Trip on Elan starting 2007-11-04 in BSANov07

3.2 Elan 340 from Phoenix YC, Gosport, November 4-7 - report by Bernard Smyth

Skipper Gordon Ogden; Crew: Keith Fisher, Jon Wood, Sue Fowle and Bernard Smyth

This was the first outing for this boat on an overnight trip so there were some items for the snagging list. But those were forgotten as soon as we set sail. In 8 knots of SW wind the unnamed boat shot off at 5-6 knots down the sunny Solent.

Accommodation in the Elan is somewhat cramped, which led to skipper Gordon Ogden having his leg pulled for the rest of the trip for “coming out”! He had to ask Sue to move to let him out from behind a table and used the unfortunate expression “Could you please let me come out?” That was pounced on with glee.

It had been hoped to get to Poole on the first day but, with the tide against us and the weather cloudy, by the time we reached Hurst it was obvious we would not make it in time, so we settled for Yarmouth. We tried some MOB practice under sail but the kit got stuck under the middle of the boat until Jon had the bright idea of reversing so it became untangled enough to be hauled aboard. In the pub later, Gordon again came in for more stick for putting the world to rights.

Tuesday was sunny and we set off towards Hurst again doing 5-6 knots in 11 knots of wind. An interesting first for some of the crew was tacking close in to Hurst beach and along the North Channel in a NWly. With two reefs in the main and a shortened genoa we were doing up to 7 knots at times.

We hove to in Poole Bay for lunch with not another yacht in sight. The reefs came out for the downwind dash to East Cowes from the Needles for an overnight there. “Wonderful sailing” is how Gordon described it.

On Wednesday we tacked to Newtown Creek for a 9am breakfast in up to a 20-knot westerly after an early false start, due to someone not knowing how to tell the time. It was intended to have lunch in upper Southampton Water but we had a rolly ride in up to 20 knots of SW wind and had two knots of tide against us so gave up on that idea. After a grey start the sun came out to give mild temperatures for November as we headed for Gosport with lunch on the run.

An excellent trip during which Keith did some practice for his upcoming Yachtmaster’s exam, Sue got back into helming and Bernard managed to bring the brand new boat alongside without scratching it.