Farewell Eastbourne. I was wrong about the Rhinestones. The ultimate accessory here is a bull terrier, with matching tattoos.
Jean says: Today makes it exactly twelve weeks since we set off from Lymington on the 16th April.
This is our penultimate day of circumnavigating Britain. We could see the pale grey shadow of the Isle of Wight as we went South of Selsey Bill and the Owers shoals. Ted Heath's nephew was killed here gales in 1973, sailing Morning Cloud. The conditions today have been a lot less threatening, we still chose to go South of the shoals to be on the safe side. although it had been touching a force six when we set of at half past six this morning, the rest of the day was a consistent force four to five.
Sue and Richard and a lovely surprise for us. They were going to come and meet us on their new superboat 'Violet'. We considered meeting in Cowes, but that would have meant a fifteen hour journey for us, so we all decided that Itchenor was going to work better. The conditions were right for us to cross the shallow bar at the entrance to Chichester harbour, and leave at the right time the following day. We arrived in Itchenor at 18.00 to the warmest of welcomes. Violet was sporting a welcome home banner, and Sue and Richard had a bottle of Union Jack cold champagne at the ready. We were very touched!!! We sat on deck for a while in the sun drinking the champers and nibbling nibbles and then dinghied off to the pub for dinner. We hadn't seen them for three months, so we had a lot of catching up to do, and there was a lot of boat talk.
Here are Sue and Richard waiting for us on the lovely Violet.
Tomorrow, we'll be sailing back into Lymington and will finally close the circle round mainland Britain. We'll be flying some Union Jack bunting, (Poundstretcher Ramsgate 99p), but it's made of paper, so it better not rain. It's both strange and familiar to be in this area.