Trip on Quartette starting 2013-11-02 in BSANov13

‘Nearly Sailing’ 2nd-3rd November 2013 – report by Phil Steele

Skipper Phil Steele and crew, Chris Baxendale, Jane Coombes, John Pragnell and Yacht Quartette a 34ft Westerly Oceanquest provided by Phoenix Yacht Club.

The trip Mapstarted badly because we forgot to take the indoor fireworks, the school holiday traffic was bad coming from the west and the weather forecasts were all different but had in common a foreboding of stormy weather.

Arriving Friday evening we found Gosport very busy and what seemed to be a music concert occurring across the water in Portsmouth. At 7pm there was a 15minute firework display which made up for us not having our own. We left the marina for après firework display refreshment but could only get drinks at a very crowded Wetherspoons. We had to resort to a Chinese Take Away. Later that evening I returned to the marina office to check on the latest weather report and the officer on duty turned out to be an experienced sailor and unofficially advised that the web site Passage Weather seemed to be the most reliable for the Solent. I checked the weather again the next morning to find that the updates gave the same prediction. It looked feasible to sail a shortened passage to Cowes by 13.00 before the worst of the weather at 1500 and wait out the storm until about midday Sunday and return with a reasonable tail wind. My contingency plan being poke our nose out and if we don’t like return to Haslar.

We made ready the boat whilst observing many other crews packing up and going home. The skipper of Spellbinder popped over and said that he had sent his crew home and was concerned about getting storm bound and his crew unable to get back for work on Monday.

We are BSA so we soldier on with getting slips ready, then the wind jumped from light to 17kts in the marina gusting strongly and sustained. At this point getting Quartette out of her berth would be risky with that wind and more importantly the direction. So I suggested that we did not bother to start the engine because of risk to gel coat both getting out and even worse should we want to return with higher winds. Within half an hour the wind was 23 kts. The revised plan would be to go out the next day if possible for a short sail. After lunch the prevailing weather motivated the crew to suggest cancelling the weekend sailing.

In conclusion, it was a long way to drive for a Chinese Take Away and Firework Display in the rain. Phoenix do not expect fees if you cancel due to safety concerns about the weather and have confirmed this.


Haslar Marina  50.7908,-1.1171