Sailing back to Gosport from Weymouth with Becky and friends was planned for a couple of weeks after sailing back from France. But LAROS is short of bunk space, two aft two forward and, if one drops the saloon table, two amidships. So what was I to do? It was either an acrobatic squeeze into the pipe cot we built for the Atlantic crossing, which Stuart kindly occupied and claimed to love, or a new idea of sleeping on the galley worktops. Both are places where sitting up suddenly would result in a brain injury!
So I executed a crazy plan to place a tent on the aft deck- a space measuring 140cm by 210 cm. Much searching f the internet eventually found a Regatta tent from Argos at £34.99 which fitted the space perfectly. It had the key attribute of being a pop-up tent, but although I had nearly gone for one of the type which spring out of the package with hoops I was put off by the certain knowledge that it would take ages to work out how to fold it back up again! The thought of trying to put the thing away in a gale and driving rain was appalling! So the Argos one was a god send, as it is like an umbrella, without a handle. Pull the strings and it pops up. Let them go and it folds away!
So it was that I settled down for the night in my cozy double skinned home in a rising gale, with torrential rain forecast, but securely lashed to the boat's aft rails. The only trouble was that my sleeping bag was like a mermaid's lower half that was so tight it wouldn't zip up fully, and only reached my armpits, and the cockpit cushions were so firm that my hips hurt. Despite the 2.1 meter length I couldn't stretch out fully because the inner tent cut off some of the length.
Nonetheless it felt really dry, sheltered and intrepid, even though we were tied up to a pontoon right outside the marina office window!