Weymouth to Torquay

Our two crew members Connie and JenJen came aboard in time for supper on Thursday evening, Connie an experienced young sailor and her auntie Jenny, my old college pal, a complete novice. On Friday morning to allay JenJen’s fears of sea sickness, I gave her two motion sickness tablets. I didn’t take any myself as I’ve never yet felt queasy aboard Distant Drum, though luckily I’ve never stated that to anybody……

Connie & JenJen

Connie & JenJen

Sea state was allegedly ‘slight’ with a SW wind, speed 3-4 knots with no gusts, so said the forecasters. In theory perfect for what should be a 9 hour sail across Lyme Bay to Torquay. We cast off from Weymouth at about 9.30am and once in the outer natural harbour we raised the main sail before heading out into the sea, wide of Portland Bill.

I lasted about an hour before having to get myself horizontal, bucket to hand, engine thundering, me chundering. It was rough and very lumpy, just like my breakfast as it appeared for the second time. I could still taste the marmalade and the orange juice as digestion had yet to begin in earnest. Oh boy! That was it, me gone. Trouble is, once you get sick that’s it for the journey, nothing you can do and you can’t fight it, just have to get your head down and sleep if you can.

Luckily Clive had Connie to help him and they got out the foresails and ploughed their lumpy way through the sea westwards, bow plunging into the waves, every seventh wave shuddering the boat and slowing her down, tacking one direction, when everything from one side of the bed descended on me, lap top, radio, books and I could see big waves alternating with fish as the windows disappeared under the water line. Then tacking the other way, teddies, more books, spectacles, more fish and big waves. There was a maelstrom inside the bed though all was calm in the cockpit as Bonnie and Clyde took control of the passage and guided Distant Drum ever onwards. Jenny succumbed to mal-de-mer at about 3pm and conked on the pilot’s berth in the main saloon, under her sleeping bag, more maelstrom occurring, including the paraffin lamp tipping over unseen by all until much later…..

At one stage Clive popped his head round the bedroom door and asked if I was better – yes, I said, better get me a bucket. I couldn’t lift my head without feeling dire once again and there I remained until about 8pm when the sea calmed down a little and the skies started to darken as we approached Torbay and night time. Punching the tide by this stage, our final progress was slow and we eventually navigated our way in to the harbour at 9.30pm, welcomed by Jason, Clive’s brother, who was on the visitors pontoon ready to take our ropes. At last!

That was when I spotted the paraffin lamp – oh no! Its neighbours on the shelf, Cpn’ Jack and Fergus, had absorbed almost ALL the paraffin, so I’m afraid Cpn’ Jack has been strung up for the last two days draining the paraffin into a large bowl. Drip drip drip. His boots were filled in the first draining so now he’s hammock like emptying the boots back into his legs and out beneath him. Drip drip drip. What we need is a hot sunny day to properly dry the pair of them out. Fergus is almost done, just don’t bring any naked flames near or they’ll both go WOOF!

Cpn' Jack gets strung up

Cpn’ Jack gets strung up


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