Over a beer or three at the Quarryman’s Rest one evening it was agreed with our friends that we should have a day trip to Lundy Island http://www.lundyisland.co.uk
The tickets were booked several weeks ago preferring to go on the boat from Bideford rather than Ilfracombe.
The boat was due to leave Bideford Quay at 09:00 and we had to be there at least 45 minutes before departure time.
It was agreed that we would have to set off from Bampton around 07:00 that meant setting the alarm for a time I recently haven’t seen.
Having been keeping an eye on the weather forecast for the last week it has not been looking good and Tuesday looked to be the worse day of the week, typical!
About 7pm last night I checked out the shipping forecast on the Internet and this is what I found.
Shipping Forecast – Issued: 1625 UTC Mon 13 May
West becoming cyclonic, then north or northwest later, 5 to 7, perhaps gale 8 later.
Moderate or rough.
Showers, then rain.
Good, becoming moderate or poor.
The paperwork from the boat MS Oldenburg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MS_Oldenburg suggested calling to get an update of sailing conditions and time after 20:00 the evening before.
Having read the forecast, of ‘perhaps gale 8’ I thought it would be called off BUT NO.
The recorded message said ’there are concerns for Tuesdays sailing to Lundy Island but a decision will not be made until the morning so please report to the office in Bideford as planned’.
Out came the thermals, waterproofs, hat and gloves ready for the morning.
I was up early, before 5:30, to get sorted out and make the sandwiches for the picnic but before my other half got out of bed I was asked (sorry told) to phone again to see if the message had changed – it hadn’t.
I did recheck the shipping forecast
And it was worse!
Rucksacks packed with the picnic and clothing accessories (various) it was into our friend’s car to set off for Bideford.
We arrived at 08:00
Our boat was docked at the Quay with people hovering around.
I hopped out of the car and went into the office to find out what was happening.
Surprise, surprise the sailing was cancelled FOR THE DAY TRIPPERS.
Those people waiting to go over to the island to stay were still going but the boat was planning to make an immediate return to the mainland before the weather deteriorated – good luck to them.
They were looking a bit apprehensive as they waited on the quayside.
We are allowed a refund or the chance to rebook at some stage in the next year.
‘So what do we do now?’ was the immediate question.
‘A cuppa’ was the answer.
As my other half was born and bred in Bideford she set off to show us the streets of Bideford as we looked for somewhere to find a drink.
Nothing much was open in Bideford at 8am on a Tuesday so we wandered up and down a few streets, counting the charity shops as we went.
There was a sign saying that the Pannier Market was open on a Tuesday so we thought that would be worth a visit and it must have some refreshments available.
Up the hill to the market we went and then upstairs into the market.
Apart from the stallholders we were the first to be there.
We found the café and ordered something to eat and drink although finding a pen and paper to take down the order proved a stumbling block for a while.
Hot chocolates, tea and coffee washed down out toasted teacakes, French toast (eggy bread) and fried egg sandwich.
By the time we had finished our dining experience only two other people had popped in (then quickly out) of the market so it still was deserted.
It was then back in the car and back via Bideford Bridge http://www.thisisnorthdevon.co.uk/closer-look-Bideford-s-Long-Bridge/story-12151830-detail/story.html#axzz2THrr05uX and then Instow before we headed home to Bampton, arriving back at 10:30.
Our friends returned at midday and we had our picnic in the summerhouse in the pouring rain.