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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Bridgend
    Posts
    157

    Default Bank Holiday Weekend

    So what did you do?

    Bev and I took Lizzy D up to Portishead for our first overnighter of the year. (I know - we're definitely fair weather sailors.) Our dog Kaiser came too. I love Portishead. There's a few nice pubs there and a cracking Indian called Ghandi's. We set off at about 15:00 and had bit of a bumpy ride up with the wind on the port bow, and a couple of cans of Strongbow to help things along. The weather looked dodgy all the way there, but three hours later, we were making our way into the lock at the marina. £15.50 later, we were tied up, locked up and on our way into town. We took our dog with us and the sea air always tires him out. So when we went to the Plough on the main road in Portishead, I asked Bev to enquire whether it would be OK to go in with him, as he'd probably just sleep anyway. The landlady, who's name I don't know, allowed him and me in from the cold and because we were warm and comfy, we stayed there until 22:30. We went to Ghandi's which is just next door and I was tipsy and feeling brave, so I ordered a Chicken Phall. When we got back to the boat thanks to a very understanding taxi driver (well, would you take two drunks, a dog, and a bag of indian food in your car?) the heat from the chicken phall almost sobered me up.

    The following morning, we had planned to take the 07:30 lock out of Portishead to go to Bristol. However, since we didn't wake 'til 09:00, we realised that we'd never get there in time and decided to stay at Portishead for a second night. Then my backside went into labour and on returning from the toilet block in the marina (my profound apologies to the cleaner) I was given a stern reprimand and told that I was never to eat that again. I accepted this in good grace and we set out for our first walk of the day.

    Near the marina and on the sea front is the pub called the Royal. The beer garden is being done out this year and the grass replaced by a nice flat patio area. Behind the pub we walked along the road which brought us out by the Battery Point lighthouse. The view is stunning and I can't believe we never been there before. We looked at the memorial stone dedicated to all of the merchant sailors who have passed within yards of this point, some of whom have never returned, and reflected on what they have been through, particularly during the war years.

    From there, we walked along the bay area near to the beach and then into the town. The White Hart pub near the roundabout has some seats outside so we had a break there before heading back to the boat for something to eat. The dog was spoiled with speacial treats from the pet shop bought especially for the trip, and I was spoilt with smoked ham, cheese, crusty bread, hot chicken wings and red wine. (I bloody love sailing me!)

    We decided that another walk was in order, and although neither of us said it, we knew that if we didn't do something constructive, we'd only end up getting into a state in one of the Portishead pubs. So it was back to the town centre, and this time, we walked passed all of the shops (and pubs believe it or not) and discovered another hostelry called the Albion.

    We sat outside in the sunshine drinking bottled Bulmers cider when we noticed that on a Monday to Wednesday, they do two meals for £8.00 before 17:00. Not always convenient in the sailing agenda, but worth remembering. The food that the other customers were having looked lovely, so when we eventually do give it a try, I'll give you a critique.

    We headed back to the town and went to a very unusual pub called the Phoenix. If you look at their roof, they have a Phoenix in stone on their ridge. It is unusual in that it looks a bit like you've walked into someone's living room. It has a lovely garden which is kept that way thanks to the hard work of the owners Monica and Tony. (Tony is a real character with amazing tales about his life and times in Portishead, and there is a story behind the pub name too.) Cider and sun certainly has a way of making you feel relaxed and we decided to stroll around the corner, back to the dog-friendly Plough, where the landlady got a bowl of water for Kaiser as we walked through the door. We stayed there until about 21:30 this time and headed back to the boat before we fell asleep in the bar. What we did notice about all of the pubs is that people were smoking. I'd forgotten that they haven't had their smoking ban imposed yet and the difference is quite remarkable.

    When we got back to the boat, our tiredness had exagerrated how cold we felt so I hooked up to a nearby electrical post and ran the fan heater for 10 minutes. 10 minutes after that, all three of us were fast asleep.

    Next morning we decided to head back and I booked a lock out at 09:00, just before HW. I topped up the fuel tank from canned stock, and we set off mentally prepared for a rough ride as we knew the weather was closing in. As it turned out, we had a better ride going home than we'd had getting to Portishead and I have to admit to feeling slightly cheated by the forecasters. However, we knew from websites, the CG and other sources of information that the weather was indeed going to worsen, and I felt it was better to leave sooner, than run the risk of a horrible trip back or worse, have to leave the boat in a marina for a week at a swift £100.00 plus for Messers Crest and Nicholson. (That's happened to me than once I'm sorry to say.)

    On the way back, I heard my first "Pan Pan" in over 10 years of sailing and quickly grabbed a paper and pen to write it down. A motor boat had suffered engine failure at Nell's Point, Barry and needed a tow. We were miles away and I immediately discarded any ideas of being able to help, and in any event, we heard Barry Dock Lifeboat being launched to assist. (Good luck to both parties there.) Anyway, with a top speed of 5 knots, we would have been worse than useless.

    On returning to Cardiff, we locked in at the Barrage and went over to the Bay for a final drink. We're not alcoholics - honestly! But it is a tradition on Lizzy D that on return, we celebrate a safe passage, thanking God, the sea gods and good fortune in that order! The Harbour Masters were on their toes that day, and were going around checking that everyone had bought a ticket from the pay and display meter. This is probably because they've borrowed some of the pontoons for the rowing event in the Bay which has been set up on the right of the Barrage sluices as you come inbound. I scuttled off to the meter with a quid snatched from Bev's purse and made us legal before they go to us. We always pay anyway so it was no hardship really.

    Later we took the boat back to her pontoon mooring at Cardiff Yacht Club went home wishing we could do it all over again. Still, there's always next weekend!!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Posts
    7,670

    Default Re: Bank Holiday Weekend

    [ QUOTE ]
    a very understanding taxi driver (well, would you take two drunks, a dog, and a bag of indian food in your car?)

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I would take the dog and the curry but draw the line at the drunken sailors. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    i have been to Portishead several times but didnt realize there were so many pubs [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]We have eaten in the Restaraunt and out in the garden of the Royal. Top notch grub both times.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    k keeper,Portishead
    Posts
    3,430

    Default Re: Bank Holiday Weekend

    I came round to your boat a couple of times to say hello, but you must have been out at the pub again!

    PS Crest Nicholson don't have anything to do with the marina these days, but rest assured your berthing fees help my lavish lifestyle!
    Never be at a loose end with the Yosemite bowline [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

    <span style="color:red">New!...</span>Warrior/Challenger/Voyager owner's website at <span style="color:blue">longkeel35.org.uk</span>

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Bridgend
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: Bank Holiday Weekend

    Damo,

    Loveley to hear from you mate. I haven't forgotten your help last year and I still owe you a couple of pints. Looking forward to seeing that through next time we're up there.

    Mike

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