Our adventures in Taonui started in Lymington in 1996 and Taonui returned there at least eight times over the the next 17 years. So it is rather appropriate that we end our offshore sailing here. Taonui passed the purchaser's survey with flying colours and, with all the TLC before re leaving the Azores and thorough cleaning and polishing in the UK, she looked just great. It was hard for us to say goodbye, but we are happy with the prospect that her new owners, Ann and Glenn, are going to take her on more trips in the High Latitudes. She is to be re-named Gjoa, after Amundsen's ship, and Plans are to take her to the Canadian Arctic next year.
The prevailing wind along the south coast of England is westerlies, but, wouldn't you know it, we had strong east winds for all of the eight days that we took to get from Falmouth to the Solent. Perverse!! Nonetheless, we enjoyed the picturesque ports along the way...Fowey, Salcombe and Dartmouth. There reallyisn't anywhere to anchor so we were tied to buoys or pontoons, which was just fine with us as the rivers and tides run strong in these places. Passing
Plymouth we found ourselves in the middle of a nay/marines exercise with destroyers swooping around a rather strange looking pocket aircraft carrier and a series of eight boat high speed ribs roaring around. Coryn got a friendly wave from one as they hurtled by.
With the sale of Taonui complete we came up to London to do some touristy things.....Notting Hill Market on Saturday morning, two hours at the very well done Wimbeldon Tennis Museum, a matinee performance of War Horse (excellent) and, of course, the wonderful and free Museums. and the now restored historic Navy buildings and hospital at Greenwich and the nearby Royal Observatory with its display of the Harrison Clocks.
On Tuesday morning we fly to Malaga for a week's touring in around, Serville, Granada and Cordoba. After that we are off to Austria.