At the end of our first sail we edged carefully back to our berth to find Alan there ready to catch our lines. Alan and his wife Sheila are the couple who sold us Lyra, then Beebok. They are a lovely couple, both perfectionists and very generous, the ideal people to buy a boat from. They have gone over to the dark side and bought a motor yacht. A rather smart one, as we were about to discover, for Alan had come to invite us over for drinks.
I had never been on a motor boat before, not even on one of our annual visits to the Southampton boat show, the spaciousness was amazing, the layout an unfolding mystery. We sat in the sumptuous deck saloon with such a panoramic view from the large windows, it was like being on deck in warmer climes. We drank wine and chatted, exchanging stories and recommendations, losing all track of time. Sheila then kindly asked us to stay to dinner, mushroom rissoto – a particular favourite of mine, and yummy smoked salmon. We had a lovely evening and wobbled home along the pontoon to sleep soundly.
The following morning Alan and Sheila came over to sail out with us and help us master the in mast furling and sort out a twist we had developed the previous day. It was a fine day with light wind and slight seas, so in contrast to the previous evening everyone was out. The Solent was a carnival of craft great and small, with a couple of beautiful classic sailing boats. With their help we sorted out the twist by contorted manoeuvres and a lot of flapping of sail, with Alan and John adjusting tensions and Sheila changing course. We learned an awful lot in a short time, after which Alan quietly sorted out differences he had noticed with the rigging, so that when they left us we were very ship shape. I went round taking close up photographs to remind us the details for the future.
We hope to return their hospitality in the near future.