We popped down to see our family Sabre 27 boat for the first time this year after Covid Lock Down as we didn’t want to / couldn’t travel and Royal Clarence Marina was shut for safety. We stacked the car full of the over winter cushions we’d been storing in the dry and spent a couple of relaxing nights on board.
As it was the first time anyone had been down, there were a number of jobs to turn out hands too. Whilst it rained one of the evenings and the kids complained of a leaky window or two, it meant checking the bilges was one of the first jobs! The almost 50 year old boat is always showing its age and catching water in the bilges is certainly one of them. We have an onboard bilge pump we use which removed 4 buckets full of water (!) though we have now in stock a manual hand pump we could of used.
For the first time overnight, we brought our Border Collie, Molly on board so once we’d prepared the boat, we decided to explore and give her a run around. We mapped out a walk of approximately 10km which would take in the historic dockyards and museums, past the prison, Gillicker at the start of Stokes Bay and along the beach before returning.
First off was a hearty brunch, so we stopped off early at a cafe by Haslam marina called The Boathouse where we were served some great bacon sarnies and friendly service to boot – in fairness maybe more attention to Molly! We then carried on past the Gosport ferry to Portsmouth, the submarine museum and towards Stokes Bay, where we’d never been before.
First off was a view of Fort Gilkicker from land as we’d only seen it from our boat whilst navigating the extra choppy welcome to that area. Molly loved getting into the sea and we carried our walk along the front to Stokes Bay and had a cream tea!
After some stick throwing in the park by the sailing club, we made our way back (not quite as per the map above) and via Alverstoke, stoke Lake and the playing fields. It really was an unexpected pleasure seeing the lakes and inlets and we were quite jealous of the local residents who were out on this warm day sun bathing, swimming, kayaking and more.
This round walk of around 10km was very pleasant and we’ll do it again as soon as Covid allows! Even Molly was tired.