What a glorious day, the sun’s been shining and the sky’s been blue. We set sail from Boulogne this morning and made our way along the coast of France for a short time before making a sharp turn and braving the Dover Straits.
The Dover Straits is a rather busy stretch of water with frequent traffic for us to make our way through. Aft Port came on watch and took the helm. With baited breath we changed our course, steering toward the port side and started making our way across the Dover Straits. Fortunately we had some keen eyed lookouts on the bridge who were very quick off the mark spotting a number of ‘shippy-things’ and some fishing buoys that suddenly took flight – turned out to be seagulls.
Ferries were streaming past to our starboard side and there were large ships headed straight towards us. Luckily the permanent crew were more than up to the challenge of getting us safely across to the other side.
As we enjoyed the sunshine the Lord Nelson safely crossed the Dover Straits and the white cliffs of Dover appeared on the horizon.
We handed over the helm to the next watch just as we started to head up towards Margate, before dropping anchor at about 18.00 this evening.
After another fantastic dinner from our star cook, Dave, it’s time for the evening activities to begin. Tonight is horse-racing night, the horses are lined up, the beer’s flowing, the bets are in, and it’s time to roll the dice...
In the parade ring tonight, warming up for the spectacular, neigh (sorry!) the extravanganza extraordinaire – the Nellie Gold Cup. Our horses for tonight are:
Vindaloo Queen – a hot favourite
Dobin – the Dobie Queen’s favourite, hoping not to make an ass of himself!
Sand blazer – hoping to leave the others in his trail
Green Rum – an old favourite
Arabic Lady – with a skip in her step
Red Baron - not to be confused with our own Van Baaren, still running!
The going is soft and expected to be softer by the end of the night.
The crowds, suitably turned out in their latest Ascot cast off’s, are on the edge of their seats, it’s a nail biting time but the course official is in position – the flags up....
AAAAAANNND THEY’RE ..........ROFF!
First out of the stalls is Vindaloo Queen, closely followed by Arabic Lady with Green Rum, Cookies own favourite, making a crumbly start.
Dobin is being urged on....steady, steady Teddie– now they’re flying and it’s Vindaloo Queen with a 6 coming down the outside lane, chased by Sandblazer with a 4 and Red Baron showing a very promising finish and it’s aaaaahhh.....It’s all over!
Well, the first race that is – dodgy Mike accompanied by his wife, the glamorous Cynthia looking suitable satisfied with the first leg. Mind you the legs look very similar to those that Josh has been displaying this week! Honest Luke is running the tote, whilst the punters place their bets with Sure Bet Betty and Jovial John.
With a flourish and nifty turn of the wrist the dice is thrown once again – it’s a 3..... the second race has begun.....
Four races in all, with plenty of heckling and everyone joining in. Needless to say there were winners all round and the Lord Nelson is nearer to achieving her goal of raising £1000 for the £800 Challenge.
All in all......it was a great night! Thanks to everyone for all their efforts and generosity.
Rachel MP LN