Woah! As we walked out of Lee-on-Solent and into Stubbington a bit of a weather front seemed to move in – time to head inside for some lunch!
The clouds threatened us with their dark despondency as we ate our lunch, but failed to deliver on their threat. As we emerged from the pub with full bellies and renewed determination, the weather front dissipated and fled before us.
At the far end of Stubbington we reached Hill Head Harbour. A few dinghies played around within the confines of the harbour walls, but none seemed to venture out into the open sea. I wonder why not?
There is surely an answer as to why these boats did not head out into open waters, but don’t ask me – for I am not a sailor. The last time I went out in a boat happened to be in The Solent, the very waters we were now looking at. It was about 18 years ago. It was a day for entertaining clients and I was a graduate in my firm. I went out with my team leader, Guy, who was a keen sailor and owned a yacht. Joining him were couple of colleagues and a couple of clients. I became tremendously seasick in the choppy waters.
“Nic,” said Guy, “You’re looking a bit rough.”
“Take the wheel and stare at the horizon,” said Guy. “It will make you feel better”.
I am sure that this would have worked five minutes beforehand, but I had passed the point of no return. Guy realised this.
“Nic!” he said, with slightly more urgency in his voice now, “If you are going to be sick then go over this side of the boat”. He pointed through his body which stood in the way. “Don’t go over that side because the wind’s blowing in the wrong direction!” He gestured in the opposite direction to the clear passage before me.
It was too late. I couldn’t wait for him to get out of the way. I dashed for the wrong side of the boat, reached the rail, shoved a client out of the way and violently threw up into the waiting wind. With a grace and artistic beauty not usually associated with recently dispatched stomach contents it was picked up by the wind and thrown it into the client I had just barged out of the way.
The feeling of nausea left me and was rapidly replaced with the feeling of abject horror. It was one of those career-defining moments.
My client looked down at his spattered legs and deck shoes. He looked up and into my horror-stricken eyes. Then he laughed. Good old Dorrien! We became quite good friends. I moved on eventually and it occurs to me that I haven’t seen him now in ten years or so. I should really give him a call. It’s been ages since I had a good empty…
Points on this part of the walk (copy and paste the co-ordinates into Google Earth):
- The Osborne View (Pub Lunch): N 50° 48.999 W 001° 13.993
- Hill Head Harbour: N 50° 49.080 W 001° 14.593
Walk #66 Statistics (of which this post forms the tenth part):
- Date of Walk: 19 February 2014
- Walk #66 total distance covered: 15.29 miles
- Coast of Britain Walk Total Distance Covered: 554.05 miles
- CLICK HERE FOR LINK TO INTERACTIVE MAP!!!