22 July 2011

Day 3: Lymington to Poole, total trip 57nm (annual total 296)

No problems with the return journey, other than lack of usable wind so I motored all the way. I had to leave around 0630 to catch the ebb tide past Hurst point and then had a favourable current for an hour or so. I passed much too close to Hengistbury Head at low tide and hit my centreboard on the bottom. I really should have been much further off.
Finally turned into Poole Harbour, which is always magical because it is like a world of its own, hidden away from the Channel outside. Tided up to the waiting pontoon and went into town for lunch. Packed all away as I won't be down for a few weeks and then made one of those obvious discoveries.
I usually motor away for the pontoon in reverse, back into the marina and then motor out forwards to the mooring buoy. Feeling lazy, I decided just to carry on in reverse all the way. It was a revelation. You come up to the mooring buoy backwards under complete control and no risk of the bow being blown off. You are by the engine and the buoy at the same time. You could just lean down and pick up the buoy without a boat hook if you wanted. Holding the buoy, just flick the engine into neutral and your drift carries the boat on as you walk to the bow and drop the loop over the samson post. It was all so easy. why do we insist on doing it going forwards, which can be a nightmare?


  1. I do something similar... because I sail solo most of the time, I bring my mooring rope back from the forward cleat on the outside of the stanchions and loosely tie it to a cleat on the back of the boat - if I want to pick up a mooring buoy all I need to do is motor up to it, and lean over the side from the tiller - slip the mooring rope through the buoy, turn off the engine, and the boat slips backwards along the rope ending up moored nose forwards - just motor forwards to reverse the process....

  2. Sounds sensible. I keep two forward mooring ropes fitted all the time, brought back to mid-points cleats on either side. If I was picking up a buoy just for a short lunchtime stop, I would just slip one through the loop in the same way.