Trip on Quartette starting 2014-11-07 in BSANov14

The Bembridge Races, 7-9 November – report by Bob Hayes

Yacht: - Quartette - 36ft Westerly, out of HaslarMap, Gosport

Skipper: - Phil Steele; Crew: - Jane Coombes, Neil Webber, Brian Adams and Bob Hayes

Friday, we arrived at the boat with a forecast for the Saturday that was not good – Force 6 to 7 occasional 8. Off to the Wetherspoons for a meal and to see what I suspect was the fifth round of the Gosport Glass Smashing Championship. The meal was good for the price and we left when the glass breaking started. Brian mentioned it to the bouncer on the way out. The bouncer's reply, “Well, it is Wetherspoons in Gosport on a Friday night”. We went to the Castle, my / our sort of pub. A nightcap back on the boat and to bed.

Saturday, no change in the forecast. Eventually we left at 12:00 hours - on the ferry to Portsmouth for a bit of shopping and a coffee. As we sat on the ferry we saw the yachts handling the weather in the entrance to Portsmouth and Phil commented that he was sure he had made the right call. Shopping done and coffee drunk we returned to the ferry. There we bumped into Becky, Bob B and the crew from Lady Emma who were also stormbound.

Brian had brought along the Thursday night's chilli leftovers (for five) from Aritians Rugby Club. Neil, Brian and I lunched on that and ate the lot. Then, Brian and I went to watch England lose against the All Blacks, whilst the rest of the crew stayed aboard. Off to the Castle for a huge meal in the evening. The meals were so good we thanked the chef. But, thanks to the chilli, Neil, Brian and I couldn't finish ours.

Sunday, flat calm. We motored out at 10:00 and turned east. Tried to persuade ourselves that there was some wind. But, it wasn't there. We motored on through the gap in the submarine barrier and turned south heading to Bembridge for lunch. Outside the entrance there was a yacht race in progress. They looked like single handed keel boats of some sort. It was nice to watch. The entrance channel is a bit tricky being narrow and limited by tide. It also has four or five sharpish bends in it and Jane helmed us in beautifully.

BembridgeMap is lovely little place which looks great for dinghy sailing. We watched a fleet of small single handed, clinker built, gaff rigged dinghies racing. On checking the internet at home I've found that they were Bembridge Scows. I also found that Bembridge Redwings have red sails (no great surprise there). But, we didn't see any of them out sailing.

When we left Bembridge there was enough wind to sail. Again we turned east past the forts and then bore away north towards the Roway Wreck isolated danger buoy off the entrance to LangstoneMap. Before reaching that we gybed to go back through the gap in the submarine wall and home to Haslar. On the way we came close to two yachts. One had the other in tow. Interesting to watch especially when the towing yacht slowed and then towed yacht took a while to do the same. There was a lot of waving of hands when a crossing yacht came close. But, all was OK.

We arrived back in HaslarMap at about 15:30 and Neil, Brian and I were on our way by 17:00. Jane and Phil stayed on for a Chinese meal and to sleep aboard an extra night.

We motored and sailed a total of 18 miles. That's the shortest big boat sailing trip I've ever had. But, we still had fun.

Haslar Marina  50.7908,-1.1171
Bembridge  50.6966,-1.0949
Langstone Harbour  50.7685,-1.024
Haslar Marina  50.7908,-1.1171