The fleet are weatherbound but are keeping busy in Portsmouth

Saturday 20th May

Day 2

Position – Royal Clarence Marina, Gosport

After heavy rain overnight it was sunny start to the day for those tied up in Gosport. Sadly it did not last long, the grey clouds rolled in, the wind began to howl and gust again; a gentle reminder why we weren’t going anywhere today.

With a day to themselves some cruise participants ventured over to Gunwharf Quays on the Portsmouth side and to visit the magnificent main attraction, the Spinnaker Tower. With spectacular views across the Portmouth and the Isle of Wight they reported back that the Solent was not the place to be today. Gunwharf Quays is expecting the arrival of the BT Global Challenge yachts later this evening, as they make there one and only stop on the voyage. No doubt they will be delayed by the horrific weather.

Aboard MBM’s control boat Calm Voyager there were jobs to be done. There were boats to be fuelled (this had proved impossible yesterday), chandlery visits to be made and there was lots of tidying to be done. By midday we had encountered our first problem, we discovered that the water pump on the generator is leaking; its internal organs and pipes were saturated and covered in crystallised salt particles.

At around 4 o’clock MBM cruise leader, Neale had made the decision to stay put again tomorrow (Sunday). Although tomorrow’s weather forecast shows an improvement with a decrease in wind speed and predictions of a Force 4’s in the Channel; the winds coming from the south and a still very unsettled Channel would make for a very uncomfortable passage to Cherbourg.
Unfortunately Monday is looking worse. At the moment we are looking at Tuesday as the earliest we could take the fleet across the channel to Cherbourg. The weather seems to be steadily improving through the rest of the week and into the weekend. We are continuing to keep a close eye on the weather and will remain in close contact with the still very scattered fleet.