Friday April 24th. At times you just couldn’t make it up… it’s been like that! Last night we anchored off Littlehampton, Sean and I discussed the tidal range before we anchored, considering that 4 meters two hours before high tide was ample to ensure that we didn’t go aground with a tidal range of 2.8m. We settled down after a dinner and watched a majestic sunset; there were only ripples on the sea, but quite a swell.
At 2 am in the morning the first bumping started; we were just in the rollers off the beach, so for the next two hours or so we bounced every time a wave lifted us! The wind had picked up, although we had let off the appropriate amount of chain, being high sided we had pulled the chain straight in the wind….straight inshore. So not such a comfortable night, thank goodness we are bilge keeled, and can both laugh about such incidents.
This morning it was pouring with rain as we headed up the Arun River. Because Kantara is so high sided I lowered the spray hood, this is the first time I’ve done this, thinking lowering at least one level had got to help. We approached the hammer head at the Arun Yacht Club, with the hammer head on our port side and the wind on our starboard, Sean jumped off gracefully and secured us as we drifted onto the pontoon, all very controlled. This is where the berthing officer Barry met us, with a ‘you can’t moor up here’. We explained that we had phoned ahead and the secretary had informed us it would be alright to moor on the hammer head. Barry asked us to use the hammer head four pontoons up. Off we went again…. Re securing ourselves with Barry’s help, Barry explained about how to pay and that he would see us in the clubhouse later. We explained that we were off to Arundel castle, and he wished us a pleasant day.
Sean and I caught two trains to the castle, each journey lasting no more than three or four minutes. It was still pouring with rain as we made our way up to Arundel castle, as we were a little early for the opening times we stopped off and had a hot drink, as we entered a café we were met by Mr Mallard on the doorstep and Mrs Mallard in the café, apparently both regulars. I’ve seen cows regularly in restaurants in India, but a first for Mallards.
We enjoyed the Castle and Cathedral in Arundel, both spectacular, whilst walking about the town still in the heavy rain we stopped at the bus stop to wait for a particularly heavy shower to go past. Where we were entertained by the local drunk, who noticing some of our heavy weather gear, struck up a conversation with us, in fact he really did want to chat to us about anything and everything, the only problem being he had a very heavy Sussex accent and was rather worse for wear, we only managed to identify two or three words occasionally. As Sean says I do attract them!
On our return back to our boat we walked past an industrial unit and perched on the high steel gates was a peacock, which I hadn’t even noticed, Sean pointed him out and said you might want to take a picture of that Viv, does that count as wild life I wonder?
So we arrive back at the boat to discover we have been locked out of the pontoon, so we perched on the front step of the Arun Yacht Club to wait…an hour later we finally manage to find someone who lent us their electronic key. On arrival back at the boat I tried to hook with the clubs electric, which for some reason didn’t work, as I said sometimes you just couldn’t make it up!
To be fair this evening we have been to the club house and inner calm has been restored by a smashing hot shower and a few little drinky poos, we also chatted to a few members, Sue, Phil and Roger. The Commodore Duncan helped us with the electric and gave us our own key….life just gets better and better….I think we will stay a few days and enjoy some more of the Arun Yacht Club hospitality.
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