28 May 2013

Bank holiday sailing (44.3nm trip, 88.7nm annual total)

Daisy G anchored off Shipstal
Two nights on board at anchor this weekend. Both nights at Shipstal Point, as it offered the best shelter, although it dropped to a flat calm each night. I do like sleeping on board, but it is still so cold for late May.

There are many empty moorings around the harbour, I think there has been a big drop in the number of boats. I asked our marina manager if he really had more boats than usual for sale. He said he did. It wasn't a sign of the economy, it was just more and more people giving up on boating because of our continually bad summer weather. They are selling their boats and going on hot holidays elsewhere. Very sad.

The Yards area of Handfast Point
Sunday was the best day, and temperatures rose to about 17C in the early afternoon. Sailed out to the Yards, which is a point on Standfast point where deeper water reaches right into the shore.  With the wind as it was, I didn't go too close as I would have driven right onto the cliff. There have been a number of big cliff falls over the winter. I anchored and walked over to the Little Sea in the middle of Studland peninsula, then headed back to Poole.

Studland Heath with Little Sea in distance
Strong wind back into harbour, so I furled the mizzen, which is best for a down wind run. Very powerful ebb tide in the harbour mouth, with strong wind over tide shenanigans. It was the roughest I have ever seen it in that area. One of the big tourist ferries started out of the harbour, but suddenly executed a complete U turn and went back in. Never seen that before. With strong driving wind and engine on full power, I was only making 1kt over the ground. Very glad to get in to smooth water.

Cabin lamp is a comfortable sight
I dropped anchor off Brownsea North shore, just to tidy things up, and realised that my centreboard and rudder were touching the bottom, and the really powerful ebb tide was holding me sideways against them Impossible to pull them up and I thought I would be semi-capsized as the tide ran out. I could still get the engine down, so I gunned it full speed ahead, even though the anchor was down, and that pushed me forward and kicked up both foils. I then had to reduce power, run forward and wrench up the anchor before I was swept back onto some moored yachts. All went well, but I had half a ton of Poole Harbour mud, plus anchor and chain on my foredeck. Played it safe by motoring back to my marina pontoon before the tide fell too far, and cleaned everything up. Sailed back to Shipstal to anchor for the night as it was very crowded on the pontoon, with powerboats all coming back just before low tide.

Poole Harbour from Parkstone Station footbrisge
Joined by one son and his girl friend for a very blowy sail round the harbour on Monday. Centreboard jammed with sand after we beached. Happens every time off Arne Peninsula. Managed to work the stones out with a sail batten, which is an odd manoeuvre to watch. I need to buy a batten just for that job. Fast mizzen-furled sail around Brownsea to end the weekend.


  1. You need to patent that lamp steadying device... an imaginative use of a simple piece of bungee! :o)

  2. It realy works. I had to do it after I tried sailing with the lamp just swinging. It bashed into everything. The bungy has an L shaped pice of aluminium on the bottom, which is held down by the folded table flaps. When it is opened, the bungy is released and I can leave it to swing romantically at anchor. I don't really need the lamp, but it is nice to have.