With the cockpit work complete and her bottom looking sooooo much better, launch day finally arrived. Friday 25th July 2014 @ 0800hrs, she was put back in the water. Her long awaited maiden voyage was imminent.
Just a few jobs to do before and we set sail. Planned destination, Jersey.
First, fix the steaming light. Now she’s in the water we can hoist someone up the mast. Volunteers? Clearly it was always going to be Ilona!
The steaming light has never worked (as far as I know) and unable to gain access whilst on land we need to fix the problem before we leave. Crossing the channel without a steaming light is a no, no.
Next, a thorough clean. Having spent two weeks in a boat yard, she’s dusty and dirty. Hoses, buckets, sponges and cleaning solutions out and a couple of hours of hard graft. All clean and sparkly, it’s time for the final checks, well nearly time.
Having worked hard all morning, a late breakfast is required, followed by a quick snooze!
Final preparation underway, quick check of the fuel and water levels, instruments (checked the depth readings were accurate) and she’s ready to go.
Departure time; 1500hrs. Slightly later than hoped but we’re away! Out of the Hamble river and the last check (other than sails) before departure. Solent Coast Guard, radio check please. No reply. Try again. Still no luck. VHF radio manual out, settings checked. Still no joy. There’s one think for certain, we are not crossing the English Channel without a VHF radio. With the tide flowing westward we were virtually at Yarmouth when the decision was made. Head in for the night and sort out the VHF. Still Yarmouth’s a nice place to spend the evening! Grabbed the last mooring outside the harbour at 1800hrs. Tomorrow’s check list, VHF radio, new passage plan then off we go.