Week 1: Launch day, bad weather, a leak, and we’re off

Saturday 2nd May – Launch Day

Great turn out in Boscombe where we renamed our boat (thanks Lexi) and met the Mayor of Bournemouth. Unfortunately the weather was against us and we were advised to delay starting until Monday.

Sunday 3rd May

Got the Lexi May out on the water only to find we had a hairline fracture causing a small leak. Decided to fix that on Monday before setting off. Unfortunately the weather was not looking good for Tuesday and Wednesday so now looking at Thursday for launch – thanks to Chris Arnel from Christchurch Sailing Club who very kindly put us up until we could get a gap in the weather.

Monday 4th May

Did some work on the boat to fix the leak (which luckily turned out to be a few leaky hatchs) – now it’s waiting time for the strong winds to pass!

Thursday 7th May: Christchurch to Lymington

“Lexi May” is Go! We finally set off. With loved ones on the quay waving us off we powered through Mudeford Quay, being buzzed overhead by the gyrocopter from Arial Ace Photography. We tapped “Lexi May” along the coast of Christchuch, the sun shining down on the crew with a largish swell created from the storms over the past 2 days.

After 1.5 hours we reached the notorious Hurst Point, with the fateful words from Mark Green who was expertly coxing us “It gets a bit choppy ahead”… In the next few moments the boat was battered by waves from every direction, the strength of them rocking the boat and crew, Sean was knocked off his seat as the bow of the boat crashed through the relentless waves. After a few minutes of gritted teeth and white knuckles we found ourselves through the point, and in calm waters and on the home stretch towards Lymington.

Friday 8th May: Lymington to Portsmouth

We left Lymington at 07:38 and arrived in Portsmouth at 14:23 with a brief stop at Cowes on the way, after battling a strong easterly wind, 2-3 meters waves, and a strong tide! The whole crew slogged it out, at times pushing less then one knot against a strong tide – exhausted with our hands blistered, but jubilant, we rowed into Portsmouth.