Solent jolly..

What a cracking day...  the Solent at it's finest - perhaps a tiny bit more breeze would have been welcome, but I enjoyed every minute...

0600/1800 HT and only just over 4Mtrs so an early start was called for - left the house at 7, quick stop at the garage for a full can of fuel and some supplies (a BLT - I'm on a diet so the Full English Breakfast Triple was ignored.. ) and I was on the boat and getting ready to cast off by 8..  I have found that the new outboard arrangements, by the way, while at first a worry, are making for faster prep time when it comes to sailing...

Pushed off down the ditch towards the end of the Emsworth channel, and then motor sailed to Marker doing over 4 knots over the ground with the tide..  switched off the engine for a quieter sail down the harbour, and then put it back on for a quick motor out of the harbour before finally switching off by the Bar Beacon.. was shot out of the harbour like a cork out of a bottle of fizz..  6.5+ knots SOG..  thank you very much

Glorious weather - force three breeze all day, east to start with and then slowly went south as the day progressed and the sea breeze kicked in, and ideal wind for heading west (or east come to that, but there isn't really anything worth seeing that way, though I may have to try it one day..), so in terms of destinations I decided not to bother with the Nab, but go for a mini cruise along the north shore of the Island (of Wight..) or as much as I could do anyway..

The sail over was one of the best I can remember - by 10:30'ish I had already made landfall just to the south of the Bembridge life boat station..

Landfall - Bembridge life boat station.. click to 'embiggen' this or any other piccie on the blog by the way...
I toyed with the idea of continuing along the south shore of the Island but decided my original plan was good, so came inshore, and then turned north rather than south to run down to Bembridge and Seaview..

...was tempted to follow the coast to the south of the island - that's St Catherine's in the far distance.. Culver Down cliffs nearer, and just under the pulpit you can see the Yarborough Monument.. 
...and enjoyable hour or then ensued as I ran slowly down wind towards St Helens Fort ..   lots to see... really is a very pretty island..  that's Priory Bay and Seagrove Bay in the distance with the start of the "built up" area of Seaview..

...just past 1 and I decided it was time to head home, BLT consumed, the Kindle was deployed, and I had another superb sail across to the West Pole..  half a force more and it would have been perfect...  saw this beauty on the horizon - always nice to see the tall ships with the sails out - no idea who she was..

Got to the West Pole about half past or quarter past 2, and then turned for the harbour in what was now almost a dead south run - rolled away the genoa for the last time - main was shadowing it and it was doing nothing but flapping..  just past the West Pole the engine went on for a quick push into the harbour, but was switched off again just as we passed HISC.

There was no way we were going to get on the mooring before 3 so a gentle run with the wind and tide up to Northney - the fishing rod was deployed (no bites), and after an aborted attempt at the ditch to the moorings (I could see the bottom so turned back) I picked up a spare mooring off Northney, tidied everything away, sat and watched the world go by, and then finally dropped that mooring and was back on mine by half 4 - job done...

Brilliant day - and if it wasn't for the fact we still have 11 weeks to lift out I reckon this would be a shoe-in for the trip of the year...!


Distance: 28.62 (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top)
Wind: F3; started ENE going dead S over the course of the day..
Sail Plan: Full main and for once, full genoa
Speed: 6.5 max/3.1 avg