16. July 2012 · 2 comments · Categories: Posts

So as not to let you all get bored I pushed the humans into getting a move on.

The forecast was for strong south westerly winds, easing, and turning to north westerly winds later.  What does ‘later’ really mean?  Whenever I see that on a forecast it never materializes.

Well the human units decided it was best to try and get some distance covered if the forecast was favourable.  


The first step was to get off the pontoon we were on.  They had swallowed their pride and asked the Marina if they would be kind enough to help with one of their boats to push the stern away from the power boat parked at our side.  Seven thirty am and a soul guy shows up with a fender.  Luckily another mate Chris also showed up and between them all they managed to get my boat off the pontoon and on the way to Dartmouth.


Dartmouth is an overnight trip so you think they would be all prepared right….wrong. 

It did start ok.  The winds were strong and blowing in the direction we wanted to travel, so they double reefed (reduced) the sails and tacked (back and forth either side of the wind).  Making great speeds back and forth does not really account for great speeds in the direction you want to go.  We finally made it out of the Solent, via the needles, and just after two pm. 


They had been doing fine up to now, but you know that just could not last.  With wind against tide the strong winds whipped up the sea.  With the Isle of Wright no longer offering protection the waves reared up and tossed the boat about.  I looked out and several boats turned back at this point to seek shelter….this should have been a sign.


It was not long before I was the only one left in the cockpit.  Where were the humans?  One was hanging over one side, while the other, was hanging over the other.  What a waste of good food.  I never get sea sick.  But I will give them credit, they persevered and pushed on.  They gave each other one hour rests on the sea berth while the other helmed.  I kept the helms man company and cheered him on.    One hour breaks lengthened to 2 hour and it started to get dark, cold and very very wet.  That is when I decided the individual in the sea berth resting needed my support more.


Nine am and Dartmouth was in view.  The human’s grand plan of saving money anchoring was thrown out the window, with any attempts to eat or drink for the last 19 hours.  They found a lovely spot on a floating pontoon and easily set themselves down with the tide helping them stop.  No chance for them to rest as the hot water return hose on the water heater had come off in the rough weather.  Tired or not, they needed to get the fresh water system up and running.  I made their job easier by constantly whining that I wanted to go for a walk.


Don’t worry I got my way as soon as they finished and got the dingy down.  I got them wrapped around my finger.  Dartmouth is lovely with all the touristy stuff people want and lots and lots of rubbish bins to wee on.  The whistle of the steam train is fun and the high hills surrounding us block out the worst of the wind.  Going to get a bit more rest early tonight as the humans kept waking me up when they changed shifts.


  1. A really good read, I wish all three of you all the very best. Please include your intended route in advance you never know if some of us land lubbers may look out for you when we travel the globe on our Hols. I for one would buy Mrs D a beer she deserves it! All the very best. DT