Trip on Spellbinder starting 2015-11-09 in BSADec15
Spellbinder, Nov 9-11 2015 – report by Sue Fowle
Skipper – Gordon Ogden,
After a stormy week we all finally met up on Monday morning. I travelled down on Monday via Lee on the Solent and had a preview of a very tormented Solent. When Gordon greeted me in the car park his face was already rather gloomy and became more so as I reported on the state of the sea.
Considering tide times we agreed on a late morning departure so after ‘walking’ Spellbinder towards Quartette Gordon took us off safely in the high winds and we got the main up, with 3 reefs, before turning into the swashway. This was pretty lively but as we cleared the blockhouse the true state of the sea became apparent. We carried on, intending to take the transit and head for Cowes but once on a starboard tack it soon became apparent this was an unrealistic plan with winds from the SW gusting up to 35knts.
We did a quick 180 degrees and spent several hours tacking up and down the upper reaches of Portsmouth Harbour under the watchful eye of the police launch. Lunch was an opportunity for picking up a buoy, successful on the first go. We again attempted to leave the flat water of the harbour but by then the sea was so rough that Don and Penny were soon soaked and progress infinitesimal.
Back in Haslar after a perfect mooring by Gordon and his competent crew, discussion focussed on how to spend the evening. By this time the rain was raining and it was dark at 4pm so where to go? One crew member suggest The Lightship which though more expensive than Gunwharf Quays meant a short walk and no ferry fares. The meal was reasonable, not special and of course there is not much atmosphere on a wet, Monday night in November! Certainly it had been better in the summertime.
The following day was somewhat of a repeat performance but again taking tide times into consideration we decided to go over to Portsmouth and walk round to Southsea Castle to look at the sea state and make our decision then. The view from Southsea was quite positive at 1130 so we sped back to the boat and were going through the small boat channel by 1230. This time we got as far as No4 Red can. The grey green Solent was like a washing machine at full speed and Spellbinder was standing still, so sadly the decision was made to return to Haslar and home that night. his time the marina was more exposed to the gusting wind which made mooring more difficult but Spellbinder was soon safely tucked up.
Looking back over the year the wind speed has been an issue on many trips, not just those with BSA. Even Sir Ben’s outing at the Americas Cup weekend was cancelled!
Thank you, Gordon for keeping us and Spellbinder safe.