The wave system we encountered off Portland Bill was exhilarating. I loved it, mountainous seas as we rode the correct direction with wind over tide. Sadly Ed succumbed to sea sickness although to his credit he remained an able crew mate. As he was doing a distinct impression of a green man we decided to shorten the sail and head into Bridport. As we neared, a huge fire flared up on shore. In the dark this was interesting as it made it hard to see the harbour entrance. At the same time there appeared to be several flashing lights that were not supposed to be there. One in particular looked like a cardinal buoy in the entrance itself and most certainly wasn’t on the chart!
We crept over a rolling swell, picking our way towards the dark, between two channel marks. Suddenly a local fisherman, fishing on the pier, turned on a flash light and highlighted the opposing harbour side and also some rocks. My shout of thank you was genuinely felt as we nuzzled safely past to the pontoons. Now these were a unique experience. The system is a modern idea using square interlinked floating plastic components. It worked impeccably but once stood on it, they undulate with the passing waves. Within moments I felt like I’d been drinking without any of the expense!
Ed recovered rapidly, so fast in fact that I’m sure he was in the chip shop queue before I got off the boat. I felt called to the George Hotel and I’m glad I was. I got into conversation with a great guy called Peter. He suddenly started telling me about Shackleton. His son, a Royal Marine, has reenacted Shackleton’s voyage in 2013 and was going to the Antarctic in 2019. I have someone I know who is an Arctic explorer and I suspect this might be of interest. I will be putting them in contact. I was then introduced to Nick, a civil engineer who turns out, without being told about our voyage, to have an interest in the Roman suppression of the Celts on Anglesey. I returned to the boat educated, but seriously, what are the chances?!
Sadly, as we prepared to go in the morning, Ed wisely felt he wasn’t up to continuing. He has always struggled with the motion of yachts. To me that made his offer to jump on a train and come to try and help even more amazing. God bless you mate, it was a sad farewell leaving you on the quayside this morning.