Day 35, Saturday 30th June, 2018…. Rest Day in Neyland…..the German connection and then the disconnection!!

Saturday was another “heat wave” type day… dry, blue skies and very very warm. The previous evening, some hours after our arrival a German flagged Halberg Rassey 37 blue and white sailing yacht came in and berthed next door to us. Mike and I raced round to help when we saw it was a couple…. the lady on deck ready with her mooring line and gentleman on the helm. We assisted with mooring up and they were very grateful. They had sailed directly across the Bristol Channel from Padstow in Cornwall to Neyland in Pembrokeshire, West Wales….they said over 70 n.miles, 10 hours and very tiring.

Saturday morning T washed and scrubbed all the salt off the boat following a very nice full English breakfast at the Marina downstairs cafe…. where we sat outside under an umbrella. Mike walked into the town/village of Neyland which was above on the hillside overlooking the marina. He had a special haircut in the barbers there and did some victualling for the boat.

In his absence I noticed the German couple sitting in their cockpit with the big heavy Reeds Nautical almanac and various sets of blue Admiralty tidal stream atlas’s. Intense discussions and note taking were evident. I had previously made conversation with them both…. Erlich and Margaret… and discovered they were enroute to Ireland. They asked me if I knew the way!!!

I offered to come over to their boat and assist. This I did …. so we put away the Reeds ( it weighs a ton ) and the Admiralty tidal stream atlas collection…. sat in their saloon and demonstrated that by using a very simple phone/i-pad app called “Boatie” you could interrogate tidal streams very accurately…. which we proceeded to do.

Having established that they wanted to go to Kilmore Quay in Ireland… we also worked out the optimum time to depart Neyland in order to have as much of the tide pushing you there…. this turned out to be 6am Sunday departure from Milford Haven. It took five minutes… and so they shelved Reeds and the Admiralty in their very nice saloon.

When I first aquired “Boatie” I got the app free… Margaret the German lady had to pay £7.99 to down load it to her i-pad. Still a bargain and an invaluable aid to navigation. The couple offered coffee or beer or both in return. It was boiling hot… so I said maybe later and returned to getting huge salt crystals off the Oxford blue gel coat. What they did tell me though was that they would have to go  to the fuel berth later before 1pm to get diesel for their trip to Ireland on Sunday. I said we would assist their return mooring.

Mike returned and we got the dinghy off the back of our boat… and by pulling it along the sides of Poli Poli, we inspected the hull and managed to get off all the weed that had accumulated around the tops of our two rudders ( remembering the nasty long thin weed we had bought back from the Scilly Isles !).

Returning on deck we noted that the German 37 footer Halberg was slowly reversing out of her berth. Then we heard a huge “crack” noise…. and noticed that their yellow shore power line from the boat to the pontoon unit had not been disconnected on departure. So “snap”… the yellow cable came away from the pontoon unit with half the plastic connector. There were other bystanders who watched in horror too. Erlich managed to stop his boat and the yellow cable was retrieved from the water. A horrible thing to happen to anyone.

At the fuel berth Erlich and Margaret managed to buy a new shore power connector plug …. so he spent the rest of the day in his cockpit rewiring his shore power cable. I give both of them their due, they were in the eighties… so all respect to them. They had sailed all over Europe and Margaret had sailed the Atlantic. Anybody can forget to unplug the shore power on departure. Good on them for sorting it out afterwards!

Saturday ended with a walk along to the Neyland Yacht Club  and a nice meal to finish the day. Back to the boat…. early to bed…. plan was to get up at 4am.. showers etc and depart for Ireland by 6am. The Germans were going to follow us. They had said the previous evening… if they were not up, please bang on the hull !! In the event… they were up and ready to go.

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