Trip on Spellbinder starting 2011-11-21 in BSADec11
Midweek trip November 21-23 on PYC Yacht ‘Spellbinder’. – report by John Hartland
We arrived at Haslar Marina late Sunday afternoon, after stowing our provisions and checking the boat, we were ready for our evening meal at the Castle. We discussed sailing options over drinks and decided to forgo the wild nightlife of Gosport in preference for an early start the following morning.
Chris’s ‘Zebedee’ alarm woke us before the crack of dawn at 5:15 am; who thought this was a good idea? We slipped just a few minutes to six, about an hour before high water, and headed out into the Solent towards Bembridge. With an East South East F4 wind as well as a bit of tide against us it was slow progress. Chris cooked up porridge for a very welcome breakfast on the move. Once around the corner from Bembridge we took full advantage of wind and tide. Gordon disappeared into the heads just before we sailed through the overfalls off Dunnose, an uncomfortable ride for those on deck let alone those below. Our SOG was a good 8 knots and we anticipated reaching our destination of Poole by mid afternoon. With the wind dropping we had to start the engine and were soon speeding past into Poole harbour. Leaving the main channel we headed to Salterns Marina to top up with fuel. The entrance is a dogleg and the fuel berth quite cramped but our skipper skilfully manoeuvred us in and out. On busy summer weekends it must be a slow process to refuel there. From Salterns we made our way into Poole Quay Boat Haven for the night. The sail training ship , a brig owned by The Marine Society & Sea Cadets, came in a little afterwards and docked at the quayside, a good photo opportunity. We finally selected Alcatraz in the High Street to celebrate a good days sailing with an equally good meal.
Tuesday started bright but very soon a sea mist came in that reduced visibility to five or six boat lengths. After listening to the weather forecast promising north westerly winds F 4/5 later, Gordon suggested leaving at midnight for an overnight sail back to the Solent. Luckily we didn’t take him up on the offer as the wind never arrived. Visibility started to improve again by and we left just before midday. We did attempt to sail for a short period but were going nowhere fast, so it was back on with the engine. The sea was fairly calm as we passed through the Needles channel, but in the distance we could see quite large rollers breaking on the Shingles Bank. With the tide taking us past Hurst we just touched 9 knots over the ground as we headed for Lymington. Luckily there was room on Lymington town quay for us to tie up for the night. After strolling around the town we came back to The Ship Inn for our evening meal. The shower block was clean and fairly new, the code number for access was surprisingly displayed on the pontoon notice board.
Wednesday was a cold bright start, with the deck and pontoon slippery from overnight frost. After a leisurely breakfast we made our way out into the practically flat waters of The Solent. Once clear of Jack in the Basket it was suggested to try keeping to a depth contour as we made our way Eastwards, anyone watching must have thought the crew were drunk. It was interesting looking at the properties close to the waters edge as we passed by, some would seem to be seriously at risk from sea level rises. We picked up a mooring buoy just outside Cowes for lunch and then made our way back to Haslar Marina by mid afternoon. Thanks to our Skipper and all the crew for another successful trip on Spellbinder. It was a first for all onboard, sailing clockwise around the IOW and across to Poole in a day. We noticed the instruments were ok under sail but were prone to lose data display when on engine power.