As reported by Selma we left Ipswich on the 22nd August bound towards Falmouth. Gordon was back for the leg and it was great to have Rob P back with us for the Bank Holiday weekend. The plan was to sail as far as we could with Rob, drop him off somewhere en route and then crack on to Falmouth or Plymouth; the weather, amongst other things, was not entirely aligned to our plan!
We set off on Friday night and had a cracking sail across the Thames Estuary but by 0500 am on Saturday morning the wind had backed to the West and increased to well over 20 kts - 3 reefs in the main once more. The strong head winds and perky (thanks Rob) seas made progress slow and pretty wet. The contrast to 2 months before when we were heading east and had averaged 7 knots over the ground was astounding, we were now barely making 3 knots. By Saturday lunchtime it was clear that we wouldn't get beyond Southampton for Rob's drop off so we decided we would head for Lymington. The weather forecast was pretty dire anyway so whilst further delay was not great it couldn't be helped.
We pushed on and by Sunday evening were battling our way through the Looe channel just south of Chichester. Dinner beckoned, Chilli Con Carne was on the menu and so I set to and soon had the Chilli bubbling away on one hob and the boil in the bag rice on the other. At this point a particularly large wave whacked the GSB, nothing of any concern if I'd been concentrating but of course I wasn't; the result was me being thrown across the galley onto the pan of boiling water. The move from boiling the rice to boiling my arm had a spectacular effect on me as I tried to get my clothes off. Gordon and Rob hadn't seen me fall and understandably assumed that I'd finally lost the plot and gone bonkers as I manicaly started stripping off. They understood the problem when I finally got my shirt off and took a chunk of skin of my left arm off with it. We cooled the burn as best we could and agreed that a trip to A&E was the order of the day - Portsmouth was nearest and became our new destination; flexibility as ever our watch-word. Various family and friends were called for medical advice and as ever Dr Alex came up with the goods recommending that we cling film the burn; in the absence of cling film we resorted to two Tesco's freezer bags and half a roll of insulation tape.
By now the burn was blistered with yellow stuff oozing out from under the freezer bag, we weren't entirely sure whether this was good or bad but we were comforted by the thought that at least it would be kept fresh. Not much more could be done so we dished up what was left of the dinner and a few hours later were moored up in Hasler Marina.
A quick trip to Portsmouth A&E (personal note - don't attend Portsmouth A&E on a Sunday Bank Holiday) I was bandaged up and told to come back the next day - the main risk was infection and that would remain for at least a week; not great considering we planned to leave the UK in a few days. Another rethink was required!
By the next morning we had a new plan which was to move the boat round to Southampton, let my arm and the weather settle down for a few days and then set off for Spain straight from Shamrock Quay. The hospital had put me on a course of antibiotics so hopefully that would deal with any infection. We duly moved the boat round that day and Rob and Gordon said their goodbyes after an eventful few days of sailing. Great crew and our thanks for looking after Capt and ship. We weren't in Falmouth but we were further west than a few days before and moving slowly towards Spain.