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Firstly, many thanks to those of you who have donated to our JustGiving page for the National Autistic Society. Every penny helps and the total raised is going up towards our target of  £2017 ((representing £1 for every year of the year of our challenge – 2017), so we are very grateful.

We enjoyed a relaxing couple of days (Fri and Sat) in the sunshine in Lymington, where we checked everything over on the boat again and stocked up with water and supplies. before having lunch with Nick, Nichola and four of the five granddaughters – Olivia, Abigail, Phoebe and Maisy – sorry to miss Jo and Molly, who was rather poorly, so couldn’t come and Marcus, who was caravan moving.

After our very overpriced lunch at the Mayflower pub (£8.80 for a glass of rose and £15 for a very uninspiring fish and chips) we decanted back to the boat, where the girls enjoyed playing how many people can you fit in the heads (toilet & shower cabin), dying their tongues blue with slushpuppies and inspecting everything we were taking with us. They really wanted to go out sailing (Grandpa’s dream) but we were all moored up and not enough lifejackets, so we’ll have to bank that one for another day, girls. Slight hiccup discovered after departure with a blockage in the toilet – paper, we think, as it was rather resistant to flushing – brute force, olive oil and holding the mechanism seem to be solving the problem – if not, Grandpa has a plan!

Saturday morning is market morning at Lymington and, as street markets go, it is one of the best selling an array of things from fruit, plants, artisan bread, homemade pies and chutneys to books, gifts, clothes and just about everything else you can think of. We made our way up the hill, having decided to go to the end of the market and make our way back, picking up things we needed on the way. First stop was to be a fishing stall near the church which is ‘always there’,  according to Simon, but this week it wasn’t! I popped into the post office to send my Mum a postcard and then stepped back out (as arranged) to meet Simon by the next stall but …. he had done an invisible man act. I looked around but couldn’t see him so I tried calling him – no reply. I had another look and tried again – nothing. Aha, he’s gone back to the pasty stall, I thought, but no. Several phone calls later and with me having done the shopping at Tesco and lugged it all back to the boat myself, Simon appeared. While I had been dealing with provisions, he had just popped for a coffee and had left his phone at the boat, hence being uncontactable. Unfortunately for him, a woman sat next to him who was wearing a hat and when a gust of wind blew her hat, she put up her hand to save it… with her coffee cup in it.. and it splashed all over Simon – karma!

The great thing about sailing is that it is a very sociable activity and you get to meet some lovely people on the way. Our time at Lymington Quay was no different and our Round Britain Sailing Challenge banner on the lifelines on the boat attracted several people who came to chat to us about what we were doing and how we are doing this to raise awareness and funds for the National Autistic Society.  We managed to pick up a few tips from someone who had done the trip last year and also enjoyed our chat with fellow Moody owners, Nigel and Helen. Simon also had his brains picked by a very nice couple who are new motorboat owners who are doing their day skipper qualification; they had spotted his perfect textbook tying up of the boat alongside the pontoon and wanted to ask him about various things boating.

After a relaxing evening at the Royal Lymington Yacht Club we reviewed our passage plan for Sunday and, in the light of the weather forecast, decided that rather than going to Swanage or Studland, we would press on to Weymouth. Not only would this take 20 miles off the next leg of our voyage to Dartmouth but it would be a better place to get stuck in for a few days, which is what the forecast threatens. In preparation for an early departure on Sunday we moved off the town quay and moored up on a floating pontoon a little way down the river next to a 42 foot Jeaneau, whose owner looked a little piqued that a 33ft 6″ 1990 Moody had spoiled their view, by coming alongside!

And that is where we stayed until departing for Weymouth at 07.24 On Sunday…. but that’s another story.

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