Trip on Spellbinder starting 2012-03-23 in BSAApril12
SPELLBINDERGOSPORT SOLENT 23-25th MARCH – report by Chris Baxendale
To begin with, I come before you to make an apology, I should have written Phil’s previous trip report in January from Falmouth but it was not to be, so to make amends here I am quill in hand and ready to go.
With the forecast set fair for the weekend we were hoping for a tan and as much sailing as we could wring out of the prevailing breezes. We arrived in Gosport late afternoon for the handover having been given information to the effect that fuel was very low and water full. When the sink taps started spitting air at us we found that despite the water gauge showing full that was not the case, Spellbinder needed a large drink. Our run ashore that evening was The Star, a Wetherspoons in the High Street, a jolly and noisy place but food-wise left quite a lot to be desired, only two gammon steaks left with the replacement beef steaks as tough as old boots.
We slipped around 9.30 to fuel before departure, the fuel berth fiasco can best be explained by the phrase “Please Lord protect us from those gin palaces with their twin screws and bow thrusters!” It had been agreed that tide and wind dictated a westerly destination, Yarmouth. We were pleasantly surprised by a draughty 3 to 4 SE’ly which veered E later in the day, so with a 4 knot tide we found ourselves nearing Yarmouth harbour entrance by 2pm, no bad thing as it turned out. The place was packed. After a harassed berthing master directed us to a shore access pontoon, we decided to walk around the town while Jerzy opted for a trip to the Needles on foot in very unsuitable shoes so he informed us (daps); mind you he did cheat by catching the bus there (but walked back). Yarmouth proved to be a colourful little town. We spotted a girlie Smart car with eye lashes over the headlamps, quite a “gert lush”, but with such crowds we decided to book a table for later in The Bugle to be on the safe side. While pondering the menu for later, a young lad (the barman) sprinted through the bar and off down the road like a scalded cat, followed a few minutes later by two explosions – a lifeboat call out. After red wine and nibbles we were preparing to return ashore for our meal and still the boats were coming in three or four at a time, despite rafting and tying up between poles; there was eventually no more room at the inn. Our meal was fantastic; we all had Sea Bass in white sauce with mussels and prawns, followed by crème brulee and navy rum!
The return on Sunday was a much more laid back affair, with only a friendly tide of 2.5 to zero up until midday. We slipped early and breakfasted on bacon and eggs en route (nothing like a challenge). The wind if you can call it that was NE’ly later SE most of the trip we were grateful for steerage but in the latter stages got a steady breeze from the easterly entrance. We decided there was no future playing with the light airs instead headed back for a late lunch alongside, cleared up the boat and departed around 4pm. A great trip all round and in very good company, with a special word of thanks to our master victualler Jock – he even produced cold cross buns.