Monday, 17 August 2015

Fastnet!

My brother-in-law is currently crewing Challenger 2 in the Fastnet race which goes from Cowes on the Isle of Wight, round the Fastnet rock off Cork on the West Coast of Ireland and finishes in Plymouth.

It takes about 5 days and at the moment they're operating a 6 hours on, 6 hours off by day, and 4 hours on, 4 hours off by night system. He is going to be knackered by the time they reach Plymouth!

356 boats set off from Cowes yesterday, passing Hurst Castle between 3 and 4pm. It was a slow start due to almost no wind, but things suddenly picked up and soon the boats were racing past. Hundreds of people had either taken the little ferry to the Castle or walked along the spit and were all waving and cheering the boats on as they sailed through the narrow strip of water between the Island and the Castle, past the Needles and out into the Channel.






The Fastnet started in 1925 and runs every two years and it attracts huge numbers of boats and supporters. My BIL said Friday night got a bit messy with too many Cocktails consumed :o) By complete coincidence, my sis in law is in Cork (Castletownshend)  and sent us a pic of the Fastnet rock she'd taken on Friday. It was in the distance so I haven't uploaded it.









Challenger 2 was some way behind the others, and the boys amused themselves during the wait by building stone towers to knock down with pebbles. Of course, once their father noticed there were three boys playing the stone game, narrowly missing people walking by :o)




Some Dog People found the whole thing exhausting...



I went looking for butterflies and found a pile of Common Blues, Small Skips and Meadow Browns on the thistles, as well as Ladybirds and Bees. As usual, it amazed me the number of people who just walked straight past and never noticed this busy little collection of wildlife right beneath their noses....







My Bro in law has his mobile with him and as the Challenger Ships finally came into sight we were able to ring and have a chat with him. He managed to spot us on the shore. Largely because we were all shouting, waving and jumping up and down like idiots :o)








And then they were gone, heading out to sea and Ireland. It was a fantastic sight and I'm glad we had the chance to go and support him. At the moment, they aren't lying in last place because another boat got stuck on what we presumed was a sand bank and the poor things have limped back to Southampton. You can follow progress here if you're interested.

Hope all are well? We're in the middle of Birthday Celebrations here. Talking of which, I must go and put a bottle of bubbles in the freezer before the Grannies arrive....

CT :o)















 

42 comments:

  1. I'm absolutely green with envy (not the result of cocktails)!
    Best of luck to Challenger 2,wishing you calm seas,but wind in your sails.
    Jane x

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    1. All going well- nearly got pushed back by unkind winds but they dropped anchor and sorted it out. Phew! It's all go.... xx

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    2. Aaaaaaargh...they dropped two places!
      Jane x

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    3. Just had msg- wind back up and now good progress is being made :o) xx

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    4. Back before expected- a good run down with the wind broadly in the right place! Phew xx

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  2. That's just staggering, one of my earliest news memories is the 79 (or 81) Fastnet race coming to grief. But those boats are beautiful.

    I too am astonished by folk missing nature. Watched a guy on the cycle path walk 6 feet from a kingfisher, a kingfisher that wouldn't let me get anywhere near as near!

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    1. I got surprisingly caught up by the excitement of it all, being a non-sailing person :o)

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  3. FAbulous that you were able to see the race taking off and your borther in law on deck. I wish them safetly and a winning spirit. Loved all the butterflies etc you found. yes people generally do not se these things.

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    1. They are past the Lizard now and out into open sea, I believe, heading your way! (sort of) :o)

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  4. Lovely blue skies, light breezes and glorious wildlife in your photos - what;s not to like?

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  5. How exciting, I hope he enjoys it. I know what you mean about people not noticing wildlife. I used to see cormorants sometimes when I worked in central Bristol. People were walking past completely oblivious, I always wanted to shout, "LOOK, CORMORANTS!!!" Love your photos of the yachts, I like to watch them a lot. Not sure I'd be a very good sailor though. CJ xx

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    1. He's very bonny so far :o)

      I would have shouted 'Look! Cormorants!' too :o) xx

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    2. Knew you would, knew you would. Can I just ask, was it you who mentioned a place where we should register hedgehog sightings? I've been looking and looking and I can't find it now. Saw a friend today who has a lovely big hedgehog visitor regularly in her garden, and I said I'd send her the link. CJ xx

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    3. Hi CJ, sorry for late reply. It may well have been me (sounds like something I would do!). I found this on line where you can register sightings: http://www.hedgehogstreet.org/ xx

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  6. Happy Birthday to the celebrators of birthdays! I hope that the race goes really well for your BIL and that his boat moves up to first place!! xx

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    1. Thanks, Amy :o) I think if they come in in first place they will all fall over in shock! A safe and competent race will be a relief for all of us xx

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  7. Looks chaotic yet very exciting CT. As you know I love the sea and the idea of skimming over the waves in such beautiful boats driven only by the wind......ooohhh shivers and goosebumps and a touch of envy to boot.

    It does make me shake my head watching people in blissful ignorance as they stroll past wildlife right under their noses. To preoccupied with getting on with life instead living life m'thinks.

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  8. What a fantastic thing to doooo! ( not that you'd ever get me on a yacht! ( sharks)Ace photos.

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  9. I love that slice of water between Hurst Castle and the Island. You feel on a calm day it is swimable. What a good vantage point to watch from. My dad and brother used to sail in the Fastnet race. We also saw the America's Cup fleet at Portsmouth at the end of last month from the water. I find it amazing the recent interest in watching sailing, I guess it's down to the wonderful televised coverage of the Olympics from Weymouth. What is it about males and throwing? I could be looking at a photo of my husband and son. A good one we used to play was to throw a tennis ball as hard as you can against a cliff face (on an empty Cornish beach of course) and try and anticipate its trajectory. Good 'catching in the slips' practice! Enjoy the rest of your holiday. I'm missing being beside the sea.

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    1. M has plans to swim it, one day.... :o)

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  10. I really can't remember commenting yesterday so forgive me if I already have :) What great fun to take part in something like that, it looks huge fun, love that you were waving madly & he spotted you. I was very blessed yesterday morning whilst walking through a concrete jungle for a swallowtail to whizz by. I tried to chase it but had to give up! xx

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  11. The Fastnet used to be called the tear drop of Ireland as it was the last bit of home a lot of Irish saw as they sailed to America.

    Dad was a keen sailor, used to sail in the royal artillery yacht, which I think was called Barbara, as she is the patron saint of artillery. Yes gunners have a patron saint! Apparently one of the more warlike popes was besieged in Rome and his artillery knocked down a church, dedicated to St Barbara. He was obliged to rebuild it and ever since Barbara has kept an eye on the artillery.

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    1. Fascinating stuff, I didn't know any of that.

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  12. Lovely post and photos capturing the excitement and action of it all :) Good to get a reminder of Hurst Castle and the IofW too :)

    Hope you all had a good day yesterday celebrating birthdays.

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    1. Lovely day yesterday thanks. Getting regular race updates from the boat too :o)

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  13. Wonderful and exciting thing to watch, and wildlife to...
    Amanda xx

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    1. It was great seeing them all woosh past. Some are already past the fastnet rock and heading for Plymouth :o)

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  14. Shingle beaches and wooden breaks.. bring back good memories of Summer spent in East Sussex on the beach at Bexhil...my grandparents lived in the most beautiful house there. My love of water, antiques and vintage kitchenware stems from those days. My '3 desserts' grandmother (every Sunday lunch...3 puddings) had lovely kitchen gadgets (now vintage) and every day (when we were there for the summer) she would bring lunch and afternoon tea...in two labelled picnic cases (made by my grandfather) for us to consume so we didnt have to leave the beach. Choc Brownies were THE best.
    Water, sea, sailing, sun and sand is in my blood...love love your photos and your blog....
    Thank you...Sally from Oz. xxxx

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    1. I know Bexhill! Grew up in East Sussex :o) xx

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  15. Great post - pity they don't come past us in Hastings! Still, we see plenty of interesting shipping passing our windows, the telescope is on constant stand-by.

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    1. I bet it's great to be able to do that :o)

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  16. Great images of a spectacular event...and a bit of wildlife too!

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    1. It was quite something to watch them all go by :o)

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  17. Wonderful seeing all those boats reminds me of the Olympics. I smiled at you wandering off to look at the wildlife! I see that they have reached Ireland hope they don't have a choppy ride back to Plymouth! Sarah x

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    1. I find it hard to keep my attention away from wild things for very long :o) xx

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  18. that's VERY exciting stuff!! wow!! i find being on water rather unpleasant so i can't imagine racing at great speeds -- my admiration for those who do is rather huge! xo

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    1. Me too- am a by the water sort of girl, but do love the sea so xx

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x