Trip on Aeolis starting 2008-07-17 in BSASep08

The “three little mishaps” cruise, July 17 - 20 – report by Bob Hayes

SKIPPER: - Roger Bignell

CREW: - Paul Johnson, Paul Chessman, Chris Hucker, Steve Pinder and Bob Hayes.

BOAT: Hallberg Rassy 36 “Aeolis”, chartered from the Hamble.

Foreword: We called in at a Safeway on the way down to shop for the trip. As we spent over £50 we were given the free gift of a spatula!

17th 1200 Arrived at The HambleMap checked in with charter office, boat not ready. So, we went for a pint. The boat wasn’t ready because she had a “fresh” water leak. If only we’d known then!!!


Slipped our moorings and went up river to practise reefing as force 6 westerly winds promised. Aeolis has a pronounced kick to starboard in reverse. Other than that she is an impressive boat, very stable. Motor-sailed to Cowes, the Marina was full, as there was a rally on. So we moored on the outer pontoon in Shepards Wharf MarinaMap. At 1900, into Cowes for drinks and a Chinese meal in China China. Great food "Hen How" and Tsingsao beer. Back on board by 2300.

18th Log reading 25829. Weather, overcast wind SW 2-3. 12 miles to The Needles, 26 miles to Poole. Tide west-going from 1100.

So we had a leisurely Full English Breakfast (FEB) and left at 1100. On the beat across the Solent the wind came up to around force 6. We put a reef in the main. Then, our first mishap, we lost a fender. Luckily I saw it slip off the stern. We came about, and just in case anyone was watching, turned the situation into a Man Overboard exercise. Recovering the fender at our first attempt we were very pleased with ourselves as by then the wind was definitely force 6. We tried to return to our original course but were now headed by the wind. So we motor-sailed, with a reefed main.

Off The NeedlesMap there was plenty of wind over tide and she was slamming hard into waves with lots of water over the foredeck. Steve noticed that the carpet was wet in main cabin and the skipper went below grumbling about crew not securing fenders or hatches properly. Whilst he was below the oil warning buzzer sounded. We shut down engine and hoisted the genoa. Checked bilges and boat was awash to cabin sole level, why hadn't the automatic bilge pump kicked in? We tried manual bilge pump and mercifully it reduced water level. However, pumping made the crew feel sick and the boat’s violent motion didn’t allow close investigation for the leak. Chris pumped and then came up to feed the fishes. Off Poole Mapwe reasoned that, given the amount of water below, the engine warning may have been caused be a short. Cautiously we started the engine. It started and ran without any problem. We continued to hand pump in shifts until we reached the Marina.

Paul C lifted the floors and found log sender unit dislodged and water coming in at a rapid rate. The only thing that had stopped the unit coming out off its housing completely was the floor board above it. Paul managed to reduce the flow by hand tightening the retaining nut. There are 13 through-hull fittings on this boat; decided not to check the rest for fear of what we would find. We checked the electric bilge pump and emptied the filter, but that didn’t fix it.

The skipper called Hamble and they said they would send someone. SeaStart turned up, fixed the sender unit and tried to fix the automatic bilge pump but also failed. Our second little mishap over.

The crew run ashore (Classic Cars on show on the front) leaving Chris on board on leak watch, Fish and chips in a pub, Hen How.

Marina (Poole Quay Boat HavenMap). "Rip off by the sea" £34.00 for one night (exacerbated by Paul J’s using shore power to charge his phone!).


Log 25862, later found sender now fixed not sending.Early start with FEB again, then at 0900 we did a difficult manoeuvre out of the Marina, taking the boat with us of course. Running on Genoa took north passage to NeedlesMap. Lovely sail and no sign of any water in the bilge.

Arrived YarmouthMap at 1450, moored on piling by Paul C. Chris, Paul J and Bob ashore to watch cricket and play pool. Skipper decides to take a bus tour around the west end of island? He said it was worse than the previous day’s sailing. Within minutes his spine was working its way through his skull and his kidneys swapped places with his liver. He had no idea what the views were like as his eyeballs didn’t stop bouncing until 20 minutes after he got off of the bus. Paul J went back to the boat early to prepare his usual gourmet feast. The rest of us returned to the boat at 1900 for splendid 3 course meal. Cheese and tomato starter, Chicken Pasta and Rattatouille main, all topped off by Blackberry and Apple Pie. Outstanding, Hen How.

20th Chris took Aeolis off the mooring. The skipper decided to use the tide to East until 1100 then beat back to The Hamble. The Solent was very busy and the weather sunny with a strengthening west wind. Cracking beat back to The HambleMap, boat sails like a dream.

At 1400 packed up contacted Charterers by phone then home.

Postscript: Half way home we realised that there had been another little mishap. We left our free spatula aboard.

The Hamble  50.8542,-1.3111
Shepards Wharf Marina  50.7593,-1.2926
Needles  50.6612,-1.6032
Off Poole  50.6722,-1.9223
Poole Quay Boat Haven  50.7114,-1.9834
Needles  50.6612,-1.6032
Yarmouth  50.7061,-1.5023
The Hamble  50.8542,-1.3111