Saturday, 27 August 2016

Solent womble..

Been two weeks since that last (awe inspiring) sail on the windy Sunday, and with a national holiday weekend coming up and a particularly tiring period at work I decided to take the Friday as well and make it a four day weekend, and go sailing..  what swung it was that the tides were also ideal for a long day in the Solent - 0630 and 1900 - so I could leave up until 0930'ish (0900 really as they were pretty neap'ish) and be back on the mooring from about 1600'ish on the next tide..  perfect...

Lovely sunny weather and beautifully warm, but what I hadn't countered for was the wind, and it was a pretty light old day that saw me having a pleasant sail in the Solent getting nowhere in particular while being pushed around by the tides! 

Anyway..  stopped off at the garage to fill the spare can (had an idea I might need the engine today!), and buy provisions, but either way I was off and running by just shy of half eight and a pleasant drifting reach down the harbour and out into the Solent ensued...  pleasant speeds but it was mostly tide (as it turned out to be for most of the day!)..

Just enough to get us moving when we got out of the harbour so I rounded the Bar Beacon and aimed in the general direction of the Isle of Wight..  wind was westerly so right on the nose of course, and while the starboard tack was making good progress the port tack was struggling with the tide...  by 1'ish I was here ==>

..that's Ventnor in the far distance, St. Catherine's Point is just a little further round the corner..  the cliffs are Culver Down.. you can also just see Bembridge lifeboat station far right (looks like a nissen hut at a distance!)

With the tide and the wind being what it was, it was fairly clear I wasn't going to get much closer without engine power so I turned back just after crossing the big ship channel...  cracked open a beer, lit up a cigar, and got artistic ==> really was that sunny...
On the way back we had a treat...  this is the tall ship "Stad Amsterdam" [clicky], a cloggy that has just finished a cruise from Scheveningen to Portsmouth, and here on it's way to London, for it's next cruise to the Elbe and Hamburg across the North Sea...  she looked beautiful, but I was more than a little surprised to find out she was actually built in 2000, not 1900!

Love that picture.. the colour, and the fort (Horse Sand [clicky]) in the background..
If you look carefully (click to "embigen") you can actually see crew at the top of all three masts - rather them than me..
Trip back was uncomfortable... as the wind speed was no more than tide speed I was doing 2/2.5 knots in the right direction, but the sails were doing little or nothing, other than flap.. 

Decision made, the engine went on about 2 nautical miles from the Bar Beacon and I motor sailed her into the harbour, where I could then turn it off and enjoy the last broad reach up the harbour. Got a particularly fine view of the local seal colony enjoying the sun as the tide came in to cover their mud bank ==>

...back on the mooring by four thirty'ish, slightly sunburnt and slightly salty..  nothing like it! 


Distance: 26.1 (in 8 hours!)
Wind: No more than a F2 most of  the day, got up to a F3 as I was heading back to the mooring; WNW going SWxS
Sail Plan: Full main and genoa..
Speed: Top speed 4.8, average speed 2.8.. all under (tide assisted) sail


  1. From the title I thought you'd been ailing around the Solent picking up litter. Sound like a good trip, I really like the eastern end of the Wight.

    1. Max - it would have given me something to do.. :o) Despite the lack of "action" it was still mission accomplished - stresses were relieved..!

  2. That's one striking looking tall ship!

    1. Hi Aiden - she is.. and available for you to book a trip on any time you like.. :o)