Southampton Boat Show

We left Goodwood damp and bedraggled. On thing you can say about the British climate – it’s unpredictable.

Sunday was very hot and sunny, very windy and cold and for a while monsoon like. Well monsoon like if they had a monsoon season in the Arctic! Thankfully, we were enjoying a late lunch when the heavens opened.

But we did get caught by a mischievous ‘shower’ on the way back to the car. The journey from Goodwood to Southampton was under a dark, heavy sky with spray initially making driving particularly unpleasant. By the time we arrived in Southampton and checked into the Holiday Inn the rain had stopped but the threatening sky remained. Not a good omen for the England v Australia one day cricket match the next day.

The Holiday Inn Express, just off junction 7 of M27, is very pleasant with reasonable food. The beer unfortunately is typical chain hotel fare – flat and uninspiring!

The next day dawned dry with intermittent sunshine during the morning. We arrived at the boatshow at about 1000 and trudged around pontoons, tents and stalls until 1800. Second Mate was particularly taken by two boats, the Linssen Sturdy and the Aquastar 42′ Panoramic. She wasn’t too enamoured with the Linssen top speed of 9kts remembering our dash back to Padstow a month earlier. They are both beautiful boats with great sea keeping reputations, true live aboard capability and fantastic build quality – the joinery is particularly impressive.

A gentleman called Tony was showing people around the Aquastar. He keeps his own boat in Mayflower Marina, Plymouth and remembered Skooty Alan from our visit to Mayflower last month. As we were leaving the boat another couple stepped into the cockpit and overheard the end of our conversation. The new entrant promptly asked me if I was the guy writing THE blog on circumnavigating the UK! Fame!!! At this point Second Mate dragged me away from the scene, apparently my head was growing visibly and I was in danger of taking root and pontificating for the rest of the day! But, I am very grateful to my reader from Suffolk and his kind comments!

We were tired after all the walking at Goodwood, so another day of ambling around the boatshow meant an early night was definitely on the cards. The next morning I left for a second day at the boatshow. Second Mate had enjoyed the first day so much that she went birdwatching!

The weather was greyer and then the rain started, a light but persistent drizzle. I was chatting to the guys on the Beneteau motorboats stand when the drizzle became torrential. It continued to rain for most of the day and the boatshow customers thinned out noticeably…

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This is the Sunseeker stand. On the Monday it was heaving, on the Tuesday it looks a little forlorn. The enormous video screen showing their boats in warmer climes being particularly ironic.

I found the perfect antidote to the weather. I sampled some of the malts on the Bowmore stand and felt much better! Although, I did end up buying two bottles. I also bought a WiFI/3G network system for the boat from WiFi Onboard – at a very competitive price. Now to see if I can get it working! After 43 years in the IT industry it should be possible! More on my IT experience in a moment!!!

After Southampton we headed off to Portland to overnight on Skooty Alan and check how the warranty work was coming on. We arrived about 2030, ate at the Cove Inn and trekked down a very cold and windswept pontoon about 2130. We suffered two episodes of Howard’s Way and then headed for bed!

Next morning was bright but cool with the Portland breeze reminding you that autumn is on the way.

Early morning tea delivered but no First Mate to walk today. A morning of chores followed by a chat with Tim and Scotty. A bacon sandwich in the Boat on the Rocks and an update from Nick on progress with Skooty Alan issues and we are done. Just the matter of 330 miles to cover on the way home. We leave at about 1230 and arrive home at 1930, a long day.

We unpacked and had a snack. I then had a phone call from Jex saying she thinks my email has been hacked. She is correct, most of my contacts have had an email beseeching them to forward me emergency funds. Not a bad idea if the money was coming to me, but of course it wouldn’t be! I knew immediately how it had happened, a fake BT email asking me to upgrade my software. It was clever but I should have been more suspicious than I was. I tidied up my email; removed the mail diversion and copying tricks; changed my password and security question. My Contacts file and Sent Mail file had been deleted. I spent until 2am recreating, as best I could, my contacts list but the Sent Mail has gone to that great hacking toilet in the sky. Bloody hackers!

A big chunk of Thursday was spent changing all my online passwords, just in case. It’s amazing how many passwords I found I have. I’m sure I have overreacted but it seems a small price to pay for the security and I probably deserve all the work for the complacency.

So, my Thursday plans were put on hold until Friday. This morning I discovered one of the pumps in the pond has packed up. So, today was spent removing the offending pump from the pond, packing it securely and posting it back to Oase. Their customer service is usually excellent and I hope to get a replacement soon. However, my plans for both Thursday and Friday have now slipped.

Will these statistics ever get published? Well not until I have had a play with the new WiFi /3G kit!

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