Trip on Appaloosa starting 2012-10-26 in BSANov12

Weekend from Hamble PointMap, October 26-28 2012 – report by Sue Fowle.

Skipper - Dave Lloyd. Crew - Jeff Birkin, Alan Gray, Peter Wakeling, Penny Luck and Sue Fowle.

On a stormy October night we all met up on Appaloosa, a Bavaria 36, familiar now to many of us in the club. Skipper immediately took command and issued orders - this is why you have to listen to me again - and went through his safety brief. As he finished he produced a square plastic box with a handle and explained that having considered the age of his crew thought it prudent to bring this piece of equipment. 'It' turned out to be a defibrillator! Thanks, Dave!!! After supper at the Ketch Rigger - worth considering booking ahead as it gets busy these days - we headed back to our cosy bunks for the night, interrupted by the lively wind slicing through the rigging.

The following morning, an unusually clear blue sky greeted us as we took the 1030 high tide down the Hamble heading for lunch in Cowes. We were prepared for gusts up to F8 but as we hit Southampton Water we hurtled along in a chilly but steady northerly 40knt wind. It was soon gusting up to 45knts - at Hurst Castle 49knts were recorded. With the likelihood of being pinned in Cowes for the next 24 hours by the strength and direction of the wind we decided to head west immediately. In the washing machine effect of the water off Cowes Appaloosa, sailing with only a reefed foresail, was almost impossible to gybe without using the engine. Soon though we were speeding towards Lymington, the most sensible harbour in the conditions though our original plan had been for Yarmouth. Prudently our skipper rang ahead and though it was only 1230, booked the last berth in the Yacht Haven. This provoked discussion about the lack of visitors’ moorings in certain parts of the Solent. Penny moored up expertly in the strong wind but one of our ' learning points' from the weekend was that on short pontoons it is best to step off with a centre mooring line rather than a stern one to 'stop' the boat.

We savoured the delights of Lymington market where goods ranged from dental picks to pink starry tutus - all too small - to white thermal long johns - all too large - so hopes of an onboard cabaret that night were dashed. Instead our tasty meal at the Kings Head was accompanied by a group of Hooray Henrys guffawing loudly as they demanded the most expensive champagne.

Sunday dawned, grey and calm so we took a slow run up the Solent against a strong tide, hopping from buoy to buoy, sometimes almost close enough to step up onto them. It was a weekend of contrasting weather but constant good humour, excellent food courtesy of Penny and calm skippering by Dave.

Hamble Point Marina  50.8518,-1.3099
Weather at EGHI   13 kts from NNE 7.0C, 1011mb Light Drizzle