We help the army

There is a bump. I wake up and look out of the boat, half expecting another boat to have collided with us. Nothing, although there is a new boat has appeared during the night and anchored not far away from us. We had heard stories of people smugglers using Lulworth Cove as a secluded spot to deposit their cargo after a fast trip from France in the early morning, but this boat doesn’t look like one of those.

It has been a rough night. The wind had gone around to the north at some point and had strengthened. Rather than being sheltered from northerly winds in Lulworth Cove as one might expect, it seems to act as a funnel instead. I had checked our position a couple of times during the night and we had seemed fine, but when I check the chart-plotter now I see that we have definitely moved from where we had anchored the night before. It seems the anchor has dragged, and we are closer to the rocks at the entrance to the Cove now. We decide to leave now rather than trying to re-anchor.

The anchor had dragged in the night somehow.

By the time we reach Weymouth, the sun comes out, and the town looks welcoming and cheerful. Even the harbour master  on the VHF sounds friendly when we call him to tell him of our arrival. The sun always seems to have that effect for me. To reach the marina, we must pass under a traffic bridge that lifts up every two hours. We are instructed to tie up temporarily to a holding pontoon and await the next time of lifting, which just happens to be in a half-an-hour or so.

Coming into Weymouth harbour.

Just as we moor, we are accosted by a group of fit looking individuals who tell us that they are army cadets taking part in a competition and one of the challenges they have been told to do is to find a yacht and pose for a photograph with the owners. Would we mind? And we mustn’t allow any of the other teams to do the same. Momentarily thinking it might be a hoax and looking around for the hidden cameras, we don’t have the heart to refuse, and let them clamber on to Ruby Tuesday for their photo. Then just as they thank us and leave, a second team arrives with the same request. The word has clearly got around, and another and then another team arrives. Five teams in all. By this stage we are wondering if there is anyone left in the British Army that is defending the country, but it is all a bit of fun and we agree. At least we have done our bit for the morale of the troops.

The army have their photos taken on a yacht.

Eventually, a bell rings and the imminent lifting of the bridge is announced, so we need to focus our attention elsewhere. The traffic stops, the bridge lifts, boats coming out sail through, then it is our turn. We have arrived in the marina.

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