and several other “B”s) cruise, though unfortunately 2 had to withdraw due to illness and engine failure.

On a blustery, cold, afternoon 13 boats rendezvoused on the Dan Bran Pontoon, Lymington, arriving from various parts of the Solent other than Chichester. Only one other, unsuspecting, boat shared the pontoon and it turned out to be fellow CYC members Adrian and Lorna on One Life, who joined us later for the pontoon party. Dinner that evening was held at the Royal Lymington Yacht Club.

After heavy rain overnight, a dreary, windy morning put some people off but 15 walkers and 2 cyclists boarded the Boat train to Brockenhurst, (Raven having failed miserably to identify a suitable bus to enable us to do our selected walk). Only Beryl and Tim (Avalon) maintained the bike tradition, having been abandoned by other potential cyclists. Once inland the wind abated and the sun came out for a lovely walk past Brockenhurst Park, through the bluebells and ancient trees in Royden Wood Nature Reserve to a coffee stop at the Red Lion, Boldre. Suitably refreshed the walkers tackled the bogs along the Lymington River through the reed beds back into Lymington for a late lunch and shopping. Later everyone enjoyed tea and cakes on Raven and Flapjack. Lymington Town Sailing Club was the venue for pre-prandial drinks and dinner for most boats.

Thursday was grey, threatening rain, and winds F5 gusting F6 but westerly, allowing a fast sail to Portsmouth Harbour where some boats went into Gosport and 8 boats carried on up the Fareham branch of the harbour to WicorMarine. Mooring on the mid-river pontoons proved interesting in the gusty, choppy conditions. The second walk of the cruise was less popular but a few people were ferried across the channel on the tenders of Rascallion and Raven to walk round to Portchester Castle, via the Cormorant, and along the foreshore. In the evening the winds settled but the planned Barbeque and Boules ashore was reprofiled as drinks on Pontoon A, food on adjacent boats and all back to the saloon of Rascallion for the final drinks on the cruise.

Inevitably, Friday was flat calm but some boats did manage to sail back to Chi.

Thanks for a fun week and great company to our deputies – Marion and Peter, Flapjack and to Avalon, Bugsy 2, Callisto, Coco, Dawn Chorus, First Light, Nordic Star, Quintette, Rascallion, Sounio and Teise.

– by Carole Middleton and Bob Spencer – Raven