10 August 2009

Poole to the Isle of Wight 55.8nm (101.7)

My daughter and I went abroad this weekend, to the Isle of Wight. Gentle wind from a good direction both ways so we sailed the whole route, about 60nm in total. We spent the first night in Poole Quay marina, where it rained... Sunny in the morning so we didn't go home but set out for Christchurch instead. Good breeze so we sailed the whole way except for the final entry into Christchurch, where we used the engine. The tide was just starting to run out, and any delay would have shut us outside. The ebb tide from Christchurch harbour is fierce. We picked up an empty mooring and watched the beach huts as we had our lunch. They seem a strange way to spend a holiday to me, but I suppose they were looking at us bobbing on our boat and thought the same.

After lunch we looked at The Isle of Wight, so close. Checked the tidal atlas, which said the tide would run into the Solent in about two hours, and we decided to go for it. Three hours later we entered Yarmouth harbour. The berthing master boat met us and guided us to the prime spot, as far as I could judge, on a pontoon just by the harbour office. We had a rib moored alongside, which was a bit noisy during the night.

After breakfast next day we set off back to Poole. The current was against us and there was no wind in the Solent, so we motored for an hour, out past Hurst Point. A sea breeze caught us then and we tacked to the North Channel buoy and then a long reach for two hours back to Christchurch. Then a couple of tacks around Hengistbury Head (very choppy tidal overfalls there), followed by another two hour reach back to Poole entrance. Full spring ebb tide roaring out and we needed full sail and full engine to get back in over it. It runs at over 4kts. Quite scary. Then a few tacks down the harbour to our mooring. Feel like real sailors now.
Note of interest. I have bought two long flat foam fenders which are excellent. Hung horizontally they protect the boat on a pontoon berth perfectly. They don't role out of the way like conventional fenders.

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