As we left Chichester marina on the first day of our four-week holiday on Patience, our 45-foot Aquastar, we knew this initial passage to Lymington was going to be a rocky one. With winds gusting gale force 6, and intermittent showers, we donned our wet jackets, life jackets, and our nerve before slipping the lines and locking out. The three hour sail was a mixed bag. With the wind behind us, and the tide against us with two-metre waves, it was a wet one. Patience is a fairly wet boat on the whole, with spray coming over the bow and up onto the flybridge, frequently giving us a face full of seawater. It is amazing how you get adept at spotting the spray and ducking before it hits you! Being stubborn, we like to sail from the flybridge, and only tend to resort to sailing from down below when we really have to, so we persevered. Remaining up top also gives us much better visibility, and it being the first day of Cowes week, the Solent was rammed with racing yachts. Motorboats are required to give way to yachts, and so my dad had a tricky time negotiating simultaneous races and ferries! Through the buckets of spray, the endless races, and the slowness to which we had to drop in order to both avoid boats, and avoid too much seawater on board, we encountered a squall. To use a cliché, the heavens opened, and we were drenched. Just check out the trousers on this photo of my mum, just after the rain had passed. Drenched.
However, we made it to Lymington in sunshine! Once past Cowes, the clouds cleared and we had a dry passage from thereon. Photographer Beken even managed to whizz over in his rib and snap a few pictures of us. After arriving safely in Lymington we cracked open a well-deserved beer and had a little sustenance!
Lymington itself is a lovely town. The marina is situated a few minutes walk out of town, and has the most beautiful facilities – newly refurbished shower blocks, free wifi, and a lovely restaurant. The restaurant, called The Haven, serves great food, but really is very expensive for good but not amazing food – a meal for three (albeit with plenty of wine) cost £100, plus tip. Walking into town the next morning we found a sweet seaside town with plenty of pubs and boaty shops such as Quba and Joules. We can recommend The Boat House café, on the harbour wall, which serves great sandwiches and café snacks at decent prices. On returning to the boat we grabbed our togs and went for a swim in the lido, which lies in between the town and the marina. Seawater is pumped and then filtered into the pool daily, entrance to which is £2.50 for adults, and £1.50 for children for all-day use. The pool has giant floats, which you try to run across before they flip you off – unashamedly good fun for children and grown-ups alike!
Lymington is a charming seaside town, with all the touristy goodness we find so enjoyable! We plan to move Patience to Weymouth tomorrow, as ever, weather providing! Right now, there’s a chilled beer and a sunset calling! Till then, enjoy.