Trip on Lady Emma starting 2011-09-20 in BSAOct11
A weeks sailing on “Lady Emma” 20/25 September 2011 - report by Bob Buchanan
Myself, Kevin, Colin & David met at Ocean Quay on Monday evening.
The plan was to leave at midnight and catch the west going tide at the Needles at about 05.00 for a trip to the Channel Islands. Becky was going to fly out on the Thursday to Guernsey and join us for the trip back.
After an evening meal we set off, the weather forecast was force 5/6 increasing to 7 SW.
With three reefs in the main and the no. 2 Genoa set we had a very lively sail down Southampton Water. We went through the Needles channel in a very lumpy sea at about 05.30 then headed for Alderney. The sea state did not get any easier as we had thought, in fact it got worse. The wind was now a steady 30 plus knots, a very lumpy sea and our compass light had decided that it had had enough on a very dark night with no moon shining. The only sense of direction was to keep the needles lighthouse on our port side quarter and sail best course close hauled. We decided to keep on this course until the sun came up, then we could assess our situation.
At about 07.00 it was light enough to see where we were. The Needles lighthouse was not on our port quarter, it was now on our beam, and so was the Needles fairway buoy. We had made progress but most of it was sideways and backwards. It was a unanimous decision to turn back and head for Yarmouth.
We berthed in Yarmouth at 09.30 had a hot drink and went to bed, completely shattered.
We all got up late afternoon, went ashore for a few drinks and a meal in the Bugle and were back on the boat and in our bunks by 10.00pm.
We thought that we could make the Channel Islands but the weather forecast was still quite grim so we abandoned any attempt to go there. After a lazy morning we set sail for Poole. It was another lumpy sail through the needles channel and a hard sail over to Poole, with winds still up to 30knots. We tied up to the town quay at 07.30pm and had a night in Wetherspoons, just a short walk from the boat.
We left at 11.30 and headed for Weymouth. It was a cheap night in Poole as no one had come and asked us for mooring fees. The wind had died down a bit but had gone around to the west, so we had to tack along the coast. It was a lovely sail, with lots of sunshine. We got into Weymouth and berthed outside the harbour master’s building at 7.30 pm. We were greeted by a “what took you lot so long” by Becky Goddard. After a few pints in the yacht club we went out for an Indian meal.
We left at 12.00 and had a slow sail back to Poole. The wind was still SW but force 1/2. We tied up to the town quay at 6.00 pm in the same spot that we had left on Thursday morning. After a few drinks back in Wetherspoons, we went back on board and had a meal that was cooked by Bex. After dinner Kevin and Colin got out the fishing net that was bought for £1.00 and started prawn fishing. Shining a head torch in the water you can see the prawns’ eyes and you just scoop them up. We all had a go and caught a couple of hundred in about an hour. The pot was on and in they went, turning pink almost instantaneously. After cooking and cooling them down, we all had some then put the rest in the fridge for the next day.
The harbourmaster came around and stung us for berthing fees. £33.80 for a 42ft yacht against the quay wall. We left at 10.00 and headed for Lymington. The sun was out, wind force 2/3 still SW. Half way over we passed three fishing boats at anchor. Colin & Kevin said slow down while we do a bit of fishing. We dropped the Genoa and our speed to about 2 knots, just right for mackerel. With Bex on the wheel and me with my camera in video mode the fish started to get hooked. We turned around in a big circle and went through where the fish were again, with Colin catching three in one go on his rod. We had a count and had seventeen in the bucket, more than enough for a couple of meals.
We berthed at Lymington yacht haven at 05.00pm and went to the yacht club for a few beers.
They had mackerel fillets on their menu and they looked quite good (at £18.00 a head) but compared to the meal that Becky made (potatoes, salad and two whole mackerel each) there just wasn’t any comparison.
We left at 10.30 and motored out into the Solent. The wind was SSW F4. The sun was out and it turned out to be our best sail of the week. We only pulled up the no. 2 genoa and had a very good sail back to Ocean Quay; we dropped the genoa a couple of hundred yards from our berth, something we have not managed to do before. We had another excellent meal of mackerel, then cleaned up the boat and went home.
Total distance for trip 170 nm