30th October: Accepting Reality!

So I gave up for the year and took the sails off Seatern! From mid-September onwards we have had some rain almost every day but the last couple of days had been dry. Having checked that the mainsail and jib were dry, I stored them in the shed; the mizzen was already there having been taken off before a forecast period of gales. It seems a shame when I’ve hardly sailed Seatern at all this year but there was more rain forecast and a potential period of storm force winds over the weekend. If the forecast is for force 9 or above I prefer to at least take the boom and mainsail pack off Seatern so that she sits more comfortably at the jetty.

As it turned out the weather in Southampton on Saturday 2nd November was not as bad as the forecast suggested. There was a surge of about 0.6m on top of a 4.4m tide. This is evident in the photo, taken at about 0940 when the winds were gusting 40 kts and Seatern should not have been afloat yet!

I was meant to be at Lepe for a whole day (1000 to 1600) because I was signed on for the afternoon watch but we were also lacking a second watchkeeper for the morning watch. I was in uniform and ready to go out there when I got a phone call to say that the Country Park was completely closed because of the weather forecast. I must admit I was a bit relieved – I don’t mind the rain and wind but I don’t totally trust the pine trees above the Station to stay upright in a violent storm! Presumably one of the reasons they closed the park. When it’s windy they close the children’s play area because of the falling pine cones!