On the home straight now, the fleet make their way back to Weymouth

Saturday 22nd July

Day 15

Position – Customs House Quay, Weymouth

50°36′.453 N 002° 27.057 W

It was an early, 0500hrs alarm call for the MBM team aboard Calm Voyager. Salcombe was still and the sun sparkled on the water as it rose above the horizon.

Today the remaining 24 boats will make for Weymouth. A quick weather check and announcement by Neale and the fleet was ‘good to go’. Broom 33 ‘Solemate’ this time was the first to leave, as they were going to make a slower speed due to engine troubles. Solemate were closely followed by the rib ‘Time Flies with Rob and Jon aboard, again their mission to get ahead and access the sea conditions. As suspected the day prior, the battery situation aboard the Corvette 320 ‘Kalives’ was in serious decline. It’s owner Stuart was unable to run any of his navigation equipment and had to play tag with ‘Penny Lane’ the Fairline Turbo 36.

Despite the murky and slightly eerie conditions at sea, marine life seemed to be in abundance. Passage buddies ‘Penny Lane’ and ‘Kalives’ spotted a large pod of dolphins close to the track across Lyme Bay. Later on the Grand Banks ‘Lazy Days’ and Penny Lane reported seeing a large whale, they said it was ‘Amazing!’ and ‘it was far too big to be anything else’. MBM’s lead boat ‘Calm Voyager’ reported seeing two lone basking sharks, trawling close to the surface, earlier on in the passage too.

When the fleet were nearing Portland Bill, as discussed with the MBM team the night before, the three brooms, ‘Hawksbill’, ‘Jogalong’ and ‘Jomima’ decided peal off towards the Solent. Later on they reported back they had been hit by squalls and a thunderstorm, were a little damp from the experience but safely in port. At the time there were numerous calls to the Coastguard on channel 16 by yachts that had been knocked down suddenly by squalls.

After a mad dash for water hoses and electricity, the fleet was happily installed into Weymouth by lunchtime, by this time the sun had finally broken through the clouds, turning into a lovely afternoon.

Look out for the full postcard report in the October issue