Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Summer Cruising Ends and Developments at Home.

Well, “Chance” is now safely tucked up in bed for the winter but, prior to that,we had some marvellous last moments before packing up and moving off.


One lovely moment was the fabulous sunset we had on the evening we moored at Ansty. This scene was Facebooked and sent viral by many who saw it that night – but this is ‘our’ sunset!


Leaving “Chance” on Thursday, we took the train down to London to make preparations for a future adventure. As we were in the Paddington area at one stage we had, of course, to divert to the basin to see what was going on – and who should we spot! Face book and boaty friends Ray and Diane on nb “Ferndale”. Sadly we each had our plans for the day but we had a little walk together in the same direction for a while and had a good old natter. Small world without doubt.


The basin itself hasn’t changed but we hope that CART get their act together soon and sort out the ‘permanent mooring’ problem. We can live in hope!


At the end of our London day Doug returned to “Chance” and James took the train to Chichester for an overnight stay at home in order to drive the car back for the boat unloading ceremony in a day or two’s time. (He’d just like to say that he cut the hedge, mowed back and front lawns and winter pruned all the roses! – just sayin’). In the meantime on Friday Doug, single-handed, took “Chance” to Braunston where the two of us eventually met up again. We also had the enormous added bonus of the company of friends Alison and Dave on nb “FreeSpirit”. In the evening we all trotted up to The Plough in the village for a lovely meal together. As we’ve said so many time before: the food was great but the company even greater. 


Afterwards, it was a trot back down the hill where we finished off the evening with drinks on board “Chance”. Thanks Alison and Dave for the usual hysteria and for bringing the booze. Bless you both!


While we were ‘weekending’ in Braunston there was the fortuitous appearance of Jule’s Fuels boat heading towards us one morning. Just the job as we’d tried in several places in the last few days to top up the tank ready for the winter heating. Marvellous luck and we were able to buy from a canal trader as well.


After our weekend in Braunston we quickly managed to put “Chance” away and, with the car loaded, we headed north to Manchester just for a couple of days (where else?).


On Friday (7th) we made the journey back home to Selsey. In our summer absence there have been a number of major developments in the village. A devastating fire completely destroyed the Academy just before the start of the new school year (thank goodness no one was hurt) but it’s an opportunity for the village to have a super-duper new building instead of the awful 1960’s “thing”.


Also, during a walk along the sea front to visit some friends, we came across the latest Selsey development ……..


……… the new Lifeboat station. The RNLI have seen fit to replace both our lifeboat and it’s station. The lovely old iconic one, which sits out in the sea at the end of a long gantry, is to be no more. Instead, a spiffing new, state-of-the-art building is nearing completion on terra-firma this time. Massive foundations are being constructed down the beach for the new Sherman class lifeboat to be launched.


The very rusty access gantry to the old station looks rather brutally truncated at the moment, leaving the old lifeboat and it’s station marooned out at sea! We’re sure the RNLI know what they’re doing and believe the old boat to be going somewhere else.


We had to take a few pics for posterity as it may all be gone next time we look! The village feels rather sad to see such a famous building disappear but there’ll be a warm welcome for the new one, and the new boat, without doubt and Selsey’s long history of saving lives at sea will continue as usual.


Talking of old buildings, famous or otherwise, further along the seawall is the old coastguard lookout building – now a holiday home for someone and, right now, shuttered against the inevitable winter storms which will soon start flinging the beach all over the place.


Selsey is full of quirky history and this is a typical example. When the railway line from Chichester closed down (1950’s) a number of railway carriages were bought by people and sited along the seafront as holiday or permanent homes. Some still remain, albeit in slightly modified forms. Two carriages survive inside this building as shown by the windows.


Our walk took us on past the crab processing area where the famous Selsey Crab comes from. We once saw Selsey Crab on a menu in Craster, Northumberland!


After visiting our friends it was a walk back home with a quick detour to see the front of our posh new lifeboat station.


Can’t wait to see it complete with the new boat inside.

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