Sunday 26 May 2024

The Jolly Boys go to Cowes..

For the first time since last August the Jolly Boys convened once again for a day of banter, pork pies and Smithy's missus's Victoria sponge cake (and on this occasion Morrison's jam doughnuts as well - apparently they're cheaper than the custard one's 😏)

We'd originally planned to go on the Wednesday (22nd) but had wisely scheduled in a backup the next day in the event of poor weather, and just as well we did, as the Wednesday was disgusting..  force 5 & 6 on the nose with rain, whereas the Thursday (our backup day) was glorious - wall to wall sunshine, occasional cloud, and a wind force less.. 

So, the Jolly Boys convened at Rod's gaff at 9, picked up t'other Dave on the way to the marina, and after a cup of tea on board while we waited for the flood to calm down a bit dropped the mooring ropes at about 11 - destination Cowes...   we go there a lot, but after 9 months we'd missed the ambience, and besides Rod had a yen for fish and chips in the Island Sailing Club

Plot is down below, but as we left the mooring the wind was a little on the spicy side so we decided to put the first reef in on the main with a view to changing our minds if we wanted to once outside the harbour - I'm guessing the wind was just north of dead west, so it was going to be a beat to Cowes, but the strength was good so we were making good pace. Shook the reef out off of Osborne Bay, and true to form the wind picked up 5 minutes after we'd done it (😏) but with Cowes "just round the corner" we soldiered on. 

Two long boards and we were off the breakwater, last short tack and we headed up to drop the main before motoring into the main channel only to spot that no one was on the Island Sailing club's own pontoon - one slightly cheeky phone call later, and we were tying up on it. Money from four lunches, plus beers, my have swung it, but either way as non-members it was very good of them to let us moor up, and for free..

Cowes, ho.. Island Sailing Club pontoon in sight..

One plate of the nicest fish and chips I've had in some time, and a pint of Timmy Taylor "Boltmaker" later and we were back on board snoozing, waiting for the east going 'travellator' in the Solent which was due at 5.

Dropped the mooring ropes at quarter to, and with all sails up we headed east - wind dead behind and a little lighter than it had been and with the main taking all the breeze we rolled the genoa away - we kind of settled for a longish fast drift with tide down wind, when low and behold just off Osborne Bay (again) the wind piped up and switched a few notches further north. Rolled the genoa out and then we started tramping nicely..  top end 4 on occasion, two or three knots of tide and we were definitely covering distance over the ground nicely..  small shift north so as to get out of the way of a humungous liner, and we rocketed past Gilkicker (GPS shows a 9.3 knots in this leg), and in to the outer swash way for the entrance to the harbour - weed well and truly cleaned from the bottom!

No, after you... I insist...

Back on the mooring for 19:30'ish for a swig of rum from a bottle Smithy had bought back from Jamaica, and then home...    apparently we all slept well that night.. 😁  

More of that, please..


Distance: 26.97 (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top)
Wind (Speed; Direction):  AM: F3 gusting 4 / WxN - PM: Both ends of a F4 / NWxN
Sail Plan: Full/reefed main and full genoa
Speed (Max/average in knots): 8.3 / 2.9

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