Going Ashore for the Winter

It is always a day of mixed emotions taking the boat back up river as for me it marks the end of summer. I met up with Mike at 0700 at the sailing club and we went out to the boat on the dingy, the sun had just risen and there was that nip in the air at the beginning of an autumnal day.

After climbing onboard, getting the kettle on and doing the usual checks before taking the boat off the mooring we set off, joining an ever increasing flotilla of boats going up river for the winter ashore. As we chugged up the river looking round and enjoying the still morning the engine began to lose power then pick up again, an issue that we had experienced in our trip back from Sark, and I was beginning to get just a tad nervous as I knew there were a lot of moored boats in the river and I would need to do some manoeuvring to get along side the quay.

About half a mile from the quay the engine cut out, we had plenty of space to restart it, but I knew that we might have a bit of a challenge coming alongside. Holding my breath we went in and joined the queue of boats waiting to be lifted out. Mike on the bow and me looking after the rear, and yes you guessed it about two meters from the quay the engine decided to stop!

Thankfully, there were some other skippers about who took my hastily thrown stern line and made us fast. Time to hand over Aphrodite to the skilled yard people to manoeuvre her into position for the lift out and bottom clean. Time for a coffee and a chat with the other skippers and crew who had brought up their boats and were overwintering at Topsham Quay.

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