On our way

3 Jun

All our worldly goods...

All our worldly goods...

24-28 May 2009

We finally left home in the early hours of Sunday 24th May. After a hectic few days the large white rental van was packed and we headed south to Fleetwood. If we’d forgotten something at this stage, it was just too bad. Our main concern was the possibility of having to hold a car boot sale on the quay on Bank Holiday Monday because we couldn’t fit everything on the boat.

Happily, no sale was required. It took 2 days to unpack everything and figure out the best storage arrangements but we got there eventually…with room to spare!

The next task was to actually get out there and sail the boat. However, our plans were thwarted by rain & gales, so instead we had a couple of days discovering the delights of Fleetwood….we didn’t find them. Although the harbour staff were most obliging and friendly, the town itself has little to offer.

In its heyday, Fleetwood would have been a thriving fishing port with holiday entertainment to cater for the overspill from Blackpool. Now it seems to be mostly made up of down-at-heel cafes and bookies shops. Only 7 fishing boats are based in the port and the dock/marina area is subject to a regeneration plan. This includes the Freeport Factory Outlet Village; great if you’re looking for brand names at bargain prices. The marina facilities were under construction and nearing completion, but while we were there, the showers and loos were in an old portacabin and we eventually got the ancient washing machine working after discovering exactly how hard to kick it.

By Thursday the weather had settled, so as soon as the lock gates were open, we headed out to sea. We motored cautiously up the buoyed channel, conscious of the vast mud flats lurking under inches of water to either side of us. It took us almost an hour to reach open water, so it was a case of hoist the sails, a quick practice with the reefing system, then head back in before the lock gates closed again. If you miscalculate, you’re stuffed… the nearest place with all-tide access is the Isle of Man!

Post sail de-brief: happy ! 🙂

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