Back in February at the RNLI Ball in Cheltenham we decided to offer a weekend on the boat as an Auction item to raise funds for the RNLI and 11-13 June were the arranged dates for the bidder to take up the ‘prize’.
Fortunately the weather was perfect, sunny and breezy, although the wind was variable and kept shifting. We had met the bidder and his wife very briefly at the ball but didn’t know their friends, so it was, for all of us, a bit of a gamble. Being confined in a yacht with complete strangers who could be totally incompetent (and I mean us not them!) isn’t the best way to spend a long weekend. Anyway, any concerns faded quickly enough when we got together on the Friday and had a meal onboard followed by drinks in the Lightship. We all got on very well and this continued throughout the weekend.
On the Saturday we didn’t have to start off early as we would have been at the Needles too soon, so after a leisurely breakfast and lifejacket fitting session, plus safety instructions, we left about 1000, sailed to the east of the Isle of Wight and then along the southern coast. We anchored in Freshwater Bay for half an hour to fish, unsuccessfuly yet again and then motored round to Yarmouth. We picked up the last suitable mooring buoy at about 1830 in a strong tide and went ashore to ‘On The Rocks’ for a lovely meal.
Final day was a cruising chute ride up the solent calling in at Cowes, anchoring in Osborne Bay for lunch, then back to our berth.
Our new crew was helpful and able, great company and gave us a thoroughly good weekend. We very much hope to see them again in the future. Their emails of thanks and kind words confirmed our own feelings about the weekend and have encouraged us to repeat the offer at the next RNLI Ball.