Jolly Boys Cruise - 2018
So yet another triumph.. in fact considerably better than last years trip,but not without the usual Lymington cock up...
So it was the team conjoined on Friday evening at Rod's place for a swift trip to the boat which was reached about 5 in the evening only to be found well and truly stuck in the mud on the pontoon (low water springs strike).. doubly irritating as target was Cowes which easily 3 hours away and we were looking for dinner.. Rod had moved her round earlier in the day, but clearly still not deep enough despite the dredging they've done this summer.. Nothing for it but to have a tea, and then try the motor at ever increasing revs, and an hour later we were off and the decision was taken to go for Gosport Marina (the Premier one) rather than Cowes.. safely ensconced (and this marina was a first for me) we departed for food and found an all you can eat Chinese buffet, which we took full advantage of!
Saturday dawned sunny, but with a stiff breeze, and the decision was to put in the second reef, the good news is that the boat we charter ('Ocean Waves of Albany', a Hallberg Rassy 342) had been fitted with roller furling over the winter so less faff with head sails..
Good decision, with a stiff F5 on the nose (it seemed to be for most of the weekend to be honest) we had a good 3 or 4 hour upwind beat to Cowes arriving mid afternoon to find the place absolutely rammed.. seems there were a number of rallys on this weekend and also a leg of one of the big ISC races.. we ended up on the pontoon at the Folly, and another first for me because we were rafted, as middle boat of three.. catching the ferry down to Cowes we caught up with Smithy and t'other Dave who had left early to watch the rugby, grabbed some beers in the Island Sailing Club, and then adjourned for food at the Duke of York (very nice I thought)
Sunday dawned grey, with the same breeze blowing we left the reefs in, and after a later breakfast (while we waited for the tide to set fair in the Solent) we left for Lymington and had what I think was best sail we've ever had.. it had picked up a little from yesterday so was more F6 than F5, but a Hallberg Rassy is a heavy old boat, with a heavy old keel, and she just loved it.. superb sailing, a real sense of achievement when we finally dropped sails outside of Lymington and headed in for a well deserved beer...
|Dave, Dave and Smithy looking Volvo Ocean Race'ish.. or not...|
|"Captain, my captain.."|
|Drip.. drip.. drip... drip..|
I can confirm we slept well..
Monday just for once dawned sunny, but still windy, but being at the "top" of the Solent we had more options, and the decision was taken to go for lunch at Newtown Creek a very favourite destination with the Jolly Boys.. being a Monday we were also hoping it would be quieter than it looked when we had gone past the day before..
|Two old men looking for cake...|
|Hurst narrows over our shoulder as we ran down wind from Lymington..|
Soon enough though Newtown was reached and we were able to conform that there was indeed room at the inn for a 34 footer on the moorings..
|Entrance to the creek..|
|...and just inside...damn windy as can be seen..|
|Noisy neighbours Port Hamble marina..|
Time for some beer and dinner.. first stop of the night was the RAFYacht club who mde us very welcome (one as visiting yachtsmen, and two because Ocean Waves is chartered from the Royal Marines Sailing Club so there's a service link) - they have a truly lovely location which must be worth I don't know how much, but some beers outside n the verandah were very much enjoyed...
...next stop was top end however, Royal SouthernYC, who also welcome visiting yachtsmen but perhaps not as much as their RAF neighbours do (or maybe it was the slight smell of diesel and mould we all had, or the shorts, or the fact that Dave pulled the red emergency cord in the disabled toilets thinking it was the toilet flush? ) anyway, it is a truly awesome building, but a little "stiff", and we are not...
Distance: 70.92 miles (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top)
- Sat F5 gusting F6; SW
- Sun F5 gusting top end F6; SW
- Mon Both ends of a F5 gusting F6; SWxS
- Tues F4; SWxS/WSW
Sail Plan: Either full or 2nd reef main; full or second reef jib
Speed: See distance section above.. NB. Dave N. had the weekend record with a spotted 8.7 kts (SOG) on Sunday afternoon..
|All done... and work beckons..|