Trip on Spellbinder starting 2012-01-20 in BSAFeb12
Weekend 20 – 22 January 2012 from Gosport on Spellbinder – report by Don Hirst
The crew due to take over the Phoenix yacht “Spellbinder”, a Sadler Starlight 39, drove down to Haslar Marina Friday and met a group of Bosuns from Phoenix who had just finished their meeting onboard Spellbinder, so the yacht was lovely and warm for the handover. Kit and provisions were soon loaded on board. We set off for Gosport’s hostelries. In a break from tradition we by-passed the Castle and tried Wetherspoons. We had a very good meal. Unlike the other times when BSA crews visit a place and everyone leaves, this time it seemed that half of Gosport joined us, as the pub was heaving when we left.
Saturday we left promptly at 10.00 am, early for some, to catch the tide. It was very warm for January. The wind had risen from the forecast Force 5 to Force 8. The westerly wind against tide was making the sea a little lumpy, but in the sheltered waters of the Solent nothing like a Plymouth Force 8. Spellbinder, like the thoroughbred she is, made light of the conditions. We tacked along the Solent arriving Yarmouth at 14.30. Plenty of time for a G&T and nibbles, a wash and brush up in the marina showers with heated floors, prior to wandering round to the Bugle, where we had another excellent meal.
Sunday the wind had dropped to Westerly Force 6. After our first breakfast we set off to Cowes, to ride out the worst of an adverse tide and have a second breakfast, quadruple bacon, scrambled eggs and laver bread, we arrived at Cowes in little over two hours. The unworthy might have suggested that the skipper’s liking for these bacon butties caused us to be a fraction over-canvassed, as we achieved some excellent boat speeds. Second breakfast over we set sail for Haslar. The Crew thank the Skipper for ensuring we had a great time, a spirited sail and achieved all our objectives.
A learning point from this trip is that when going head to wind to drop the sails it is important not to go so slowly as to lose steerage in a strong wind, as once the wind gets on the side of the sail the boat is unlikely to respond to throttle quickly enough to avoid being blown off course.