After a late flight on Monday evening it was an early wakeup call the next morning to make our way to Haslar Marina in Gosport where we were greeted by Mike Morgan and his wife Debbie. Mike is the CEO of PeopleValue who donated the 1st place prize.
At around 10am the day got off to the best possible start with bacon sarnies for everyone on the top deck of ‘Be Cool’, our sailing yacht for the day which was a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 39 for any boat fans out there! The weather at this point was a little overcast and threatening rain, but this wasn’t about to dampen our spirits as the forecast looked more promising later in the day.
So, after the all-important safety briefing and fitting of life jackets, it was time to set sail! We used engine power to carefully navigate out of the busy marina and into the Solent. Once out in the open, it was time to turn off the engine and ready the sails for some hands on sailing! Mike and Debbie were extremely knowledgeable and under their tutelage we were able to assist with the ‘tacking’ of the boat. We were taught all about keeping the wind in the sails, a portside tack, starboard tack and most importantly, how to avoid a luff! Boat lingo is the best.
After all that excitement, the wind began to settle and the clouds magically disappeared. As we headed towards the Isle of Wight you could have been forgiven for thinking we were sailing in the Med! With the loss of wind, it was back to engine power as we made our way to The Folly Inn in East Cowes on the Isle of Wight, our destination for lunch! Mike radio’d the Folly to secure a berth and within minutes we were in a water taxi!
After a glorious al fresco lunch it was time to return to ‘Be Cool’ and make our way back to Haslar Marina. Due to the distinct lack of wind, it was pretty much engine power all of the way back. I had the pleasure of sailing the boat for 99% of the return journey whilst my fellow crew-mates whipped out the factor 30 and sunned it up on the top deck! Nice work if you can get it.
As we approached Gosport there was added excitement when the Ryde to Southsea passenger Hovercraft zoomed right past us and caused a few waves! It was fascinating to learn that this is the world’s only year round passenger service.
At around 6pm Mike and Debbie carefully guided the boat back into its berth and it was time to say our goodbye’s. We all had such a fantastic day and have been raving about it to anyone who will listen ever since!