Trip on Spellbinder starting 2010-02-22 in BSAMar10

Solent 22nd - 24th February 2010 – report by Phil Steele

This was a 3- day Monday to Wednesday Phoenix Yacht Club trip skippered by Gordon Ogden and crewed by Don Hirst, Dave Fogden and Phil Steele. ‘Spellbinder’ is a 39 foot Sadler Starlight newly returned to the water after its annual maintenance, sporting a new cooker and rigging.

The trip commenced on the Sunday evening as usual with the hopes of an excursion to Poole or a second option of Northney in Chichester harbour. Unfortunately the weather, closely monitored by Gordon thrice daily, convinced us that sailing in the Solent would be the wisest choice. As a point of interest we were all enamoured by the young female coast guard announcer who seemed to be continually giggling whilst reading out the poor weather conditions as if she knew we were out there while she was snug in her warm dry office. Speaking of the weather the wind direction oscillated between North, East and South F4 –F6 and gusting with heavy rain at times and some poor visibility. We hoped that the new active radar reflector was operating as we were often in the presence of large ships and fast ferries.

So what we to do considering the wet and cold weather, we all agreed that we were there to sail this most excellent boat so we opted for short legs to just do that, setting off on Monday to the HambleMap for lunch and proceeding to Yarmouth for the night on a walk-ashore pontoon. We ventured into the Wheatsheaf for a meal after a second evening of G&T’s provided by superb victualling courtesy of Don.

On Tuesday we decided to go to the Hamble for lunch again of bacon and eggs before having high tea at Hythe moored on a buoy and returning after dark to Hamble Point Marina which turned out to be a little expensive compensated by a superb meal in the town after the G&Ts. (According to this month’s PBO, Hamble Point is the most expensive marina in the UK, except for Saltern’s at Poole.)

Wednesday we sailed off to E Cowes via the North Channel for another bacon and egg brunch, returning to Portsmouth early enough to motor to Port Solent but we soon got bored with motoring and returned to Haslar to end our very enjoyable albeit cold and wet trip in relatively smooth seas..

We had sailed on all points of sail and could see our breath whilst getting a soaking; fortunately we soon dried out with the effectiveness of the on-board heating. A special thanks to Don for the catering and driving, to Brenda for the cake: advice to Foggy – take your waterproof waterproofs next time.

Hamble Point Marina  50.8518,-1.3099