|Pedestal and gearbox, restored to smooth operation, ready to be refitted.|
Of course, having no steering for a few days meant that we couldn't sail anywhere so we were very lucky that friends Steve and Barbara (veterans of several sailing trips on Maunie and our previous boat across to Ireland, up to Scotland and in NZ) had booked a National Trust holiday cottage on the Isle of Wight for the week so we took the passenger ferry across to Cowes and had two lovely days doing long walks on the island.The cottage was once used by coastguard staff at the Needles, at the very western tip of the island, so we had splendid views and no shortage of wind.
|The row of coastguard cottages is just visible on the ridge at the left hand side of the photo|
|The evening light, looking down on the chalk stacks of the Needles|
|The cottages, looking back across the Solent towards the mainland|
|Another view of the Needles, from our second-day hike. The old coastguard station is now staffed by volunteers of the National Coastwatch Institute and around it are the remains of huge defensive gun emplacements from the 1870's through to WW2|
|On the south side of the Needles promontory are these huge concrete structures which were once top-secret testing bays for Blue Streak missile engines in the 1950's|
After a great couple of days with Barbara and Steve we returned to Maunie, collected niece Laura (ace crew from NZ to Vanuatu a couple of years ago), refitted the steering and headed west in gentle winds and calm seas.
|Laura back in her element|
|Maunie anchored at the far side of Lulworth Cove. The land in the distance is an Army firing range so the otherwise peaceful spot had the rattle of machine guns and the crump of artillery as a soundtrack at times|
|The amazing arch of Durdle Door, a mile to the west of Lulworth|
|For those wanting more geology details (click on the image for larger text)|
|Looking back towards Lulworth - a popular spot.|
|Approaching the Bill at slack water but still with a knot of current trying to push us south into the race|
|Rounded! The technique is to pass so close to the flat rock that you could throw a biscuit to the seagulls sitting on it.|
|Maunie's new mooring on the Dart, on a fore and aft trot mooring, alongside a 40' boat called Olive. The pontoon upstream is for visiting boats.|