Trip on Shropshire Lady II starting 2008-10-24 in BSANov08
Trip from Hamble24th-26th October 2008 – report by skipper Phil Steele
Skipper: Phil Steele.
The boat, “Shropshire Lady II”, a Bavaria 350 (37ft), has had an extensive refit bringing her up to a high standard and now includes a deck mounted pole, a cabin heater, a water heater, a range of shore power adaptors, new sails and engine. We had all arrived by about 7pm and agreed that despite a very strong crew the tides and weather was unsuitable for a pleasant passage to Poole and that an evening trip to Cowes would have required an earlier departure.
We were advised by Kathy Cole, the owner that Hamble village is only about a 20 minute walk so we ventured to the King and Queen for an acceptable meal. The next morning we set off with two reefs in the fully battened mainsail towards the west channel tacking in a rising westerly F4 wind. The boat sailed superbly in the slight sea and many cups of tea were drunk to stave off the cold and thirst. The wind picked up to F5 off Beaulieu requiring the new genoa to be fully reefed.
We agreed that if we could obtain a walk-ashore pontoon at Yarmouth it would be our preferred option. Fortunately we managed to secure a berth when a resident yacht was to be absent that night.
An advanced scouting party managed to secure a table for that evening in the Bugle that served desserts acceptable to Peter resulting in a pleasant meal and evening. A point of information - the Yarmouth facilities are only open from 7am until 7pm. During the night the wind picked up as predicted to F7 occasionally F8 accompanied by rain.
The next morning we opted to have two leisurely breakfasts before departing in poor visibility. The new cooker has a grill that facilitated bacon butty supplies thanks to Mike. By the time we left Yarmouth visibility had improved and the wind had dropped. We had a full set of sails up to fight the strong tide with still only a slight sea. After about 20 minutes Peter, who was down below, reported that we were only making 0.1 of a knot, he was unaware that this was in a backward direction but we were enjoying the sail. The helmsman managed to pick up the inshore back eddy and we soon arrived back at Yarmouth to have the wind drop further requiring use of the engine for a short while. We were then able to revert to sail power poled out by Andy on a goose wing and broad reach inshore of the main foul current.
The tea continued to flow regularly and we had a cooked meal on board as we passed Bramble Bank returning to the Hamble at about 15:30 for a leisurely clean up.
Thanks to Kathy, Shropshire Lady is now in better condition than when Neptune managed her 16 years ago.