Splash May 2017

The 2017 season launch had been delayed as the river Exe navigation authority had deemed my and several other moorings to be in the channel and new locations had to be found for all the affected boats.

The mooring authority and Richard, who services the mooring, worked hard to find a location that was suitable, not an easy task when you draw 1.70 meters in the Exe as it is a pretty shallow river.  I needed both depth and swing room, but finally they were successful and Richard called to say that all had been sorted and I was able to book the lift in.

On a warm but overcast Saturday morning, why are spring tides always at the wrong time of day, Mark and team from the yard started the crane, lifted Aphrodite off her cradle and placed her gently in the water with a request to move off in five minutes as they had two other boats to lift in.

Being lifted in.

I always find lift in day the most stressful of the sailing year as all that hard work that you have done over the winter needs to work at once so you can chug happily downstream in search of the new mooring with its buoy waiting to greet you.  Thankfully it all did work, the engine started first time and off we went. Weatherwise not the greatest start down the river, overcast and almost raining but not quite, still we were finally where a boat should be - on the water.

On the mooring.

Alex, who had come out on a few trips last year, and George who was doing some electrical work on the boat came down the river as Alex wanted to get on the water and George still needed to do some work on the electrical system.  As soon as we were on the mooring breakfast was prepared and devoured. The plan was to take Alex ashore so he could meet up with his family leaving George to work without interruption.

The dinghy was put in the water and Alex and I jumped in ready to paddle off downstream to the sailing club.  About 100 meters from the boat I realised that I'd left the petrol for the outboard, at this point still in the engine shed, onboard and we turned back against the tide to collect it.  Happily paddling downstream with the tide I realised about 200 meters from the pontoon that I had left both the engine shed and car keys on the boat!  You could tell that it was the first day on the water and I had forgotten to put my sailing head on.

There was no way that we could easily paddle against the tide so we landed the dinghy and looked for club members with keys.  Thankfully, it did not take too long and very quickly I had the outboard on the dinghy and was slowing making my way back to the boat to collect the keys.  George having a good laugh at my mistake.  The trip with the tide was much faster and I was able to drive Alex back to his car.