The Hamble and the Royal Southern Yacht Club turned out to be an excellent stopover – and Tim (OCC Port Officer) was a tremendous help in securing a berth at a very good rate for us and ensuring we had everything we needed.
We cycled up to the Southampton Boat show and met the OCC crowd (John, Jenny, Rachel and Tony) once again and also visited various vendors – and spent a little too much!
What we really needed was confirmation from Sevenstar Yacht Transport of when Toodle-oo! was to be loaded and was she really going to Newport (as opposed to Baltimore as originally thought). Our answer came on Monday that we’d be loaded on Tuesday morning and would be sailing for Newport! – so we finished preparing her for shipment – removing sails, canvas and generally packing everything away.
On Tuesday morning we motored up to the ship and tied up alongside and watched a big power boat get lifted up. Our turn next – and it went as smooth as clockwork I’m pleased to report. Before saying goodbye to the ship and hello to a rental car, I confirmed with one of the crew that yes indeed the next port of call is Newport, with anticipated 12 day voyage…
Now where? We have about 5 days before our flights out of the UK – me to India, Laurie back to the US to receive the boat. Hell, let’s go visit Stonehenge!
OK, now where? Oh – let’s go and climb Snowdon – highest mountain in Wales. So we did!
After Snowdon, we drove into Llanberis and found ourselves at a large old Hotel and were in the bar preparing for our dinner reservations when I got an email from Sevenstar. The ship is headed for Baltimore instead of Newport! This, 24 hours after she sailed out of Southampton!! Furious does not begin to cover how we feel – but we both know that the contract that we signed was so one sided that in reality they could drop her in Australia and we would have no comeback!
We started emailing around to locate a possible captain to meet Toodle-oo! and bring her to a suitable mooring – all rather difficult at short notice.
We headed north to Steve and Sue’s which we’d use as a base for the last couple of days in the UK – and from where we’d head to Leeds to meet sister Kate for lunch. Husband Dustin was recently diagnosed with Leukemia and has just undergone a massive chemo treatment. It was while waiting for Kate at the designated meeting spot that we got another email… The ship is going to Newport after Baltimore!!! Obviously this is great news – if we can really believe it – but it rather begs the question can Sevenstar plan their way out of a wet paper bag???
We’ve not heard any further information from Sevenstar – so today, our last full day, we’re headed off to see other sister – Ann – again for lunch! Yes, waistbands are once again expanding!!!
An interesting last week methinks!