Trip on Quartette starting 2014-03-17 in BSAApril14

Sailing trip March 17 - 19 on Phoenix Yacht Club’s ‘Quartette’. (The Not the Caribbean Cruise) – report by John Hartland

Skipper – Chris Watts. Crew – Sue Fowle, Pete Ashdown, Chris Baxendale, Richard Trim and John Hartland

Arriving at Haslar MarinaMap on Sunday at 18:30 sharp (the suggested time). We found our skipper with the rest of the crew had already settled in and stowed the provisions (good timing on our part). It was decided to forgo the wild nightlife of Gosport, we instead headed for The Castle with the crew of ‘Spellbinder’. As a quarter of those on board the two boats had recently been to the Caribbean, the conversation naturally followed this theme.

Chris cooked up his traditional porridge, sweetened to taste with honey, for breakfast. Sue had some fresh ginger to give it a more Caribbean flavour. Chris and Gordon then collaborated on a plan for the day’s sailing, agreeing that Yarmouth would make the best option for our overnight stop. We left our berth well before Spellbinder, making our way in the general direction of Yarmouth and keeping tacks as long as possible. Chris demonstrated the crash stop technique a couple of times; this showed the boat would still be fairly close in the case of a man overboard. With the wind picking up a little we ‘hove to’ for lunch. With lunch over we made our way further down the Solent towards Yarmouth. Spellbinder overtook us and by the time we entered YarmouthMap they were tied up alongside. They had left enough room for us to get in behind them. Some of us just made the showers by seconds, as the cut off time is 16:30.

It was agreed we would host the first après-sail party on board Quartette, squeezing twelve adults in was a challenge but we made it. Gordon proposed a toast to the memory of Mike Berry saying, “I think we all have memories of sailing with Mike and he will be greatly missed.” The volume of the conversation increased until most of the wine & nibbles had been consumed. We then made our way to The Kings Head for the rest of the evening.

Tuesday morning started cloudy, but was getting brighter by the time we left Yarmouth. We were bound for Newtown CreekMap for breakfast. We made good progress with genoa only in a freshening wind. We followed the transits into Newtown until we came to a row of mooring buoys, picking up buoy No4 at the first attempt. Chris was soon dishing up porridge for breakfast. We left Newtown soon after Spellbinder came in, having decided to make our way over to Southampton Water for lunch. The forecast was again for west or south west winds force 5 to 6 and we had some good sailing up the Solent. There were dredgers operating at various locations, they always seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, but we managed to negotiate our way through into Southampton Water. As we headed for the mooring buoys near Hythe Mapwe were concerned to see dark clouds coming our way. The clouds beat us to the mooring and within a few minutes it was raining hard, despite the rain Team Quartette yet again picked up the buoy on the first attempt. The rain had stopped by the time we were ready to go below for lunch.

The afternoon gave some more good sailing. We spotted Spellbinder heading for Cowes behind one of the ferries and they just beat us to the entrance. This gave a good opportunity for some photographs of her under way. We followed them up the River Medina to a berth in East Cowes MarinaMap.

It was Spellbinder’s turn to host the pre-dinner party, we enjoyed slightly more room and ‘posh nibbles’ including smoked salmon, before walking up to The Lifeboat for the rest of the evening.

Soon after breakfast we were once again first to leave, heading east we enjoyed some good sailing down to Horse Sand Fort , from there we headed north, keeping fairly close to the submarine barrier. On reaching the submarine gate we turned through it and headed back to our berth in Haslar MarinaMap.

Thanks to Skipper and crew of both boats for yet another very enjoyable trip.

Haslar Marina  50.7908,-1.1171
Yarmouth  50.7061,-1.5023
Newtown Creek  50.723,-1.4075
Hythe  50.8722,-1.3851
East Cowes Marina  50.7524,-1.2915
Haslar Marina  50.7908,-1.1171