Passage 46, Beaulieu to Hamble
Not a long trip this one, so I could afford further explorations in Beaulieu before leaving at midday. This consisted of cycling up to Beaulieu itself where I first attempted access to Lord Montegue's grounds that plays host to the famous motor museum. I wasn't too interested in motors, but there was a church, an abbey and a palace no less - ripe for the viewing.
Sadly His Lordship appears to own the lot and intends to charge anyone who wishes to have a nosey around any of it. I didn't want to shell out a hefty price to enter his hallowed grounds and so made do with an inspection of the village which, thankfully, is not entirely annexed by His Lordship. Pretty village from which I discovered a cycle/walking path back to Bucklers Hard that gave considerably more pleasant views than the road route I'd taken earlier.
This was the first cycle path I'd come across in this county and yesterday I had sorely missed Devon's generous approach to cycle routing. That ride for my agave syrup yesterday first took me on slim A-roads where very few drivers chose to hang back and await an opportunity to pass me with a decent wobble margin. I had got google maps to route me back using less busy roads at the cost of further miles.
Another interesting feature of this countryside is the abundance of farm animals grazing on the verges of local roads. There are fields with fences around them, but it appears that farmers don't take them too seriously. Horses and cows, mostly, and very friendly they are too.
Anyway, back to my passage. It was slow. It took me 3.5 hours to cover 12 miles. Just enough wind to silently waft me back down the Beaulieu river (very nice) and then gently push me across Southampton water into the Hamble river before my patience ran out and I stuck the motor on for the last couple of miles up the river to Mercury Marina.
I'd arranged to meet my brother and his wife at 3:30 and I was 5 minutes late. They'd never seen the boat so I treated them to a tour around its vast expanse in exchange for them buying me dinner. Pizza. What a treat and a welcome break from my usual egg and rice.
I was back at the boat by 7:30pm where I could finish the day with standard activities such as ablutions and blog writing.
Very light winds that allowed me to sail between 2 and 4 knots the 12 miles to Mercury marina on the river Hamble. Preceeded my a visit to Beaulieu and followed by an early dinner outing with my brother and his wife.